Honesty is the best policy is often used by the older generations when talking to younger ones. Be honest with your family, your friends, your employer and people in general.
But is it really the best policy and what is wrong with lying every now and then?
Just like the story on our workplace page today, which says that the worst piece of career advice ever is find your passion, and the money will follow, honesty is not always the best policy.
Generally this find your passion advice comes from people who hate their job and have spent a lifetime in it instead of moving on. The advice should be, get a job, work hard at it, if you dont move up, look for something else and move on.
If you are lucky enough to have a job you love, that is your passion, dont pass this nugget of advice on to a younger generation, because they will hate you for it when they get a job they love, but get paid next to nothing for doing it. Passion does not put food on the table or pay the bills.
Just like honesty is not always the best policy.
Yes, we want our children, and in general our family members to be honest with us, but there are times when that honesty just doesnt pay off.
There is the usual, Do these jeans make me look fat? question. Even though you want to reply with, no dear, you would still be fat even if you had no jeans on, you lie as you know what honesty will get you, and as you just want a quiet life you make references about Halle Berry and Gisele Bundchen. Whatever you do, you do not mention the five plates of pasta, three desserts and the night that has come to be known as the Boston Pizza incident.
You try to teach your children to be honest, yet when one of the little rug rats tells you your breath stinks in front of guests, you wish you had taught them that being honest may be a good policy, but there are times when you either need to say nothing or just out and out lie.
I remember a couple of years ago my young son, while getting ready for school, told me I need to apologize to him.
When I asked for what, he said I hurt his feelings while we were in the kitchen. I was in no mood for this as we were late, I had not slept well, and he was annoying me. So with honesty being the best policy in mind I told him to get used to it as he was going to get his feelings hurt a lot as he got older.
Stunned and a little horrified, he grabbed his back pack and got into the car.
I remember one time while being interviewed for a job by two ladies, after all the generic work-related questions, they asked me what I would like to avoid in my next job.
Would you like the truth or would you like me to tell you what I think you want to hear? I asked.
The truth, they both replied with smiles on their faces.
This was one of those questions people like to ask potential employees that there is no proper answer to. Its like that stupid question, Tell me two good qualities and two negative about you, or How did you deal with a problem co-worker, or How did you resolve a problem with a boss.
You could never say you told the boss they were being a donkey, or that you smacked the co-worker upside the head and from then on they did what they were asked.
People are also taught to turn the negatives into positives, instead of telling the truth. It is ingrained in them to lie in the interview at one point or another, so they can get the job.
Telling a potential employer one of your strengths is that you can talk to anyone, could really mean you never shut up, and because you talk to everyone no one is ever able to get any work done.
But you cant say that, because that would never get you the job.
So, being the person I am, I decided that I would tell the two nice ladies in the interview the truth.
I want to avoid working with morons, I said.
I have worked with a lot of good people and a few morons in my previous jobs and I dont want to work with morons any more.
I have never seen two ladies look so shocked before in my entire life.
You can figure for yourself if I got the job.
So again, honesty was not necessarily the best policy. Although it did feel good.
I remember going into a store in the mall once; I was on my own and not in a particularly good mood. Might have been because the two nice ladies decided not to hire me. Anyway, as usual the friendly sales rep said hi and asked how I was doing today.
Pretty [insert adjective derived from the common vernacular for excrement here], how about you? I said.
The words were already out of my gob before I could stop them.
The look of shock on her face was priceless, but there was one good result. I was left alone for the rest of the time I was in the store.
No one followed me around asking 50 times if I needed any help, or waited until I came out of the change room to tell me the jeans I had tried on looked wonderful even tough I knew they looked terrible, just so they could make a commission off of the sale.
Yes, I know she was only doing her job, and normally I wouldnt have answered in that manner. I would have lied like every other punter that is asked that question when they enter a store.
But now when I am in a store and I want to be left alone I am honest with my answer to the question about how I am doing on that day.
After all, isnt honesty supposed to be the best policy?
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