When you commit to truthful communication, you open up a path in life. That path is the path of honesty. If you walk the path of honesty, you will repel people who don’t like you as you truly are. That’s a good thing. People who don’t really like you don’t add anything of value to your life. So those people will leave. But the people who stay in your life will be people who genuinely like you. And that’s a great thing.

When you present yourself to the world without pretense or deceit, if you are an asshole, you will soon be a lonely asshole. So it’s not a free lunch. If you’re going to stop lying to people, it’s up to you to avoid doing terrible things that you’d be better off lying about.

If you cheat on your spouse, for example, and lie about it, on the one hand you’re a lying cheating bastard, but on the other you may get to remain happily married. You’ll be a liar, but it might seem worth it at the time. A commitment to honesty would mean telling your spouse the truth, and that could really mess up your life. So if you’re committed to honesty, and also committed to not screwing over your future self, you must also be committed to not doing bad stuff to people you want to keep in your life. You’ve got to be committed to being a good (enough) person.

Honesty is not enough. Telling the truth is not enough. Abstaining from lying is not enough. You have to learn to be gently honest. To wield the truth with care and consideration. You’ve got to learn to be sincere.

Some people are honest, but they’re brutally honest. They have no qualms about telling you exactly what they think. About you, and other people, and the situation, and everything. They’re not just honest, they’re also overly forthcoming with their opinions. Being honest does not imply telling people everything you think. Telling people everything you think is just bad manners. It’s rude. The mere fact that it’s your “honest opinion” doesn’t grant you the right to voice it whenever and however you like.

If you want your friends and family to really love you, and you’re committed to honesty, you’ve got to be a good person. You’ve got to be nice to people. You’ve got to genuinely care about them, and be considerate. And you have to be honest with them. If you’re not, it’s not you that they love.

Gentle honesty, sincerity, will guide you along the path of becoming a better person, filling your life with people who love you, and finding harmony.

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