Is radical honesty the best policy?

Radical Honesty.Brad Blanton practices ‘radical honesty’ - not only completely honest about everything, but forthright. He claims that all sources of anxiety come from our inabilities in culture to remain completely honest with each other. At first, a somewhat reasonable initial proposition; upon some further reflection, this seems impossible to accomplish; and upon even further reflection, this seems almost spiritual in nature. More info on Brad Blanton here.

Does radical honesty enable us to completely focus on process instead of product? Maybe it is not the specific content of our interactions that matters as much as the continual process of growth and sharing [true intimacy] between people. And, that only by being completely open with each other, can we find true authenticity in our relationships. Also, being continually hurt and hurting others with full honesty allows us all to grow as individuals, and develop a much deeper sense of empathy. However, it is worth the pain caused in the process? I am slowly being convinced it may be so.

Is radical honesty the best policy?

4 Responses to “Is radical honesty the best policy?”

  1. Eric Gunther says:

    The answer lies in the evolution of the lie.

    A behvaior as widespread as lying is most probably an evolutionary adaptation. From an ethological standpoint, why do we lie? Probably as a means of maintain group cohesion. Alternatively, maybe as a means of competition among members of the same species.

    Lying was boranj. It “worked” for thousands of years, but just like most other evolved behaviors, has some nasty side effects. As these parallel stories are woven, their resolution, connection, and conflict with reality brings us deep anxiety.

    Think about the idea that lies always come back to bite you. They often end up bringing more pain in the end. Perhaps lies were a way of delaying interpersonal emotional pain until a better time for dealing with it came along.

    I gotta read up more on this one.

  2. Eric Gunther says:

    The best part about Googling “evolution of lying” is all the hits you get about how scientists are lying to us about evolution.

    Here are some good ones, though.

  3. dan says:

    The honesty part sounds awesome. The radical part i’m not as fond of. I like the idea of small steps better than radical change.
    Is it unavoidable that someone needs to take the radical stance in order for others to make the small changes?

  4. jeff says:

    I think of the radical part as akin to the search for spiritual transcendence - it is a radical departure from most people’s current behavior, but the implementation/process of getting there is made in small steps. No one, it seems, would instantly become a complete activist for radical honesty, without first testing the waters. After smaller tests of honesty in relationships, positive feedback [if it is] would lead eventually to fuller honesty in all interactions.

    Similarly, spiritual practices (meditation, etc.) take baby steps to implement eventually what may become a radical change in lifestyle - most days feel like small steps. I think it’s important for people to see that ‘maybe there’s something out there worth thinking about’ before they would ever give it a second thought in the first place. Seeing how he lives the lifestyle completely and how it seems to leave him in an enlightened state gives credence and evidence to the potential of his system.

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