I try and be honest as much as I can. I don't like to feel like I'm being fake or my integrity is being compromised.
It becomes tricky when feelings come into the equation; whether they belong to you or somebody else.
We (I say We, but I can only speak for myself) don't like to upset or offend anybody by being honest, but sometimes the honesty has to be expressed, and if there is awareness there and the honesty is taken on board with openness and acceptance, then personal growth can develop.
Lately, I've had to be honest with a couple of friends and I wasn't sure how they would react and if our friendship would be put under strain. It had troubled me for a few days, causing mental static and stickiness.
I live in the same building as a Buddhist nun, and she said to me, 'They might be good people, and that's why you don't want to hurt their feelings, but if they are good friends, then they will stick by you and your decision.'
Then she said, 'I think in times these, we know deep down what has to be done.'
And she was right.
I had made up my mind to tell my friends how I felt, but I was delaying doing so out of fear.
After speaking to her I went straight to my laptop and sent both my friends an email telling them what was bothering me.
Within moments they replied saying how they completely understood; how they felt the same way and how they would continue to support me with my endeavours.
The metaphorical weight I had gained on my shoulders was unnecessary, but it in an instant it got lifted and left behind.
They were good people - and they were friends.
What a feeling.
There're times when honesty comes from a place of irritation, though, and doesn't really benefit the people involved.
A man on my delivery was cutting his grass. He stopped, looked at me and said, 'Don't you postmen wear uniforms now?'
I looked down and my uniform, then back at the man and said, 'Yes, mate, I'm wearing it.'
He looked me up and down and said, 'Well, you look shit.'
(The words stung a little, but then I realised that they had nothing to do with me whatsoever. Come to think about it - have any?)