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Radical Honesty Nov 25, 2011

Radical Honesty

Lie to Me
A friend suggested I watch the tv series, Lie to Me. It's about a guy who spent many years in the jungle with indigenous tribes and learned their system of telling if the other person is lying by looking at the other person's body language - facial expression, hesitation, muscle tension, etc. With that skill, he solves crimes and mysteries in the urban jungle, working with state and federal agencies. I absolutely loved it. Even before that, I was already a big fan of Tim Roth. I think he's one the best character actors around. But after seeing season 1, the lingering thought I had was Eli Loker's character.

Eli Loker
What makes his character unique and interesting is that he speaks his mind even if he appears rude, and calls it radical honesty - he simply will not lie. Of course, we all appreciate honesty, but how would you react if he tells you your armpit smells like fermented vinegar? or if he tells you you're a mindless dork for doing a stupid thing? Getz? It was funny and interesting on screen.

Dr. Brad Blanton
I did some research on Loker's character and stumbled upon the precepts of Radical Honesty - yes, there is such a pre-existing concept. Apparently, Loker's character wasn't the first. This technique was first developed by Dr. Brad Blanton on the assumption that lying is one of the root causes of human stress. If we all decide to be radically honest, we create an intimacy that borders on Utopian because of its uncanny transparency. Often times, we weave white lies to spare the other's person's feelings. Not with radical honesty.

Real World Fit
But I wonder... How would it fit in the real world? Or can it only exist in Hollywoood? Has it been done? Would it result in broken relationships or relations fortified with acerbic truth?

Personal Subscription
Personally, I subsribe to the concept and in fact have practised it to a subtle level - not exactly what you would call radical. I've told a group mate that of all the people in the workshop, he was the only one I didn't resonate with. I also told an ex-girlfriend that I was breaking up with her because I wanted to stay in the here-and-now without cheating on her (my cheating days are over). Contrary to popular culture, I told a friend that if he's 10 minutes late, I would leave and make my own plans - I somehow never received another invite after that.

But yes, being radically honest is very difficult. But once said, you feel extremely though a heavy cross was lifted off your shoulder - a liberating feeling that's worth walking away from a few relationships rooted in co-dependency or one with a low ceiling.

An Arrangement
I broached this concept with the same friend who suggested I see Lie to Me. Not surprisingly perhaps, she suggested we be on a radical honesty basis. I welcomed that. And as a first salvo on radical honesty, I told her our friendship was ideal for such an experimental undertaking. Why? Because our friendship was expendable. If this experiment boomerangs back, no one would be losing a best friend. We both smiled at that remark. Yeah, we're both on the same page and it's a promising start.

A Share
Ok, if you've practised radical honesty with anyone, how about sharing? Was it discussed first? Are you guys still talking?

The Challenge
In this local culture where confrontation is avoided and saying 'no' is expressed in a long-winded beating-the-bush kind of apologetic way, how would radical honesty fare? Are you as curious as I am about this? Are you up to it? Want to give it a try with me? Let's see where this takes us - better friends? ex-friends? unfriended friend? unliked friend? enemies? People I deal with on a day-to-day basis (neighbors, housemates, etc.) are not eligible! LOL!!!

--- TheLoneRider

These guys like this story:

Tony Ancheta
Tony Ancheta
Rem Tanauan
Rem Tanauan


(Feb 12, 2012) My girlfriend is unbelievably radically honest with me. So unbelievable that I can imagine vividly the details of her previous sex life. So unbelievable that I know when she's falling out of love and dating another when we're still in a relationship. So unbelievable that you'll start unbelieving yourself. Is that healthy? I'm not sure. But, hey, she's still my girlfriend. Everytime she shares her thoughts and emotions or radical honesty for that matter, I just take it as a challenge on my part to react constructively. If she's starting to fall out of love then that's a time I should be rethinking how I've made her felt unlove...and so I act, at the end of the day! Is that healthy? I'm not really sure...


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