Being honest is an important characteristic. Yet, nearly all of us tell white lies now and then. However, dishonesty may be more than just unethical. It may lead to declines in energy and pleasure, too.
A new research study, published on SSRN, assessed the intra-personal consequences of honesty and kindness. Here’s what researchers found:
Navigating Between Honesty and Kindness
Study participants’ hypotheses at the beginning of the project were that being honest all the time would lead to decreased levels of well-being, including decreased enjoyment and social connections.
In order to test this hypothesis, researchers monitored participants for three days’ time. During the three days, participants were randomly assigned to be either honest, kind or “conscious of their communication” (i.e. the control factor, where participants could fudge the truth in order to preserve others’ feelings).
Being Honest Leads to Greater Levels of Pleasure
Researchers found that after monitoring every conversation their participants had for three days, being honest led to greater levels of pleasure. Being honest also led to deeper levels of social connection and did far less harm to relationships that participants expected.
The takeaway? Always be honest – but remember, honesty and kindness aren’t opposites! You can tell the truth and be sensitive of someone’s feelings at the same time.
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