Radical Honesty: Does It Benefit Interpersonal Relationships?

Be An Inspirer
2 min readFeb 24, 2024
“Confidence in others’ honesty is no light testimony of one’s own integrity.” ― Michel de Montaigne

For some people, honesty reigns supreme. They call this practice as being “brutally honest” but when this practice involves a consciously performed series of steps, it is referred to as radical honesty.

Radical honesty has shown many noteworthy effects among the people practising it.

In this article, I will explore the effect of radical honesty on interpersonal relationships; whether it benefits the people or just hurts them.

The Importance of Honesty

“Honesty and loyalty are key. If two people can be honest with each other about everything, that’s probably the biggest key to success.”
— Taylor Lautner

I am not very quick to call people “friends”. Only after I have spent some time with them and grown to trust them, am I able to share my life and mind with them. This trust is not something that sprouts out of nowhere.

I know I have honesty, kindness and empathy to offer and only after I see these attributes in the other person do I start trusting them. Then, my mind starts easing around them.

Honesty is the pillar on which trust stands. It makes one reliable and this trait is very rare. It makes life easier for not only others, but also the person practising honesty. Both, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships benefit from it.

What is Radical Honesty?

Radical honesty is very much similar to what we call “brutal honesty”. But, it is more systematic. It was popularised and trademarked as a technique for self-improvement by psychotherapist Dr. Brad Blanton. He has authored many books to explain in detail the various aspects of radical honesty and how it can change one’s life.

Radical honesty is a pragmatic approach that simplifies the process of expressing ourselves. It involves the following steps:

  • Acknowledging our current feelings.
  • Noticing the world around us.
  • Reporting the things going through our mind without filtering.

In order to understand radical honesty deeply, we should first understand its core principles, which are as follows:

  • Lying leads to suffering.
  • The antidote to lying is honesty.
  • Power of honesty lies in differentiating noticing from thinking.
  • One can only notice three things in a moment: sensations, thoughts and surroundings.
  • Sharing what one sees honestly frees us from the suffering caused by lying and pretending.

Radical honesty has often been compared to meditation as it helps a person shift from being passive reactors to active creators in their life.

How Does Radical Honesty Affect Our Interpersonal Relationships?

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