Radical Honesty Conti.

Lots of peeps have asked me how I’m getting on with the whole radical honesty thing, so I thought I’d blog a bit. Having read a bit of Brad’s book – I think he’s a bit of a tosser, but it’s stimulated a lot of thought.

As previously blogged the push behind radical honesty isn’t a moral one, but rather a psycholological/health one. Interestingly, like the meditation techniques I learnt (and have let lapse!) last year, it anchors you in present experience – training you to ignore the evaluative voice in the back of the mind.

In trying to tell the truth at all times, it’s made me evaluate why and when I lie. It’s always because of how I THINK others are going to react to the truth, whether it’s my slightly ‘sexing up’ an anecdote or trying to hide the fact the reason I’m not hungry is because I’ve been stuffing chocolate all afternoon. I want/need people to like me, to approve of me. And in the past that’s meant my trying to hide my struggles, until I can’t hold on any longer and break down or blow up.

So, in order to avoid the anticipated bad reaction (even if it’s not an angry outburst, just a change in their view of me) – I blurt out some lie, which most of the time is so poor that it’s seen through at once. Leading to guarenteed bad reaction/relationship breakdown. Or in order to make sure that people continue to want to spend time with me, I feel that I need to supply ‘material’ to keep them amused and to ignore my needs and feelings.

My plan, such as it is, is to keep on with the radical honesty, and monitor the consequences.

Authenticity and Radical Honesty

A little while ago, I decided that I was going to try and make my life more authentic. It’s been very hard, but my recent move into a more technical role has been part of that. I think I’m closer to the role that suits me, rather than the type of job that I’ve always thought I ‘ought’ to be doing or ‘ought’ to be good at.

The Boy heard an interview with the Dr Brad Blandon. He advocates what he calls radical honesty – to tell the truth at all times. Not from some Kantian imperative, but because it is more psychologically healthy. This includes social ‘white lies’. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a total miscreant, but I do lie (hard to believe I know), to myself as well as others. So I’ve decided to implement radical honesty for a week. I wonder if anyone will notice.


[I was looking for a picture of Satre and came across this portrait by Guenter Rueckert. I’m sure I’ve seen his work before but I can’t think where.]

Wikipedia defines authenticity thus:

Authenticity is a technical term in existentialist philosophy. In this philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.

Although, like many existential concepts it’s rather slippery, thinking in terms of authenticity can be useful. For instance, I think the last few paintings Lorna has been working on are more authentic than most of her previous work.

In my ongoing quest (for a more authentic life) I have decided:


So – I urge you all to join my campaign – and all suggestions gratefully received (although ££££ are limited).