When Honesty Is A Lie

I’ve figured out another reason for my sour mood in recent days, and now is as good a time as any to get it off my chest.

Mood music:

A lot of people have been coming up to me here in San Francisco praising me for being “so honest, open and courageous” in this blog. It was a similar thing when I was in Washington D.C. for ShmooCon a couple weeks ago.

I appreciate those feelings. I really do. But when I look in the mirror lately, those words don’t ring true.

Maybe I’m being too self-critical, maybe not.

But the feeling is there. And it stings.

Here’s the thing: I do open up about a lot of things on here. That’s why I do this thing. If one person can open up about himself, I figure, others will be less afraid to be honest with themselves and they’ll be happier for it.

But don’t think for a second that I tell you everything.

I still have trouble sometimes being honest with myself and other people. It’s not that I hide anything particularly insidious. It’s the more typical things:

If I run into a PR person who wants to pitch me something I’m not interested in, I often lack the honesty to tell them I’m not interested. That strings them along and gives them false hope, and it’s not fair to them.

When I talk to people about how I’ve cleaned up from an addiction, I’m not so revealing about the other addictions I still let control me (computer gadgetry, for example). Sure, I wrote about that and just linked to it. But I think I’m far more hooked on technology in ways that make life less manageable than I initially let on.

I’m also not honest enough about just how hard it is sometimes to be social and sober-abstinent at the same time. Last night I stayed in the hotel because I wanted nothing to do with people. 

I’m not saying what I’ve written before was a lie. It wasn’t. But it wasn’t the full, naked and ugly truth, either. I hold little details back. Some things just feel too private to share.

I guess that’s just part of being human.

Whatever the case may be, I don’t want people thinking I’m better than I am and inflating my head with high praise.

Instead, just help keep me honest.

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8 thoughts on “When Honesty Is A Lie

  1. If there is one thing I have noticed in your blogs, Bill, is that you kick your own ass far too often!! You don’t owe the public anything. I know how you feel about staying in and not dealing with people….I often do this when I am depressed. Get it right with yourself, and your family, and you have succeeded in far more than most people.

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  5. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who is 100% honest. We fudge – I think it’s part of the social compact. Plus, if you were 100% open and honest all of the time, when would you have time to, you know, live your life? And that’s not being a writer, anyway; that’s being a transcriber.

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  8. White lies are allowed. If they don’t hurt someone, don’t let you lie to someone you love, and allow you to smooth situations over so you don’t experience that pain, then it’s ok.

    Imagine if you didn’t have that luxury. You’d tell sales reps, “Not interested, go away” Ok, maybe that’s all right.

    You’d tell people last night. “I don’t want to hang out with you, because I feel you may bring on an addictive episode.” Kind of awkward, neh?

    Relax. You’re doing fine. If the worst emotion you’re upset with is the “Maybe I’m not being honest Enough”, then you’re still doing a lot better than most.

    And if you’re worried about getting praised while not being honest enough, I have to laugh. Your behavior and level of honesty is far higher than we have come to expect from our politicians, and many other leaders. So relax, and respect that you are in some ways, a role model. Worthy of praise, in other words. Ok?

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