Honesty – #1 on Decoder Map

In order to be successful, you must look at your life honestly.  If you refuse to be “honest” about the facts involved in your problem, you will never be able to design a solution that works.  Honesty hides behind emotional needs.  As you build your Decoder Map try to step away from emotional thoughts and evaluate the  details of your problem without the interference of personal feelings.

For example, suppose you decide to build a Decoder map to solve your marital problems.  The arms of your map may include some of the major problems like:

  •  Arguments
  • Avoiding time together
  • Unwillingness to help around the house

You refuse however to make an arm to deal with the lack of honesty.  You feel “threatened” to admit that the person you chose is a liar.  You soften the word.  You ignore the lies and you accept the excuses provided.  Deep down you understand your hatred for liars.  You are afraid to face the fact that your partner is a liar.  You are afraid that an attempt to deal with lying will escalate your relationship to a level that you can’t tolerate.  It’s easier for you to accept the “symptoms” instead of running the risk of facing a problem you can’t excuse. 

Rather than deal with the issue and try to help your partner abandon the lying, you feed your own emotional needs.  You choose to “pretend” to solve the issue rather than face the hard facts.  By not dealing with the “root cause”  your relationship is superficial and no matter how hard you work to deal with the “symptoms” the problem never feels solved.  Life rocks along and is tolerable for large chunks of time, but the problem always surfaces.  Finally….perhaps years down the road, a festering lying issue erupts and forces you to deal with a situation that is so large it destroys the relationship. 

Honesty should NEVER be postponed or ignored.  Doing so will always force a relationship into decline or total destruction.

Suppose you are working on an issue with your child.  Everyone has an emotional desire to be “known” as the best parent.  We want our children to like us.  We want them to tell everyone else that we are the greatest.  But…if you allow that need to over ride the parental or mature decisions that must be made to help your child’s character, you will actually hurt your child.  You may receive immediate love but in the long term you may not provide the wise parental guidance your child needs.  You must be honest with yourself and with your child.  It is possible to find a way to face your child’s issues with “honesty” and still preserve the relationship.

Because honesty is so important to the success of your Decoder Map, every map must include an arm that deals with honesty.  Make sure that no matter what question you are trying to answer, that you find a way to include “honesty” in the map.  The honesty question may feel like it’s hiding in some maps, but a little investigation will reveal that honesty is a key component in every map.  


Why can’t I get a raise at work?     –    Am I being honest about my performance?

Why isn’t my husband/wife more attentive?  –  Am I honest about how I treat him/her?  Is he/she attentive and I just want more?  Have I honestly evaluated his/her ability to be attentive?  Perhaps the problem is that he/she is very selfish.

Why isn’t my teen polite?    –   Am I honest about his/her loving nature?  Am I making excuses for his/her behavior?  Is my teen selfish at heart?  Do I need to be honest with my teen about his/her faults?

No matter what map you choose to draw, the “honesty” arm will always reveal an important clue as to why your problem exists.

Begin your Decoder map by discovering if you are an honest person.  If you are dishonest at heart you will never be able to experience a great relationship. 

Honesty is not difficult and it is your friend.  Take a moment to think about the potential hidden in the determination to be totally and completely honest with others.  The following map illustrates several ways honesty can help your life.  Take the time to ask how each attribute of honesty can help you develop better relationships with others. 

         (double click image to enlarge)

 Take each arm of the above map and ask questions about each attribute.  Suppose you have issues with co-workers.  Imagine how your relationship with them will change once they can trust your honesty.  How differently will they feel when your words are credible?  How will it change your working relationship when they can depend on you and your statements?  How easy will it be for you to work together when there’s no spin on what’s been said?  How easy will it be to get things done when your facts are accurate and your words are sincere?  Will your co-workers support you and give glowing reports to your boss when they feel like they can trust you and that makes them feel safe around you.

Most of the problems within our society can be traced back to dishonesty and the false assumption that lies aren’t that dangerous.  The real facts are that you can’t depend on or build a good life with anyone that lies.  It is impossible to build a business, a relationship, a government, a religion or anything in life on a lie.  When the foundation is always moving because it’s not true – that’s the formula for disaster.

 You can and should administer compassion when you encounter “dislikes”.  Encountering dislikes is not the same as an honesty issue.  For example, you see a friend at church who asks, “How do you like my new hat?”  The hat is awful and looks terrible on her.  Responding to her question is not a matter of being honest – it is a matter of respecting her choices.  To blurt out, “That’s the most awful hat I’ve ever seen and it makes you look horrible.”  That’s not being honest – that’s being cruel. 

Instead avoid a question that centers on likes and dislikes by responding with compassion.  To say…”I’ve always liked the color purple” shows compassion.    You haven’t hurt her feelings and yet, you haven’t shared your “likes” either.   Compassion is always the rule when sharing likes and dislikes.


10 thoughts on “Honesty – #1 on Decoder Map

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