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4 Ways to be More Honest

Nobody actually wants to be a liar. But it’s just so easy to fudge, blur, omit, and recast information, even with everyday matters. Here are a few ways to be a more honest person.

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Think about who you’re influencing when you lie and that may help you become more honest.

Richard Jarc is the executive director of the Josephson Institute, a nonprofit that promotes ethics.

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Think About Values, Not Rules

To become more honest, consider the person you want to be, rather than lecturing yourself on what not to do. When you’re rule-bound, you’re more likely to slip if you’re not likely to be caught. You’re honest when you do the right thing even when nobody is looking.


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Own Up

Honesty is more than not telling lies. It’s also about not extending your lunch hour, padding expenses, or picking up after your dog, and speaking up when someone is being treated unfairly.

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Think of the Children

In a recent survey of high school students, 64 percent reported cheating on a test; 30 percent, stealing from a store; and 83 percent, lying to their parents about something significant. At the same time, 93 percent said they were satisfied with their values. Huh? As a grown-up, you set the terms.



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Accept and Vow to Change

When you fall off the wagon and the moment has passed, at least be honest with yourself, as in “I didn’t do that right. When I’m in that situation again, I’m going to do better.”