Radical Honesty by Dr. Brad Blanton
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
You hate your life because you lie all the time
Why it’s Awesome
You are a liar. I am a liar. The human species as a whole is one giant cluster fuck of liars. And that’s why people are miserable.
Brad Blanton is a fat Texan with a PhD who explains in Radical Honesty that lying is the source of all human stress. This is because we lie to protect our ego, or false mental self-image of ourselves. Yet this maintaining of a self-image causes separation between we actually are in reality and who we are pretending to be.
In other words, when you pretend to be someone you’re not, it’s a shitty feeling. There’s no way around this, yet people so desire to maintain these self-images that they will continue lying even at drastic consequences to themselves and others.
I’ll give you a practical example. Say your whole life you were a devout Catholic. But one day you begin discovering ideas that maybe the Catholic religion isn’t everything you thought it was. You now have two choices.
One, you can renounce your faith. Everyone who once knew you as a devout Catholic will now know you’ve turn your back on your faith. Your family will at best be disappointed, at worst they will disown you. You will likely have to face all your friends since you likely have friends who are religious as well. You will have to tell your spouse that the religion in which you based your marriage and raised your kids you now believe is a sham.
Or, you can lie. And I can assure you, most people will take the lie. Either they will lie to themselves by rationalizing why they choose to remain a Catholic or they will lie to everyone around them, telling them they still are a person of devout faith.
It’s easy to see why either of these scenarios would cause immense amount of stress. Let’s the person chooses to lie to themselves. In that case, they would forever have to live with the cognitive dissonance and little voice in their head that says “you know this is bullshit” every time they acted on their faith.
Or they would be forced to put on an act for people the rest of their life. Assuming you’re not a sociopath, this sounds like the definition of hell. And you’d be right.
So maybe you’re saying at this point “well, I don’t do anything like that. I tell the truth all the time. I have no major secrets”.
This is where it gets subtle. Maybe you don’t have anything major you’re hiding from the people you love, although I doubt it. But how often do you tell little white lies of omission, conveniently leaving out details?
This is a brutal pill to swallow and an even tougher put into practice. As I’ve mentioned before, human beings primary motivating emotion is fear, and most people are simply too afraid to really tell the truth and be completely vulnerable.
Blanton goes onto to explain that telling the truth comes in three stages. The first stage he refers to as “revealing the details”. This is when someone comes clean about major lies they’ve been holding from people. The second stage is when people are honestly speaking their mind at all time.
Finally, Blanton gives you some practical steps for learning to tell the truth and examples from his client’s therapy sessions (did I mention Blanton is a therapist?).
Why Does It Suck
Blanton claims that telling the truth is the only way to achieve enlightenment. He certainly wouldn’t be the first person to claim to have found the “true path”. So his claims are probably exaggerated to say the least. Also, this book definitely could have been cut down to its more essentials. Towards the end he is mostly just repeating himself.
The Wrap Up
This book lives up to its name. It’s a hilarious, brutally honest account of human nature that is bound to make you squirm and feel shitty about yourself. Which is exactly what you need for self-development.
I am not above any of this. I still lie all the time.
I lie to the girls I fuck by putting on a front that I’m cooler than I actually am. I’m not honest with them about my past, including the fact that I study and practice pickup.
I lie to my family by not telling them I resent them and don’t care to speak to them. Instead I just ignore them. I act like I care when I don’t.
And finally, I lie to you, my readers. Often I think that my nature writing style and honest opinions won’t be good enough to gain and audience that I want and so I try too hard to make my writing “good”. I lie to you guys by pretending like I have all the answers when I write this reviews. In reality, I’m mostly just making these reviews and opinions up on the spot.
The whole, “I’m an authority because I’m an entrepreneur” that I promote myself on this blog is a sham. I own some small time 3d printing business and do some freelance writing. I worry about paying my bills. You don’t have to listen to me. I’m not doing anything anyone else couldn’t.
The truth is, I’m a gambling man. Yes, I want fame, recognition, money and women. If it all would just fall in my lap, I’d probably take it and not do a damn thing.
Given though that this seems unlikely to happen, I lie to myself and pretend I care about offering value to other people. In reality, I’m mostly just hoping that by offering enough value it will come back to me. And so I gamble.
Those are my honest thoughts for the day.
Buy this book, read it and stop fucking lying.