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5 Things You Should Be Honest About

Some lies don’t hurt anyone: “Hey, boss, you look great in bangs!” “Absolutely, honey, Ryan Gosling is overrated.” But as an expert panel of truth-tellers explains, a few topics always warrant honesty.

By Stephanie Booth
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4. Your Guilty Pleasures

Years ago I took Howard Stern’s autobiography on an airplane. I was a big fan, but I was so worried that people would think poorly of me for liking him that I slipped off the dust jacket and kept the book in my lap the entire flight. We’re all prone to hiding the parts of ourselves that we worry others may judge and find lacking. But over time I came to realize that it’s far more empowering to be transparent. So I started telling friends: Yes, I listen to Howard Stern. I also read celebrity magazines and enjoy store-bought cookies frosted in colors not found in nature. With those kinds of admissions, we can have deeper conversations about the things that really matter.

Patti Digh is the author of Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally ($20, and the creator of the Design Your Life Camp, a life-coaching program. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

5. Your Struggles

In this age of Pinterest-worthy toddler birthday parties and curated Facebook news feeds, we’re trained to show others only our best sides. So I was genuinely shocked when a close friend recently admitted that her marriage was in trouble. Listening to her speak candidly—and not try to sugarcoat what was happening—pushed me to take a more honest look at my own relationship. Soon after that, my husband and I began counseling. If for no other reason, sharing your failures allows others to learn from your mistakes.

Robin O’Bryant, a humorist, is the author of Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves ($15, She lives in Greenwood, Mississippi.

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