Inspired by her popular New York Times article, “How Honesty Could Make You Happier,” award-winning journalist Judi Ketteler takes a deep dive into the hard truths about honesty, from her own personal story to the exploding field of research on the subject, at a time when the world seems full of dishonesty—from elected officials, to corporate leaders, to tabloid-like fakery that gets passed off as news . . .
We all want the truth, don’t we? In fact, we demand it. We divorce spouses who withhold it. We insist our children practice it. We’re hurt when our friends don’t divulge it. We’re incensed by politicians who invent it. But when it comes to our own behavior, how often do we transgress? Out of diplomacy, kindness, sympathy, and privacy we don’t always tell the truth. Yet we often barely notice. So, what happens when we do notice? When we truly focus on the decisions we’re making around honesty? When we view our entire life through the lens of honesty?
Award-winning journalist and New York Times contributor Judi Ketteler looked at her Facebook page and saw a content mother, a generous friend and sister, a good daughter, and a wife with a happy marriage. It wasn’t quite the whole story though. In thinking about all the truths she wasn’t revealing, Judi realized that the line between truth and deception was beginning to blur. How often had she herself paltered, exaggerated, concealed, side-stepped, or spun the truth? To answer that question, Judi started her “Honesty Journal.” She set out to get to the bottom of her complicated relationship with honesty and confronted her perennial fear of speaking the truth in social situations, among friends, in the workplace, with her kids—and finally, inside her complicated marriage.
Blending her personal journey with the latest research into the psychology of deception, Would I Lie to You? is a timely consideration of the joys and pains of truth in a world that seems committed to lying.
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About the Author
Judi Ketteler has written for dozens of publications such as The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Runner’s World, Self, Women’s Health, and many others. She’s also an award-winning columnist for Cincinnati Magazine, where she writes pieces about the weirdness of midlife.
She is the author of Sew Retro: A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution + 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl and The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap.
When she’s not writing, Judi loves running, yoga, and flea markets. She lives with her husband and two young children in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Learn more about Judi at www.judiketteler.com.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Paying Attention to Honesty 1
Chapter 1 My Strange Relationship with Honesty 10
Chapter 2 What Is Honesty, Anyway? 38
Chapter 3 Is Honesty Really the Best Policy? 50
Chapter 4 Honesty in Social Situations 72
Chapter 5 Workplace Honesty 102
Chapter 6 Honesty in Friendship 137
Chapter 7 Honesty in Marriage 159
Chapter 8 Honesty and Parenting 196
Chapter 9 Self-Honesty and the Stories We Tell 226
Honesty Principles 249
About the Author 262