Can Being Honest Cost You Friends?


I am a student. Being honest in every work has caused me to be alone. There are no best friends with me who match with my spiritual thinking. So it feels so difficult to be an honest and spiritual person. Can I live a life aiming at God realization without being too honest??

—Siddharth Patel, India


Dear Siddharth,

Why would honesty cause you to be alone? Are you saying things that are unpleasant or unkind (though factual) to others? If so, I suggest you stop, as it is unnecessary, damaging to relationships, and not conducive to God-realization.

Paramhansa Yogananda emphasized, “Truth is always beneficial; facts are not always beneficial.” You can live in truth — essential for God-realization — without saying unpleasant or unkind things unnecessarily. Practice discrimination and kindness. Try to think, “How can I help others feel good about themselves, yet still be honest?” Sometimes it’s just a kindly smile, a good thought about the person, or a silent prayer, but there’s always a way. Find it.