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Radical Honesty – Unleash the Truth With This NLP Technique

Radical Honesty

Radical Honesty, would it change the world for the better? According to various studies, the average person lies 1-2 times daily. Some of us lie far more frequently, a whopping 6 to 17 lies per day. Men tend to lie more frequently than women, with men lying 6 times a day and women lying 3 times a day.

Would Radical Honesty change your life? For some of us, the courtroom melt-down of Jim Carey in “Liar, liar” lies fresh in our minds.

What is the Meaning of Radical Honesty

Radical Honesty is a concept that encourages people to be 100% truthful. Yes, not even a white lie is allowed! Our days of saying “I’m fine” would be over. Radical Honesty applies not just to the words you speak but also to how you think. Doing so aims to build connections, enhance authenticity in relationships, and reduce stress and suffering.

Dr. Brad Blanton

The term was coined by psychotherapist Dr. Brad Blanton in his book “Radical Honesty” (1994)

Rigurous Honesty – Alcoholics Anonymous – AA

Radical Honesty may remind those of us who have attended Alcoholics. Anonymous (AA) of Rigorous Honesty. A concept from AA’s Big Book (1939.) Rigorous Honesty is about telling the truth even when there may be consequences; it relates to Honesty about your character. To tell the truth, even when this is hard.

Critique of Radical Honesty

As a Dutch woman and NLP trainer, I have often inadvertently practiced Radical Honesty. To a point where, when I teach worldwide, I tone down the honesty observed in The Netherlands. Why? It simply gets me in trouble, especially as a female. Honesty can be refreshing and also can cause entire meltdowns in others.

While radical Honesty is promoted as a means of fostering authenticity and genuine relationships, critics argue that it may not always be beneficial.

Individuals might need to be more transparent with themselves, leading to biased feedback.
There is a high potential for a lack of tact and sensitivity in certain situations.

Brad Blanton Book

Radical Honesty Book

Brad Blanton introduced radical honesty through his book, “Radical Honesty,” published in 1994.

Practicing Radical Honesty

The book encourages individuals to confront their past reactions and take responsibility for their lives.

The Truth Tellers

Truthtellers embrace the practice of sharing their authentic experiences, allowing for a more genuine and fulfilling existence. The approach encourages individuals to overcome the fear of sharing uncomfortable truths and to build connections based on openness and vulnerability.

Radical Parenting

Radical parenting involves applying the principles of radical honesty to the parent-child relationship. By fostering open communication and encouraging children to express their thoughts and feelings truthfully, parents aim to create a more authentic and understanding family dynamic.

Radical Honesty NLP Technique

NLP Technique: Becoming Conscious

Levels of Learning

All learning occurs in the following steps:

– Unconscious incompetence (no knowledge or skills)
– Conscious incompetence (we start learning)
– Conscious competence (we have to focus, to do a good job)
– Unconscious competence (mastery without thinking about it)

Some of us lie completely out of habit, we aren’t even aware we are doing it. We are unconscious of even doing it. In NLP this would be described as “unconscious competence.” This particularly comes out during stress or under pressure.

This means learning Radical Honesty has a dependency on becoming aware or “conscious” when we lie, and how it impacts our life. We need to keep practicing it, in order for it to become unconscious.

NLP Technique: Becoming Conscious

At the end of the day, play a movie of your day, dissociated. Meaning you see yourself in the movie, as an observer. From a place of non-emotion.

Ask yourself the following questions non-judgementally:

What specifically did you learn about truth and lies?
What were the benefits of telling the lie?
What would it be like to have told the truth?
How specifically would this change your life?
What specifically is an uncomfortable truth about yourself you are not facing?
What will you do next time in the same context?

If you want to solidify the learning:
See yourself with the new behavior speaking the truth.
Then imagine doing the behavior by looking through your own eyes.

NLP Technique: Communicating the Positive Intent of Radical Honesty

In my work, I have found that practicing honesty is best done by introducing the elephant in the room before it enters. I give people a heads-up that I am about to be honest. However, I give insight into why this honesty is there, and what I am trying to achieve with it.

Presupposition of NLP

One of the presuppositions of NLP is: “There is a positive intent that motivates every behavior.”
What this means is that a positive value underlies each behavior. This includes lies, and telling the truth.

The positive intent behind lying could be harmony, empathy, love, safety, or protection.

The positive intent behind Radical Honesty could be authenticity, truth, self-love, or inner peace, etc.

The positive intent between being Radically Honest and telling the truth can be identical.

Brace, Brace, Brace.

It is a good practice to state your positive intent before you are radically honest. Explain why you have adopted it as a personal practice, and how this could be of benefit to them.
Open the door for the other person to be honest with you. Explore what the positive value would be if they did.

NLP Technique: Second Perceptual Position

Empathy and compassion are also important values. And tact is also a requirement for people to feel a sense of safely being able to connect to you.

Float your awareness into the other person’s shoes, and get a sense of what they see, hear, and feel. This is the second perceptual position of NLP.

What specifically did you learn?

Is there a Model of Excellence?

Do you know someone in your environment who always tells the truth?

Someone who practices Radical Honesty, but is also:
– A good communicator
– Authentic
– Clear
– Tactful
– Compassionate, empathetic, and kind.

How specifically do they verbally and non-verbally communicate their truth?

What did you learn?

Resources: Radical Honesty

Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth – Dr. Brad Blanton



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