RADICAL HONESTY: How To Lose Friends, Infuriate People, and Find Mental Liberation

WHAT: Radical honesty

When psychotherapist and author Brad Blanton began teaching radical honesty workshops, he structured the curriculum on the premise that we all lie like hell. From trivial white lies told to spare someone’s feelings through to brazen falsehoods spun to conceal something downright dirty, we all do it. Regardless of why we lie, the honest-to-God truth of the matter is that the modern world is drowning in rising oceans of bold-faced bullshit.

By the mid-1990s, Blanton had had enough. Weary of the constant battle between trustworthy information and nonsense, Blanton founded the radical honesty movement. Effective communication, claimed Blanton, relied on true honesty, to the point where practitioners bluntly state their feelings and opinions even if considered rude or plain disrespectful.

Radical honesty advocates maintain that lying is the foundation of all human stress. They claim that rather than avoiding discomfort, we should embrace it and that the resultant productive conflict leads to a lasting resolution. If the mind is a prison, and the walls are made of bullshit, then Radical Honesty is the key to freedom.

Radical honesty
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Practicing radical honesty is not about controlling or worrying about the consequences of your communication. It´s about becoming aware of the filter between your mind and your mouth and then banishing it. The goal, so they say, is to be able to clearly navigate the here and now, as it stands. It means telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and letting the chips fall where they may.

Adopting and practicing radical honesty couldn’t be simpler. After all, composing a lie and maintaining the resultant web of deceit is way more laborious than telling the truth. If you think it say it. If you did it, admit it. If you know they did it, let em` have it. If that dress makes her look like a porn queen, let her know. If there´s a direct correlation between his PlayStation and his expanding waistline, tell him. Suppose you entertain fantasies about your best friend’s spouse. In that case, the only path to a truly authentic friendship is by letting both parties know, even if that admission kills your relationships.

Although you can go it alone, anyone needing a helping hand is free to attend Radical honesty workshops.


Everywhere. All the time. Radical honesty workshops and groups operate worldwide.

  • Certain bird species feign broken wings in order to divert a predator’s attention away from their young. For these creatures, radical honesty would entail an empty space where their kids used to be.
  • To lie is to deny someone access to reality. It may sound devious, but let’s not forget that reality can be a brutal place from which some could use a shield. Some believe, for good or bad, that lying makes the world go round. Deceit is what prevents marriages, friendships, egos, Santa Claus, and even governments from imploding. Obviously, this is a topic of ongoing debate. Unfortunately, some radical honesty practitioners may find they’ve no friends left to debate it with.

Leaning into uncomfortable feelings and exposing our own secrets liberates us from constant conflict with our fake selves. While ripping off the band-aid may cause short-term pain, radical honesty advocates claim that the consequent freedom from confusion creates long-term happiness. As well as being a powerful release valve for those suffering from bullshit-induced stress, honest sharing allows for greater love, deeper connection, better understanding, and increased intimacy. Radical honesty practitioners claim an increased sense of integrity, authenticity, and self-esteem. They also claim the practice saves them a whole lot of time.


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