One of my more controversial ideas around honesty is that being polite is dishonest.
A lot of people don’t like this claim. They think that having manners and being polite as a good thing. Maybe it is. I don’t know.
What I would suggest is the reason I say being polite is dishonest is that any thoughtless form of speech, where you’re just on autopilot, parroting back memes and clichés and scripts that you’ve been taught, strays dangerously close to dishonesty because you’re not thinking it through.
Think about the more recent times you were polite. Did you stop to ask: is this true for me right now?
When someone gives you something and you say Thanks, you’re not stopping to check, Am I actually feeling grateful?
When you meet someone, you say, Nice to meet you. You’re not stopping to think, Do I actually enjoy meeting this person?
And that’s why you run the risk of dishonesty, because if it’s not true in that moment, then you’re lying to them. And how is lying to people a good thing?
Sure, it’s not exactly the most harmful thing you can do. But thoughtless politeness opens the door to being fake, and as most of you will know: once that door is open, connection is prevented and all kinds of dishonesty starts to get justified.