Ask most people if they’re honest and what do you think they’re going to tell you? I’m certain I’ve never had someone confess that they’re generally a liar. I have caught too many people to mention in lies. So, how honest are we?
On one hand you could take the annual Honest Tea survey. It says we’re currently about 93% honest. That’s the optimistic view of things. I believe you know how honest someone really is when they’re faced with adversity. It’s hard to have an accurate measure of credible adversity testing but a job interview probably qualifies.
According to the HEC Foundation 81% of people lie during job interviews. 81%! That doesn’t exactly paint the picture of honesty the Honest Tea folks have come up with in their annual studies. In the context of job interviews, the dishonesty is so pervasive HEC’s recommendation for employers is to audition candidates as opposed to interviewing them. But back to us for a moment.
Ideally, we’re part of the 19% who don’t lie even during adverse moments in our lives. Regardless it’s instructive for what’s happening politically and how others around us respond. We’ve had research demonstrating most adults feel political stress most days. Recently, I posted a story showing that we average 11 hostile encounters weekly, with politics being the most common catalyst. That could qualify as a form of emotional adversity.
If you’re wondering how some people could seemingly believe what you know to be false, this might explain it. If more than eight out of ten of us are at least somewhat dishonest when faced with adversity, it's almost natural to buy into dishonesty perpetuated by others that fits our worldview and addresses the emotions that caused the adversity. The best of all worlds is if we’re successful in identifying the fewer than one in five who’re genuinely honest people, whether we’re hiring or simply socializing.
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