This week, I will explore how overcoming your vices fosters open, honest communication.

Table of Contents

  • What Is Open and Honest Communication?
    • Why Is Open Communication Hard?
      • Most people struggle with vice or engage in poor behavior
      • Family, society, governments, and other entities do not value open communication
      • Many of us are surrounded by predators
  • How To Master Open And Honest Communication
    • Overcome Your Vices So You Can Be Honest With Others
    • How To Communicate Openly: The three best ways to overcome your vices
  • Honesty and Openness Starts With The Individual
  • Actionables

What Is Open and Honest Communication?

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” – Charles Dickens

When you communicate openly and honestly, you express your emotions and thoughts without filters or obfuscation. You are not hiding what you feel or believe out of shame, guilt, or fear. You are being direct and attentive to whoever you are communicating with.

Open communication is necessary for improving a relationship. You can’t build a virtuous relationship by lying or muzzling. For example, your friends can’t help you achieve specific goals if you aren’t authentic about what those goals are. Being honest about your goals requires vulnerability and directness about what you want and why. But the result is others can help you achieve what is important to you.

The alternative to sincere communication is hiding what you feel. You wear a mask, filtering every thought and emotion through what you or others deem appropriate or necessary.

Such closed communication is generally unhealthy, but there are reasons why we pursue such a path.

Why Is Open Communication Hard?

honest & open communication | woman in shadows

Suppressing an individual’s sense of self-worth ensures that the individual will not seek open and honest communication.

Although open communication is better, there are three main reasons individuals prefer being reserved:

  1. Most people struggle with vice or engage in poor behavior. We make excuses, lies, and post facto justifications for the dumb things we engage in. If we cannot be honest with ourselves and fight against the vices we possess, we are more likely to lie to others.
  2. Family, society, governments, and other entities do not value open communication. Open and honest interaction attacks the power structures that keep individuals oppressed. Additionally, open communication allows those who are ruled to express their opinions. For example, schools don’t directly discuss that taxation is theft. We can’t openly display the state’s violence because this casts the institution in a bad light. Furthermore, parents don’t like genuine communication with their children because they must acknowledge their children’s needs and adjust accordingly.
  3. Many of us are surrounded by predators. To be authentic with predators is to give away the information they need to destroy you. Thus, many decide to contain their true feelings and mask their beliefs. It’s better to stunt our self-expression if it means avoiding HR or giving ammunition to abusers.

In each instance, genuine and authentic communication is either attacked or exploited. This reality should help individuals understand that speaking frankly, while dangerous, is worth the hassle.

Therefore, you must learn the best technique for mastering relaxed and honest discussions.

How To Master Open And Honest Communication

The main benefit of open and authentic communication is expressing yourself clearly and concisely. No one will misinterpret your words. Others can help meet your virtuous ends. Through self-expression, you can see who will support you and who will not.

Here is the best way to be open and honest during your communication:

Overcome Your Vices So You Can Be Honest With Others

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

As with all things, we must start with self-regulation.

A life of vice is a life of deception. We are not made to squander our time pursuing whatever whim or impulse that pulls us along. That’s why we feel shame when we give into overeating, pornography, social media, or other meaningless distractions.

Such shame makes it harder to be sincere with ourselves as we seek to escape our addictions. This mask will prevent us from being honest with others. For example, if you wasted your night playing video games, you’re less likely to confidently and directly answer the question: “What did you do last night?”

The antidote is to act virtuously, especially when alone. When you struggle to overcome your vices but succeed in doing so, you create the persona of a capable individual. Such rational pride will enable you to be more relaxed and honest with others because you have nothing to hide.

Self-regulation is essential when trying to overcome personal vices that inhibit open and candid dialogue.

How To Communicate Openly: The three best ways to overcome your vices

  1. Start by recording the obvious iniquities that create shame in you. There are the big ones, such as overeating, drugs, pornography, etc. However, you may have different, unique, and even less harmless vices that create shame in you. Tally the ones you struggle with.
  2. Create a list of actionables to overcome these addictions. Set realistic goals, look into proven techniques, and track your progress. Additionally, reward your behavior. For example, buy nice clothes if you avoid junk food for a week.
  3. As you shed your addictions, monitor how easy conversations are and how confident your feel. Always track what you’re doing; self-reflection is critical to your progress.

When we start overcoming vices that fuel dishonesty and fear, we take a crucial step toward improved communication.

Honesty and Openness Starts With The Individual

acta non verba | a man leaping

You will not find answers outside of yourself. You are the actor and the goal.

The foundation of honest and open communication is how you treat yourself: you cannot be authentic with others if you are trapped in your own mask.

Overcoming your vices is not an easy feat. If it were, many people would eagerly do it. However, there is always hope you can achieve a more virtuous life.

Despite what the collectivists think, true change starts with yourself. Focusing on the other person is not how you achieve genuine communication. You must focus first on yourself and clean up your faults. Once you can overcome your vices, your vision becomes more precise and your words more thoughtful.

So get started. Overcome your vices; you will naturally see how easier it is to talk with others.


“So the whole war is because we can’t talk to each other.” – Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

  1. Do you have people you can talk to openly and honestly? What are they like? How do they treat you? In what ways can you treat them better? Are you listening to them and helping meet their needs?
  2. What vices hold you back? Why? What does your life look like if you can overcome those vices?
  3. What goals do you have for yourself? What would you like to achieve but have been too scared or lazy to do? What goals can you set to reach these dreams you have?

Please remember it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.