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Radical Honesty: How To Transform Your Life By Telling The Truth
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Radical Honesty: How To Transform Your Life By Telling The Truth

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  550 ratings  ·  60 reviews
At once shocking, entertaining, and profound--Radical Honesty is revolutionary book that takes a fresh look at how we live, love, and attempt to heal ourselves in modern society.

Radical Honesty is not a kinder, gentler self-help book.In it Dr. Brad Blanton, a psychotherapist and expert on stress management, explodes the myths, superstitions, and lies by which we live. He s...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Dell (first published 1994)
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Manzoid
This book is brash, confident, strong, results-oriented, opinionated, simple, and straightforward to the point of over-simplifying. It also has New Age-y sub-themes that will put off some, but that's another matter.

The book's basic point is sound -- honesty is the best policy. However, the implementation of that policy, as described in "Radical Honesty", is not very nuanced. It is a shock program most properly applied to people who are consciously or unconsciously living out self-destructive sc...more
Aaron
Great read, which actually presents the premises of Eastern thought in down to earth terms most people can understand, to wit:

Most thought is a form of disease.

For those who read into this a license to go around insulting people for fun, I think they've missed an important part of the point.

By stating the truth (about your mostly childish feelings and demands on the world) you get to hear yourself being putrid and you will come off your high horse. If you just say the mean things yet keep secret...more
Harold Swarthout
I hate this guy, his writing and his shitty ideas about how to relate to others. Yeah it's personal. The "truth" according to this dumb ass is that in order to strengthen your relationship with friends and family you need to share in detail every negative, judgemental, dick head thought you ever had about them as well as detailed descriptions about any thing you have done or thought which would disturb them. Married couples should go in to detail about other people they have fantasized about or...more
Julie
Hmmm....I think it has a good premise. Telling the truth will set you free after all but the tactics seem a bit harsh. Spending 10 straight days telling your loved ones all the things you resent about them seems like it could cause some pretty intense resentment. But, maybe I'm just not "there" yet. It does, however, have some similarities to A New Earth in that it asks you to be completely aware, especially of how certain emotions make you feel physically which has been very powerful for me. I...more
Arjun Ravichandran
Lying is a soul-killer. That is the central message of this searing text. We think we lie in order to 'save' other people, but in reality, we lie in order to save our false and constructed selves. We lie so consistently, that it becomes a way of life for this false self. The author suggests that radical honesty is the way to disengage from the stranglehold of this false self, that it is the first step towards defeating the constant self-censorship that ruins our happiness. It's hard to argue wit...more
Thibeaux
I was disappointed that he didn't say when NOT to tell the whole truth. It so often gets me in trouble.
elise
His premise is very scary: tell the truth as you experience it, no matter how it reflects on your identity. Use language to its natural limits to describe what you feel as you feel it, even if you fear it is childish or illogical. I like this. I like the idea that our feelings often don't make any sense at all. We might feel them to be ugly, selfish, wicked.

There's a part where he outlines all the secrets he is ashamed of. It was one of my favourite parts, and I started laughing because of how f...more
Deepak Chaudhary
What do I say about this book "I don't know" that's all I can say. It asks you to be honest Radically honest as the title suggests, if you have sexual fantasies just say what you are thinking, if you are angry just let it rip with all the cussing and being loud that wants to come from you with no thought of tact or restriction, it asks you to not worry about what other people think and that you can never know what is the right thing to do so its best to just be honest at-least this way your mind...more
cat
Very American concept, I think, this notion that it makes sense to say everything you're thinking, basically. Not sure I go along with that. But I definitely appreciate the revelations in this book about the deep value of straight dealing, even when it's uncomfortable or ugly or seemingly unkind. It's an often neglected piece of the integrity puzzle, and I agree with the author that the truth is ultimately the kindest thing you can tell someone. I think the author also does a good job pointing o...more
Matthew Bushnell
Well, what can I say. Whilst the author is trying to make an attempt to argue how honesty sets you free, it is set in the context of what the author calls "Futilism"(a new religion according to Brad. Basically you can't cnage anythign so just be brutally honest. I just felt like the book was a strong attack against certain morals. Whislt I agree that traditional "Pharisaism"has produced a culture of lying to maintain appearances, it is not helpful to abandon the reality of moral absolutes as rev...more
Jonathan Karmel
This book was like a sandwich with some really good meat between two very thick, very stale pieces of bread. I'll start with the good part.

Chapters 6, 7 and 8, called "Taboos against Excitement," "How to Deal with Anger" and "Telling the Truth in a Couple," were insightful and well-written. The author's main point was that it is psychologically more healthy to express to a person how that person is making you feel directly to the person's face at the time you are feeling it. As adults, we (espec...more
Margot
This is a profound book with a revelatory thesis--a must-read for one and all. Although, my recommendation will not go un-prefaced. Even in the guest-written introduction to the second edition, Marilyn Ferguson writes that she doesn't condone Blanton's dirty language and doesn't agree with much of what he says. So keep those things in mind, plus a few others...

1) He swears a lot. Deal with it. Or, enjoy. Much of his writing is rather amusing.

2) He has some crazy ideas. I particularly did not e...more
Mike Lyons
Outstanding! He advocates for being honest in your dealings with all people as a way to keep yourself "sane" and to have true intimacy with others, instead of having fake relationships based on how we are "supposed" to act. Feel your feelings and be open with people. Very logical to me.
Andrea
In this book, Brad Blanton explores the idea that pure and unrestrained honesty can release us from the lies we use to explain the past and protect ourselves from the future. While he has discovered a noble cause, that of proclaiming the truth, he teaches it’s benefits intertwined with his own world view of moral relativism. It seems to me that his world view negates the need for honesty by saying that we’re all going to die anyway and so who cares whether we spend our lives honest or not.

He has...more
Polina
I personally was attracted to a radical honesty lifestyle through my own personal epiphanies and realizations and seeked this title out to help me successfully such radically alternative lifestyle, especially the most difficult "hurting other people with my truth" aspect of it. To this end the book hasn't helped ease my dilemmas, it has concentrated more on encouraging the reader to adopt such a lifestyle. I got through 2/3 of it and haven't been drawn to finish it yet, stumbled at a section of...more
Lauren
Brad Blanton seems like a bit of a weirdo to me - and I like it. This book is at times too wordy and his literary examples were boring in my opinion so I skipped around a lot. But I really, really enjoyed the messages Blanton is trying to get across in this book. Do I think his views are at times a bit extreme? Yes, I do. But as a general concept, learning to be honest with one's self about who one is at any given time and then learning to convey that same honesty to others, this book can be lif...more
Matt
I was blown away by the ideas presented in this book. The author discusses how a lot of our problems come from us not being truly honest with ourselves and others. And much of this dishonesty isn't even conscious. Life conditions us to hide away our feelings about things to a point where we hide them from ourselves.

I have experienced many of the situations the author describes- like how when we deny our feelings we eventually become lifeless shells of ourselves. There is also an excellent sectio...more
Ramón Pérez
Este es un libro de autoayuda y psicología que empieza a tope y descarrila terriblemente al final. El mensaje es lo bastante poderoso como para que merezca la pena.

Blanton es un terapeuta que postula que todos los problemas de la vida y la mayoría de problemas mentales vienen de que mentimos todo el rato. Así que propone una honestidad radical. No sólo decir la verdad, sino aclarar todas las mentiras que hemos contado alguna vez, y eliminar completamente los filtros entre nuestro cerebro y la bo...more
Rachel
Blanton argues convincingly that telling the truth is imperative to living a genuine and creative life. Suppressing angry feelings is bad for us, and it could be dangerous (i.e. school shootings). According to Blanton, we cannot be our true selves if we are not honest. We constrict our true potential and our creative spirit by lying. In order to come to your senses, you have to lose your mind. That is, we spend too much time thinking about what is in the past or fantasizing about the future inst...more
paul redman
Despite my rating, this book had some interesting points and opinions that I will be pondering for quite some time.

I disagreed with quite a lot of his points and his general approach to knowledge. I'm more of a scientific process and empirical evidence kind of guy.

Also, I found it difficult to keep my attention due to his style of writing. I also listened to the audio book recorded by the author and it was quite clear early on that he should have hired a professional reader instead.

Most of this...more
Missy
This book is pretty awesome. It won't "transform your life" (none of these books will, to tell the truth), but it was a good read and a different perspective on the BS of your mind. Some people won't like the author's directness or language. Those people are uptight anyway.
Scanlanisrory
Exactly what I need to start the foundation of reading books. The art of honesty is great for I and my community. Great book.
Jane
Is it fair to review a book that I didn't finish? I don't know but why would I bother finishing a book that I was disgusted with? I get his basic premise that telling the truth will be better for your mental health however it seems that the best case scenario is that you'll have improved mental health and no one will want to have you as their spouse, friend or family member. Sounds like a lonely life. The case study he gives as an example involves a man commiting suicide because he didn't proper...more
Kelly
I love the overall message of the book - humans can't be happy or healthy unless they are honest. But as the book went on I felt the author was sidetracked by his own honest ego as well as political generalities. My biggest reason for not loving the book, if I am HONEST though (!) is that the author's ideal state is returning to the bliss of the womb. He feels that is where we start - somewhere inside the timeframe of the womb. My experiences contradict this notion and my longings are for more t...more
Mo
Great view on how to live your life, stress free.
Anthony
I read this book in the summer of 2007 in a time of upheaval in my life, and it was unlike anything else I had ever read. Imagine someone cutting right through all of the walls/curtains/veils we all put up when we deal with people ("being polite" and "social graces" and "white lies") and inviting you to walk through all of that and try to live your life in a more honest way, and that's this book. To read about it is one thing, but to live it is another. Give it a read, and see how you come out o...more
Ricardo Mendonca
Honestly "Radical Honesty" is a book for the individual who desires to grow as a individual. Radical Honesty gives you insight in detecting deception amongst other people. Teaches you to express feelings, and thoughts. I can tell that I was a person who withhold a lot of information from people but I practice in telling the truth daily. I actually feel more alert to my surroundings. Since I have read the book I don't seek approval from individuals. Now I am humble for whom I am!
Ryan
Certainly radical, this book recommends complete honesty about all situations and feelings in order to become more in touch with being instead of thinking. It's offered as a cure for neurosis and as a lifestyle for friends and partnerships, but I found it unclear just where complete honesty breaks down according to this book. As always, there are a few great ideas involved, and while we all don't have to be 100% honest all the time, a little push in that direction never hurts.
Kylie
I loved this book. Its crass, and its simplistic. But honesty is something most of us have some trouble with, and not just in terms of what we say to other people...in terms of what we say to ourselves, also. Blanton makes it clear that no matter how cowardly we feel, our health and happiness increase and neuroses subside when we embrace all of our emotions. How true and how helpful I've found that to be.
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“Most of us would rather kill ourselves than be, particularly if who we think we are keeps dying. Many of us do.” 5 likes
“According to Hugh Thomas, author of 'A History of the World', the greatest medical advance in history has been garbage collection. The greatest psychological advance in history is just around the corner and will also have to do with cleaning up. Cleaning up lies and "coming out of the closet" is getting more attention these days. Some day we will look back on these years of suffocation in bullsh*t in the same way we look back on all the years people lived in, and died from, their garbage.” 2 likes
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