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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 Ratings  ·  98 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.  
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Dell (first published 1994)
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Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Harold Swarthout
Dec 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
I was disappointed that he didn't say when NOT to tell the whole truth. It so often gets me in trouble.
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
Mar 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
Reads like a madman's manifesto but there is a lot to take from it
Aug 28, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Almost forgot I was reading this. Of course it's one of those you can take a chapter at a time, so nothing lost, but I read a few other books since starting this one. Can't name 'em, but I read 'em!
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
This book could use some editing, but it's a refreshing read. In American culture, social games and lies are not only encouraged but expected. Uncomfortable truths are buried, and tellers of uncomfortable truths are ostracized. Philip Larkin says in his poem, "This Be the Verse," "Man hands on misery to man/It deepens like a coastal shelf." He wasn't speaking about the misery that results from men deceiving themselves or others, the "white" lies that have to be covered with increasingly dark lie ...more
Full disclosure; my boyfriend has been reading this book, we have been arguing about it, so I'm reading it with a fine comb - and no little exasperation - to fuel my rebuttals. And I'm not done yet. And I agree with everything in the first part so far.

The thing is, we (hubby and I) are bloody honest. He's Dutch (check out their reputation for bluntness!), son of therapists and a psych and IT major (smart and a nerd). I was brought us by a messed-up family and rebuilt myself with therapy, patienc
Mario Tomic
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super interesting book going deep into the benefits of direct, honest communication and the limitations you are causing yourself and your loved ones by not telling the truth. It really dives deep into the human nature of our communication with others and how by withholding the truth or parts of it we can cause massive stress in our lives. As we grow up we lose the courage of being fully honest. And the fact is that we rarely ask directly for what we want, we're not honest and eventually this tur ...more
Roslyn Ross
Notes to self:
-This is like an angry version of Eckart Toole--very buddhist in it's attack on "the mind". Not inaccurate in every respect but shallow and annoyingly unable to see the other side i.e. our evil abstracting minds do have SOME good things about them....
-He bashes NVC repeatedly--did this book begin as an angry rant bashing NVC?
-Yet his ideas about about good communication and emotional health are almost identical to NVC, with the exception of anger.
-His attempt to be "radically hones
James Leigh
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read with an unusual writing style. I wasn't a big fan of the narration, I bought the audio book. It was done by the author and although his voice is clear and easy to understand, his skill in reading a book out loud is lacking. He would have sold more copies I think if he hired good talent to read the book. Having said that , I found his use of profanity forgivable and at times entertaining, as he used it to be radically honest. I would advocate using some of the princip ...more
Vitor Braga Pereira Santos
Está na hora de ser Honesto falar a verdade sempre! E parar de ser o que a sociedade acha que devemos ser. E PONTO!

Brad Blanton publicou um livro que definitivamente pode sacudir a nossa cabeça e tirar todas as besteiras que você e eu alimentamos durante anos, e nos salvar de que tenta nos fazer jogar de forma "segura" nesse mundo louco o jogo da vida.
Se você acha que isso é bom? Ficar mentindo pra si mesmo e para quem você realmente é durante anos?! Então meu caro, considere ler esse livro.

Mike Lyons
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Per André
Life changer. Unfortunately, it's also 33% total nonsense. The good parts are so good you want to live your life over again. The bad parts are so bad you want to [insert bad things here].

Also: Worst endnotes ever.
Sean Goh
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pers-dev
Deadness is a low-intensity form of suffering. It is the result of staying on guard against imagined greater dangers. The greater dangers we imagine are based on memories of how we have been hurt before

Therapy is over when a person stops incessantly demanding that other people be different from what they are, forgives his or her parents and other begrudged former intimates, reclaims the power to make life work, and takes responsibility for doing so.

Stress is not a characteristic of life or times
Ben Hourigan
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is about keeping secrets, and whether it is necessary or harmful. I suspect it’s often both. It’s an unusually personal post, but also, perhaps, unusually evasive.

When I was younger—until about twenty-eight or twenty-nine—I was excessively concerned with the feeling I had to do “the right thing”—by myself, my principles, and others. Not always in that order, though I put others last on purpose, because we never know others as well as ourselves, and our help is often unwelcome or gets
Jeremy Fairbanks
Feb 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Amateur writing style, righteous, brash. I couldn't even finish the book
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important books I have ever read.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actual-trash
Yeah, I don’t know, this book reminded me why I generally avoid pop psych and/or self-help books as a rule. They’re tedious, preachy, flimsy, essentialist, reductionist, and offer the bare minimum psychotherapy has to offer. I’ve had 30 minute first-appointment quickies with psychotherapists that have given me more insight than this entire book.

Also, it desperately wants an editor because the sentences are all super choppy and in-your-face. It’s like being pelted with nuts by an ill-tempered squ
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ideas
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
Zarathustra Goertzel
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fello masochists

Unless you're primarily curious about the guy who popularized the term and his personal philosophy.

This book includes many interesting points and much food for thought.
However, it's at least 2/3 BS: yet another lame western interpretation of Buddhist thought, many kinds of new-agey spiels, deathism, fatalistic doomsaying (e.g., "futilitarianism"), etc.

He knows the book is full of BS, but that's what being honest is about, right? Why e
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 10 likes
“For my own good, I want to hang out with people who want to find out what it would be like to live in such a way as to leave no unspoken words, no unfinished business; I want to be with people who are hungry for the truth, who want to spend time learning and sharing what they have learned rather than defending their images or reputations.” 10 likes
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