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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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,020 ratings  ·  195 reviews
The first edition of Radical Honesty became a nationwide best seller in 1995 because it was not a kinder, gentler self-help book. It was a shocker! In it, Dr. Brad Blanton, a psychotherapist and expert on stress management, explored the myths, superstitions and lies by which we all live. And this newly revised edition is even worse! Blanton shows us how stress comes not fr ...more
Paperback, New Revised Edition, 277 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Radical Honesty, Sparrowhawk (first published 1994)
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Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Arjun Ravichandran
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I was disappointed that he didn't say when NOT to tell the whole truth. It so often gets me in trouble. ...more
Per André
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brad Blanton is an american psychotherapist. His writing is entertaining and straight to the point. His ideas are not sugar coated nor is he embarrassed to say exactly write exactly what he wants to say.
He has some great ideas about the way we relate to each other, ourselves, how we got there, and how a new radical honesty can help.
His arguments are sometimes a bit vague and rambly, and I can't say I agree with all of his ideas.
Recommend to anyone interested in psychology/therapy/communication
Karam Elkezit
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
To reread later !!
Do not listen to the audiobook, its just baaad
Ill give it 3 stars for the challenging ideas, even if i didnt fully grasp them, i still love his emphasis on the importance of telling the truth.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it, even though the book is not perfect. But then again, why should it be ?

I'll probably make a longer summary another time but one thing is sure : I really love the concept.

This book is about noticing how we internalized some rules, some ways of living (lying, withholding...), some "morals"... that actualy keep us trapped in our mind and can possibly lead to great suffering. In the end we are all neurotics at different degrees.

Radical honesty is not about becoming a cocky blunt cunt that
Merritt Henson
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
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
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Not only the obvious how to guide on telling the truth, but also great advise on expressing emotions, obstacles like moralism and a comprehensive model for truth. If applied this book could certainly have dramatic effects on ones own life as well as others.

Particularly I enjoyed the authors take on enlightenment phrasing it like the attempt to return to a state experienced by a fetus in a mother's womb.

The three levels of telling the truth:
1. revealing the facts
2. honestly expressing current fee
Sandrine Legal
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you feel uncomfortable with being "yourself", if lying has been a way of getting by in your life and you start to feel the weight of it, if you have an interest in the concept of being in general and the combination of Eastern and Western philosophies, you'll probably find the messy content of this book interesting, if not transformative.

This book makes you consider how lying and pretending affects your life, and this can feel really challenging, you get to meet some deep-seated resistance i
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
Danielle O'Neill
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. I just can’t get on board with this book. Yes, I agree honesty is usually the best policy but I can’t get behind the “radical” honesty train of thought. Being a jerk and speaking your anger immediately and in all situations is not always the answer, in my opinion. I also didn’t care for the author. He rubbed me the wrong way.
Jul 22, 2017 added it
Reads like a madman's manifesto but there is a lot to take from it ...more
Sean Goh
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
James Leigh
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Charmaine E. Pooh
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a fun mix of little nuggets of wisdom gold and shaking my head at how narcissistic the author is. Honestly though, I aspire to the level of narcissism needed to write a book telling people what to do. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys human behavior or wants to improve their relationships... or break-up with their significant other... or piss off their parents. But seriously, it’s a great book.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it did not like it
I really enjoy the idea of us not having to deal with all the little white lies...but at some point it can be good to not spend all day telling everyone in the world every single thing that comes into your brain. The general idea I like, but this guy's execution of it, not as much as I was hoping. Too egotistical. ...more
Mike Lyons
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
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
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