Skip to main content

62 Honesty Quotes & 8 Reasons Why It Matters

What does honesty mean, how do people perceive it differently, and why does it matter? Here you will find quotes about honesty in all kinds of relationships, quotes about honesty and truth, quotes about honesty to yourself, and more.

Are you looking for inspiring quotes about honesty or still need the right message for a discussion with someone? Do you get caught up in white lies and need new motivation to get on the path of honesty? Maybe you have the feeling that someone is being dishonest with you and you are looking for the right words to address this.

The following quotes are intended to help you to deal with the topics of honesty, truth, trust and integrity and to provide you with the appropriate messages if your honesty has been disappointing.

Quotes About Honesty

Quotes About Honesty

Honesty is an ancient virtue and a highly valued trait that, unfortunately, not everyone in our society has internalized. To help you to remind your friends, family, colleagues, and even yourself of the importance of honesty, we’ve put together a selection of honesty quotes for you.

Also, learn eight reasons why telling the truth is essential.

"Honesty Is the Best Policy" Quotes

In this category, you will learn why honesty is always the best solution. Honesty proves itself to be the right solution when dealing with your fellow human beings, in politics and in self-reflection. Choose one of these quotes if you want to convey that honesty will get you the farthest.

  1. "Honesty in politics is the result of power, and hypocrisy because of weakness."
    (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian revolutionary and Soviet statesman, 1870-1924) [actually Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov]
  2. "Honesty lasts the longest."
  3. "The more powerful you are, the more you are obliged to be righteous, and always honesty remains the most advantageous policy."
    (Hippolyte Taine, French philosopher, 1828-1893)
  4. "Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained."
    (Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher, 365 B.C.-290 B.C.) [other spellings: Laozi, Lao-Tzu].
  5. "Honesty is the best policy — when there is money in it."
    (Mark Twain, U.S. writer, 1835-1910)
  6. "Honesty prospers in every condition of life."
    (Friedrich von Schiller, German playwright, 1759-1805)
  7. "I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy."
    (George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, 1856-1950)

Relationship Honesty Quotes

common values of friendship

Relationship Honesty Quotes

Below you can find quotes about honesty in relationships. We are talking about all kinds of relationships. Because not only should a love relationship should be based on honesty, but also the connection between you and your family as well as your friendships should be characterized by honesty.

Honesty in friendships and relationships of all kinds is one of the cornerstones of their continued existence. Share a quote of your choice from this category with your loved ones to keep the honest interaction between you going.

  1. "No legacy is so rich as honesty."
    (William Shakespeare, English playwright, 1564-1616)
  2. "Honesty in friendships is like salt in the soup. Without that ingredient, you can just forget it."
  3. "Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live."
    (Franklin D. Roosevelt, American president, 1882-1945)
  4. "With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy."
    (Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, 1788-1860)
  5. "As your friend, I’ll tell you honestly how much I love you. And honestly how much you annoy me sometimes."
  6. "To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education."
    (John Ruskin, English writer, 1819-1900)
  7. "I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better than books or orators."
    (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, 1749-1832)
  8. "He who means it honestly must also hate the fuss."
    (Molière, French actor, 1622-1673) [actually: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
  9. "However suspicious we may be of the sincerity of those who speak to us, we always believe that they are truer against us than against others."
    (François de La Rochefoucauld, French author, 1613-1680)
  10. "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."
    (Andrew Carnegie, U.S. steel tycoon, 1835-1919)
  11. "Friendship is when honesty is allowed to hurt sometimes."

Quotes on Trust and Honesty

Quotes on Trust and Honesty

Honesty and trust are mutually dependent. You can gain the trust of your fellow human beings through honest and respectful behavior. Trust is fleeting if you don’t nurture it with honesty.

Choose your quote from this category to illustrate that honesty will get you the farthest.

  1. "Honesty — the virtue that distinguishes the donkey from the fox."
    (Alexander Otto Weber, German writer, 1868-1939)
  2. "What we ask for is not knowledge — for do we know anything ourselves? — only faith in the scheme, image, figure, and trust in the honesty of our intention."
    (Oskar Panizza, German writer,1853-1921) [also Sven Heidenstamm or Jules Saint-Froid Sarcasticus.]
  3. "In the long run, masks stick to the skin. Hypocrisy eventually turns into honesty."
    (Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, French social novelists, 1830-1870/1822-1896)
  4. "There is no time so miserable but a man may be true."
    (William Shakespeare, English playwright, 1564-1616)
  5. "Efforts to place oneself in respect and prestige are mostly like efforts to turn lies into truth."
    (Albert Bitzius, Swiss writer, 1797-1854) [Pseudonym: Jeremias Gotthelf]
  6. "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth."
    (Voltaire, French writer, 1694-1778)
  7. "Honesty about the past inspires hope for the future."
    (Carl Van Doren, U.S. critic and biographer, 1885-1950)
  8. "Even the most honest conviction I must deny my respect if the cause to which it applies does not seem honest to me."
    (Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian physician, 1862-1931)

Truth and Honesty Quotes

Truth and Honesty Quotes

Honesty makes the truth more accessible to you. To show the connection between honesty, truthfulness and wisdom, choose your quote from this category.

  1. "Truth in relation to his knowledge and opinion, honest, fearless exposition of what he thinks and feels, everyone can and should give."
    (Karl von Holtei, German writer and actor, 1798-1880)
  2. "Only the true is great, the truly honest."
    (Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian storyteller and lyricist,1875-1926)
  3. "Everything you say should be true. But not everything true should be said."
    (Voltaire, French writer, 1694-1778)
  4. Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
    (Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father of the United States, 1743-1826)
  5. "Only he who is natural is honest; and only he who is honest can know the truth."
    (Julius Langbehn, German writer and philosopher, 1851-1907)
  6. "Truthfulness is the greatest cunning."
    (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German naturalist, 1742-1799)
  7. "Insightful people, because the truth is their real object, and they find pleasure only in what is constant, are at all times honest."
    (Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, 1724-1804)

Honesty and Integrity Quotes

Honesty and Integrity Quotes

Bringing up the subject of honesty is not always easy. Especially when your expectations have been disappointed by others or yourself in this regard. In particular, if you value integrity, you don’t want to be disappointed in your own level of honesty.

You can use the following quotes when you have been disappointed by friends or even family. Use them insofar as they represent your mood when you feel your integrity has been violated.

  1. "This thou learnest as an honest earth-guest, When joys and friends that lied to thee,
    The bitterly disappointed soul hates:
    Others have deceived thee much more seldom,
    Than thou hast deceived thyself."
    (Rudolf Presber, German writer, 1868-1935)
  2. "Honesty is never wrong but it is a mistake to believe in the honesty of others."
    (Henri Barbusse, French writer and pacifist, 1873-1935)
  3. "It takes a great deal of strength of mind and character to find sincerity interesting even when it offends or avail oneself of it without hurting. Few people are deep enough to bear and tell the truth."
    (Luc de Clapiers, French philosopher, 1715-1747) [also Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues].
  4. "It is annoying to be honest to no purpose."
    (Publius Ovidius Naso, ancient Roman poet, 43 B.C-17 A.D.) [Ovid]
  5. "But why must the righteous suffer so much on earth? Why must talent and honesty perish, while the swaggering buffoon […] lolls on pillows of happiness and almost stinks with well-being?"
    (Heinrich Heine, German poet, 1797-1856)
  6. "No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them."
    (William Godwin, English writer and social philosopher, 1756-1836)
  7. "Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one’s own integrity."
    (Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher, 1533-1593)

Honesty With Yourself Quotes

Honesty With Yourself Quotes

To expect others to be honest with you is justified. But your honesty with yourself is just as important. A little lie is quickly told and even more quickly justified to oneself.

From now on, be honest with yourself and stop fooling yourself. Use these quotes to help you do that.

  1. "Be honest with yourself so that you can be honest with the child."
    (Janusz Korczak, Polish author, 1879-1942) [actually means: Henryk Goldszmit].
  2. "We confess our mistakes in order to make up, through our sincerity, for the damage they cause us in the minds of others."
    (François de La Rochefoucauld, French author, 1613-1680)
  3. "I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."
    (Abraham Lincoln, American president, 1809-1865)
  4. "To the heart that is honest, even stones open themselves."
    (Lu Hsün Shujen, Chinese writer, essayist, and storyteller, 1881-1936) [also Chou, Lu Ssün, and Zhou Shuren]
  5. "Where my honesty stops, I am blind and want to be blind."
    (Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, 1844-1900)
  6. "Always be guided by the principle of being honest first, then sensitive."
    (Gustav Freytag, German cultural historian and writer, 1816-1895)
  7. "Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise."
    (Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologist, 1856-1939)
  8. "At least you can be honest, it’s just silly to let people notice."
    (Carl Ludwig Börne, German journalist, 1786-1837) [actually Juda Löb Baruch]
  9. "Those who learn to pretend late in life have the pretense of honesty ahead of them."
    (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, 1749-1832)
  10. "We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves."
    (François de La Rochefoucauld, French author, 1613-1680)
  11. "[…] You only have to have enough small merits and be an honest skin, then you don’t have to grieve that you are neither a hero nor a saint."
    (Henry Ward Beecher, US clergyman, 1813-1887)

Honesty Inspirational Quotes

Honesty Inspirational Quotes on Humanity

Below you will find inspirational quotes about honesty that relate to humanity and society.
Illustrate with these quotes how honest humanity is with itself and what qualities as honesty in this context.

In this quote pool, you will find both criticism and praise. Choose your quote depending on which point of view you want to make clear.

  1. "All the majesty and glory of human nature is not based on cleverness, but on honesty."
    (Theodor Mommsen, German jurist and historian, 1817-1903)
  2. "Sincerity is the source of all genius, and people would be wittier if they were more moral."
    (Carl Ludwig Börne, German journalist, 1786-1837) [actually Juda Löb Baruch]
  3. "Honesty is the only thing higher than life, love, death, than anything else. It alone is constant."
    (Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand writer and storyteller, 1888-1923) [actually Kathleen Beauchamp]
  4. "That people who are distinguished by honesty, unselfishness, and probity should be so effusively praised is less in their honor and more to the shame of the human race."
    (Jean de La Bruyère, French philosopher, 1645-1696)
  5. "Honesty and respect are valuable gifts. Don’t expect them from superficial people."
  6. "For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation."
    (Charles Baudelaire, French poet and aesthetician, 1821-1867)
  7. "I have the fault of being a little more sincere than is proper."
    (Molière, French actor, 1622-1673) [actually: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
  8. "Honesty is more dear to righteous people than scholarship is to scholars."
    (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss writer, 1712-1778)
  9. "Honesty makes rash, even arguably defiant."
    (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, 1749-1832)
  10. "I have not observed mens' honesty to increase with their riches."
    (Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father of the United States, 1743-1826)
  11. "Honesty pays, but it doesn’t seem to pay enough to suit some people."
    (Ken Hubbard, U.S. humorist, 1868-1930) [real name: Frank McKinney; also known as: Kin]

Interesting Facts About Honesty

Interesting Facts About Honesty

Honesty is defined as a custom or quality that involves being truthful. The result of consistent honesty is the possession of honor. Honesty, then, is more than just not lying or not stealing.

Synonymous with honesty are terms like "probity," "truthfulness," "sincerity," and "openness."

At the time of Enlightenment, pedagogy called for "education in honesty." What was meant by this was that education should be such that children did not tell lies. After the end of World War II, the meaning of "honesty" expanded primarily through the influence of literature.

The attribute "honest" is now attributed to those people who reflectively stand by themselves, their own flaws and quirks. Moreover, they do not tend to sugarcoat or embellish things.

Honesty in terms of words and statements means the pure formulation of the truth. Honesty in deeds involves much more than that. This involves not manipulating others or deceiving them.

Example: when honesty is attributed to you

Let’s say you are asked a question that you know the answer to and you have ten seconds to answer it. The first option you have would be to tell the truth and share what you know. The second option is to lie and the third option is to remain silent.

In which of the three cases could honesty be attributed to you? In the first case, "honesty" would be attributed to you as a trait because you formulate the truth and confidently use your ten seconds. In the second case, there is a possibility that it will not be recognized that you are telling the untruth.

As a result, "honesty" will again be attributed to you. The prerequisite is that you provide a plausible answer to the question within ten seconds. Although it does not correspond to your actual knowledge, you appear sovereign as if it were the truth. If you fail to do this, your lie would be exposed and you would not be considered honest. In the third case, no honesty could be attributed to you, since you are in fact saying nothing.

However, you can’t say a lie like that either. This means that you cannot be prosecuted for your words. However, the silence itself is considered an activity that was omitted. As a result, your non-testimony corresponds to a deception since you know the answer to the original question.

The Courage of the Honest

The Courage of the Honest

Being honest with yourself and being honest with others are different things. When someone is honest with you, you assume that what they are saying is the truth.

Unless the person is deliberately lying and is mistakenly convinced of the truth of what he or she is saying, this can at least be called perspective truth or honesty.

Honesty to yourself is easier to verify than honesty to others. But that does not mean that honesty to yourself is always easy.

Often honesty is associated with naivete, which says a lot about our view of humanity today. This is about the concern of being deceived or even blackmailed with what is said.

The fact that honesty goes hand in hand with courage rather than naivete is often disregarded. Only those who are brave enough to be vulnerable with the truth can adorn themselves with honesty.

Reasons Why Honesty Is Important

Even though honesty is not always easy, it is still important and right to be honest with the people around you. Especially with your loved ones. Below you will find eight reasons why it is so important to tell the truth.

Honesty Brings Trust

Honesty Brings Trust

When you are in a relationship with someone, you will quickly notice if that person is honest with you and whether or not you can trust them.

Trust can be gained through honesty and lost through dishonesty. Interpersonal honesty is often assumed, but it is not fundamental.

The more honest your dealings with each other, the higher the likelihood of a trusting relationship. The more trust you place in a person, the higher the probability that you will tell them truthful things about yourself.

If these things are honest statements on your part, you give your counterpart trust. Because with what you say, you theoretically make yourself vulnerable.

Conversely, this means that the greater the trust between two people, the greater the honest exchange between them. You can also temporarily manipulate trust.

However, the question arises here as to how long-term such a relationship of trust can be. For this, the required manipulation would have to last.

The probability that your untruth is recognized, however, increases with the duration of its maintenance.

Honesty Is Comprehensible

Most of the time we find out quite quickly whether we are being lied to or not. Especially when it comes to spontaneous and unplanned reactions. Honesty, on the other hand, cannot be embellished or rewritten.

Honest statements do not give you the feeling that you have not understood something correctly or that you have not paid attention somewhere. Honest statements are comprehensible and their contents are accordingly tangible.

Honesty Is Respectful

Honesty Is Respectful

Nobody wants to be lied to. Therefore, being honest with each other is fundamentally a matter of respect. When you are honest with someone, you respect the fact that your counterpart deserves the truth.

To Be Honest Is Easier Than to Lie

People who tell the truth don’t have to remember previous lies.

Even if the first lie is proven, you have to build a whole web of lies to keep the first one from being exposed. This creates a huge construct of lies that is not easy to maneuver out of.

Honesty may not always be easy. Especially not when it hurts someone else or yourself. But in the end, the formulation of honest statements is intuitively easier than that of dishonest statements. After all, these have yet to be invented.

Honesty Keeps You Healthy

Honesty Keeps You Healthy

Back in 2014, a psychological study from the University of Notre Dame du Lac in Indiana examined the impact of honesty on human health.

After five weeks, participants who had always been prompted to be honest were shown to have fewer complaints of, for example, headaches and sore throats, as well as dizziness and nausea. Accordingly, they showed better health than the participants who had been encouraged to lie.

The stress and emotional effort it takes to maintain lying is enormous. You should not underestimate it.

Although you can tell a lie quickly, the time and imagination required to do so will cost you more energy than it may initially seem. After all, you have an entire construct of lies to hold on to.

Honesty, then, allows you to act in a more relaxed manner and doesn’t rob you of the energy you actually need for other things.

More information on the study can be found here.

Honesty Breeds Authenticity

Being honest leads to you being perceived as authentic. Authenticity, in turn, leads to popularity. After all, it means you are who you say you are.

Your words and actions are in harmony and do not contradict your character. Because of this, people find it easier to trust you.

As a result, they have less hesitation to open up to you. After all, you are known for your honesty.

Honesty Can Be Disarming

Honesty Can Be Disarming

Most people don’t tell the truth when honesty would put them in a bad light. Starting with breaking something to a small child. Afraid of getting in trouble, a child may lie and claim it wasn’t them.

Ultimately, remorseful admission would defuse the situation much more quickly and have a disarming effect on parents. After all, in most cases, they’re not mad because something broke, but because the child lied to them in the process.

Honesty Protects Against Toxic Relationships

Honesty can also act as a self-protective mechanism. It keeps you from getting involved with people who hold very different values than you do.

As an honest person, you quickly get a sense of when someone is lying to you or trying to manipulate you. This way you can tell which people you want to spend your time with and which people you’d rather stay away from.

10 votes, average: 4.50 out of 510 votes, average: 4.50 out of 510 votes, average: 4.50 out of 510 votes, average: 4.50 out of 510 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.

Similar Articles