Some time ago, I had a meeting scheduled with a guy. I was running late, the traffic was heavy and I reached the spot 9 minutes after our session was about to begin. As I burst into the room, hastily I said, ‘Let’s make a start! Traffic was really bad and delayed the appointment!’. The man kept looking at me obdurately for a moment. I questioned him, ‘What’s wrong?’ and he replied, ‘Would you still have been late if I was a president or celebrity?’. Right there, he defied my white lie. It was not that the traffic was terrible but I didn’t value our meeting enough to plan to arrive on time. We can be genuine most of the time but we juggle our priorities to pacify our comfort.

Why Do We Lie?

Lying is often an unconscious defence. We lie because we want to configure the way others think of us – a desire to make a good impression and be approved. This is the post-truth era. We are getting economical with the truth. Borders fade between truth and lies; honesty and dishonesty, myth and reality. At worst, we admit to misleading and executing poor judgment. Beguiling others becomes an objection, a game and finally a custom.

The Ingrained Honesty

Kids know how to be honest to a mistake. They don’t harmonize with social conventions of holding back their emotions. They won’t pretend to appreciate a meal they don’t like. They notoriously speak up and effortlessly ask what’s exactly in their head. As time outlives, we gradually learn to repress. Too much of honesty becomes disgraceful and we hold back to our feelings to not displease anyone.

We love to watch how detectives in thriller movies pick apart intricate details to get to the bottom of the situation to discover the truth. Yet in our own lives, we rely on narratives or facts we want to hear or which confirm our existing beliefs and not the factual truth. This phenomenon is called the backfire effect.

How can public relations professionals and corporate communicators regain public trust in communication?

  • By Adhering To The Pursuit Of Truthfulness: Telling the truth and proving it with action; organizations need to hold themselves to the highest ethical standards to guide their practice. Integrity leads organizations to protect and promote the flow of accurate information. Communication should be honest and fact-based discovered with open-mindedness. Clear strategic communication strengthens and develops mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and people.
  • Expecting Truthfulness From Others: Ethics begins at the top of the management. According to a study, employees imitate behaviours that their leaders reflect. Also, an organization’s real character is articulated by its workers. Honesty and integrity are to be expected from employees, partners, management, and stakeholders of the organizations. Organizations must underpin the value of the truth by rewarding integrity and declining to receive misinformation in all forms of communication and thus setting high standards of truthfulness for everyone.
  • Celebrating Professionals Who Represent Integrity: Exemplary leaders who continue to seek models of integrity in the field of journalism and public relations should be honoured. By understanding their approach towards integrity, how they overcame ethical challenges and made good choices, we can see the pathway forward for us.

Truth And Politics

A political actor constitutes a truthful opinion. Being blatantly honest about one’s views doesn’t mean being truthful. Honest politicians boldly speak their mind which is an important obligation to symbolize truthfulness. But being completely truthful is to be able to develop a genuine insight into several backgrounds and classes and speak in a way that recognizes their dignity and proliferate future dialogues among various perspectives on the world addressing the possibility of a common world. The political realm is constituted by a network of relationships which encircles all individuals who speak and act in instigating new beginnings and seeing them through with others in togetherness.

Public Administration Practice Of Truth And Genuineness

  • Being open and transparent while protecting privacy rights and security.
  • Recognizing and supporting the public’s rights to learn the public’s business.
  • Promoting timely and constant circulation of information about government activities ensuring a transparent process.
  • Involving the community in the development, maintenance, and assessment of policies and programs to empower people in the democratic process.
  • Assisting members of the public in government dealings
  • Responding to the public in clear and understandable ways.

Embracing The Truth

Post-truthfulness builds a flimsy social habitation based on vigilance. It deteriorates the foundation of trust that governs a healthy civilization. As we solicit fantasy as fact, society loses its indoctrination in reality. Society would decay all together if we assumed others were as likely to disguise as tell the truth. We are distressingly close to the point. We need to look at quantifiable situations and treat one another with different perspectives. This begins with telling and seeking the truth in our own lives in all situations with a consistent introspection of our emotional beliefs. It’s all about realizing the areas where we are fooling ourselves and gearing up to fight for the truth!