Keeping it Real by speaking the truth. Speaking Truth written on brown wooden blocks on white surface

Keeping it Real: The Importance of Telling the Truth, Even if it’s Uncomfortable

by Paul Osei-Owusu

Keeping it real has always been a part of me. As a young boy, I have always sought to say things as they are. This does not mean that I am indifferent to the feelings of others; far from it. However, keeping it real for me is about being authentic, honest, and transparent in my interactions with others.

I am an individual with a fine blend of intrapersonal, interpersonal and emotional intelligence. This is not me patting myself on the back or gaslighting my abilities. Through my work and coaching roles, others view me as having these bits of intelligence.

Due to my frank and honest views, I am often told to keep my mouth shut. I always counter this by saying that you came to me for my opinions and I did not come to you to offer them. Many people adopt Aaron Burr’s statement from the musical Hamilton:

Talk less, smile more; Don’t let them know what you’re against and what you’re for.

Many people adopt this in their relationships, careers, and everyday lives, but I do not believe this is good advice. The character Aaron Burr had no convictions and stood for nothing, which turned out to be a major flaw in his character.

I have resisted all advice to sugarcoat what comes out of my mouth. The beauty of life is in our individuality. I was motivated to write this post after reading a recent article. I wanted to show that keeping it real and telling the truth should always be the way.

Grandfather keeping it real and having an honest conversation with granddaughter

Article Responsible for Keeping it Real Post

The article emphasizes the importance of speaking truthfully in relationships, especially when it comes to touchy or difficult subjects. It draws from religious teachings to emphasize the need to speak with love and pure motives.

The message is that honesty and open communication are key to maintaining strong and authentic relationships, even when the truth may be difficult to confront. Lovingly speaking the truth can deepen relationships, while avoiding difficult discussions can harm friendships.

What I Learned from the Article

Keeping it real is the only way, with a few caveats. Telling the truth is an important act, but it should not be done in a negative emotional state, as it can lead to poor outcomes. It’s best to step back and think carefully before giving your two pennies’ worth.

Just like me, you probably consider yourself to be a reasonable and wise person. If this is the case, then taking our own state of mind into account first will help alleviate potential issues.

When it comes to integrity and keeping it real, it’s not just about being honest, but also about being mindful of the words we choose to use. As humans, we are flawed and far from perfect. In my effort to tell it how it is, I strive to always be honest and mindful that my words are rooted in integrity.

The problems arise when we shy away from keeping it real and lack sensitivity to others. Everyone deserves kindness, sensitivity, and the truth.



Science Supports Keeping it Real

Keeping it real means being true to ourselves and speaking our truth, even when it may not be what others want to hear.

In a world where we’re bombarded with countless messages and images telling us who we should be and how we should act. Keeping it real can be a challenging and courageous act.

But why is it so important to tell the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable?

Honesty Builds Trust

When we’re honest with others, we create a foundation of trust that allows for deeper and more meaningful relationships. Trust is the glue that holds relationships together and when we break that trust through dishonesty, it can be difficult to regain.

When we’re honest, even when it’s not easy, we show others that we value them and the relationship we have with them.

Woman lying on bed with a snoring man

Honesty Helps Us Grow

Telling the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, can be a learning opportunity. It forces us to confront our fears and insecurities, and it helps us grow as individuals.

When we’re honest, we have the chance to learn from our mistakes and make changes in our behaviour. In this way, honesty can be a catalyst for personal growth and transformation.

Honesty Allows Us to Be True to Ourselves

When we’re honest, we’re being true to ourselves and our values. We’re aligning our actions with our beliefs and living in a way that is authentic and genuine.

When we’re honest, we have the freedom to be our true selves without the burden of trying to hide or cover up the truth.

Help with Keeping It Real

So, how can we keep it real and tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable? Here are a few tips to help:

Be mindful of your intentions

Before you speak, take a moment to reflect on your motivations. Are you speaking the truth to help others or to hurt them? Make sure your intentions are pure and that you’re speaking from a place of love and compassion.

Choose your words wisely

When speaking the truth, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Try to avoid speaking in a way that is judgmental or attacking. Instead, speak in a way that is calm and supportive.

Practice active listening

Before you speak, make sure you understand the other person’s perspective. Listen to what they have to say and try to see things from their point of view. This will help you communicate more effectively and with greater empathy.

Find the right time and place

Timing is everything when it comes to telling the truth. Choose a time and place where you’re both comfortable and where you can have an open and honest conversation.

Final Remark on Keeping It Real

Keeping it real and telling the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, has always been important to me. I am a principled individual, which sometimes does not always serve me well, but it is an important aspect of healthy relationships and personal growth (science supports this).

By being honest and authentic, I feel that I can build trust, learn, and grow as a person. I love the freedom to be my true self.

I would say, the next time you’re faced with a difficult conversation, remember the importance of keeping it real and having the courage to speak your truth. Be your authentic self.



  • “The Psychology of Trust: A Literature Review.” (Journal of Social Psychology, 2015)
  • “Trust and Distrust in Organizations: Emerging Perspectives, Enduring Questions.” (Annual Review of Psychology, 2000)
  • “The Benefits of Honesty in Relationships.” (Psychology Today, 2019)
  • “The Power of Authenticity in Leadership.” (Harvard Business Review, 2016)
  • “The Benefits of Living an Authentic Life.” (Psychology Today, 2016)
  • “The Importance of Being True to Yourself.” (Harvard Business Review, 2018)
  • “How to Communicate with Empathy: A Guide for Leaders.” (Harvest Business Review, 2020)
  • “The Art of Active Listening: A Guide to Better Communication.” (Psychology Today, 2019)

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