5 Books That Will Make You More Honest and Transform Your Relationships
The meta-skill of honesty is the key to conscious communication and transformational relationships. It’s the keystone habit that improves self-awareness, intimacy, friendships, and purpose.
But, contrary to popular opinion, honesty IS a skill and takes practice.
Here are the most useful and most honest books about honesty.
#1 Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton
Essential reading, especially Chapter 7 on How to Deal with Anger. This book gives Brad Blanton’s philosophy of and practical application of Radical Honesty. Supplement with Practicing Radical Honesty. A powerful section is called the “Truth About Why I Am Writing This Book”:
“I write this book out of a daydream of power and to work on the pleasure of thinking and brooding and to burn a few illusions to warm with. . .It is more fun to share and produce and create out of fantasy than to withhold out of fantasy. Not to tell you of my dreams of fame and power and money might help me protect my pose as an expert and keep you from thinking just another jerk wrote this book. But just another jerk did write this book.” -Brad Blanton
That kind of honesty is level three in our article: Honesty is More than Your Opinions.
#2 Saying What’s Real by Susan Campbell
This book focuses on 7 keys to authentic communication and relationship success. It’s a very smart and very deep guidebook for honest living and honest loving. If you spent one month on each skill, you’d radically transform your relationships and your level of peace, aliveness, and love.
Drop your other relationships books and get this one now.
Pair this with the article: 5 Ways to Tell the Truth More Often
#3 Loving What Is by Byron Katie
Byron Katie uses a process of inquiry to bring to awareness what is going on with a person right now in the moment. Like the work we do in our Honesty Lab workshops, this book is about becoming a noticer of our thoughts, sensations, and environment. In doing so we create the groundwork for change without having to do anything to change ourselves.
“It’s important to realize that inquiry is about noticing, not about dropping the thought. That is not possible. . . . Inquiry is about realizing what’s true for you, through awareness and unconditional self-love. Once you see the truth, the thought lets go of you, not the other way around.”
- Byron Katie
Pair this book with the article: F**k your morning routines, diets, and self-improvement plans.
#4 Truth in Dating by Susan Campbell
Here is another wonderful Susan Campbell book and the only one I recommend to people who are dating and want out of the manipulation-dating game.
(This book is the antidote to all the Pick-Up Artist nonsense.)
Dr. Campbell writes with passion about how the dating process can be used as a means to come to know ourselves and actually grow into adults.
A deep book with loads of practical advice.
Pair this book with: Always Project an Image of Confidence
#5 Don’t Push the River By Barry Stevens
During Honesty Lab workshops, we spend time uncovering our “shoulds”, shoulds for ourselves and our shoulds for other people.
After the “shoulds” are flagged and shared, a common question for many then becomes, “how do I get along and live without my shoulds?”
Barry Steven’s classic 70’s book about living with Fritz Perls at his gestalt community in British Columbia gives a fun and wild example of what it might look like to live more by following what our body wants, and what we notice, rather than the conditioning and shoulds of our mind.
This book is basically out of print, but you can find a nice used copy from the 70’s on amazon with her tiny drawings throughout.
Want to stop hiding and start living?
We’ve put together a 5-Step Honesty guide that will deepen your relationships, increase self-knowledge and encourage you to live out loud.