Well, people are complex, are they not? We all agree that honesty is an important thing, vital to nurturing trust, which is the foundation of any successful human relationship. Yet we have such trouble with the concept of truthfulness when it comes to the realities of expressing it regularly. We begin our lives as utterly honest beings -- we cannot help but think and react just as we see things. Think about stuff you said as a small child, or words your own kids have blurted out: "MAMA, WHY IS THAT LADY SO FAT?" or "I HATE YOU! YOU'RE MEAN!" or "GRANDPA'S BREATH SMELLS LIKE POOP!" After we are shushed and shamed by the adults in our life for being too honest, we then have to figure out how to be "appropriately" truthful, and also figure out how to break the news to Ben Franklin that honesty is not always the best policy. Sorry, Founding Father Dude. Here are ten types of "Honest Folk" I have observed.

1. The Ben Franklin: This is the person who really does live the dream --  the "say what you mean, mean what you say, don't hold back, take it or leave it" truth bomber. This man or woman offends every single person they come into contact with at some point in time, which means they are generally disliked. People will put up with them if they have to and if their "cut to the chase" honesty can actually be of help in business. When they leave the room, others often mutter, "JERK." Does well as a comedian; racks up multiple divorces. Also may have dementia.

2. The I Love Everything And Everyone: This person is the exact opposite of the Ben Franklin; he or she believes that old adage of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," but instead of remaining silent, their brains implode and say they like things when they don't at all. They want to be liked by even awful people. They need to avoid hurting others' feelings so much that they won't even tell the dentist if they need more Novocaine and will explain the tears rolling out of their eyes as the drill hits a nerve as "seasonal allergies."

3. The "Well, Honestly...": People who say "honestly" and "truthfully" and "in fact" and "in reality" a LOT are often unsure of what they are saying and IN FACT probably are lying.

4. The Surpress-N-Blurt: This tightly-wound person resents not being able to be a Ben Franklin. When emotionally pushed too far or at a certain level of drunkenness, they will spew out all the bitter honesty they've had to repress with the force of a AK-47. Later, they will backtrack and say they didn't mean it or don't remember a thing. Delightful company!

5. The Serial Confessor: This person has absolutely no honesty-sharing boundaries, but not in the same way as the Ben Franklin. The Serial Confessor is compelled to vomit out every last detail of their personal lives to anyone around to listen -- classmates, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers on the bus.  Often, this honestly has something to do with some kind of intense medical or domestic situation but is told in the most boring, lengthy way possible. It is an attention-seeking device cloaked in the misappropriation of "connecting with others." Oy.

6. The Topper: This one has some trouble with delivering any information without first exaggerating it in order to dominate and impress. If you say you got a good deal on a car, he will say his saved $500 more than your deal and got 0% financing for 6 years. If you show photos of your cute kids, she will show photos of her cute kids and mention that one of them was approached by an international modeling scout. If you broke your leg, he'll say he broke his in 4 more places and still finished a marathon. In the rain. Carrying a limping puppy he found abandoned on the side of the road at the 5 mile mark. The Topper knows to only indulge in toppery when she's sure you can't check to see if it's the truth.

7. The Interventionist: This one is kind of like the Ben Franklin, but less general. They focus on telling other people exactly what they are doing wrong, because of their "deep concern" and "desire to help." An Interventionist will nag you incessantly to stop smoking, never wear that unflattering color, dump your lazy spouse, fix your grammar, go vegan, stand up straight, attend their church so that you might be saved, and tells you also that you load the dishwasher the wrong way. They are sincere in their perception that they are only doing this for your own good, but end up as repellent as wolverine urine in a salted margarita glass.

8. The Internet Persona: Relatively new to the honesty line-up is the Internet Persona. If you knew how many of your family members, friends, and co-workers have totally separate and fully-fleshed out internet identities, often completely different than their "real life" details, and exactly what they are doing with those personas, you would FREAK OUT. Enough said.

9. The Application Liar: I'm really glad I don't have to assess resumes for a living, because I've written plenty of them for people and am now way too sensitive to the buzzwords and phrases that scream, "THIS APPLICANT IS FULL OF THE WASTE PRODUCTS OF 1000 RHINOS." Of course, when applying for a job or college or a grant, you should always take great care to present your skills and experience in the best light. But there are people who are just not satisfied with the plain 'ol truth in this specific case and become inexplicably fanciful. Trust me here, you don't really want to say "managed an eight-member entry-level team, taking each to the next level of personal and professional development" when you actually just raised a batch of your dog's puppies.

10. The Balanced Bullsh*tter: Most of us fit into this category, and should not feel too bad about it. I do agree with Ben Franklin's quote and its intent -- honesty builds trust and lessens unnecessary complications. But you never need to be the person who "pisses on flowers" or indulges herself in pointless narcissistic puffery. It is sometimes better to say nothing, say something that is not quite what you actually think, or sometimes just flat out lie to a giant angry man and say naww, dude, I didn't eat the last of the Thin Mint cookies, not me, nope, no way. Nooooooo.

The most important thing and also the hardest thing regarding honesty, should it need to be said, is to always to be true to yourself. Sorry, Ben Franklin...Willie Shakespeare get the last word. And the Castaways!

The Castaways, "Liar Liar"