Good question! I was thinking about this the other day. Actually, I have been thinking about it for some time now and have yet to reach a conclusion. I have recently gotten something off my chest for the sake of being honest. I think it has done neither the person I told, nor myself any good.
I must admit that I do believe Honesty is paramount in importance with me. Or rather I should say that Not Telling Lies is very important! If you can avoid hurting someone by not saying anything at all,it is better than lying!! Silence IS Golden in some instances!!!
Honesty is always the best policy.
People who lie to gain an advantage over others consider themselves to be smarter than their victim. The truth is we normally know when we are being lied to but are never completely sure or prefer to avoid the confrontation. The result is a loss of respect for the person and a withdrawal from the relationship in part or full. To avoid making a clear statement to a person in order to avoid hurting them is understandable but not always the best thing for the relationship.
I recall a person who approached me when I was a younger person and told me a few home truths about myself. To this day still feel a level of respect for that person as I recognised the courage that it took and the benefit it had for me during my development as a person. Truth delivered with care for the person is better that lies that generate distrust.
I do believe honesty is extremely important, but I also think that everyone doesn't need to know everything and some things can be withheld until an appropriate moment. Some things are not my business and I don't need to know, neither do they. People's feelings must be considered. For example If a friend asked me how she looks in an outfit and we are already out, I might not tell the whole truth, because she is not in a situation where she can change. So I might find something nice to say, so not to undermine her confidence. It would be different if we were not out. I might say the colour is lovely, but the style doesn't suit you.
If you want someone to trust you, you must not lie, even by ommission. I believe in many situations honesty is the best policy.
I rember my mother telling me when I was a child that to be a good liar you had to have a good memory because you would eventually be found out. We were brought up to be honest and I instilled this into my children. I've no qualms owning up to something I may have done or said and detest being lied to.