“You be Frank, I’ll be Earnest.”

A introductory phrase that always pricks my ear is this: “I’ll be honest with you.”

It’s a phrase that is slipped into conversation as easily as, “I’ll say this...” or “Allow me to point out...” or “Here’s my perspective...”

But, “I’ll be honest with you,” signals the listener. It suggests a contrast to other things the speaker conveys. Are those other things less-than-honest?

Sure, in intimate, vulnerable conversation, the qualifier, “Honestly...” can be an effective way of expressing one’s sincerity.

But in general interactions and in business dealings, the phrase, “I’ll be honest with you,” pokes a small hole in the concept of truth and integrity.

Perhaps it’s better, instead, to say something like, “Here’s how I see things.”

We’ll trust that your opinion is an honest one.