Home > Mental health > Tools Are you honest? All sections in Tools » Fitness » Diet » Mind » Medical » General Honesty is one of those virtues that everyone insists on, claims resolutely for themselves and criticises their rivals for not possessing. Yet if we were really honest, we'd admit that there are grey areas – that we all, from time to time, bend the rules a little, and that anyone who was totally, utterly and embarrassingly honest would be a giant pain in the rear. Try the following test to see just how you measure up in the honesty stakes. You oversleep for a crucial business meeting at work. When you dash in, in a breathless and flustered state, you apologise by: Declaring your dog was just hit by a speeding car and needed urgent veterinary attention.Cursing alarm clocks and admitting your dismal failure to wake up.Blaming the dreadful traffic for holding you up. For the fourth consecutive year, you forget your sensitive best friend’s birthday. So you: Ring up and apologise profusely, sending a huge box of chocolates round by courier to try to make amends.Totally bluff it, calling to give birthday wishes, and asking if s/he liked the non-existent card and thoughtful present you sent three days ago.Rush out to buy a card, stick it in the post, and later admit that you only remembered yesterday, but the card should have arrived by now. You are just about to draw some money from a cash point when you realise the previous customer's card is still firmly held and registered in the machine. You: Curiously check out the balance but refuse to give in to temptation, ejecting the card and handing it in to the bank.Hastily withdraw the card, calling out and looking around to see if the rightful owner is nearby.Cast a quick glance around to check no one is near before drawing out some easy cash, later dropping the card anonymously into the bank. On entering your kitchen one morning, you find your housemates in the midst of a blistering debate over who left the freezer door open last night and succeeded in defrosting its entire contents. It was you. You: Grab a bowl of cereal, claiming you’re late for work and don’t have time to discuss it right now.Vehemently deny you had anything to do with it, elaborating on how you ate out last night anyway.Offer your abject apologies for your mistake, offering to compensate the others for their food losses. While out on a shopping trip, you notice a bulging wallet on the floor at your feet. You: Surreptitiously extract a wad of cash.Take it to the nearest police station without even glancing at its contents.Check out the details of the owner, later ringing him and enquiring if there is a reward for its safe return. Your sister parades around, showing off her latest designer outfit. Alas the skirt is unflatteringly short, the top is too tight and the color clashes horribly with her hair. When asked for your opinion, you: Mutter an inoffensive, ‘That’s nice. Did I tell you that you were wearing yesterday looked fantastic?’Announce that it doesn’t do much to flatter her, resisting the urge to ask if she’s wearing it for a bet.A few splutters later, comment, ‘It’s different’, before making a hasty exit. Your partner has spent the day agonisingly cooking up a feast for a special treat. Unfortunately you loathe the main ingredient, and the meal tastes revolting. When asked if you like it, you: Explain apologetically that you’re allergic to pickled turnips, and ask if s/he would mind terribly if you snacked on something else.Gulp it down to get rid of it as quickly as possible, nodding expressively to show how delicious it is.Play with the food, and declare your boss took you out for a huge lunch you couldn’t refuse so you can’t appreciate this properly when you’re still so full. Builders have been wandering in and out of your house during a course of renovation. You’ve made a point of covering the hall carpet to prevent any damage, but in fact it needs replacing and is insured against such things as damage due to building work. When the idea of putting in a claim to fund a replacement springs up, you: Become more lax about protecting the carpet so that when damage actually does occur, your claim is justified.Dismiss the idea as fraudulent as start saving for a new one yourself.Rip the carpet up, leaving it outside to deteriorate with the other building waste and put in that claim – you’re entitled to something back for all you premiums. A wild night partying ends in disaster as you accidentally leave a match burning on a table, which later leads to a minor but still damaging fire at your host’s home. When the cause of the blaze is being discussed, you: Keep quiet, safe in the knowledge that your friend is insured and no one was hurt.Loudly slate those careless individuals who are a danger to our homes and safety.Call your host the following day to admit your negligence and apologise. A colleague presents you with her long-awaited manuscript for a novel. Eager for your opinion, she calls a week later to seek your approval. Alas the storyline is predictable and it's poorly written. You: Tell her you were really enthralled, and she should send it out to prospective publishers.Comment on how much work must have gone into it, but gingerly suggest a few improvements and say that it might need editing a bit.Declare that you are more into science fiction and are not really the right person to ask for an opinion. The day of an important corporate exam is drawing near, and your confidence is not at its highest. While waiting for your supervisor to return to her office, you notice the confidential examination documents on her desk. You: Refuse to let yourself be tempted – you would only be fooling yourself.Whip the documents into your bag, photocopy them and return them when no one is around.Have a quick peek to get the general idea, but hastily put them back to appease your guilt. A department store’s security bells start screaming out as you leave the shop. Is this most likely to be because: The system’s faulty and is frequently set off for no reason.You accidentally forgot to pay for your book, and started to walk out with it still in your hand.You were short of cash and could not resist slipping the novel into your handbag – a big department store won’t suffer from that after all. Leaving a parking space goes disastrously badly, you reverse into an immaculate sports car behind you. To your relief nobody has witnessed your bad judgement, which has left the sports car’s bumper badly, and expensively, dented. You: Leave a note that says, "The people watching all think I’m leaving my name and address, but of course I’m doing no such thing!”Attach a note to the sports car’s windscreen with an apology and details of how to get in touch to sort out compensation.Hang around for a while to see if the owner returns, but drive off after a while when you are convinced the damage is largely superficial. Your monthly pay has accidentally been paid into your bank account twice. You: Contact the bank and your employer immediately to rectify the mistake.Rush out and spend, spend, spend before anyone can claim your windfall back.Keep quiet about the error, but make sure the money is still there in case anyone notices and claims it back. Having saved up for months, you finally splash out on the stereo of your dreams. At the cash desk, a daydreaming sales assistant undercharges you by a substantial amount. You: Pay up quickly and leave, thrilled with your good fortune.Repeat the amount questioningly, but when the sales assistant still does not realise his mistake, pay the requested amount without further discussion.Enlighten the sales assistant as to the true price of the stereo and pay up, pleased with your morals. Saturday night arrives, and you dress up to try to gain entry to an elite party you are not officially invited to attend. You nervously arrive at the party’s entrance and psych yourself up to bluff an entry. When a prestigious guest greets you with a flourish and mistakenly assumes you to be another genuine invitee, you: Humour your companion and assume the foreign guise for an evening of social indulgence.Exclaim that she must be mistaking you for someone else, but engage her in conversation so as to gain entrance.Go along with your new identity for a brief spell, then hastily lose your newfound friend and become a born-again you. A colleague dashes up to you one morning at work, breathless with thanks for your solving an unforeseen crisis the day before. The problem is that wires have got crossed and you didn’t have anything to do with it, but you know the person that did. You: Lap up the praise and promise to take him up on the favour he supposedly owes you.Change the subject without claiming the responsibility – it might come in handy one day if the real benefactor does not make herself known.Confess it was not you and put in a good word for the colleague who really did the good deed. You agree to take on some urgent freelance work to supplement your salary. The work is not done under supervision, and your temporary employer agrees to pay you on an hourly basis. When it comes to declaring the hours worked, you: State the exact time spent working, to the nearest quarter of an hour.Generously round up the hours to a reasonable length of time – anyone else would have taken longer.Exaggerate your working time, aware that the work is urgent and so is worth a bit of a premium. At the end of a glamorous ball, you discover your coveted coat is missing from the cloakroom, so you: Grab a similar coat and hand it to one of the organisers, hoping that its owner took your coat by mistake and that if your coat remains missing, you can claim the similar one as yours.Peruse the array of coats, and randomly select a better model than your own to compensate you for your loss.Explain your misfortune to the organisers and keep calling to see if your coat has turned up – no need for anyone else to lose out. Would you consider lying to your mother to be: Acceptable as long as it was just a little white lie and the truth would do more harm than good.Completely natural – you rarely tell you mother the truth, as it usually ends in hassle.Unthinkable – your relationship is totally open and she always knows if you’re lying anyway. Do you consider lying to your boss to be: An uncomfortable but sometimes a necessary way of avoiding unemployment.As unthinkable as lying to your mother – you try to avoid being in potentially lie-inspiring situations.Fine. You have no problems manipulating the truth to your own advantage, even if it incriminates someone else. Which of the following is most likely to indicate when you last told a lie, of whatever magnitude? You can’t remember – you rarely lie.Yesterday, but it was in the form of an insincere compliment.An hour ago – you just had to get rid of that annoying colleague somehow. The application form for your dream job demands details of experiences and skills you do not possess. You: Make it up from scratch, no problem.Glorify your own experiences to match their criteria.Chuck the form in the bin – you are obviously not suited for the job. Your partner finds an affectionate note from a friend unknown to him/her in your jacket pocket. Upon confrontation you: Explain the simple, innocent truth – you would never dream of having an affair.Concoct an elaborate story to hide the truth of your illicit behaviour.Break down in tears, begging for forgiveness for your infidelity. To your horror, you accidentally knock a glass off a shelf, which careers down onto your computer keyboard, and crashes the system irretrievably. The computer is only guaranteed against technical faults and not accidents. You: Put it down to bad luck, and start saving for a replacement.Contact the computer company, claiming the machine just crashed and hoping some compensation will follow.Enlist the help of an expert (if your own skills elude you) to adjust the system so that a crash looks likely, and you can claim a new model. Diet Tools Fitness Tools General Tools Medical Tools Mind Tools Am I eating correctly to lose weight? Am I eating correctly to stabilise my blood sugar levels? Am I eating right for my diabetes? 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