To Be Honest, To Be Fair

Honesty is a funny thing.
It’s the best policy according to a well trodden phrase.
I doubt anyone ever wants to be called out as being a liar.

So why do people constantly use the phrase “to be honest” or “to be fair” ? This would suggest that it’s only that particular sentence in which they are being honest / fair.
In fact, when people use that when talking to me, I instantly assume they’re not being honest and they feel the need to say they are being just as a cover (I’m very cynical!)

In a similar vein, when someone is relaying some information or an anecdote and the person they are speaking to replies with “that’s very honest of you”….how do they know? Surely the only person that knows the level of honesty being given is the person it relates to?

To be honest with you, it winds me up.

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