A truly honest exchange (of anything, ideas, goods, services, phone numbers ;D) can only happen between equals.
Because inequality fundamentally means that one party will be trying to get something from the other, while the other will be trying to retain the thing that the first party wants. It’s about dominance and submission (don’t read that too literally, its unconscious, involuntary and nothing to do with S&M). The submissive party will be trying to attain dominance, while the dominant party will be trying to retain their dominant position. This is messy, because each individual will consider themselves the dominant one (consciously, at least) .
Anyway, keeping things simple, Each party has something to gain from, or lose to, the other in an unequal exchange . Each party will be trying to gain an advantage over the other, whether consciously or not, and that gain will, in an unequal exchange, be at the cost of the the other party. It’s the mistaken perception that this is a zero-sum game that lies at the heart of this. “In order for me to win, someone else must lose”
Because of this mindset (unconsious remember, you won’t even be aware of it) that no exchange between parties who consider themselves unequal can ever be truly honest. Each will lie, dissemble, mislead, and obfuscate in order to get what they want, because that’s the social conditioning that holds sway over everything they do.
In any interaction it is worth remembering that each party does not have to lose anything in order for each party to come away with what they wanted. Only then can a truly honest exchange take place. Honesty and openness are fundamental to a harmonious existence, both with yourself and with the rest of the world. Dishonesty distorts how you perceive the world and how others perceive you.