I can’t read minds. This is based off of my own experiences, as well as my assumptions of others whom I’ve observed over the years. The hardest person to be honest with is yourself.
In academic vernacular, here are the common methods of lying to oneself:
- Repression: Refuse to think about something by trying to forget about it, and bury it deep inside the mind.
- Projection: Associate their own negative qualities with someone else, by blaming circumstances or situations on another person.
- Delusion: Refusing to accept the reality of a situation, by pretending things are different than they actually are.
- Denial: Refusal to accept the truth.
From my experience, the only reason why I lie to myself is to make myself feel better. When I lie to myself and reinforce it enough times, the lie becomes my reality. The comfort then settles in while the insecurity/discomfort dwells deeply in my mind.
Some examples of being dishonest to oneself (these are just examples; they may not necessarily be my own) include:
- Jude Doe telling himself that he will burn off the calories from all the extra food he ate that day.
- John Doe telling himself that he could lift a certain amount of weights, when it actually surpasses his current limitations.
- Jackie Doe telling herself that she will put off schoolwork until the next hour/day because she will then study harder.
- Joey Doe telling himself that he is in a good financial situation, when he’s been financially unstable for several months.
In some circumstances, not being honest with oneself may actually be beneficial in the long run. Using the weightlifting example I provided, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy if John is trying to impress himself. Refusing to accept the fact that the he is weaker than he so imagined will motivate him to reach that level and make it his reality. However, the same situation could also be counter intuitive. Constantly lying to himself, John will not work as hard to reach that weight lifting goal for, in his mind, he has already achieved it.
All in all, I feel that being dishonest with oneself has the potential to harm both the person and those around him/her. This is what I wanted to talk about today.
The hardest person to be honest to is yourself. This is my fact, and this is my reality. I find comfort burying some of my insecurities with dirt enriched with lies. Up until recently, I’ve been padding more dirt onto my own grave. As much as I try to limit my own dishonesty to myself, it has occasionally spread to others. My own insecurities are then projected onto others; as a result, they see a “refined” and “painted” me.
I’ve realized that I’ve been doing this for a good portion of my life. It’s incredibly difficult for me to dive in and uncover my subconscious; they’re tainted and full of inconsistencies. When staring at a mirror, I still rarely make eye contact with my own reflection. I have now accepted this. Even til now, I feel as though most of my dishonesty to myself is harmless to others. But then, what is the point of confiding in others when you cannot even trust yourself?
This brings me to the second most important factor: harming others. I don’t believe (or maybe I do, I’m just being dishonest with myself to soothe my consciousness… who knows) that my own lies have harmed other people. However, it has, factually speaking, altered their image of me. I’ve realized this, and I’m putting in tenfold effort to stop this from reoccurring. In turn, I’ve noticeably become less extroverted these past few months.
Moving along now… I’ve seen people’s dishonesty with themselves harming their own life and/or the lives of others:
Milan Doe created a fantasy world based on her insecurities. Her fantasy world was part of her own consciousness, and over time, transformed into her perceived reality. This delusion eventually became her reality (a false one, made up entirely of insecurities), and she projected it onto others. It then became a slippery slope afterward, adversely affecting multiple people.
Unless I’m a freak of nature, I believe that everyone has lied to him/herself before. No matter the degree of the lie, and no matter the magnitude of the lie, try to look at what might happen from an objective point of view. Self-destructive tendencies are already unwise, but affecting others in the process is even worse. All it requires is a simple lie to oneself to start a series of chaotic events. Please, please, please reflect on your own fears and how it may one day possibly manifest into something unintended.
“Lying is extremely appealing because, in the short term, it can make a bad situation seem better than it is or disappear altogether. But, in the long term, it will only make things worse. The main reason why people lie to themselves is fear. When you lie to yourself and refuse to tackle the situation head on, you do not make things better or go away. You only postpone the inevitable, and often make the final outcome much worse.”