I’ve been thinking about lies recently. While I’m basically a truthful person, I think there are times when not being entirely honest are good. And I’m working on a rubric to this effect- what constitutes a lie, and the various forms.
Today’s post is not about lying to others. It is about an even worse lie- when we lie to ourselves.
When I began blogging, I never thought I would speak of the things that scare me, shame me or haunt me. I felt that I was entirely alone in many of my feelings, and I had trouble admitting these things to myself, much less to the world. To my amazement, when I spoke of these secrets, I felt better. And, I found that there are a lot of people who have felt the same way as I do. It felt good to not feel quite so unique.
Admit to the things that affect you. Own them. I’m not saying you have to blog about them, or stand on a mountain top and shout them out, but be honest with yourself about your feelings.
So, how do you know you’re not being honest with yourself? I think it manifests itself in two ways. (I’m sure there are more, but these are the two I have seen firsthand recently)
Passive aggressive behavior. Have you ever had someone answer you, but in a way that is basically derogatory, but veiled in niceties? The tone is entirely pleasant, but when you drill down to the words, there is only pettiness and nastiness? I have a headcold, so I’m lost for a really good example (and I don’t want to use the example that got me thinking about this topic- because I’m trying not to be passive aggressive) but it would be something like, “Your living room looks nice considering the money you had to redo it”.
Why are people passive aggressive? Well, I think some people are just mean and want to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down. But then there are the people who are faced with a reality about themselves that they don’t actually want to face. They see a trait that someone is owning up to, but they don’t want to own up to having that particular trait- so they lash out- passive aggressively. They refuse to admit that they have thought about cheating on their spouse, or about an eating disorder, or an addiction to pain medicine. When someone else admits the things they hate about themselves, they put some space in- distance themselves. Lie to themselves.
The second way I have seen this manifest is the old, my equipment was bad, and that’s why I lost. I hate this excuse. Why do you have to blame the equipment? Why can’t you accept that you lost because you weren’t as good as someone else? Why lie to yourself? And it’s not just in traditional games either. This attitude will affect all other areas of a persons life, whether it be a job or a relationship. They say things like, “My marriage would be so much better if we had more money. My job would be so much better if I had a different boss.” People like this can’t accept that they are the root cause of their issues- so they lie to themselves about it.
Does lying to yourself make you feel better? Maybe on the surface. But does it make for a better life? Does it enable you to reach your goals? Or does lying to yourself hinder you?
I’m still working this all out in my very stuffy head. I won’t lie- I have a cold, so my thoughts are a bit muddled today. But do you think people lie to themselves way too much?
Or do you think I shouldn’t write when my head weighs a thousand pounds?