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Why We Lie to Ourselves

·3 mins

Lies are easy. It’s easy to pretend your problems are someone else’s fault. It’s easy to pretend when things don’t go your way, that it’s the other party’s fault. We tell ourselves many lies to get through the day. Being honest is very challenging, and it’s especially hard to be honest with ourselves.

It’s easy to pretend you’re smarter than you are, or you know better than others, or you’re more emotionally secure than you actually are, or you’re more confident in your skin than you actually are. You could call these self-confidence cons, that we use as psychological tricks to help us get on with the reality that we’re all mostly mediocre, not special, and just like everyone else. Some are more lucky than others, but nobody is special.

It takes a lot of courage and strength to look closely at yourself, and recognize your faults. It takes even more strength to acknowledge those faults, work toward improving them, and in other cases learning to let it go and just accept yourself for what you are.

There’s much we can change about ourselves: you can improve your diet, exercise more, be more kind to others, put more effort into maintaining relationships. But, at the same time, there’s much we can’t change: our skin colour or racial makeup, who our parents are, which genetalia we were born with, and the degree to which society and culture influences who we are.

Maybe you want to “rise above” it all and reach Giga Brain Enlightenment status on another plain somewhere in the metaverse of your mind, but eventually you have to remember you’re just a person who needs to go to the grocery store and stock up on coffee so you can get on with your day tomorrow.

I started with the bottom line of this post up front: we lie to ourselves because it makes life a bit easier. It allows us to avoid confronting ourselves, how we treat others, and our excuses for not improving ourselves where we can.

Perhaps, as a mental exercise, try getting through the day without telling yourself any lies during your inner dialogue sessions. It may reveal things about yourself that you hadn’t considered before, offering another path for self improvement that you can lie to yourself about until you choose to stop.

I suppose this post falls under the category of self-help BS, but my brain sometimes produces these thoughts, and occasionally I write it down, perhaps as an act of therapy. And for some reason, people keep emailing me telling me they enjoying reading them, so I keep writing them.