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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deluding Oneself


Do you lie to yourself? 
"No", few would utter right way if asked. Some would stutter before saying "Yes" with a face depicting self-pity. Others, like me would tell you that at times, they do lie to themselves. They could tell you that honesty isn't synonymous with truth. And baleful realities along with your imperfections sometimes leave you no choice but to deceive yourself a bit. 

Aren’t we supposed to be honest with others and more importantly with ourselves? Aren’t we supposed to look in the mirror and see our flaws? Perhaps, but we simply don't; at least some of the time. 

Self deception has a number of different forms and is a tricky thing to discuss. It involves mysterious forces that keep us from acknowledging a bitter truth about ourselves. Such threatening truths might be that we aren’t what we are portraying, or we actually don’t have what it takes to model professionally regardless of what our mentor or parents say or think. 

When people lie to themselves can it be innocent? This is a seemingly innocent activity, isn't it? In many occasions it only affects the person with the false beliefs, and sometimes even then does not negatively affect the person. In fact, it makes you more positive towards life. 

"If we believe we're smarter or more talented, sometimes we sort of are", say the scientists. "When we tell ourselves we're good at something, we gain confidence, and then we may get better at doing that very thing, winning friends and influencing people, or so goes the reasoning." 

I fantasize a lot. I have been doing this since, well ever since I can remember. This situation has happened repeatedly in my life with judgments on skills level to things I believe I desire or could do without. To be honest, I use it as a coping mechanism to deal with problems bigger than me, bigger than my capabilities. And this daydreaming or wishful thinking, whatever you call it - has helped me a great deal to stay positive, to be on the right track. I believe sometimes when the situation gets unbearable, you've to lie to yourself to keep things on an even keel, or else you could easily find yourself on psychiatrist’s couch. 

The apparent sweet spot of self-deception is to accentuate the positive and "block out" the negative—while, at the same time, not letting yourself spiral out of control into thinking you don't actually need to do anything, you're perfect just the way you are, because unfortunately, no one is perfect. I mean, we're all fabulous, but we can also be better, right? 

Self-deception isn’t a bad thing as long as you don’t lose touch with reality. But finding a balance is difficult and this perilous tightrope-walk cannot go on endlessly. So what is the way forward? Maybe as S.E. Hinton said "“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” 

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