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Centerpointe Research

Deception

The Most Important Person You Really Lie To, Yourself

Don't Lie To Yourself

Don’t Lie To Yourself

Would you hire someone and keep them in the dark about the workings of your business?  Would you not give the correct answers to their questions about the business and then if they confront you about lying to them, would you deny doing it to them.  How useful would this person be except as a fall guy for your business if something goes wrong.  Would you trust them with any major decisions?  Of course not, they don’t know what is going on.

To maintain our pride and to avoid fear and anxiety, we often do this but the employee you often lie to is yourself.  You don’t know what is going on here.  Pretending not to see something won’t make it go away.   It is like the elephant in the room in alcoholic families, nobody admits that they see it; but it is still there.

Denial permits us to keep from thinking about the consequences of something we are actually doing to ourselves.  We often use it because there is an immediate reward if somebody believes it.    We hope that while we are convincing others we are convincing ourselves and somehow things that we dread happening will come out differently.  “Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott).”

Lies which we make to our selves are like any lies we make to others.  At some point we lose track of what we said to whom, even to ourselves, and there are unforeseen consequences and when they occur, we cry out in disbelief, “Why me?  Yes, you.   You you started this chain of lies to make something big, little, and, instead, it mushrooms.  Some people innocently call it merely self-deception, not really lying.

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Concealing One’s Motives

But-behavior-in-the-human-being-is-sometimes-a-defense,-a-way-of-concealing-motives-and-thoughts,-as-language-can-be-a-way-of-hiding-your-thoughts-and-preventing-communication.Concealing ones motives happens all the time.  Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.  The motive behind this is that people wouldn’t believe us or do what we want them to do if we made clear our real motivation.  Deception is rampant.  Many people do not feel that honesty is the best policy.  People feel that they would not get what they want if they told the truth.

Concealing one’s motives also happens when a person feels that the behavior would not be acceptable by others if they knew the real motive.  People like to pass judgments on other people and to avoid being embarrassed or rejected, people conceal why they really do something.  People are often discouraged by other people’s reactions from asking for what they really want or saying who they really are even though their needs, their desires, and even their own identities are not supported by this.

Concealing ones motives happens when we do not trust others.  The real reason we want to do something might give the other person information that they could use to hurt us.  For example, if telling the real reason we have done or want to do something, has something to do with our sexual orientation or religious beliefs.  Prejudice is a big reason some people do not tell the truth.

Live and let live is a motto to have when understanding other people’s behaviors and it leads to other people not concealing one’s motives.

 

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Can We Spot Our Own Lies?

Truth

Truth (Photo credit: d4vidbruce)

Often we are aware when we tell someone else a lie.  Signs of omission are harder to spot in oneself.  It happens when you should tell somebody something that you know is the truth but are unwilling or afraid to share.  Someone asks us for a favor, but we don’t say , “No,” but we don’t say , “Yes,” either.  Then later, the person asks us when we are going to do them a favor and we have to tell them, “No.”  We just put off saying what we should have said when we were first asked to do something and that is that we aren’t able to fulfill that request for them.  Sometimes we hope that by avoiding answering the question that the other person will get the hint that we don’t want to do it and not press us to give them a deliberate, “No.”  An unfortunate possible consequence is that the person making the request doesn’t look else for someone else to do the favor and is up the crick without a paddle by the time they realize you won’t do it.

The biggest problem with the truth is when you don’t tell yourself the truth.  Sometimes we lie to ourselves, for example, by telling ourselves we don’t have a problem with something when we do.  This is often true of alcoholics or people with drug addictions.  When we don’t see a problem, we can’t solve it.  Also possible clues about what might be causing the problem are not part of the picture as acknowledging them might suggest that we do something about them.

Sharing the truth can be a life changing experience especially when done relationships like the therapist-patient one either one-on-one or in groups.

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