Self-deception is a fairly simple concept. It means lying to yourself. However, it is easy to get confused as you may think it means intentional deceptive acts such as exaggeration, generic lies, and fake emotions. But self-deception directly implies that you are not aware that you are lying at all!
It is a slightly strange phenomenon, but surprisingly common. And, of course, it seems paradoxical. How can you determine if you are lying to yourself if you can’t even trust yourself? Well, here are three stubborn signs of self-deception and how to stop it.
Three subtle signs of self-deception
Do any of these red flags sound familiar?
1. Things don’t match
Realizing that things don’t quite fit together is one of the first signs that self-deception is at play, just as contradictions would serve as clues that someone else is lying. Put in your positive thinking and keep an eye out for simple suggestions that things don’t add up. Here are a few to keep in mind:
You make optimistic proclamations, confidently set goals, and make promises to yourself. But then their actions don’t seem to follow those ideas. Your goals are not achieved, you never act on your proclamations, you allow hope to die, and you break your promises. That is pretty clear evidence of self-deception!
Shock of words and emotions
You say you’re fine, but you feel anger bubbling up inside you, or tears stinging your eyes. You think everything is fine. But you think you weren’t even aware of the spill without your control. The contradiction between how you think and your statement that you feel is a common and significant sign of self-deception.
Shock of heart and mind
It’s a bit of a cliché, but sometimes your heart and brain want different things. He may “know” what is the right thing to do, but his heart is vehemently opposed. When you experience this kind of shock, you are not only fooling yourself, but you also need a good heart-to-heart talk and a reexamination of your beliefs.
You are often going crazy
You’re sure you can handle something only to get knocked down squarely when you try. You think your skill level is high, but you end up making a fool of yourself when it comes to putting it to the test. You still need to eat a humble cake, and people may have even told you that you are arrogant. This is a sign that you are delusional about your abilities!
2. There are too many absolutes
The human experience does not include many absolutes. All kinds of things can happen and the possibility of something being constant is almost non-existent. Life is full of changes. And besides that, few things are 0 or 100 or cut and dry. Everything happens in balance.
Basically, absolutes don’t usually happen outside of the preset facts. If you notice that you keep thinking in absolutes and really believe in those absolutes, it is a sign that something is wrong with your perception of your experience. Here are some absolute signs of self-deception:
Your statements are extreme
There is little to no balance with you. Either you are the best person in the world or the absolute worst. Either you are the sexiest person to walk the planet or you are completely horrible. All people are either completely untrustworthy or completely nice. If the way you look at the world is full of these irrational extremes, then you are lying to yourself about them because that is not possible.
You are never wrong
If you are wise and in a position of experience, you may be right most of the time. But everyone makes mistakes and people can’t be right all the time, no matter how positive it’s about your correctness. You are going to have moments when you have done something negative or have been completely wrong. If you notice that you are never wrong, you keep thinking that it is never your fault and you end up in the same problems without taking responsibility, you are lying to yourself somewhere.
Only fits the book
You are strict and rigid, and you pride yourself on following the rules. You consider yourself someone who has never strayed from the path and you believe that this is the best way in the world to maintain a moral code. But that’s not true, no matter how you look at things! Following the books in some way doesn’t always guarantee correct answers, and if you think being so strict to the point of almost obsessing is benefiting you, you may want to look again.
You think everything is great all the time
Do you think that everything is constantly perfect? Do you project your fantasies onto your partners, your career, and the world around you? There is nothing wrong with positive thinking, but wearing pink glasses is just another way to fool yourself. The world doesn’t always shine with sunshine and rainbows, and that can be hard to accept, but to reject that truth is simply lying to yourself.
3. You don’t know yourself
Lying to yourself all the time means that you must remain disconnected from the truth about yourself and the world around you. This can leave you feeling confused and in conflict with yourself, so this may be a sign of self-deception if that has been a concern to you. Here are some more specific signs of this:
You feel that you are not authentic
Your instincts can tell when something is wrong between the things you say to yourself and reality. Often times, your instinct will seem to alert you that something is wrong. As simple as it sounds, this is one of the most obvious signs of self-deception. If you feel that it is not authentic, it is time for you to examine yourself.
You justify yourself and your behavior
Every time you do something questionable, you keep working overtime to find justifications, even if your actions are not really justifiable and even if they are inconsequential anyway. You delude yourself into believing that you have a good reason for even the most mundane or harmful things. So you genuinely think those things that you tell yourself about who you are.
You feel like you’re running
There is a feeling that something is haunting you, be it a complicated truth or your understanding of reality. You don’t know precisely what is trying to get you, but you feel like you are always running away from it. This is an instinct that tells you that you are lying to yourself.
You have impostor syndrome
This is the opposite of being on your head. Instead of overestimating himself, he feels like he was never good enough for anything. You underestimate your skills and get overlooked, only to surprise everyone and yourself at your actual skill level. Studies They say imposter syndrome is a common sign of self-deception.
Three ways to stop self-deception
Now that you’ve identified your trend, here are three ways to break the cycle.
Self-deception is often the result of a strong desire not to be responsible for situations in your life, especially those that may have a bad image of you. You can stop self-deception if you learn to take initiative and take responsibility in the right way. Some tips include:
- Use positive thinking refer to their behavior so that taking responsibility seems less overwhelming; Reframe your problems on others that involve taking responsibility so that you can learn and grow.
- Don’t blame, deviate, or justify when someone tries to hold you accountable; don’t blame the people around you for the way you react to things and don’t transfer responsibility to people when you’ve played a role in a situation.
- When you criticize yourself, stick to the facts and be kind. Your goal should be to blame yourself in a constructive way that can actually help you.
2. Develop awareness
Awareness is the key to stopping any unwanted behavior. The problem with self-deception is that it involves a lack of that awareness. Training and honing your ability to be more self-aware is the enemy of any self-deception. You will be able to detect and stop your lies quickly. Here are some things to keep in mind to stop self-deception:
Thoughts can be inaccurate and lend themselves to self-deception, so pay attention to them. Learn to be good by checking the facts, questioning your thoughts, and never assuming that your thoughts are completely correct. If your thoughts are wrong, they could be misleading you, so you need to be aware of the truth.
Your feelings are often the main cause of the subconscious decision to lie to yourself. When emotions are too painful or complicated, self-deception can be activated as a defensive mechanism. Being aware of your feelings by wondering what you are feeling, what they are for, and if those feelings are rational can help counteract self-deception.
The way you behave is the clearest sign of self-deception because if it is contrary to what you think or say, you know that something is wrong. Pay attention to how you act and then trace that behavior back to find its roots!
3. Be aware of defense mechanisms
Psychological defense mechanisms are often self-executing as a means of self-protection. They are also a common precursor to self-deception. Learning to be prepared to recognize these mechanisms when you are executing them can help you stop the self-deception before falling for your lies.
Displacement means the act of placing blame and responsibility on other people for things someone else did. For example, if your boss yelled at you at work, you can displace your emotions by lashing out at your friends, even if they haven’t done anything wrong.
As the name suggests, avoidance means avoiding the concept of confronting difficult or uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and situations. For example, you can avoid thinking about something painful that happened or ignore text messages from a family member if you know they are angry with you.
Projection refers to the act of seeing your unwanted personal qualities in other people. For example, you may accuse someone of not trusting you if you tend to distrust others because you are subconsciously alert to their flaws and see them where they are not.
Once again, this name speaks for itself. Denial means refusing to admit a problem exists, so you don’t have to address it. It is common, for example, in addicts who deny they have an addiction.
Self-deception is a harmful but defensive trait, and it’s important to understand unpack the lies you say to yourself. You deceive yourself to stay safe, so addressing the roots of your lies and being aware of them and their triggers is very helpful in positively overcoming self-deception.