Can You Lie To Yourself?

“The human mind isn’t a terribly logical or consistent place. Most people, given the choice to face a hideous or terrifying truth or to conveniently avoid it, choose the convenience and peace of normality. That doesn’t make them strong or weak people, or good or bad people. It just makes them people.”
― Jim Butcher

I’m pretty sure most people in the world make very good liars. At the very least, everyone does try their hand at it because I don’t think anyone can be absolutely and completely honest about everything. You may be honest, and I’m glad you are but you’re sure to have lied sometime or the other to someone. It may be an insignificant little one that wouldn’t make a difference to the world, or it actually may be to protect someone. Your motives and intentions may all be good, but you have lied. You know you have, I know I have and I do. We all tell little lies to get through our lives at ease, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as of course you’re not into some criminal or fraudulent activity; there I clearly cannot defend you. Now the problem isn’t that we lie, but that we often find it most convenient to lie to our own selves. We do know that it won’t do us any good, but we lie, because it’s easy and well because it hurts less. Truth is bitter most of the times, and it’s going to cause you a lot of heartache sometimes, but it’s a whole lot better to give in to it and accept it than be delusional and continue living a lie.

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There’s a term for it called denial. It’s dictionary meaning says it’s A refusal to accept or believe something, such as a doctrine or belief. But it really means a lot more than that. It doesn’t arise from a state of confusion, but from a state of knowledge; Knowledge of something you would like to repudiate, something you’d like to forget because it isn’t very pleasant to think about. But how much does it really help? Ask yourself. Wearing a mask never changes your face. It just gives another face for the world to see, but eventually you’ll have to remove to mask and look at your own real self. How are you going to hide from that? And again, why should you be hiding from that? When you make a conscious effort to avoid something or forget something, you’re actually more likely to remember it. Because there is a part of your brain which is trying to forget, and you’re engraving the memory on to that part further by trying so hard to be indifferent or not acknowledging it. While you’re thinking that denial is the solution, it continues to aggravate your problem rather than helping you the slightest bit with it. Someone said that you never realise how strong your memory is until you try too hard to forget something. And it’s a fact. Just like when you hate something, you’ll never be able to get it out of your system, you cannot try and forget. If it happens it happens, else it just won’t. The best you can do is distract yourself by keeping yourself as involved as you can.

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And denial comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. When you score low in your exams and blame it all on the checking or your fate, and you know you didn’t work hard enough? That’s denial. When you’re trying to lose weight and you can’t you blame your metabolism and your body for it, while you’re just not exercising or even cutting down on any junk food? That’s denial again. And then there’s the most common form of denial. “I’m over him/her. I don’t need them in my life anymore” Well, how does saying that help you? Does it make the day sunny or does it get you good food? Let’s be frank, it gets you nothing. You just find some kind of peace in saying that. But how can you convince someone else that you don’t have feelings for that person anymore when you cannot convince your own self. And there’s no need to convince anyone else because the only person your feelings are affecting is you. And you just keep saying that to yourself hoping that one day you’ll actually believe it. That day is never going to come.

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Be honest, be open. Denial is like arresting yourself and choosing to stay in a jail for no rhyme or reason. You confine yourself so very much each time you lie to yourself. It won’t need any covering up, but the day you have to come to terms with the reality, it’ll hit you really hard. It’s better to be mentally prepared for the truth, because lies are convenient but truth is invincible. You can’t win it over no matter what you do. So accept how you feel and be okay with it. However you may be feeling you don’t need to justify it to the world but only to yourself. Hope should never have to sail solo on a paper boat of lies, it should have a firm base. Hence, today onwards try not to lie to yourself because truth causes temporary pain, but lies never stop hurting.

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