Self-Deception Leads to a Negative Way of Living: How to Detect It?
Often we lie to ourselves about many things, from why do we like wearing designer clothes to the influence of our childhood to the choice of our partners. It is interesting that most of the time; we are unaware of the lying that goes in our minds.
So, we often wonder how can we know if we are lying to ourselves. Obviously, we cannot ask ourselves whether we are self-deceiving because we would need to tell the truth. Also, self-deception can be disastrous for our romantic relationships.
Often, it can reach a state in which people do not want to see the reality, so they make themselves believe what they want to believe instead of what is real. They will find ways to justify and rationalize their attitude as well as decisions.
And, people who are in denial, tend to refuse the truth from people who know them. Since self-deception can cause a lot of pain, we need to learn how to notice if we are lying to ourselves.
According to the book Lies We Tell Ourselves: The Psychology of Self-Deception, below is a list of 3 ways in which you can reveal whether you are lying to yourself. (1)
1. Pay Attention to Your Behavior
We do not want to believe that our behavior reflects the real us. So, when you do not want to admit your jealousy, but you are constantly checking your partner’s phone, you can see that your behavior tells the truth.
Or, when you are frequently breaking up with people when you get too close, you can notice that you have intimacy issues. When you notice some specific behaviors, you should ask yourself some of the next questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- What is causing my behavior?
- What do I want to admit to myself?
2. Pay Attention to Your Emotion
When we have emotional reactions to something or someone, it means that we remember something that causes us pain. So, it is difficult for us to admit the truth. For instance, if you have trust issues in your relationship, then you may feel angry, afraid, or anxious to fall in love with someone new.
This is a result of some unresolved issues from the past. When this happens, ask yourself some of the next questions:
- What is this emotion?
- Why do I react like this?
- Is my emotion a result of something from the present or the past?
3. Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
Even though we often want to think that our thoughts are a reflection of the truth, often it is not that case. In fact, our inaccurate thoughts are a result of a painful reality that we do not want to confess.
For instance, if you are in a new relationship, and you get thoughts such as “I am sure my partner is cheating because my ex did the same,” or being extremely positive “my partner is the most amazing person.” When this happens, you should ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Are my thoughts authentic?
- How are my thoughts biased?
- Why do I have these thoughts?
How to Know If Someone is Self-Deceiving
People who tend to deceive themselves often think that other people’s opinions about the truth are flawed and biased. And, when someone challenges these people to grow, and overcome the self-deceiving, they develop manners of resistance:
- They become disturbed by you;
- They do not accept your arguments besides their validity;
- They do not pay attention to what you are saying;
- They sooth arguments by talking about new arguments that are not connected to the first argument.
So, in a relationship in which one is the self-deceiver, and one is the enabler, there may be problems. The enabler cannot be honest in their relationship because they are scared of being discharged. And, this may indicate that one or both partners are not emotionally healthy.
In order to reach progress, they need to seek help. But, if these people decide to stay in that type of relationship in which deception is more valuable than telling the truth, it is harmful to both people.
All in all, living in denial makes you as well as your relationship fragile. And, people who reject growing and becoming aware miss the chance of having as well shared a significant connection with someone.