Trust is one of the most essential things that people need to find happiness. Being able to trust and be trusted by others can stimulate and be a building block for long-lasting relationships with others. But more importantly, trusting ourselves plays a much bigger part towards finding happiness. It gives us a huge confidence boost that lets us be the best that we can be and leads us to places we want to be in or to do things that we want to do. However, the human mind is complex, and it can make us deceive ourselves without even knowing it. In this article, I will be addressing signs that we are lying to ourselves without knowing it with the intention of helping people become aware.
Your emotions don’t match your words
This happens when we try to convince ourselves of something, but our emotions tell a different story (Dior, 2020). This occurs when we experience situations where we don’t know how to feel or do not want others to know what really is going on in our minds. One example is when an accident happens, and we pretend we are not mad just to make the other person feel better. Another example is when we have tears coming down our faces but say everything is fine (Dior, 2020).
You keep justifying other people’s behaviours
This refers to making excuses for the behaviour of other people to evade the truth. This happens because there are situations where making excuses is much easier than facing the truth (Luna, 2020). One of the clearest examples of this is when there is an abusive partner in a relationship who attacks emotionally and physically. The affected person says, “It’s okay, he/she is only stressed because of work and needs to blow off steam”.
You keep justifying your behaviour
Like the point made above, this refers to making excuses for our own behaviour to evade the truth. Excuses are rationalisations or invented reasons we make to defend the way we behave (Sicinski, 2020). Common examples of this happen when people choose a career they don’t like at all, but justify their choice claiming, “I’m just feeling stressed”.
You don’t like listening to other people’s advice
This is attributed to the fact that there are times when we don’t even want to admit that we are lying to ourselves. When this happens, people who are lying to themselves tend to only side with people who reassure their lie and oppose those who challenge it (Luna, 2020). Let’s use the career example where you lie to yourself about being happy with your choice. If you shut off people who suggest looking for different career options, then maybe you are lying to yourself.
You feel inauthentic
This refers to the feeling that you have lost your identity and feel like a “fake” (Luna, 2020). Having this feeling usually comes with deceiving yourself for too long and not really knowing what you want anymore (Dior, 2020). Things that occur when you feel inauthentic are that you are friends with people you don’t like, you laugh at jokes you don’t find funny, you go to places where you don’t want to go, or you don’t really know what you want or who you are.
You make extreme statements
This refers to people who make extreme statements to justify their situations. By making these statements, people then have the feeling of safety as they decide to only consider one vantage point without considering any other possibilities (Dior, 2020). One example of this is when people claim, “There are no good men around”. By claiming this, they are justifying themselves and protecting themselves from the thought of being afraid to fall in love.
You’re anxious for no apparent reason
Being anxious for no apparent reason is a common sign that you are deceiving yourself. People who lie to themselves and others are always worried that they will be found out, which is why they live with a feeling of unease and insecurity (Bundrant, 2020). People who are anxious for no apparent reason might be lying to avoid punishment, avoid feel shame, or to fit in (Cuncic, 2019).
After addressing some of the signs shown by people who lie to themselves, it is important to mention that sometimes evading the truth might give us a feeling of security in what we do, but if left unattended for too long, lying might actually become a part of who we are and create problems that are very difficult to solve. And these signs are very common in people, including myself, so addressing them and facing the truth is most definitely the best path to take.
Bundrant, M., 2020. Imposter Syndrome: Five Signs You’re Lying To Youself. [online] PsychCentral. Available at: <https://blogs.psychcentral.com/imposter-syndrome/2020/01/signs-lying-to-yourself/> [Accessed 14 September 2020].
Cuncic, A., 2019. How To Stop Telling Lies When You Live With Social Anxiety. [online] About Social Anxiety. Available at: <https://www.aboutsocialanxiety.com/social-anxiety-lying/> [Accessed 14 September 2020].
Dior, C., 2020. 7 Signs You Are Lying To Youself And You Don’t Know It. [online] Lifehack. Available at: <https://www.lifehack.org/352062/7-signs-you-are-lying-yourself-and-you-dont-know> [Accessed 14 September 2020].
Luna, A., 2020. 9 Signs You’re Lying To Yourself Without Knowing It. [online] LonerWolf. Available at: <https://lonerwolf.com/lying-to-yourself/> [Accessed 14 September 2020].
Sicinski, A., 2020. Are You Living A Life Of Endless Excuses? Here’s How To Stop!. [online] IQ Matrix. Available at: <https://blog.iqmatrix.com/a-life-of-excuses#:~:text=Excuses%20are%20rationalizations%20we%20make,a%20means%20of%20neglecting%20responsibility.> [Accessed 14 September 2020].