Comments on
Why We Lie to Ourselves

thumbI recently wrote a post about being honest with yourself, and an astute reader pointed out that I hadn’t really tackled the why of lying.  Why do people engage in self-delusion (especially when it’s often to their own detriment)? 

12 thoughts on “Why We Lie to Ourselves

  • April 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    A very impressive take on the subject and would agree with all.

    • April 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm


  • April 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I believe that the passage was accurate.
    I would also like to state that pretending everything is fine takes more work than actually solving the problems. If effort was focused on fixing what is broken, society wouldn’t be so damaged.

    • April 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      You’re right that it takes a lot of emotional energy to maintain denial. I like your take on the macro level, as well as the micro.

    • May 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      YES takes a tremendous amount of work to make people believe you. If they themselves believed , it wouldn’t be work at all . BUT they do know they are lying and that they need to protect that lie. they may try and even succeed in making others believe , but they never at any giving point ever believe it themselves.

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I think a lot of the time people don’t even know that they’re lying. For some people, it’s just second hat. My ex husband was a compulsive liar and if confronted he would become very angry. He had obsessive compulsive disorder, and for him, lying was the quickest way to get out of a very uncomfortable situation that made him squirm. This was the biological aspect of his lying. However, that leads to the learned aspect of lying – Hey! That worked, I’m no longer uncomfortable! Keep on lying. So he’d lie about big things and little things. I think it went beyond lying to get out of discomfort, and entered into lying as a game. I think it was fun for him to see what he could get away with lying about.
    Anyway. Most destructive. His lying did a lot of damage to my psyche and my daughter’s. Lying is never a good thing.

    • April 30, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Unfortunately, people can find lots of gains from lying and it becomes hard to give that up, even though you’re hurting people close to you.

      • May 1, 2014 at 12:30 am

        Aint that the truth!

    • May 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      He doesn’t believe his lie’s. He as you stated yourself simply see’s that he sees his lies working for him. NOT he himself believing.

  • May 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Lying is hurtful and harmful to both the one lying and those who are lied to.
    Once trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to regain.

    • May 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Agreed. I think that it’s hard to believe someone when they tell you they won’t do something again to hurt you. You’re thinking, “How do I know you’re not lying now?” Fortunately, though, while it’s hard to regain, it’s not impossible. But better not to test that out!

  • May 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I don’t believe that people believe their own lies.
    We can even recognize when someone else lies. How could we then actually BELIEVE our own lies.
    I think we would like to believe our lies and that we pretend to, but I don’t believe for one second that a person truly believes his own lies.They simply say they do , to also keep from having to face whatever it is they are trying not to.
    It is I think it even be impossible for us to believe our own lies. All we do is try to believe or want to but it simply can’t be done , at least not by anyone with a decent supply of brain cells, and anyone that deficient would not be interested in lying to themselves anyway.


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