Why we lie to ourselves daily
I used to be a liar.
I think most of you that will be reading this article will be bullshitting yourself in some form or another as I speak. Maybe you’re not an overbearing arsehole that no-one really likes but has to tolerate you anyway. Maybe cheating on that one person in your life that you desperately want to get back had it coming to them back then. Hell, perhaps telling someone the truth ‘at the start’ wasn’t on the cards because you knew they’d get rid of you, and now you blame them for getting rid of you two years down the line for not telling the truth.
Perhaps you’re just a nice person and everyone else, they’ve got it wrong. Only you will know, mate. No-one else.
I was SO proud of myself when I stopped lying to other people. I lied because my self-esteem was low. For me, it was important to always be on top, always be the best, and when someone matched me at something it hurt. So I lied. Like the time I told my good friends on a night out once that my record was having sex with six women a night, and yet, the truth was, I had only been intimate with two women in my entire life. For me, bullshitting was a necessity, it was an outlet to feel better about myself when I felt nothing. I didn’t feel much of a man. I felt absent.
So when I stopped this and started being honest with people I was super proud. You couldn’t imagine how much. I had learned by then that it was OK to be me and that being perfect is just a non-existant state of being. In fact I want to garrot the person that invented the word, gave it a meaning, symbolised it as a thing to strive for, because it’s unreal, unnatainable, unrealistic. Anyway. I was just really glad that I started being honest with people. Truth is I managed to get a lot of respect from others for doing that. It was nice!
But what I hadn’t realised is that I hadn’t stopped lying to myself. You know? About my past, and my present.
It’s what we all do. The brain doesn’t like feeling bad. It smooths the rough over, time casts a layer of smooth emulsion over the rocky past and sweetly and calmly whispers to you that everything is fine, and that the fault was never yours. And it dictates the present and future with sweet nothings of moral compassing and feeling in the right most of the time.
What if I were to throw my hands up in the air and admit that I had royally fucked up? That perhaps I wasn’t the best person to know at the time and that I’m trying to change myself for the better? Or even if I threw my hands in the air and admitted a bout of massive fuck uppery? What if I told someone amidst a debate that they were entirely right and I had somehow had my facts wrong? Seems utterly stupid, and incomprehensible to do so but sometimes we just aren’t that informed. Sometimes we don’t act in the best interests of ourselves, and just, well, sometimes we’re human.
It’s something I did constantly. I couldn’t live my dream of being a self employed artist because I would be financially worse off for longer than I wanted to be. But that was a copout. That was my mind telling me to take the easy road, and the mind will always take the easy road whatever way you look at it.
I didn’t want to take the blame for ruining my own life, several times with alcohol. So for years I blamed my Dad and the upbringing that I had. It wasn’t easy, but y’know, there’s a point in life I had to take responsibility for the actions I was taking and the course I was driving. Couldn’t blame it ALL on my family, friends, influences.
And my failed relationships. When was I ever going to hold myself accountable for playing my part in them? I could always say that it was their fault, that they left me, on my own, again, to the harsh unknowns of this cruel world. One of them even had a long-term relationship behind my back, but it wasn’t if I didn’t know what she was like at the start. I was warned, repeatedly, yet I jumped in two feet first and waved piss off to any consequences. It’s not if deep down I didn’t know what she was like, she was Married for god sakes.
So facing up to the truth about yourself is hard, yes. But isn’t it better than living a lie? We tell ourselves these sweet nothings to make our journey through life easier. But we’re only hurting number one. I was only hurting myself in the long run, and no-one will know but me. If I should take action, or live a falsehood.
Nothing great in this world was every achieved with ease. Learn that, own it, embrace it.
Be all that you can be!