9 Signs You’re Lying to Yourself Without Knowing It


Lies are a small fortress. Within them, you can feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies, you try to direct your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are the justifications for your lies. You know, like you’re doing this to protect someone you love, to keep them from feeling pain. Whatever works, just to make you feel good about the lies. William Paul Young

Dishonesty is a trait that most of us have no problem pointing out in others.

We feel a sense of anger, disgust, and distrust toward those who try to deceive us. In fact, deceit is such a dishonorable quality for us that we spend much of our time reading about shady politicians and watching shows that focus on lying and cheating characters. Secretly, it feels good to point the finger at others because it makes us feel morally righteous.

But here’s the truth:

At the end of the day, most of us don’t realize that we also lie to ourselves frequently.

Unfortunately, most people are not willing to explore their hidden tendencies and face the truth. Deception is such a despicable quality that we would rather disavow it than confront it honestly. Unfortunately, the more we repudiate our darker tendencies, the deeper we bury them within our shadow selves, and the more delusional we become. And the more delusional we become, the less mental and emotional clarity we have, which leads to a host of problems. Some of these problems are life-destroying.

4 reasons why we lie to ourselves

If deception is such a despicable quality, why do we lie to ourselves? Here are some reasons why:

It’s comfortable; there’s no need to face the hard truth.
It’s convenient; you can continue doing the same thing without having to change anything.
It makes you feel better about yourself and preserves your self-esteem.
It helps you avoid self-responsibility for your actions.
For example, a man who cheats on his wife may justify his actions by saying, “If she had given me more affection and love, she would not have led me astray.” This justification, of course, is a form of self-deception because it prevents man from fully accepting what he has done. Furthermore, lying to himself helps him maintain the belief that he is a “good and faithful” person.

Examples of self-deception

The following examples might help you further deepen your understanding of self-deception. See if you can relate to any of these examples:

Example 1:

A woman gets a high-paying lawyer job at a popular firm. After months on the job, she begins to experience chronic illnesses and panic attacks. Convinced that she is simply experiencing a health problem, she continues working at her high-stress job until she suffers a nervous breakdown.

Example 2:

A man has a relationship with a woman whom he believes is his soulmate. The man continues to believe that the woman loves him, even after she has repeatedly told him that she wants to break up.

Example 3:

A student is preparing for a university exam. He frequently procrastinates and tells himself that he is “not in the mood to study.” He then takes the exam and doesn’t pass it. In reality, he was procrastinating because he was afraid of the pressure that comes with good grades.

Example 4:

A woman has joined a local church. She loves listening to sermons about love, acceptance, and compassion. But after the ceremonies, she observes that fellow parishioners are judgmental, racist, and narrow-minded. She turns a blind eye to the behavior of these people and convinces herself that she is on the “right moral path.”

Example 5:

A man decides to become a monk. He believes his choice comes from a desire to live a religious life. In reality, his choice arises from the desire to escape from his problems.

Example 6:
A couple loves to travel. But what they really like is not traveling to other countries; it is escaping your internal feeling of emptiness.

Example 7:
An entrepreneur keeps being offered incredible opportunities to expand her business, but she rejects them all. She keeps saying, “I don’t have time” and “I have too much work.” The truth is that she is afraid to expand because she lacks self-confidence.

9 signs you are lying to yourself
Are you lying to yourself? Answering this question can be difficult because our self-deception is usually unconscious.

But if you suspect you’re lying to yourself, congratulate yourself! It takes an enormous amount of courage and self-awareness to even consider the possibility. It may be scary to admit the fact that you are deceiving yourself, but this honesty will take you far on your spiritual path.

Here are some signs to pay attention to:

1. You feel like you are running away from something.
It’s hard to admit it, but you feel like you’re trying to escape something—perhaps a thought, a realization, a hard truth? Something lurks in the dark, and you don’t like it. You feel the need to escape, but you don’t know why.

2. You keep justifying other people’s behavior.
To avoid the truth, you find yourself making excuses for other people and their bad behavior. For example, she might tell herself that her emotionally abusive husband is just “getting off his chest at work” or that her traitorous friend “just made a stupid mistake.” Justifying other people’s behavior is much easier than facing the truth and making difficult decisions.

3. You continue to justify your behavior.
“I didn’t hurt him; I just taught him a lesson,”  “I don’t hate my career; I just feel a little stressed,”  “I can’t move; I have no choice,” and “I’m not terrified of leaving my comfort zone; I’m just busy with commitments.”

Self-justification is deceptive: on the one hand, it makes us believe that we have a “good reason,” but on the other hand, that reason is blatant nonsense. Subconsciously, we know we are just making excuses, but consciously, we don’t realize it.

4. You have a rigid attitude.
You cannot accept blame or responsibility for anything that has happened, but other people are always to blame. This tendency to perceive oneself as always right and others as always wrong hides an enormous amount of fear.

Under your narrow-mindedness, you are secretly afraid to respond to the truth, so in an attempt to escape reality, you form rigid mental barriers and point fingers at others.

5. You feel inauthentic.
You can’t seem to shake the feeling that you are a “fake”” .” Inside you, there is a feeling that you have lost touch with who you really are. You go places you don’t want to go. You make friends with people you don’t like. You buy things you can’t afford. You laugh when the joke isn’t funny.

You no longer know what makes you happy or who you really want to be in life.

6. You prefer to wear rose-colored glasses.
You prefer to live in a dream world than in reality. For example, in your relationships, you project your fantasies onto your partner, believing that everything is fine, even when it is not.

The idealist in you believes that you can make everything work out, but your idealism is a form of escapism that obscures the truth. To protect yourself from the harsh realities of life, you prefer to see the world in a naive way.

7. You don’t like listening to other people’s advice.
When a friend, colleague, or family member gives you a new perspective on your situation, you immediately shut down. Feelings like anger, sadness, and irritation are triggered within you, often causing you to lash out at the poor soul who dares to help you. Why did this happen?

When you lie to yourself, you will tend to favor only those who reassure you, not those who challenge you. Anyone who challenges him, even with the best of intentions, risks exposing his elaborate self-made lie.

8. You carry deep-seated anxiety with you.
No matter what you do, you feel a sense of subtle discomfort and insecurity that follows you everywhere. This pervasive feeling of unease causes you to constantly question yourself and privately wonder if you are really doing the right thing or making the best decisions.

Sometimes this deep-rooted anxiety can manifest as a feeling of guilt that you don’t want to face and try to bury.

9. Your heart contradicts your mind.
You keep trying to convince yourself that everything is fine and that you are in control when you are emotionally a mess. You may explode with anger at others or try to hide your tears, wondering where those emotions come from.

If you are extremely disconnected from your heart, your emotions may manifest in your body. Your mind might believe everything is rosy when your body suffers from tension, high blood pressure, infections and other afflictions.

How to stop lying to yourself
We all lie to ourselves; no one is excluded. In fact, self-deception is part of being human, and, in a certain sense, it is necessary for our inner growth.

If you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable about this topic, you are not alone. Many times I have been caught in my own web of self-deception and it is not a pleasant experience.

However, for any real inner work to occur, we must all take an honest look at ourselves. Lies only serve to distance us from the truth of who we are.

If you think you might be struggling with self-deception, here are some helpful tips:

1. Keep a journal and write down your true feelings.
Journaling is a safe space that allows you to let out all your pent-up thoughts and emotions. Don’t hold back anything: go crazy. Sometimes it takes a little time to fully “unleash the Kraken,” but with patience, you will find this practice invaluable.

2. Honestly examine your fears.
Ask yourself, “What am I running from?” Take some time to introspect, preferably in solitude. Solitude is easy to create: simply set aside half an hour a day to dedicate to your thoughts.

If you have a busy schedule, prioritize and see what other tasks you can cut short. Read more about loneliness.

3. Focus on gaining self-esteem from within.
Often what triggers self-deception is the desire to please others and gain validation. Notice your tendency to look for self-esteem outside of yourself. Do you rely on others to make you feel special, worthy, or lovable?

Realize how unstable and dangerous it is to get your self-esteem from others: at any moment a person could turn against you and therefore crush your self-esteem. Start getting approval within yourself. Work on loving yourself and accepting who you are.

4. Be open to other people’s points of view.
Different perspectives are always very valuable, even if they are not necessarily correct. However, often the people closest to us have a strange way of seeing the truth that we often cannot perceive. So don’t close yourself. Hear.

5. Discover your needs versus your wants.
Needs are always honest, desires can be deceptive. What do you really need? What do your heart and soul long for? Answer these questions and you will free yourself from self-deception.

So after reading this article, what do you think?

Please understand that there is no need to punish or blame yourself if you find out that you are lying to yourself. Most of us unintentionally lie to ourselves as a self-protection mechanism. So treat yourself kindly. You are not a bad person; you are simply a flawed human being. But now that you are at least partially aware of the smokescreens surrounding you, you can work to bring more truth into your daily life.

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