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Emdean1's avatar

Does anyone lie to themselves to make themselves feel better?

Asked by Emdean1 (685 points ) February 18th, 2009

I ignore the facts I know about some situations and just lie away and it helps for some reason. Sometimes I find it easier to lie to myself even though I know that I will have to deal with the situation at a later time. Am I alone?
EX
Well knowing that you need to pay off debt but still make the minimum payments in hopes that you win the lotto or get a big raise. One example.

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23 Answers

TenaciousDenny's avatar

I’m not sure exactly what you are getting at here, maybe list a few personal examples?

I sort of lie to myself when I skip working out on certain days, telling myself “I’ll hit it extra hard tomorrow”. More times than not, I don’t work extra hard the next day, if I go at all.

elijah's avatar

Everyone does at one time or another. It’s human.

Judi's avatar

I think it’s human nature to recreate history to keep our sanity. Sometimes I will remember something extremly stupid I did when I was younger and I will physically feel all the shame and horror. Other times people will talk about an event and I will have remembered it totally different.
My first marriage was miserable and ended in my husbands suacide. There are details of my life with him that I am sure I have probably reconstructed in my memory because it is just to painful to remember the truth. It’s a coping thing and I am sure I have used it. I know I have seen it in others.

Allie's avatar

Of course. I made excuses for my ex when people kept telling me he was a jerk. Turns out they were right, but at the time, that didn’t stop me from being blissfully (well, maybe not blissfully) ignorant.

susanc's avatar

I don’t think there’s any other way to get through life. For example, you don’t think you’re going to die, do you? Me neither.

TenaciousDenny's avatar

@susanc I am going to die, and when I do, I will go down in a spectacular ball of flames!

Emdean1's avatar

I am trying to change the way I deal difficult things in life and i am pretty sure it needs to start with lying to myself.

steelmarket's avatar

I often start the day with a lie: “Get up, it is going to be a great day!”
And, I often finish the day with a lie: “Go to sleep, tomorrow will be better.”

wundayatta's avatar

Is it lying when you tell yourself you are worthless during an episode of depression? Others might beg to disagree, but for the depressed person, it’s the truth.

I hate lying to myself. I try to see things in as unbiased a way as possible. I do this because I hate being lied to. People delude themselves all the time, but I rely on their estimates of what they can do when, and when they fall far short of that, I’m screwed, because I have made a much more accurate estimate.

Ok, so I’ve learned to take what other people say, and then double the amount of time. I don’t even ask for deadlines. They’re a joke, most of the time. The possible exception being in the construction or manufacturing industries.

Still, when I say I’ll have something done at a certain time, it’ll be done. Of course, I’ve given myself a lot of time for screw-ups. Of course, I look like a slacker, because my estimate is twice as long as anyone else’s.

Anyway, this is just an example. I try very hard not to lie to myself; to face things head on. I probably do some lying, but I’m not aware of it. (See, trying not to lie about this).

basp's avatar

I tell myself that if I break a cookie in half all the calories fall out and it is ok to eat.
Now if I could just get my scale to believe that lie!!

Emdean1's avatar

I hate when other blatantly lie to my face. I just need to face the facts and deal with all issues head on. I consider myself to be a brutally honest person, yet i lie to myself. I will have to make an attempt to keep my internal lying to a minimum.

Darwin's avatar

Don’t we all?

I lie to myself every time I think I look okay in blue jeans.

cak's avatar

Is it so wrong that I tell myself I’m really 5’6”? Don’t take that away from me! (The doctor swears I am 5’2”...clearly, he’s blind.)

Blondesjon's avatar

Every…Single…Day…

90s_kid's avatar

Yes No!, maybe?

augustlan's avatar

It is human nature to see things through ‘rose colored glasses’. Part of growing up is trading those in for clear eyed truth. I don’t think I like to myself (but would I necessarily know if I did?) but, I can delay knowing the truth for a while. Sometimes, it helps me get through a rough spot without falling apart. I figure I can always fall apart later ;)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I used to do that when I was younger. Then I discovered that the sooner you own it, the sooner it goes away.

steelmarket's avatar

Confession – Hey, I am lying to myself right now! “Self, you are going to get your taxes out of the way this weekend.”

nebule's avatar

how do you know that you are lying? If you know that you are lying then surely you are not lying?

steelmarket's avatar

Ah, @lynne, don’t go confusing me! My left hand often doesn’t know that my right hand is lying. Or is it my left brain…

snowberry's avatar

I know a man who, as a youngster used to lie to himself until he believed it. Then he could tell the “truth” with a clear conscience. So when his parents told him to take out the trash he’d think about it, visualize it, and convince himself he’d done it because he could “remember” having done it.

It turned him into a pretty sociopathic personality as an adult.

nebule's avatar

@snowberry I hesitate to say that I used to do that as a kid too…I was in trouble a lot! But I was good at lying…Alas, I am not good at lying any more…I rarely do…and I’m not a sociopath… :/ I don’t think anyway! :)

snowberry's avatar

Well, I married him, and he continued that way for a long time, but he doesn’t act that way anymore. One day I told him he had to choose between being a jackass and being part of a family. He was smart—got counseling, found God, and chose family.

He was a definite sociopath, but he’s not anymore, thank God. If you’re not, good for you.

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