Beware of white lies and self-deception

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Avatar for Mavipevi
1 year ago

Pious Lies

In my opinion, in an eagerness to encourage others -or oneself-, when we are hopeless, or are having a bad time, we use lies as a balm -and we call it "white lies"-, but beware, because it has contraindications and side effects that can be devastating. As they say: "Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease". 

You can tell "white lies" to a child, although they are not always advisable, but you should never lie to an adult. Not even in hard times.

In an act of commiseration -which should be very justified-, a part of reality that is not serious can be left out, but what should not be done is to provide information that is the opposite of reality, or to distort it in such a way that it is harmful later on. 

I am referring to those well-meaning but erroneous phrases or acts, such as, for example, when someone is crying and is told: "don't cry".

Why shouldn't you cry, why? 

It is a natural expression, and may already be in a process of mourning and is in full catharsis resolving something that is very convenient to resolve. (And mourning must be done for any type of loss, not only before a death).

It is a nice phrase that can bring a momentary comfort, but if the person to whom we say it believes it to the letter, he/she does not care about resolving the matter, and stays still waiting for what he/she has been told but has not been guaranteed to be true. "Everything is going to work out", and it is already known that it is very unlikely that everything will resolve itself and we are condemning him with our phrase to a stagnation that is going to produce much more suffering or much greater pain. 

When another person -or we ourselves- are involved in a matter that has not turned out as expected, and that creates an unpleasant feeling, or a serious damage, we have to rationalize it and understand -without any frustration- that not all things happen as we wish -and even more if that depends on the intervention or not of other people-, and that the chances of "failure" have a higher percentage than those of "success", and that if, in addition, not everything has been done to get it right, if there has been no prior planning or effort and the outcome has been left in the hands of chance, it is statistically logical that it will go wrong or not go well. 

And if someone, for example, has not made enough effort to prepare for an exam and does not pass, it is not appropriate to console him -which is lying- by saying: "let's see if next time you are luckier". What do you mean, more luck, since when is an important matter in which one can and should act left to luck? "Luck", in most cases, is the result of effort and planning. 

If someone does not pass an exam that he/she has not prepared well, what should be done is to hold him/her accountable and demand a serious commitment -which he/she must inexcusably fulfill- for the next exam occasion. It is not appropriate to tell him/her "too bad... don't worry... another time it will go better...", but rather "what are you going to do from now on so that this does not happen to you again?" 

Failure to pass is one possibility, but with proper preparation the likelihood rate decreases dramatically. 

You have to become familiar with the possibility of things not going your way, because it exists and will continue to exist, but that doesn't mean "just accept it," let alone "give up and settle." 

Self-Deception Another Form of Lying

It is becoming the norm to self-deceive and become an expert in excuses and in accepting one's own lies without refuting them, in simply resigning oneself and not wanting to go deeper, in trying to immediately send to oblivion everything that we did not like and for which we do not want to take responsibility.

And so, sometimes it is that "the teacher has a grudge against me" and that is why he fails us; others, that "the boss is a pimp and that is why he fired me"; that the one who has a better job than ours is because "he is a plugged-in or an ass-kisser"; and if a woman has a good position in a job it will be "because she has slept with someone to get it", etc., etc., etc. One lie after another. 

We have a special ability to look for reasons -all of them false- to justify that we are normal and we do everything right and it is the whole world who conspires against us. 

And being sincere is like committing harakiri on oneself.

It is necessary to be very, very, very, very, very brave, very ethical, very sincere, very honorable and very honest, to accept reality with honesty, to examine one's conscience and accept one's share of the blame, to be aware with humility of one's share, and not to run away from it by drinking -to forget what, precisely, should not be forgotten- or to rage against someone who is not to blame by expressing excessive anger, or by avoiding it in any other way.

It is not the right thing to console oneself with lies because that prevents us from doing what is truly appropriate, which is to recognize what is there, whatever it is, and to implement the solutions that will prevent the same thing from happening again on another occasion.

All is not "well" all the time, so it is not wise to delude yourself with that lie. It is not fate, luck or the future who must conspire to make things go well for us, but it is we ourselves who must take the reins. And neither can we use them to blame them for our inattentions.

Not "everything goes well" and this must be accepted with all the harsh reality that it entails, without drama, without denial, without hysteria. Immediate acceptance, review of what went wrong in order to know what not to repeat... and always with the truth first.

Always, of course, involving oneself and doing what needs to be done. Personally, I am not very much in favor of repeating phrases with the idea that by themselves they will work miracles. "I'm going to have a lot of money...", for example, as that reduces the time and intensity needed to achieve it as one relaxes into thinking that having said it will take care of itself. The effect is the same for "the man of my life is going to appear", or similar. Rather, "A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando".

To console the afflicted seems to me great, to hope the downcast seems to me very well, but to deceive or be deceived with unfounded phrases, with lies disguised as truths, with good wishes passing them off as realities... I don't agree with that.

They are a balm that can end up becoming a poison.

The truth is hard sometimes, but it is the truth.

Sometimes, telling the truth makes us go through a hard pill, which lasts a few minutes, but the subsequent sensation, the liberation, and the feeling of having acted in the right way, compensate the effort.

Lying is always a conscious act, for which one has to take inexcusable responsibility, so the next time you find yourself at one of these crossroads ... be clear about how you are going to proceed.

Translated with (free version)

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Avatar for Mavipevi
1 year ago


It's hard to be honest sometimes, we often lie sometimes even without knowing, even more so we lie to ourselves. I like the way you explained how people lie to themselves and then do nothing about what they say they want to do. Really good article!! 😋

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1 year ago

Thank you for your comment, I certainly and I confess I also cheat myself when I inject too much optimism into my life many times trying to evade a harsh reality. It is necessary to look for a balance...As they say here neither so bald nor with two wigs.

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1 year ago