5 Reasons why people lie to themselves

5 reasons
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

Have you ever heard that saying that people lie to themselves? It’s not like someone wants to do it, but it happens automatically.

How often do you think that your inner voice is lying to you? Do you still believe it? How do you know when to believe it or not? This thinking path can lead to low self-confidence. I think that this needs to be approached with empathy not with fear. We need to try to understand where is that voice taking the information provided and how real are they. It’s a human voice so it can be wrong.

  1. It is a defense mechanism

Sometimes reality is tough. So tough that we might not be prepared to face it. This is the denial phase, which protects people from getting in touch with a cruel truth until they’re somehow prepared to deal with it.

  1. Ego

Some people lie to themselves because of their huge ego. They cannot accept that someone or something happens from reasons that have nothing to do with them. None of is the center of the universe, but when something happens to us, we take it very personally. Like there was some intent oriented towards us when in fact it might have nothing to do with us.

  1. Low self-esteem

I often notice how my inner voice tries to keep me down. Thoughts like “You don’t deserve that” or “You’ll never get anywhere” comes from my self-esteem, which sometimes drops to levels that threatens my daily schedule.

And the other way around is still possible. When we do something good, our inner voice tries to diminish our contribution due to this low self-esteem issue.

  1. To keep themselves in the comfort zone

Have you noticed that when you need to do something out of your comfort zone, your inner voice tries to come up with reason why you shouldn’t do it? The reasons might be real so this isn’t actually lying, but that inner voice tries to trick us so we won’t get out of our comfort zone. Our actions are justified.

  1. Because of emotions

Our emotions are our biggest driver. Our behavior is easily bend by emotions. I’m sure you’ve noticed that even though you “know” what you need to do, you won’t do it if emotions tell you something else. That inner voice is allied with our emotions so it becomes easy for it to lie to us and to direct our behavior based on those temporary emotions.

How often do you question your inner voice?

20 thoughts on “5 Reasons why people lie to themselves

  1. I am a culprit because of emotions, low self esteem and using the lies as a defense mechanism for things I don’t want to deal with in the moment. The self awareness helps.

    1. Once you are aware of it am sure you will come out of it. As you have said self awareness helps.
      Most of us tells ourselves lies. Most of us aren’t aware of it ….

  2. I started to become aware of talking to myself and telling lies to myself when I read The New Earth by Eckart Tolle in 2005! That book changed my definition of Ego and Judgement for ever

  3. I indeed lied to myself when, even if the truth was in front of me, I desperately wanted to believe it was different. Otherwise, usually I am on the pessimistic side and I tend to be horribly honest so that I can prepare myself to face reality!

  4. As Pratchett wrote in the Tiffany Aching series – there are second thoughts about something, and then THIRD thoughts about why you had the first and second thoughts. It’s work, but I like it, and I try to remember to do it often.

  5. I definitely fall victim to my inner voice when it comes to low self esteem and staying in my comfort zone – this was a needed wake up call for me and hopefully I’ll stay aware of these little moments so I can push myself further.

    1. Thank you very much for reading and I’m glad it helped you in some way! Prepare a strategy to deal with these moments when they appear.

  6. Interesting subject. Here are my five (darn, you already said denial) 1. fear 2. lack of self-knowledge 3. indolence 4. stubbornness 5. desperation. To Thine Own Self Be True.

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