Al Bagocious shared an article from the WSJ titled “The Case for Lying to Yourself” on LinkedIn. The article says that in some cases it might be ok or even beneficial to lie to yourself, but that you should know where to draw the line between how much of lying to yourself might be beneficial and how much might not. Well, to me, how would you know where that line is? Could you also lie to yourself about where the line lies? Would you eat cookies made from a batter which had some dog poo mixed into it? Or maybe add a little bit of cyanide in your salad dressing the next time you have salad. Might do you some good. Be warned – effects might be rather long-lasting!
The examples of positive instances of lying to yourself as quoted in the article seem to be rather vacuous. Visualizing a more positive outcome for oneself is giving expression to an aspiration. It does not deny current reality but is rather a statement of intent. Now, of course, if that statement of intent is not translated into positive action, it becomes deception. In fact, it is worse because, as I so often say, deception is actually 99% truth. What makes it so devastating is the fact that it looks like the truth and is therefore swallowed wholesale. If you are prone to outbursts of anger but keep visualizing yourself as a calm, level-headed person whom everyone loves to be with, that won’t help very much unless you are determined to change your thought processes by dealing with the root causes of your anger. Simply telling yourself that you are not angry, you are really a nice person and so on pulls you deeper into that deception and can be quite harmful to yourself and to those around you as well!
So, do you think it is ok to lie to yourself sometimes? I don’t. Any form of lying is corrosive. It eats away at your inner self and leaves you a much diminished person. Would that be what you want? By the way, Alan Weiss has something to say about lying to yourself too! You might want to check it out!