One of the hardest things about being an emotional grown-up is taking ownership for one’s own behavior. It’s not that we are irresponsible or unwilling to take responsibility for our shortcomings and mistakes. Instead, it’s hard to be objective about our own behavior. We have a tendency to be focused on what others are doing wrong and what we are doing right. Some are the opposite: they only see where they are at fault and others are blameless. This dynamic is equally counter-productive and harmful towards oneself and relationships.
“Why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” – New Testament
Pointing the finger at someone else almost always says more about the speaker than the person at the other end of the finger. Hypocrisy falls into its own unique category because the irony is usually lost on the accuser. For example, when I accuse someone else of hypocrisy, I fail to see my own role in the dysfunction and thus, my own hypocrisy. I’m hypocritical about hypocrisy. It’s like plagiarizing an essay about plagiarism (I’ve seen those too, unfortunately). It’s like sending someone a text while driving that reprimands them for driving unsafely. You get the idea.
I don’t know what to call these phenomena of being trapped in logic loop of irony and self-delusion. There’s no way to see through your own delusion. If you do, all you can do is to dig yourself out gracefully by laughing at the human condition.
“One man’s folly is another man’s wife” – Helen Rowland
Moral of the story: if you find yourself commenting about someone else’s hypocrisy, stop immediately to prevent yourself from digging yourself into an even deeper hole. Hypocrisy is not the only sign that you’re creating trouble. Here are some other statements reflecting disastrous logic loops that suggest that it is you who is misbehaving.
- You’re so judgmental
- You don’t even know what you don’t know
- She doesn’t know what’s best for her
- You need to examine your own behavior
- He’s really unforgiving
- He thinks he’s better than me
- She’s so smug and arrogant
- She’s so selfish
- He’s always complaining and negative
- She should mind her own business
- (What did I miss?)
Have you said any of these things lately? If so, what does the statement say about you?