By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
Expecting everyone to live up to a standard that you have no intention of living up to yourself is hypocrisy. It is making judgements about what we believe is right or wrong for others, yet not applying them to ourselves. It is saying something, doing something else, and criticizing someone else for doing the same thing!
Hypocrisy is part of human nature, a characteristic we have that affects the way we feel, think, and behave. The experiences we have from our childhood through our adulthood and how we react to them contribute to the formation of our characteristics. All people are hypocritical about something, while some people make a conscious effort to try not to be or correct themselves through awareness.
Hypocrisy is self-deception. It is distorting awareness to defend our egos, (our sense of self-worth). We rationalize and deny oppositional and logical evidence that shows we are conveying ourselves to be something we are not. When that happens, we double down on our behaviors to disprove who we are so that our true selves won’t be revealed. This becomes a habit, and we begin to believe our lies about ourselves.
Some people have no problem with other peoples’ behaviors, no matter how immoral or unethical they perceive them to be, as long as they can benefit from them. The minute they don’t, they start screaming unfair standards. An example is when a manager allows someone to cut the line to get into an event ahead of the crowd. Someone may scream it’s unfair, until the manager lets them in.
Because hypocrisy is part of human nature, it can be predicted. If we understand that everyone, including ourselves, is going to take advantage of a situation, then we shouldn’t complain when it becomes disadvantageous to us. The hypocrisy then turns into an illogical, highly emotional defense because we’re disappointed things didn’t go our way.
We live in a society of pretense, where people try to make something false appear to be true, and something true appear to be false. People portray themselves to be honest, ethical, moral, and understanding. If every person is what they portray themselves to be, we would live in a perfect utopia. Hypocrisy is trying to have it both ways, and that’s impossible. Either you’re something, or you’re not.
Most people don’t pick their causes, their causes pick them. This is due to lack of options. We then become emotionally attached to our lack of options, convincing ourselves that they weren’t a lack of options, they were our choices. We then live a life of hypocrisy.
If you want to stop living a life of hypocrisy, then stop lying to yourself. Self-examination leads to self-actualization. That’s the first step toward realizing who you truly are and your true potential, not that which you pretend to be.
Starts and Stops for Extinguishing Hypocrisy
Look at your own behavior instead of judging and criticizing others. Let people be who they are and not who you think they should be. You don’t need to evaluate anyone. You don’t need to have an opinion about anyone. You don’t need to have an answer for anyone. You don’t need to question anyone. People who try to fix other people are often doing it as a diversion to fixing themselves. Work on yourself.
Stop expecting people to align with you.
Stop pointing out others behaviors.
Stop being dishonest with yourself.
Stop being someone you’re not.
Start matching your actions with your words.
Start being honest with yourself.
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a mindset and accountability coach, philosopher of human nature, consultant, and lifelong fitness and nutrition expert. He is a writer and author, with two published books: “The Truth is A Lie” and “The Logical Path To Life.” His book “The Truth is A Lie” was nominated by the 2019 Author Academy Awards in the "best self help" book category. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Click here to order Harry Petsanis’s books.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.