Just because it hurts does not mean that it is true

I have a tendency to have more faith in the bad things that I think about myself then I do in the good thoughts I have about myself.

After all, I would love to honestly be able to think good things about myself and I don’t really want any bad thing to be honestly true about myself. Therefore it stands to reason that my desires will cause me to more readily believe goods things about myself even if they are not supported by the truth. Thus, there is a high probability that that the good things I think about myself are false. But since I don’t want to believe bad things about myself, any bad thing that I do think is likely to be true.

On the surface, the above logic seems pretty compelling. Indeed, the first premise is undoubtedly correct. We often lie to ourselves so as the be able raise ourselves up in our own estimation. But the second premise is completely false. We are no more likely to think truthful bad things about ourselves then we are to think truthful good things about ourselves. So the reasoning I am often prone to is highly misleading because it fails to account for how completely lies dominate my thinking.

As a kind of simplistic example of what I am saying, let us imagine that there is girl who considers herself to be ugly. Chances are very slim that this girl has an objective standard of beauty that she would be satisfied to meet. It is much more likely that this girl imagines that if she was beautiful, she would be able to find true love or that she would be a lot more happier or some other pipe dream. And because of that, she is likely to continue to feel that she is ugly as long as she does not get the things that she imagines that beauty would get her, regardless of what the objective facts are regarding her looks. So she thinks she is ugly because she is lying to herself, even though she would rather think of herself as being beautiful.

In the same manner, our condemnations of ourselves are often based on lies.

One Response to “Just because it hurts does not mean that it is true”

  1. […] suicide was one of the things that got me thinking about how even our hatred for ourselves is founded on lies. That guy had a lot of things that he could have truthfully felt bad about. But I really believe that […]

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