Some examples in italics first. Pay particular attention to the first part of the sentence then notice the inconsistency of the later parts in relation to what was said in the first.
“It’s not that I want to gossip, but do you know who she’s been seen with ever since she got those implants? Its that man who dresses like a 70s pimp. The one whose daughter was dumped by that wife-battering singer who was caught with his pants down while the maid…….”
“Of course I did it out of sincerity and expect absolutely nothing in return, but he could have at least remembered what i did and sold his kidney for when I was broke. It’s not like he needs both of it or like I was asking for anything in return.”
“You know I’m not the sort to poke my nose into other people’s business, but how much are you bringing back from work after taxes including bonuses and overtime, and what kind of benefits do you get?”
“I can’t stand people who stab others in the back. So I’m not like that brazen hussy who got me to sneak your car out with her so we could go to the hairdressers.”
“I never like to copy other people’s design but I just cannot come up with a good idea if I haven’t seen one before.”
Isn’t it amazing how folks declare out how they are not of certain traits or behaviour, then in the same breath without batting an eye, proceed to show clear indications of that very same undesired trait in themselves? It’s as if they know it’s wrong so they declare it first in order to establish that they are not like that. So when they actually do it after it’ll be okay because they know that they’re not like that -cos they just said that they’re not.
It’s like saying good about themselves without actually being good. How delusional can you be?
Well, from experience, you can be blindingly deluded because the people i know who do it have absolutely no idea they do it. And the times I’ve pointed it out to them, they vehemently deny it. It’s probably because when they say out loud what they’re not, they are picturing in their minds the badness they are avoiding, but what they do next is detached from that mental picture. The only way to elaborate this further would need using one of the examples.
Take the first one. When declaring that she doesn’t gossip, she has an instant image of others who gossips and she decides not to be like them. As she cannot see herself, she has never seen herself gossiping; in other words, she can’t know what she looks like when she gossips. Which means when she pictures people gossiping, she is not included in the picture. So after declaring out loud she doesn’t gossip and picturing those who do – which does not include her – she proceeds to do it cos she can’t see herself doing it. It was the pictures of gossiping that stuck with her, not the abstract concept of what gossiping is. Could this be another example of using a form to understand a notion, instead of understanding the notion in the abstract? The form in this case are the mental images of people gossiping. What she is missing is what gossiping really is which could apply to any form including hers – which she can’t see herself.
So be cautioned. Since it is so easy to be deluded as such, what those examples did could also easily be done by you.
In the words of the 70s philosopher Uriah Heep – Look At Yourself