In environments where hypocrites abound, the sincere are the “bad guys:” and the truth is a great enemy. Therefore, I prefer honest distances when the values collide. The sibylline closeness that brings masks of kindness and golden armor behind which false people hide.
It is quite possible that some do not know that scientists, sociologists, and biologists wanted to call the current terrestrial period “Anthropocene” (new man) instead of Holocene. The intention is simple and inspiring. To emphasize a period in which humanity aims to achieve a higher “quota”. In terms of intelligence, social cohesion, harmony, respect, and conscience.
Superstition and hypocrisy are greatly acknowledged, but the truth always has to beg.
However, some books speak precisely of a very specific dimension: the hypocrisy of the human being. We are still a race of vertebrates with a habit to preach one thing and doing completely another. We suffer from a disorder due to nature deficit and, furthermore, it is still very difficult for us to favor this cohesion of each other, leaving aside cultural, social or gender differences.
Everyone knows it is not easy to establish the distance to those who do not like us. Sometimes, we are forced to share space with that family member with extreme ideas, or even with that manager who does not fit our same moral principles. However, what we can do is create adequate spaces of self-protection where we never fall into the unhealthy existence of hypocrisy.
In The World Of Hypocrisy, Only The Strongest Survive
Achilles said in the Iliad that if there was something that bothered him much more than the doors of Hades. People who said one thing, yet did another. Well, it is possible that we all have a person close to us that is so abundant. What we should have in mind is that we should not hold only the hypocrite himself accountable for his behavior.
Hypocrisy is much more than the classic dissonance between our guiding ideas and our behaviors. Sometimes, the environment that surrounds us forces us to do so. Every day we face a huge vital puzzle. The pieces are scattered and we are forced to survive in these complex “social surfaces”. Almost without our noticing. Sometimes, we end up doing things that do not harmonize with our principles. With our ideas or convictions.
Between what we believe, say, and do, there may be an abyss. In spite of not wanting to miss our inner truth, we end up doing so because of the pressures of the environment. This is what Leo Festinger defined as cognitive dissonance. Experiencing a disharmony or conflict between our system of ideas, beliefs, and emotions (cognitions) with one’s own behaviors.
A good part of our society is fertile ground for us to behave as hypocrites created in a mold. But, in reality, we can clearly differentiate two types. On the one hand, there are those who suffer this cognitive dissonance. People who decide to set limits and find an adequate harmony between what they believe and what is done.
On the other hand, there are many who simply understand life in this way. The dissonance ceases to exist to give way to a firm and clear cognition of what is done has full meaning and above all … a purpose.
Put Your Defenses Up Against Hypocrisy
Practicing what is preached is not only an act of respect. It is also an act of “self-respect” and personal well-being. We already know that we all, in some way, have practiced this art on some occasion. To be able to integrate ourselves in a specific context. For instance, a job, in a party, in a family reunion …
Now, if there is a clear and objective purpose that cognitive dissonances have, it is to ignite a psychological alert to inform us that the fine thread that sustains behavior with values is about to be broken. Starting a process of reflection saves us from crystallizing hypocrisy.
People are less human when they speak in their name. Give them a mask and they will tell you the truth.
However, what can we do if a very inveterate and corrosive hypocrite lives near us? There are honest people, who intuit something as simple as the incompatibility of characters or values. People who choose to put distance with appropriate elegance and respect. That is something that we certainly appreciate, but unfortunately, not everyone initiates this kind of good principles policy.
A correct thing would undoubtedly be for us to establish a security cordon and get far enough away so as not to coincide again. However, if that person is a relative, a co-worker or a boss, it may not be so simple.
In these cases, the rule of the three “R’s” will be very useful:
- Do not “reinforce“: the hypocrite can and has the right to make life around you, but we will never reinforce his behavior. That is, the ideal is to be as aseptic as possible with them, not to have deep conversations where they reveal intimacies and not give too much importance to what they can say.
- “Respect and respect yourself.” Let the hypocrite be as you want, do what you want but always in your own sphere, do not ever let it enter yours. Respect yourself and give it the right importance without letting your attitude affect you.
- Do not “renounce” your values. Sometimes, when we spend a lot of time in a setting fertilized by hypocrisy, it is common to fall into these same behaviors at some point. Remember your values and principles and defend them even if the rest do not understand them or do not approve them.
Last, but not least, always remember that hypocrisy is camouflaged with kindness when something suits you. Learn to be intuitive and cautious. If the opportunity finally happens, do not hesitate to put an adequate distance where you can recover your emotional and psychological fullness.