Convenient lies and other stuff most people like to tell themselves

No, they don’t need to be consistent with each other. And no, truth is not a 0-1 variable. Anyway…:

i. I got to where I am now because of my hard work (if you’ve done well). Even if I had worked very hard, it wouldn’t have made any difference (if you have not done well).

ii. People who talk badly about others behind their backs with me never engage with others in the same kinds of conversations about me.

iii. If data do not support my view of the world, it’s completely okay to disregard the data. But it’s not okay for other people to do that, unless they reach the same conclusions I do and/or we disregard the same data.

iv. I don’t care nearly as much about status and related matters as other people do.

v. ‘I don’t much care how she looks, because she’s just a wonderful person’ (male, about his partner). ‘I would love him just the same if his income were half of what it is today’ (female, about her partner).

vi. I’m a good person. What I did was justified. (If morality was based on what people thought about themselves, there’d pretty much be no evil). Most of the time people also hold this belief, at least implicitly: I’m a better/more deserving person than [other people].

vii. When I answer a question related to ethics, political principles and similar matters, I do not base my answer on what people I care about would like me to answer. If the answer is to a political question which relates to distributional tradeoffs, I don’t choose my answer based on what benefits me (rather than society) the most.

viii. Ageing and dying is something that happens to other people. Divorce and cancer as well.

ix. If you don’t know much about another person, you can nevertheless infer a lot of stuff about that person from the things that you do know.

x. I am less judgmental and prejudiced than the people I compare myself with.

xi. If people don’t understand me, they are the ones with a problem – not me.

xii. Admitting your faults is a sign of weakness and should be avoided. If a person does not try to hide one of his/her fault, I am allowed to think that I’m a better person than s/he is.

xiii. ‘My life will be much better/easier/simpler when I […]’. [… = am 18. … finally move away from my parents. … find a girlfriend/boyfriend. … get married. … have a child. … find a better job. … retire…] (related link)

xiv. The more time and emotion I have invested in X, the less likely I am to be wrong about X.

Some of them might just be me projecting.


May 13, 2012 - Posted by | Psychology


  1. Wrong about fuzzy logic, tho. 😉

    Comment by Emil | May 13, 2012 | Reply

  2. Related to ii: I once had a boss, who told me a lot of things on strict confidentiality. So I didn’t return the favor. Most of my colleagues felt the same way. I would guess that badmouthers will get figured out to, if they do it too much. So some assessment is probably standard.

    Comment by info2 | May 13, 2012 | Reply

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