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Preventing Self-Delusion

Posted By: Randy GageFebruary 22, 2018

Last post we discussed how your ego defense mechanisms can become so strong that they lead you into self-delusion. Which unfortunately happens to millions of people. You don’t want to be one of them.

The best way I know to avoid this is having at least one, and hopefully two or three, people in your life that you can use to check things out.

These are people who know you well, love you and want the highest good for you.  And most importantly, they will be brutally honest with you.  Brutally honest, with love.

When they think you treated someone unfairly and owe them an apology, they’ll tell you.  If you’re dealing with addiction, dysfunctional relationships, or other self-destructive behavior – they won’t be afraid to step in, because they love you enough to confront you.  If your ego is getting out of control and you’re heading towards narcissism, they’ll give you a wake up call.

They’ll do all this for you because they love you and want the highest good for you – and they know that you will provide the same check for them.

These kinds of relationship are difficult and require serious effort to maintain them.  But ultimately, they the only ones that will make a real difference in who you become.

This total and unvarnished honestly is the highest value I have in my own relationships.  And I’m fortunate enough to have developed five or six such relationships in my life.

How about you?

How many have you developed?  You really need to think about that and know who they are.  And if you don’t have any yet, you need to change that quickly!

- RG

6 comments on “Preventing Self-Delusion”

  1. I cannot think of a single person I know who is not self-deluded to some degree. Their delusions protect them from harsh realities they refused to accept. Religious leaders, politicians, and advertisers/marketers know this and feed off of people's delusions. We downplay or dismiss anything that tries to destroy our delusions. If we hear a news story that goes against our beliefs, we call it fake news. We join groups, organizations, and clubs that further promote our dogma, and squelch alternative thinking and opinions. The indoctrination is usually so subtle by these organizations that we often don't know it's even occurring. We want to believe we are rational, critical thinkers, but most people are not. Most thoughts and perceptions are driven by our subconscious and our perception of reality. Jack Nicholson said it best in the movie A Few Good Men - "You can't handle the truth!", which is a very true statement for most people. The point I'm trying to make here is it is very difficult to pick out a handful of people who are objective and need to think slightly different than we do since we have a propensity to pick out like-minded friends and associates. Plus, people have a very hard time receiving criticism, especially brutally honest criticism, regardless how true it is. And if your friends have been brutally honest with you, and you refused to make changes, they will practice another human trait with you - avoidance.

  2. Hey Randy,
    so in another post, will you address some ideas on how to "change that quickly" (if you don't have people in your life strong/confident enough to call you out)? I'll be honest, I don't have those people in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not short on having people in my life who love me, care about me and truly do want the best for me. I think part of my challenge is that I'm a pretty strong personality. I'm supposedly "too clever." I can speak well when I choose to. I've been into personal development since forever and can talk a good game.

    But I also know that i've got challenges that need to be addressed - if I want to live the life of my dreams. I've got poor habits around substance abuse. But my problem is they aren't severe enough to get me to a "rock bottom" then couple that with the fact that I'm the type of cat who can "show up" well below my ability, I can "phone it in" so to speak and still produce results that allow me to at least fit in with my society. Meaning I'm not even close to touching my dreams and/or potential but I'm not living off the government or anything either. I have my own home and all that jazz. Sometimes I secretly wish I'd find a rock bottom so I would be sort of forced to just come out and make a significant change. But that's not happening. Instead I'm here, damn near 40, and have been living one of those quite lives of desperation...

    How do we get those strong people around to call us out? Is that what we really need or is it just to "man up" and handle our shit? Manning up hasn't worked for yet LOL.

    1. You don't have the right people around you yet. You have to put yourself in bigger ponds where you are the smaller fish. And yes, this is an interesting topic for a future post! -RG

  3. A true friend is not who agrees with you all the time ... a true friend shows you what you are doing wrong and advises you; unfortunately,... I have not found a true friend in my life

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  • 6 comments on “Preventing Self-Delusion”

    1. I cannot think of a single person I know who is not self-deluded to some degree. Their delusions protect them from harsh realities they refused to accept. Religious leaders, politicians, and advertisers/marketers know this and feed off of people's delusions. We downplay or dismiss anything that tries to destroy our delusions. If we hear a news story that goes against our beliefs, we call it fake news. We join groups, organizations, and clubs that further promote our dogma, and squelch alternative thinking and opinions. The indoctrination is usually so subtle by these organizations that we often don't know it's even occurring. We want to believe we are rational, critical thinkers, but most people are not. Most thoughts and perceptions are driven by our subconscious and our perception of reality. Jack Nicholson said it best in the movie A Few Good Men - "You can't handle the truth!", which is a very true statement for most people. The point I'm trying to make here is it is very difficult to pick out a handful of people who are objective and need to think slightly different than we do since we have a propensity to pick out like-minded friends and associates. Plus, people have a very hard time receiving criticism, especially brutally honest criticism, regardless how true it is. And if your friends have been brutally honest with you, and you refused to make changes, they will practice another human trait with you - avoidance.

    2. Hey Randy,
      so in another post, will you address some ideas on how to "change that quickly" (if you don't have people in your life strong/confident enough to call you out)? I'll be honest, I don't have those people in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not short on having people in my life who love me, care about me and truly do want the best for me. I think part of my challenge is that I'm a pretty strong personality. I'm supposedly "too clever." I can speak well when I choose to. I've been into personal development since forever and can talk a good game.

      But I also know that i've got challenges that need to be addressed - if I want to live the life of my dreams. I've got poor habits around substance abuse. But my problem is they aren't severe enough to get me to a "rock bottom" then couple that with the fact that I'm the type of cat who can "show up" well below my ability, I can "phone it in" so to speak and still produce results that allow me to at least fit in with my society. Meaning I'm not even close to touching my dreams and/or potential but I'm not living off the government or anything either. I have my own home and all that jazz. Sometimes I secretly wish I'd find a rock bottom so I would be sort of forced to just come out and make a significant change. But that's not happening. Instead I'm here, damn near 40, and have been living one of those quite lives of desperation...

      How do we get those strong people around to call us out? Is that what we really need or is it just to "man up" and handle our shit? Manning up hasn't worked for yet LOL.

      1. You don't have the right people around you yet. You have to put yourself in bigger ponds where you are the smaller fish. And yes, this is an interesting topic for a future post! -RG

    3. A true friend is not who agrees with you all the time ... a true friend shows you what you are doing wrong and advises you; unfortunately,... I have not found a true friend in my life

    Leave a Reply to Randy Gage Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published.

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