Deception: The root of shame
Written by: Seada
Deception is the act of causing someone to believe something untrue is real. An example of self-deception is “no one wants to be in a relationship with me,” and we deceive our partners by saying, “I never betrayed your trust.” We choose deception to avoid hurting others’ feelings, but the act of deception has adverse long-term effects on our relationships and self-esteem.
Deception is related to emotion shame. Shame magnifies our internal state of feeling inadequate, unworthy, or unimportant. The deeper the feeling of shame, the easier it becomes to use deception to conceal our truths by using white lies, partial truths, denials, minimization, concealment, and exaggeration. “It’s tempting to think of a lie as simply the opposite of the truth.”
Keeping secrets and telling lies can feel superior in the moment. When we conceal information from our loved ones, we unconsciously accept that temporary concealment will provide relief to resolve the problem. Deception acts as a band-aide. When we hurt someone that we love, and we refuse to take responsibility for our actions, deception perpetuates, and love deteriorates.
We attempt to escape the feeling of shame by shifting blame to disarm shame from spiraling out of control temporarily. An individual who feels insecure may attack their partner’s self-esteem by the use of name-calling, mockery, or ridicule. Psychology explains the theory behind an ‘attack’ increases a false sense of confidence and superiority.
The antidote of deception is accountability.
Accountability is an act of courage. Fear holds us back from choosing accountability. If your partner has betrayed your trust, it may be easier for them to apologize for their actions by claiming that the problem will never happen again. But who is to say that a storm will not disrupt the peace in the home again? A sincere apology has a formula not comprised of words.
Actions + recognition of the betrayal = a sincere apology
We minimize our truth when we feel inferior, inadequate, a failure, or afraid.