Hypocrisy lack of authenticity

Jonah Lester
Hypocrisy lack of authenticity

Hypocrisy is something that bothers us all. However… Does it bother us all the same? Are we aware of our own hypocrisy? How do we react to it? These and other questions are what we solve in today's article.


  • What exactly is hypocrisy?
  • Hypocrisy as a social tool
  • Are we all hypocrites?
  • An evolutionary explanation?
  • Personality, self-esteem and society

What exactly is hypocrisy?

Hypocrisy consists, basically, in not applying what is preached in life. And beware, this may have a bad part, but also a good part (or, at least, a not so bad part).

For example, we speak of a hypocrisy in the worst sense when the other person is saying that bosses should respect workers when, in reality, he is a boss who does not respect his own workers (for example).

However, there are other types of hypocrisies that may be less bad. For example, if a person recommends that you save, but that same person does not save, they are being hypocritical, yes. But that does not mean that their recommendation is not good and that they should not be heeded. It simply means that that person does not apply what he preaches.

Hypocrisy as a social tool

"Social hypocrisy" is not a pathology, but a quality instilled in us by the very society in which we live.

But unfortunately, speaking out is often frowned upon, being better considered to say what others expect to hear. Human beings are very complex. Since Freud differentiates conscious and unconscious, directly manifesting true desires seems impossible.

We can be in love with two people at the same time, hate and appreciate the same individual. Every day we think one thing and do another very different. Sometimes we act like this in order not to hurt others, other times out of sheer convenience, for comfort..

It seems that it is better seen and more sensible to "make up" our behavior, adapt it to the context, hide our true feelings, moderate our responses or muzzle our spontaneity for the sake of a supposed harmonious coexistence. But that does not always translate into greater happiness and well-being..

Sometimes we don't know what we really feel, we let ourselves be fooled. Is it so easy to meet? I would say not. Without psychoanalysis we cannot know the true desires that determine our behaviors. Keep in mind that everything we say or do is for something or someone, it is something that is beyond our control.

Why do we fail if we say we yearn for success? If I love you so much, why do I always end up arguing with you? Why do I feel bad every time I go to work? So many and so many questions that we can ask ourselves whose answers we have to produce.

It seems that being a hypocrite is not the best advice, it can have good social results, but in the long run it is a behavior that "smells". A true person generates more trust and is more reliable than another who tells you only what you want to hear.

Even sometimes you fool yourself, you see yourself surrounded by people, you are successful, but you cannot speak your mind, you cannot be honest with yourself. Doesn't savor the pleasure of being truly heard.

Now, yes, we are not going to deny the obvious: In general, being a hypocrite is wrong, and even more so if we think about what we all imagine as a hypocrite (that is, a person who is sitting chair and pontificating on moral aspects that later does not respect in the least).

Are we all hypocrites?

To some extent, we all have (or can have) hypocritical behaviors and positions. And it is that, to a certain extent, they have educated us to be it. Who else who less, has heard in his family that of "that others see that we are happy".

However, at the same time, we are also educated that the truth is a good thing and that lying is a negative thing. This mixture of both ways of acting forms a contradiction in us from a young age, which we tend to resolve from the age of 10.

From that age, children begin to form a beginning of conscience and certain ideas of justice, which makes it possible for them to detect contradictions in adults.

For example, from this age, the child will find that he is urged to tell the truth, but that, on many occasions, when he says it, he is punished or reprimanded for it. In fact, you are urged to expose it when you get home, so as not to “offend” the other person or not to put on a show..

All this, whether we like it or not, is shaping a certain way of being, consisting of showing one face in private, and another totally different face in public. Which is ultimately hypocrisy.

An evolutionary explanation?

There are many theories that try to explain what the hypocrisy is due to. However, the one that seems to have the most strength is the one that says that hypocrisy arises from the need to form a group. And, the truth is, it makes a lot of sense.

If we have to fit into a group and we do not want to be expelled from it, it seems logical to follow a strategy trying to hide our miseries and dark parts and exposing only those "good" parts.

In the same way, it seems logical to follow a strategy based on not saying negative things to our interlocutor, even though they are true, and lying to make the relationship healthier and more durable..

We are gregarious animals, and we must keep those relationships active in order to survive (especially in the past, when we lived in tribes or small groups and external threats were greater).

However, as we have progressed in time and abandoned that time of danger, the fact that people are excessively hypocritical is nothing that seduces us..

Quite the contrary.

More and more authenticity is demanded and less "to look good" with others, because a person who is capable of lying and showing a face when in fact hides a very different one can hide other really dangerous things.

In this way, when we deal with a sincere person, even if they tell us things that we don't like, at least we know what to expect..

For the rest, in general, it is better to stay away from hypocritical people, because, as we say, they usually have other negative aspects that no person wants to be around. Hypocritical people, for example, are often manipulative and toxic. Therefore, it is best to limit relationships with them.

Personality, self-esteem and society

Creating our own personality, being comfortable with it and consolidating it before others is part of our learning for life. We live in the world of the image, fashion, prototypes, it seems that to be someone you have to "look like", "be part of", what psychoanalysis shows us is that a human being "alone" does not exist, undoubtedly identifies with people and ideas, but identification does not necessarily have to be synonymous with copying. What it is about is to be ourselves having tastes, commitments.

Freud used to say, if two people say they think alike, one of them is submitting to the other.

The first step to being accepted and well considered is accepting and considering yourself. Self-esteem increases if one is comfortable with what one does, putting love in the things and people with which one is related. Self-esteem is not looking handsome in the mirror, it is seeing that your life works.

It is very common in friends, family, couples who do not know each other, even if they live together for years. This happens because we do not give ourselves the freedom to speak about our thoughts, to show ourselves as we are. I say: if you don't like the way you are or your way of being doesn't suit you, learn, change, grow, but don't hide. The human being is not born made, it is made. Until the day we die we can learn, we must learn. We live in a social world where we have to take into consideration our wishes and that of the other.

As you can see, hypocrisy is one of those qualities that nobody wants to have, but that, to some extent, we all suffer. Luckily, it can be fought (whether you are the hypocrite, or someone around you).

Yet No Comments