How Self-Deception Happens

"The easiest person to deceive is one's own self," writes Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

Self-deception happens to everyone. No one is exempt, including my self. We're all humans.

The difference is only in the matter of degree. Or, the object of deception.

Psychopathology results with chronic or severe self-deception.

How does self-deception work in a person?

It's like falling asleep. You're unaware at the moment of falling asleep. It just overtakes you even though you're the one doing it.

Self-deception is similar. Just as you're unaware of what's happening at the moment of falling asleep, you're unaware at the moment you enter self-deception.

Endlessly, an over-controlling father verbally and physically abuses his children. He'd just snap even with the slightest provocation.

But in a candid moment, I asked this patient if he feels good about it. He said he never did. He felt bad every after he bursts.

He's just one among multitudes. Self-deception takes many varied forms.

Like, overspending wildly amid stream of debts. Repeatedly entering inappropriate, abusive romantic relationships. Overpromising.

Dwelling on resentments. Tardiness or procrastination. Blaming. Shifting responsibility to justify one's own offenses.

Psychologists call the internal phenomenon that happens to self-deluded people "counterfactual thinking." It's thinking and perceiving contrary to reality or facts.

It's distressing to witness or experience. We wonder why we can't see what really is happening!