I’ve got to be honest, I hate hypocrites. I think most people do. The funny thing is that most hypocritical people don’t even realize that they are being hypocritical. Have you ever had a situation where you called someone on it? Isn’t the typical response something along the lines of “Yeah, but this is different.”
Lets take it a step further, I’ve been hypocritical at times. Not intentionally though, I mean “yeah, but this was different!”
I’m not talking about that though, I’m talking about full time hypocrites, like “do what I say and not what I do” hypocrites. They can be friends, politicians, respected leaders, politicians, etc. I’m not trying to pick on people. I just always try to understand people’s actions. Having observed many people like this I’ve come to a few conclusions.
1. They don’t know how they come across. Lack of self awareness. They aren’t able to see themselves the way others see them and they are not able to judge themselves the way they judge others. This is an easier fix than number 2.
2. Their own insecurities are the driving force behind their actions. Road rage is a good example of this, we’ve all been there. Someone gets in the car to go from point A to point B, or maybe they are just out for a scenic drive. An argument or fight is the farthest thing from their mind. Next thing you know, some knucklehead cuts you off (you may even be the knucklehead!) We take it personal and usually respond without thinking. That initial reaction, “he cut me off,” “he’s on my tail,” etc. These are personal responses to an impersonal situation and ultimately a response to our own insecurities. You don’t believe me, oh you’re just following them to make sure they’re safe!
When we act out of our insecurities, we allow our defaults, our impulses, to take over. We sacrifice logic for emotion and make irrational decisions which we cannot plan for, prepare for, or account for. Which is usually followed, hopefully, by apologies.
Hypocritical people basically stay under those impulses and are unable to see themselves because they aren’t acting out of their best. So how can we avoid being hippocritical and improve our self awareness?
So what can we do?
For Self Awareness
- Daily Debrief – I always have a daily debrief in my quiet time. As I’m winding up for the day or even as I lay in bed I have a debriefing time. In my mind, I review the things I did that day, the things I said, the way I acted, etc. I think about the person I want to be and grade myself on that criteria. I use that to think about how I want to handle things the next time, how I want to act, how I want to talk and respond, etc. The best defense is a good offense. I know that once my impulses or emotions kick in, I am at the mercy of my preparation.
- Pay attention to the way others respond to you – Observe the reactions from people to the things that you say or do. Do they respond with shock, disbelief, or unbelief. Other people know exactly who you display as opposed to who you think you are. For instance if you say to your friends, “great, I’ll be there at 9!” and they laugh and say “yeah right.” That is the perspective that you may not be a punctual or reliable person. (side note here, this is for practicing self awareness or how you appear to others. This is not letting other people define you, there is a difference.)
For Insecurities – some quick tips are
- Know who you are – What are your strengths and weaknesses? We all have them so don’t be afraid to take a look. The key here is owning our weaknesses and putting them in proper perspective. My father was insecure about his lack of academic abilities, he didn’t want people to think he was “dumb.” He could have taken a high school completion course, he could have enrolled in adult education or trade or community college. He did none of that and instead bent over backwards to try and convince everyone that he was smarter than he was. I don’t share that in a negative way, but it the effect it had on him took away from the strengths that he did have.
- What embarrasses you – We all have things that embarrass us or that we are ashamed of. The question is why? I get embarrassed when people call attention to my strikingly good looks. I ask myself why am I embarrassed. The answer may be a good way to identify an insecurity and shore it up with confidence. (I don’t like being the center of attention, it makes me feel vulnerable). How many times has some stupid fight started or some friendship ruined over some trivial slight? You have youtube and Bravo, … all the time.
One of the things that I do is to help people find those pesky insecurities and help them address them in a safe and empowering way. I see too many people who are confident in what they can’t do and limit themselves in what they can do. That is a recipe for disappointment and fulfillment. I always say:
Don’t be limited by what you can’t do but be confident in what you can do.
I want to hear what you think in the comments below! How have you successfully dealt with insecurities? Anything else, let me know!