Acceptance · Self Improvement

The downfall of denial

Often, we live in our own little world of illusions and dreams. If we pretend something didn’t happen, it may go away. And, if we don’t ask the question, we won’t have to hear the answer that will give us pain. To protect our emotions, we blind ourselves with such illusions and altered reality.

Sometimes we’re completely stuck in our ways of a perfect reality. We perceive the truth modified to our own satisfaction and continue accepting it though the reality is skewed. It’s a coping mechanism because we know if the raw, unaltered truth was put in front of us, we may not be able to bear it.

For example, we hear stories about someone claiming their significant other cheated on them and that there were clear signs from the beginning. They state that if they had taken the signs seriously or looked into them, they would have known earlier or would have done something about it. Unfortunately, though, that may be far from the truth because in the back of their minds, they must have known the reality. They must have known by asking their significant other who they’re messaging or where they’re going will result in a lie. And, ultimately, that lie will cause them to deal with emotions they may not be able to apprehend and accept. They chose denial and ignorance over truth by avoiding important questions such as “are you cheating on me?” because it would result in potential heartbreak.

But, living in a dream of lies and false hopes is also troublesome.

By not asking the important questions, we live in a state of false hope. Though we are aware of the truth, without the official confirmation, we don’t fully process it. However, this state of limbo greatly impacts our mind. Without the confirmation and without asking the questions that may potentially cause us distress, we live each day with caution, insecurity, and uncertainty and those are powerful, negative feelings to deal with. Funnily enough, it’s self-inflicting because to avoid the potential painful heartbreak, we inflict ourselves with other negative feelings.

Denial is a psychological defense mechanism. We deny ourselves from accepting the entirety of the truth. We don’t ask others the right questions nor do we allow ourselves to ask and answer them as well because, well, what if the answer is one we don’t want to hear? I know I did it and still continue to do it.

I have difficulty dealing with certain situations because I don’t want to feel particular emotions knowing it would be tough to endure. The feeling of hurt due to betrayal, guilt, anger, sadness. To avoid such emotions, I approach certain situations in life with caution. I sidestep situations, leave questions unanswered and deny myself of reality. I essentially live a lie. I lie to myself though, subconsciously, I know the truth.

Maybe, just maybe, if the other person doesn’t outright state it, there may be a chance it’s not true. And by not asking the question to them, there is no space for them to hit me with reality. It’s almost as if I’m tricking myself into believing something I know isn’t the truth. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Tricking ourselves into believing something but knowing full well that we’re doing it? And it’s not just with others; we do it with ourselves, too. By not asking ourselves essential, meaningful questions or by answering them with what we think the answer should be, our reality is skewed.

Recently, I asked myself a question I have known the answer to but never confirmed.

Am I happy?

And I realized the answer is: no, no I’m not.

No, I’m not happy with my current state of life. I can and should do better. I have a purpose that is currently unfulfilled and I’m not working towards it. And, I’m lacking control in my life. As much pain that question and answer brought me, it is only now that I can actually analyze the reason behind it and do something about it.

I can move forward whereas denial was holding me back.



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Read previous post: 25 life lessons I learned by 25 (part 2 of 2)


4 thoughts on “The downfall of denial

  1. I agree with Some Reader comments. We all including myself are often unhappy for reasons that may not be good or logical enough to be unhappy. If we are healthy, have job, family and friends and wake up alive , we should be happy about that. Ofcourse there are goals that you may want to accomplish but if we are working on them everyday or giving our best, we should be content and happy. As it is said in Geeta, we control our own actions but not results. Be happy :)…cheers !!!

    P.S. – I know all above is easy to say and may be difficult to do but I think this is reality if life that even I would like to follow

  2. Hi, yes very often acceptance is the hardest part, but remember not always can you do everything you want. Don’t let that depress you, instead remember your goal and whenever there is a choice use that to make the choice towards your own happiness. Mini steps will also go a long way.

    Quoting Sadhguru – “Even if the world doesn’t happen the way you want it, at least your thoughts and emotions should happen the way you want them to.”

    Stay happy and positive and always keep yourself aligned and driven by your goals.


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