Friday, August 3, 2012

Are you Lying to Yourself?

Good! According to some experts lying to yourself is a great way to boost power and influence.

In "The Case for Lying to Yourself" researchers found that "Believing we are more talented or intelligent than we really are can help us influence and win over others, says Robert Trivers, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University and author of The Folly of Fools, a 2011 book on the subject. An executive who talks himself into believing he is a great public speaker may not only feel better as he performs, but increase 'how much he fools people, by having a confident style that persuades them that he's good,' he says."

But lying to oneself can also be detrimental.
It takes a certain amount of self-discipline to keep self-deception from becoming a hindrance on the job or in relationships. Getting too wrapped up in achievements or public image is one danger sign. Dodging a chronic problem by telling yourself you'll solve it in the future is another.

The trick, Dr. Norton says, is finding the line. While "a little bit of self-deception isn't an unhealthy thing, a lot is an extremely unhealthy thing." Benefits tend to come, research shows, when people simply block out negative thoughts, envision themselves enjoying future successes or take an optimistic view of their abilities—all of which tend to improve performance or persuasive ability.
So what little white lies do you tell yourself? Do you think you could employ this technique when you give a classroom presentation?

20 comments:

  1. In my experiences with telling myself a "little white lie", I have been both successful and unsuccessful with this form of mind talk. I believe that depending on the situation you can either build up your self confidence or even tear it down with negativity. The example in this blog of almost persuading yourself that you are good at something when maybe its not a talent of yours can be helpful to ones self esteem and overall outlook on the task at hand. When you believe in something strongly enough, you can develop a certain kind of confidence when tackling that obstacle that may have seemed challenging before. Although lying to yourself can be positive, it can also be ones downfall. I have experience with this negative mind talk in the pool. Being a swimmer about 50% of the talent depends on positive mind talk. I catch myself lying to myself saying I can't, when in fact I truly know I can achieve certain goals. This literally tears down my confidence because I've persuaded myself that something that I practice everyday and that I know I'm good at has been altered by a simple lie to myself thinking that my talent is not up to par. If you have a positive outlook on life then you should not have this problem. If you make sure your "little white lies" are to help you succeed, then this form of confidence boost will benefit you and definitely help you in the long run.

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  2. Through out high school I had a hard time presenting in my classes. I noticed looking back that whenever I did a good job at presenting in class I was either very prepared or I did a good job getting myself pumped for the occasion. Sometimes when I presented in class, I might not have done a good job with my research but I tell myself "it doesn't matter as long as my classmates and teacher believe I did by ensuing confidence in my presentation it will be just as good." I have to make myself believe I know what I'm doing then it translates to my audience that I do know what I'm talking about. Having confidence is what keeps it together.

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  3. Once I entered high school, I was labeled as a nerd with no type of physical/sport skills. It was trial after trial trying to make a better image of myself, but thinking about those transgressions now, I don't see them as road blocks anymore, I see them as a level of criticism I overcame by having a nonchalant attitude. After two years of caring about what my peers thought of me, I finally plugged up my ears and just made the image that I am today. Constantly asking myself," Why should I care what they think? They don't live my life." was the best thoughts I could have had while progressing through high school because they helped me focus on getting better by just being myself. After noticing how well it benefited me in presenting my Senior Project in high school, I think employing this nonchalant technique in a college could benefit yet hinder me because of the constant reminder of," What is the worst possible outcome?" This thought could help motivate me to go further yet, cause me to fail drastically when solving a problem or writing for a class grade. This attitude can be a flip of a coin, and one can hope it lands on heads.

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  4. When I started playing football is when i noticed my self telling little lies. I would tell my self i was okay or that nothing was wrong even when i knew differently. I thought it was okay but in the long run i wish i hadn't. I believe that lying to ones self is a good way to make the current situation better. However it can be very detrimental in the long run. For me it caused me a lot of in juries that could have been easily taken care of or fixed but i was to hard headed to tell myself to stop or get checked out. By lying to my self i was also lying to everyone around me.

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  5. Some lies I would tell myself while playing sports as a kid was that im not good enough to play with these kids. That theyre better than me. Especially in baseball. I wouls say kids hit harder and farther than me and pitch better and faster also. It would motivate me to do better even though in most cases i was better than those kids I was playing against. Lying to myself would make me work harder and become a better.

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  6. I seem to always tell white lies to myself to make me feel better. An example would be before a big tahitian competition, I will always tell myself that I'm the best one and I know what I'm doing. When really, I'm still a beginner and sometimes I really don't know what I'm doing. But when I get on stage I get a really big confidence boost because I feel like i'm a good dancer. Doing this I really did end up getting to another round called the dance offs, which is when you score close to other dancers. This made me feel a lot better about myself as well! I really do think I can use this technique when giving a class presentation because it seems like it really helps to boost your confidence. I think it can work for some people but not for all because everyone has their own way of trying to make themselves feel confident.

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  7. When I was in high school I was in my school's Improv team. I didn't think I was good, that I should just quit before I get ahead. But since people said I was good, I told myself "Okay, I can do this. I'll keep going." even though I knew it wasn't true. I kept telling myself lies so that maybe I could believe in myself like my friends did for me. Though I knew it was not true people kept pushing every practice. We gave one another advice about what we did good and what we did bad and it helped not just me but everyone grow to be at there best. And surprisingly to me I was able to get in a show as a FRESHMAN. And ever since then I was in a show at least one more time freshmen year, 3 times my sophomore year, and 5 shows my junior year, and all the shows my senior year. Over the course of my 4 years in Improv and becoming secretary/ manager/ co-captain of Improv my senior year I finally found that little bit of confidence in myself that everyone has seen in me since the beginning. Though I do still have those confidence
    problems.
    I employ this in a class presentation because I feel as if I'm on that stage again but I know what to say. I don't need to worry about being funny, though sometimes it helps. And even if I do mess up I know that I can learn from my mistakes.

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  8. It is interesting how a little white lie can develop into an even bigger lie. What I use to tell myself during high school is that I can accomplish anything with the right mind set. It wasn't necessarily false and yet at the same time it was. I imagined myself going to college obtaining the education I needed to exceed throughout life and to get a successful career as everyone else would want in the world. What I told myself is what has gotten me here today. I would tell myself each day is that everyday is a stepping stone to my future, it takes one step at a time no matter how fast and no matter how slow, take each and everyday in and use it as a catapult for a successful future. Having confidence isn't a bad thing, just dont be overwhelmingly confident to the extent in which you think you are better than everyone else. I, myself was too confident in sports that I would always tell myself, "I will never be beaten, I am the best," but as I was building this overly whelming confidence in my mind it was being broken by an opponent that destroyed my image of being viewed as "the best" in my mind and my lie was shattered. The confidence I had lost stuck with me even in classrooms as I would present projects and short stories. I would think "wow, what am i doing? I am not the best, I'm not even good," I shouldn't even be up here was what was on my mind. One day as I was losing all hope, the thought of the stepping stone came into my mind yet again and as I proceeded onto the next day I came to a conclusion that no one is the best, there will always be someone better, but there will only be one life that you have to live to the fullest.

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  9. back in high school i would lie to myself saying that no one knows about my topic and they are all trying to learn from me, the master. this is a great technique i learned to use because it allowed me to speak with confidence. everything i said was well spoken and clear. the reason why i didn't stutter was because they don't know anything about the topic so they cant judge me on the information i have provided for them. this can go a long way due to the fact that it helps clear my mind from some pressure. the pressure that builds up right before i speak disappears when i tell myself that if i forget something don't stress about it and move on. overall the presentation will be better because i didn't stop for a minute to try to remember. the presentation will just have a better flow through it.

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  10. I believe that when someone lies to themselve for so long and often those lies become reality to the person lying and the people he/she might be lying to. In high school I had a group of multiple friends. In our group I was always seen and talked about as being the smaertest one of all of us. I would argue with that because I have come to believe that as well. Even with friends that would eventually attend better universities than I, I was the brains. With my ability to understand, analys and teach information to my friends and peers I wasnt alwaythe one jumping out of my seat to answer a question or go ahead in front of class. However, my image had developed enough outside of the classroom that when the time came to give a presentation I was the most credible source there was. And surely enough every time I was complimented by my peers and even my teachers. I was often chosen to lead a discussion during class and when I was I had all the attention in the room. Confidence is gained when a certain image of you is in everyone's mind and they never have to know that you deep down inside were terrified to be speaking.

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  11. i would tell myself that I am a genius and that i can do anything during school. I would also tell myself that I am a great drive and that i can do anything as possible. I do not think you could employ this tactic to a classroom presentation. I have stage fright so when I go and get up to talk in front of people my mind goes blank. I wouldnt have the mental capacity to go and tell myself a white lie to get going.

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  12. I have told myself a few white lies during high school that have hurt my grade. For example if I had a test coming up I would tell myself that I do not need to study for it, that I am ready for it. But when it came to the test day I was not ready and i ended up failing the test. This white lie I kept telling myself affected my grade a lot and when i saw that in my progress report, I stop telling myself that lie.

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  13. I have told little white lies to myself to keep my thoughts positive. I wouldn't think of them as lies but confident boosters. If you constantly think of bad thoughts and all of reality of, "what would happen if I did this?" you will always have negative thoughts and be pessimistic towards everyone and everything. Telling little white lies to yourself will keep your mindset positive on things you know you can accomplish. A lie that I have told myself is that I can take on any task and be able to achieve what is needed for it. It always works because if I tell myself I can do it, my mindset is set on doing it. "Lying" to yourself will give you confident boosters and make your mindset a positive one to things you KNOW you can achieve, because we can't achieve anything and everything. But lying to yourself isn't always a great thing because you ay feel like you can rule the world, when we all know that may not happen.

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  14. I have told myself that have benefited me an motivated me to be the best I can be. For example, I tell my self I can take on anything any challenge and succeed as long as I put my mind to it. I don't see that as a white lie but more as a way to encourage myself because if I don't encourage myself then who else will. By me telling my self I can do anything that I put my mind to I know that it pushes me to do well academically. I don't want to down myself and think negatively even if what i'm doing is more difficult. By me telling myself white likes it keeps me optimistic to all situations.

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  15. Gabriel Armenta-RoseNovember 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I have always told myself little white lies to make sure that everything in my life goes smoothly, for the reason that I believe it helps us keep ourselves together. Because if we always tell ourselves everything that we are told then we will constantly keep replaying negative thoughts in our head and when that happens then we start to over think which leads to spreading of negativity. Although I don't count lying to ourselves as "lying" but in some cases confidence boosters. But I would not recommend lying to yourself constantly because over a period of time it can become detrimental to you.

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  16. I find myself trying to help people a lot more than I try to help myself. I do not consider it a bad quality, until it may start to catch-up on me in a negative way, such as staying up all night doing homework because I had spent the day doing community service or helping out a friend throughout the day with something they needed. I do not consider the fact that I think that I can take on a lot more than I really can at times, though I do know that I have to start realizing how much I can honestly handle before helping others starts to effect me in a negative way more than it should.

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  17. I don't exactly think I lie to myself, I just try and boost myself up to build my confidence. For instance, right before my test today, I told myself I would do good. If I try my hardest, I will do good, and that isn't lying. There are those bad times when I lie to myself if I'm in a bad mood, like "I won't do good on this test" when really, I know the material.

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  18. I've always wondered if lying to myself was beneficial, and according to this post, it can be. From time to time, I'd lie to myself in a attempt to boost my self confidence or reassure that everything was going to be okay. Looking back, lying has helped. In my public speaking class, I would be really nervous, so I told myself I was going to do an amazing job on my speech and get an a good grade. I ended up doing well on all my speeches and passed the class with an A-.

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  19. I think people tell white lies to themselves all the time. Sometimes it's simply necessary in some situations. The types of lies I tell myself are things like, "I won't get in trouble if I do this or that", or "this bag of chips won't hurt". It's white lies that are needed in a teenager's life, some that will be future regrets, but right now they are just little lies that will get me through the day. I could employ a technique during a classroom presentation, because when a speaker believes their own lies the audience will believe them too.

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  20. I occasionally tell myself little white lies to boost my confidence. I know and everyone around me knows these are lies but instead of shooting me down different friends tends to add on to my white lies. Or during specific incidents i tent to lie to myself to avoid the reality of what would really happen like "i could get out of this if i.." or "coming up with lies to match a story. in some cases telling lies and benefit and hurt situations and its always good to be safe when telling white lies.

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