Saturday, March 24, 2012

Self Delusion - You Should Try It

I know everyone has a certain degree of self delusion. We need it to survive. In fact, it’s clinically depressed people who have the most accurate view of themselves. Fun fact, right? It makes sense. You need to be able to get others to believe in you – to hire, to befriend, to raise, or to marry you. And it’s easier to sell a product when you believe in it, even if, or especially if that faith isn’t entirely justified.

So little amount of self delusion is healthy and it’s fairly easy to obtain. Attribution bias alone would probably do the trick - giving ourselves all the credit when we do well, and giving the situation all the credit when things go poorly. (If you want to be an especially special snowflake, do the opposite for others.)

However, obviously, there can be too much of a good thing. When I look back at the people who annoy me the most, it’s the people who are lazy bullies, but in their heads are the hard working, kindest individuals they know. It just seems so unfair – being such a horrible person should result in a crippling self knowledge, shame and repentance, and yet, these are the people walk around believing themselves saints in a world full of blundering idiots.

PS. And if you think I walk around like that, the irony of this entire blogpost must be killing you. 

PPS. If you think this blog is about you, it's definitely not. 


  1. PPPS. I was worried there for a second.

  2. On a more serious note, I think your theory forgoes the notion that someone can be a) not depressed and b) think critically about themselves objectively.

  3. Haha yeah, it's definitely not about you, Albert : ) And yes, if you're a decent enough person, I guess you can think critically about yourselves without getting depressed. Plus, I can think of people who are wonderful, but are way too hard on themselves (maybe delusional about themselves in a negative way). It's just that I know I fall into the camp that thinks a little to highly of themselves and their motives, so I was following the advise to write what you know : )