Denial or Lying

 

Lying, we’re good at lying. We’re very good at lying. We’re good at white lies and we’re good at black lies. We need to differentiate lying from denial. Denial is the basic psychopathology of addiction where we genuinely don’t see what we’re doing. This is not my hand. It’s not in front of my face. That is not a lie. I’m telling the truth, but you can see that my truth is wrong. Now, that is denial.

It’s very difficult for other people to tell the difference between denial and lying. The chap who says, “I haven’t had a drink.” is telling the truth. He’s telling absolute God’s truths. You know that it’s not true. His truth is wrong, but he doesn’t know that or she doesn’t know that. “I haven’t had a drink.” He believes it. She believes it. But it’s just not true. That is denial. And that is the basic psychopathology of all addictive behavior that we just don’t see the truth of what we do to ourselves and to other people of our basic actions.

Lying is different. There’s various different types of lying. First of all there’s the” George Washington” “Father I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the apple tree.” We can all do that and that’s easy. It’s easy to lie and it’s also easy to tell the truth about it.

To lie over whether I stole something or not again is complicated because I might thing that I’m going to get punished if I tell the truth. But again, it’s not that difficult to say, “Yes, I did do it.” To lie over my feelings is much more difficult. One wonders whether it really is a lie. “No I don’t feel sad. “No, I’m not sad.” “No I’m not angry!” “Oh, really, you could have fooled me.

Again, as addicts we’re not very good at identifying what our feelings really are. We may like to pretend to ourselves that what we are saying is true, “No, I’m not angry! Why do you keep doing [0:02:24.6 unclear] I’m not angry!” Well anybody else can see that I’m angry.  “But I think that you’re hassling me.  Well of course I’m angry because you’re hassling me. You are causing it” Well that is not true. “Nobody can make me angry.” Let me emphasize that. “Nobody can make me angry.”You can affect my value judgment on something but ultimately I’m responsible for my value judgment.

Supposing you were to steal something from me, well my value judgment is, “I earned that.” It’s the product of my work and I believe that I’m responsible for how I behave and you should be responsible for how you behave. If you steal something from me that is in effect taking my work and I value my work and I don’t like it.

So my anger is because of my values, not because of your behavior, because I’ve now won the lottery and I’ve got loads of money. I am not bothered whether you steal some money from me or not. Help yourself.