“I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”
I recently read a 60 Minutes story about appliance repair people who were ripping people off. They stated they replaced parts, but didn’t, and then charged exorbitant fees to replace those parts that weren’t broken.
The reporters, went undercover and secretly marked parts that had a high probability of being replaced. After receiving the “repaired” appliance back, they opened the machines and found the parts they had marked earlier, even though they were charged for replacing those same parts.
When confronted, the repairmen’s typical response was, “I did not do that…I did not do that!” This happened in multiple shops with a variety of repair technicians. Basically, denying any wrongdoing, even though the evidence was right in front of their faces.
Denying the Truth
Denial is defined as, the action of declaring something to be untrue (that is usually true). It is derived from the Latin word denegare – to deny, reject, refuse.
For example, She is is denial about her alcoholism, They are in denial about the problems in their relationship, He is in denial about his medical prognosis, They have a total lack of self-awareness, etc.
It seems easy to point out the denial in others, I mean, how could they not see it? It is more difficult to see through our own misguided beliefs or behaviors into our own denial of the truth. Maybe because we like exactly where we are?
Denial & Comfort Zones
It seems that once people are comfortable, they don’t want any truth outside their comfort zone that may cause them discomfort. Even though what we perceive as comfort is more known than comfortable. Living with an addiction or in a unloving relationship is anything but comfortable, but it is known and there is a sense of security in the devil we know.
When we fail to self-reflect, we fail to see things that would push us out of our denial. Reflecting back on my life, outside of my comfort zones is where I experienced quantum leaps in self-development, self-awareness, and personal growth.
So this begs the questions: How do we know if we’re in denial, how do we recognize if we are kidding ourselves or stuck in a destructive pattern, relationship, job, etc.?
5 Questions to Test Your Level of Denial
- Have more than 2-3 people brought an issue, behavior, or situation to my attention that I refuse to accept?
- Have I repeated the same negative experiences or outcomes in multiple jobs, relationships, or situations in my life?
- Do I have at least 3 people I trust implicitly to give me honest feedback about myself?
- More importantly, and tangent to #3: Am I willing to listen and receive feedback?
- If needed, am I willing to seek help from an external therapist, coach, mentor, etc.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that a lot of folks are in denial about reality. What matters most is whether or not YOU are in denial about any aspect of your life and whether or not your willing to go outside of your comfort zone to move in the direction of growth or development.
If you answered ‘yes to questions 1, 2, and ‘no’ to 3, 4, 5 you might be in denial. You have to be the judge of how many represents denial for you, nobody can answer that one but you!
Afterall, you are the only thing you control, and it all begins with seeing the truth about yourself!
Till next time!