Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5334
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by SamBee » 27 Mar 2019, 20:08

I believe we are all hypocrites, it is a matter of degree.

What I find hard to deal with is my own hypocrisy. Now there are some things I avoid, but in other areas I believe I fail to live up to my own standards.

Take the other day, I've ended up in a horrific argument with someone. (Not a church member). I complained about someone talking down to me and others at a meeting (I still maintain she did), and I was accused of various things in return including homophobia, which is untrue since none of my criticisms had involved that issue and I had even invited a gay person to go along with me (which she wasn't aware of). Result? The speaker now hates me, will probably persist in that behavior and I now have a new enemy. Hatred all round where previously there had been minor irritation. Anyway, I digress. I have this ideal of treating people kindly, and sometimes that happens and sometimes not. I don't get on well with my neighbors either... Love them? I can't stand some of them!

So how do you deal with your own hypocrisy?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
Posts: 871
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by AmyJ » 28 Mar 2019, 05:07

The paradox between the behaviors we exhibit and the behaviors we believe we (or want to believe we should) exhibit is one of the grand paradoxes of the universe. This paradox means we are onto something more complex and dimensional (or real and authentic), and is what I would describe as a more in-depth truth. It actually becomes a personal ethics dilemma - why don't we live up to our own expectations and act accordingly?

Kant (I think it's Kant) would advise that you evaluate your own behavior against your own principles and values and decide whether you need to apologize to the person (so you can sleep at night). If your humanity fell short in a virtue that you perceive to be important, you apologize, do better and move on.

Utilitarianism would lean towards building better boundaries between you and that person and cutting them from your life without apologizing as the most useful course of action.

As for people-ing, it's tough. Sometimes in the acquaintance realm I just try to be polite and co-exist (or at least do nothing to cause them greater harm). That can be a good boundary to set. Sometimes it is worth developing a friendship or at least a mutual alliance.

Being human means being misunderstood and getting into arguments with people. I feel that what you do about the situation of being misunderstood and how you handle the emotions at play (yours and theirs) is a huge portion of the human development process.

I guess I deal with by embracing it as part of the journey and decide to act in the way that is most closely aligned with my values while forgiving myself and being charitable towards others (to the degree I can manage).

That's my $.02 cents, anyways.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1619
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by Minyan Man » 28 Mar 2019, 06:23

I rationalize. I make the situation more comfortable & acceptable in my own mind.

Here is an example of hypocrisy, revelation or rationalization under a post titled:
I have a question
.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7864

Roy
Posts: 5524
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by Roy » 28 Mar 2019, 08:59

I am also a hypocrite. There are things that I would not want my children to do but I feel that I can manage the risks. This can result in a "do as I say, not as I do" situation that undercuts my moral authority.

As for the complaining situation, DW and I reserve most of our complaining for each other. Complaining or venting can be just a temporary way to let off steam from a momentary annoyance but if you complain or vent to the wrong people that can have lasting consequences. It may be worthwhile to find a confidant that you could complain to that is not connected to the other people that you are complaining about.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by dande48 » 29 Mar 2019, 09:45

One definition of hypocrisy, is doing something you know you shouldn't/wish you wouldn't do. I think by that definition, everyone's a hypocrite. It is very normal, and nothing to feel bad in itself. If you're a "hypocrite", by that definition, it means you're trying.

But I don't think that's who Jesus or anyone else in the scriptures was referring to when using the word "hypocrite". What they actually meant, I believe, was those who claim to have moral standards, that are different from the moral standards they internally have. For a light example, saying "You shouldn't drink coffee, because it's against the Word of Wisdom" when in reality you do drink coffee and don't believe it's against the word of wisdom. That would be hypocritical. But saying the same thing, when in reality you do drink coffee, but know you shouldn't, wish you hadn't, and want to stop, would not be hypocritical.

In other words, if we're claiming to hold ourselves to a certain standard, especially if we're asking others to do the same, we should actually be striving to live that standard, even if we sometimes fail.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7186
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Mar 2019, 13:25

I try to be as unhypocritical as possible. And where I fall short, I forgive myself. I do judge others for being hypocritical, but then temper it with recognizing I too have a lot of sins. If they tick me off as a result, I minimize their role in my life.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5334
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by SamBee » 30 Mar 2019, 12:59

Some things are easy - I condemn murder, and have lived some decades without ever committing it. On a less extreme note, I don't have sex with anyone, I don't take strong drink or drugs ever these days etc.

Others less so - love thy neighbor? I hate the people on my street... Well one or two of them, not all of them. Some are okay, one of them has threatened to beat me up and I had to complain to his employer about his behavior. I don't deny I am to blame for mishandling some of this, but I never felt any love off them. Jesus says I should love them, but I struggle to. Right now things have cooled down, and we have nothing to do with each other. Thankfully it has been like that for a couple of years.

That makes me sound evil, right? Yes, pretty much. It is evil. But if my entire attitude towards life was like this I'd be nowhere. I have a pal who always thanks me for how much I've helped him. I think he exaggerates a bit, but he does seem to feel that way. And I have had other people pay me similiar compliments. So I do have a good side as well. There are other worthwhile things I have done, but I'm not going to list them all (nor am I going to list all my evil acts!).

Am I good or bad? Depends who you ask, you will get very different answers. The honest answer is a mixture of both, but I probably lean one way or the other depending on the time. I shudder at some things I have done, but I'm glad I have done more positive things.

Do I stick to my principles? Some of them, but not others. It's easy for me not to smoke, I never got addicted. But it's not easy for me to be nice all the time. I think that's sometimes because when I am nice, folk try and exploit me, and I can't solve certain problems without complaining. Personal decisions are easier to follow than interpersonal stuff.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
Posts: 871
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by AmyJ » 01 Apr 2019, 06:00

In my healthcare ethics class, we made the distinction between "Doing Good" and "Doing No Further Harm".

While we should identify and do as much "good" in the world as we can - our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional resources may not (and probably won't) stretch that far all the time to satisfy the common defintiion of "being a good/nice/cheery person". Sometimes avoiding doing further harm is the best we can do by letting them co-exist in respect. Sometimes, avoiding doing further harm (and purposefully not doing all we potentially could do) is the best we can do so that others have the opportunity to have an experience and grow (or just be).

Minyan Man
Posts: 1619
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by Minyan Man » 01 Apr 2019, 07:24

AmyJ wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 06:00
In my healthcare ethics class, we made the distinction between "Doing Good" and "Doing No Further Harm".

While we should identify and do as much "good" in the world as we can - our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional resources may not (and probably won't) stretch that far all the time to satisfy the common defintiion of "being a good/nice/cheery person". Sometimes avoiding doing further harm is the best we can do by letting them co-exist in respect. Sometimes, avoiding doing further harm (and purposefully not doing all we potentially could do) is the best we can do so that others have the opportunity to have an experience and grow (or just be).
I like that a lot. Thank you.

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5334
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Dealing with your own hypocrisy

Post by SamBee » 01 Apr 2019, 15:35

AmyJ wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 06:00
In my healthcare ethics class, we made the distinction between "Doing Good" and "Doing No Further Harm".

While we should identify and do as much "good" in the world as we can - our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional resources may not (and probably won't) stretch that far all the time to satisfy the common defintiion of "being a good/nice/cheery person". Sometimes avoiding doing further harm is the best we can do by letting them co-exist in respect. Sometimes, avoiding doing further harm (and purposefully not doing all we potentially could do) is the best we can do so that others have the opportunity to have an experience and grow (or just be).
Medical personnel are up there with law enforcers for the daily tough decision - e.g. turn off/keep on that machine, give organs to the healthy person not the smoker, making snap decisions about operations, medication etc. It's not a position I envy. I had some relatives who worked in healthcare so I have heard a lot about it.

The main problem I have is when I'm angry or upset. I think my judgement is impaired, because the primitive brain often overrides the more advanced parts. I end up doing things that I wouldn't if I was feeling less emotional, but I deal with the consequences later - as do others.

The second problem, as I've mentioned above is about feeling trodden on. I have been told I don't stick up for myself enough, but when I do, I often get negative consequences. But on the other hand, occasionally, it does help things as well and it means people respect you. I find that one a tough call.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Post Reply