Denial is a powerful state of mind
Denial can be about ourselves not wanting to admit guilt or blame in some way. Denial can be about not wanting to admit we were wrong about how we saw someone else.
With ourselves, when we are held hostage by the fear of letting people down, when we are afraid of how we measure up it is difficult to have a safe honest assessment of where we are now. It’s ok if we are not where others are at this minute. We can get there over time and with practice.
Dangerous denial about ourselves takes place when we don’t know how to accept ourselves safely where we are currently with regard to our perception and skills. When we are in relationships, one of the most difficult concepts to remember is that our projection of “Who someone is” when we meet while we start to get to know them is our fault (We are making it up based on what we need).
It really isn’t that they were deceptive as much as we wanted to believe whatever we thought in the first place instead of watching and learning. We, as a species, are very lazy about how we watch and learn where other people happen to be in their maturity, motives and needs. Then, we have the audacity to be mad at them instead of correcting our own past perception when the situation doesn’t match our expectations. It would be humorous if it didn’t cause so much trouble.
Simple truth is that a sense of humor about ourselves gives the flexibility to change perceptions in our memory, back when we should have seen it correctly without shame or regret. Then get on with life a little wiser.
We also tend to be lazy about deciding what we want. Instead of just moving away from the last thing we decided we didn’t want. We need to decide what we want in life and chase it rather than just jump from survival situation to survival situation.
What we could do is commit to the external awareness that allows comfortable assessment of the world around us, free of denial. It’s a great target, nobody actually totally gets there… maybe we could intend to do so and discover where it takes us…