Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Allure of Delusion

Throughout my life, I have met and become well-acquainted with people whom I believe to be delusional. I'm not talking about Delusional with a capital-D. And to be honest, I believe we all have delusions about ourselves and our lives - for better or for worse. It's part of the human condition. We need a bit of delusion to remain happy and content.  No... I'm talking about people that take it too far. Not so far that they are considered Delusional by the medical community, but far enough that after you spend some time in a conversation you find that you're frowning to yourself and wondering what, in fact, the man (or woman) to whom you're speaking actually sees when he looks in the mirror. It's almost amusing. In fact, I'd be better off if I let myself be amused, but I'm not always such a good person and I usually end up being annoyed that someone actually thinks of himself in a way that is so obviously false.

But ... maybe the more delusional one is the more fun life becomes...

... or maybe not.

I have no problem day-dreaming, setting big goals, pretending and imagining, etc. But I cannot seem to delude myself into believing things about me that aren't true. I suppose one could argue that positive thinking is in its own way a bit of delusion. During a long run, I might allow myself to imagine that I feel wonderful, I'm not tired in the least, I've never felt better, etc.. And the more I focus on that, the better I feel and the longer I run. However, I still remain convinced that I am not actually a world-class athlete just months away from breaking an Olympic record even if I tell myself I am so I get moving. I don't actually believe it. I guess I'm basically a realist.

I don't know. Somehow the people that I've talked to really seem to believe the line they sell. I see the allure of believing - really believing - their delusions:  instant gratification.  Why work hard at something when I can just pretend I did (and get away with it)?

Oh well. I suppose it's like everything else people do in their private lives... it's none of my business. And if I think it is, I'm delusional.


  1. I should add that shortly after hitting "publish," I had a moment of panic... I thought, "Maybe I am delusional and don't know it because I believe my own delusions!" So I called my best friend for an independent analysis. I'm still waiting for the results...

  2. LOL !

    My MIL is Delusional, with a capital D and the meds to prove it. But yeah, I know exactly what you mean. and if you had it, you wouldn't notice it let alone write a blog post about it.

    so in my non doctorish capacity I hereby declare you not delusional.

  3. I know exactly what you mean! I know someone who is like this. She's had financial problems for as long as I have known her, yet she spends like mad. There are some serious issues in her family, but to talk to her, you would think everything is wonderful. I've had to step back, because I feel sometimes like she is lying. Maybe she is just delusional.

  4. So glad to hear I'm not the only one! I need to work on not getting annoyed (I, too, feel like I'm being lied to).
    And yes, my best friend concurs that I am not delusional.