If you ever want to deny something, whether it’s something you did and don’t want to admit, or whether it’s something you never did and want to make that plain, there are six ways you can do it. Six tried and true methods of denial. However, just a word of caution; when you’re trying to deny something that really happened, none of them work. Continue reading
There are six ways to engage in denial.
Denial of fact
It never happened.
“I didn’t eat the cookies, Momma.”
Denial of responsibility
It was someone else’s fault.
“Jimmy made me eat the cookies,” or, “You shouldn’t have put the cookies where I could reach them.”
Denial of impact
No harm was done.
“I ate the cookies, but we have plenty left and it won’t ruin my supper.”
Denial of awareness
I didn’t realize I was doing it.
“I didn’t mean to eat the cookies.”
Denial of cycle
I don’t want to look at how it could have been prevented.
“I don’t know why I ate the cookies, it just happened.”
Denial of the need for help
I can stop on my own.
“I ate the cookies, but you don’t need to punish me, I’ll never do it again.”
Peeling the Onion
When you meet someone for the first time, you’re generally on your best behavior. You will present the most polite, least objectionable version of yourself that you can come up with. This is called the public face, the mask, or the persona. Most of us cultivate this persona as carefully as we edit our Facebook page. Indeed, the Facebook page is another, virtual version of the persona. You probably possess several personas, some for work, others for family, and another for each circle of friends.
Many look at all these masks and say that they’re there to hide the real self. I disagree. The masks you choose are as authentic a part of your self as what lies beneath. Appearances do matter. The fact that you select, for instance, a bragging, audacious persona versus a reserved, deferential one says something, even though both may hide a fragile ego.
Seeing the truth about your self is like peeling an onion, not like cracking an egg. With eggs, there is a clear division between the inside and the outside and, once you get in, you are all the way in. Onions guard their insides more assiduously. You wouldn’t think so looking at the fragile skin they cover themselves with, which is easily rubbed off and sticks to your fingers. Onions are devious and defend themselves by raising a stink, bringing tears, and presenting layer after layer of vacant, unremarkable surface. Peel off one stratum and you are presented with another until, at last, when you believe you have reached the core of the onion, you find that there is no core, there are only layers, in the end, protecting nothing.
Maybe the fact that onions have nothing in their core is what makes them so preoccupied with security. They don’t want you to know the truth; the truth that they have no truth.
So, if people are like onions does this mean you have no essential truth within yourself? Are you hollow inside? Is there nothing behind all the layers of masks? What is your true self?
Well, who has been doing the peeling?