Human nature cannot be explained only with adjectives, because the human being not only maintains a link with his environment and is influenced by it, but each subject finally decides how to act and behave , making use of his own judgment.

The perspectives of each person build the universe of appreciations and in that wide world of personalities, anything can have different readings, for some the truth has nuances, for others there are only two opposing realities and only one is valid.

Thus, there are, in any case, ethical and moral principles that are located in the antithesis of evil, the violation of human rights and injustice in general, which are the basis for laws and agreements in democratic states.

For sure, none of these rules has hypocrisy as a principle to take into account. Quite the contrary, hypocrisy is an anti-value , like lies, although both are common manifestations of human nature.

What is hypocrisy?

The Hypocrisy is the act of simulation qualities, feelings and ideas . Due to its etymological origin (from the Latin hypocrisis and from the Greek hypokrisis ), hypocrisy implies the performance of a theatrical role. In the Roman theater, the character hypocrites represented a comedian.

Hypocrisy then has a deep meaning with the idea of ​​masking what one does not want to show to others. However, whoever acts in a play puts on the mask of a character, which may or may not be physical, but its viewers know that it is dramatic art.

In daily life, people put on a mask , depending on the occasion, passing it off as the true face of themselves. In this case, the hypocrite is also a liar, an imposter.

Humanity from ancient times has always played “double-sided”. Seeking the recognition of their peers, people pretend to have more economic resources than they really have, or to be creditors of a superlative morality. In politics, masks are part of the strategy to come to power. On the other hand, people tend to sell themselves as excellent parents or good children.

Although hypocrisy involves acts of simulation or imposture to impersonate what it is not, also through dissimulation a person manages to hide his true personality. The ultimate goal, in both types of hypocrisy, is to achieve or obtain the recognition or admiration of others.

If the deception is well staged it achieves its purpose. In fact, hypocrisy leads to an extra expense of effort to simulate or cover up the features that the person does not want to show.   The typical “double-sided” expression describes the true self, on the one hand, and the social self on the other. People characterized as double faces, build a second identity to hide the real self.

What are its characteristics and examples?

Hypocrisy is linked to intrigue. The schemer is a hypocrite because he creates conflicts between groups or people he says he wants, with the intention of damaging the existing harmony. Envious people are often scheming and hypocritical at the same time. These people are intriguing because they are envious of what other people have. To do this, they must articulate large doses of hypocrisy.

For psychology, these people are afraid of being rejected by their social environment. The double face would then be a strategy to be accepted by society. But, in reality they could assume multiple masks according to the material and contextual circumstances and the needs of the hypocrite.

It is appropriate to clarify that dissociative disorders, such as multiple personality, must be separated from the notion of “double face” of the hypocrite. For psychiatry and psychology, multiple personality (split personality) is a pathology that consists of the presence of two or more different personalities in a subject. 

The triggering factor that leads people to misrepresent their true personality, although it is of interest to psychology, does not necessarily constitute a psychiatric problem. However, it is the psychiatrist who has to determine the presence of a personality disorder, since they are chronic pathologies and are manifested through problems of adaptation to the environment.

Individuals become problematic elements in their work and social environment . Among the personality disorders, the histrionic and narcissistic could be confused with double-faced or hypocritical people.

The subject with histrionic personality follows a theatrical behavior and expression and manipulates close people; while narcissists need the adulation and admiration of their environment. On the other hand, courtesy and protocol should not be confused with hypocrisy, openly used among socially assimilated people. The heart of the matter is in the pretense of deceiving people characterized by it as hypocrites.

For psychology, hypocritical individuals cover themselves by the fear of being rejected as they are. Also, they like to get involved with peer groups to build the acceptance simulation. Such an assertion speaks of people with low self-esteem who, in any case, require the support of a psychotherapist.

Reasons why it is generated 

As has been seen, hypocritical people hardly accept that they are hypocritical to their audiences and closest environment. It is probable that when they are discovered and exposed they will end up moving away; but, they will only go elsewhere to rant and generate more intrigues.

The motive of the hypocrites is to pretend to get something in return, be it acceptance, recognition, or simply some material or immaterial thing that interests them . Surely, that love or affection that shows the person that they have what they think they deserve is out of interest. Once the desired thing is achieved, they will leave or play the role of being a friend, in case they need something else.

There are many examples that can be mentioned, perhaps a summary should consider the following:

  • Starting with the most common. The woman or man who marries or forms a couple for economic interest . It can be a double-edged sword, but for the hypocrite it is a form of social advancement without the need to work and struggle. Just play the role of a good couple.

In fact, the hypocrite comes to the conviction that any sacrifice is worth it in order to obtain the benefits of a financially comfortable life.

  • Another typical example is that of the supposed new friend. After a while, when he has managed to gain the trust of his victim , he happens to be involved in problems that require an urgent loan of money.

Without asking, the friend (her victim) offers to help her. Once he lends her the money and after the months have passed, the woman pretends to be upset because she pretends to be besieged by her victim’s collection of the loan. In the best of cases, it has only paid you a third of the money back. Of course, the supposed friendship ends after the loan.

  • In previous lines the politician was mentioned. Here he should be defined as the hypocrite on duty. This example is well worth reiterating. Party politics is a kind of art of deception, particularly in underdeveloped countries.

Politicians appeal to the need of voters, who regularly vote on the promises they make. In a kind of vicious circle, once they come to power, the promises fade due to a supposed lack of financial resources.

  • And finally another example from the workplace. Hypocrisy as a device allows its dilettantes to stay in strategic positions until it is time to launch their attack and checkmate their victim.

Examples of idea theft have been seen in the field of invention. Hypocrites, because of their inability to generate great ideas , cling to talented people to use them. Staying as part of the work team, they capitalize on the ideas of others as their own. Even in the history of inventions, there have been cases of patent theft. After those robberies there was surely a lot of staging and hypocrisy.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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