Con Trick, Episode 70 of Turning Towards Life
Here’s Episode 70 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by thirdspace coaching in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living.
Our source this week is an extract from a piece published on Justin’s blog, justinwise.co.uk. We use it to launch into a conversation about self-deception, trying to stay in control of circumstances and experiences (and the cost of both), the trouble that comes from our attempts to manage our own image, the wisdom and delights of the enneagram as a way of understanding personality patterns, and the gifts of laughing joyfully at ourselves and our complexity. As you’ll see, we have a lot of fun in this conversation as we tackle some big topics about being human.
How easy it is to be up to something while simultaneously denying it.
I have sophisticated strategies for trying to be in control while looking like I’m being inclusive, for trying to get people to love me while looking as if I’m just trying to help, and for being stubbornly attached to my own view while looking as if I’m asking what other people think.
All of these allow me to hold on to a particular kind of self-image (kind, accommodating, self-effacing) while simultaneously getting my own way. And they involve some sophisticated kinds of denial – spinning stories that blind me to my real intentions.
When I relate to other people in this way, things can get pretty complicated.
Sometimes, though – sometimes – I am just about able to see what I’m doing while I’m doing it. The intentions which I was subject to become object, moving from the background to the foreground, and then I have a chance to intervene and to take responsibility for what I’m doing…
This move requires that we get onto our own con-tricks – all the ways we’ll convince ourselves of our rightness and deny our part in what’s happening.
Often, it seems, what I’m hiding from myself about my intentions is pretty much the worse-kept secret of all, known to everybody else but me. And that is why, for each of us to develop, it’s so important to be surrounded by people who extend love our way, who see us for our goodness, and who extend the kindness and respect required to tell us the truth (with care for timing, and in ways we can hear and understand), rather than keeping what they see to themselves.