Many years ago at work, I sat in a cube next to a gentleman I was proud to call a friend, and not just a co-worker. We had that kind of trust relationship where we could talk about nearly anything, and feel comfortable that it would go no further. One day we were chatting, and I noticed something. I then challenged him on it.
During our conversations, my friend would talk quite openly about nearly anything, including intimate details of the relationship he had with his wife. One thing I noticed however, is that he never provided details about his finances. When the topic of his wallet came up, he remained vague, and it was kind of off limits.
So one day, I asked him what he thought was the most important relationship in his life. He said, “That would be with my wife”. So I told him I noticed he was open with intimate details about his wife, but almost never discussed details about his financial situation. I then asked “Why do you protect information about your finances, but not information about your wife?”
Human nature causes us to protect that which we love the most. I then suggested to my friend that he may actually have a closer relationship with his wallet than he does with his wife. He thought for a moment, and then smiled. A few weeks later, he came back to me and mentioned that I may have been right, and he was totally unaware how he felt. He actually believed what he was saying when he told me his wife was his most important relationship, and was amazed and disappointed at the new found awareness.
It was then that I realized we all do this in various ways. We first lie to ourselves, and then we lie to everyone else. And we are totally unaware we are doing it! However, the wise can discern the difference.