A hypocrite is a person who claims to be things they are not. As teenagers, we are constantly faced with hypocritical people. Their words will tell us to do one thing, while their actions will send us a completely different message. And that really annoys me. When you think about it, we are amidst an extremely hypocritical generation. In fact, hypocritical people are our leaders, our role models, the people who we aspire to be in the future. The way I see it, everybody wants the truth but nobody wants to be honest. We know that actions speak louder than words, but yet people continue to bring up lie after lie. I wonder if people can taste the crap in their mouth before they say it? These days it is becoming harder and harder to find people who are ‘a person of their word.’
We don’t have to look very far to find hypocritical people in our lives. When your parents tell you that you’re on your phone too much, but proceed to constantly be staring at the screen, but it’s fine because they’re checking emails and that’s important right? When parents tell their children to stop fighting but engage in a screaming match with each other as soon as the kids are in bed. When teachers yell at the top of their lungs to get you to be quiet. When teachers warn you not to leave work to the last minute, even if you’re busy, but mark your work late the night before handing your grade back. If we don’t work effectively last minute (in their words) how can their marking be accurate last minute? Teachers are where children pick up their work ethics. It’s all very well to say ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ but these adults are meant to be the role models in our lives and everybody knows that actions speak louder than words. To an extent, children are a mirror of parents. So if little Billies Mummy is constantly being hypocritical in life, the chances are that Billie is going to be dishonest and confused. Ha, that’s going to be a real issue for Billie’s upbringing, better send him to a shrink. Children are copy cats, they don’t just copy certain things, they copy EVERYTHING. Scientists “have been finding this odd effect where children will copy everything that they see an adult demonstrate to them, even if there are clear or obvious reasons why those actions or words would be irrelevant,” says psychologist Mark Nielsen, of the University of Queensland in Australia. According to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 90% of children would have grasped the idea of lying by age four and will speak in a hypocritical manner to pairs regularly. For hypocritical parents, the cycle comes back to bite them. 86% of us lie to our parents regularly. The base of hypocrisy is lies. Sure hypocrites may believe their own lies, but a hypocrites motive is always of a personal advantage. The children of today watch adults live, and that shouts louder than anything they can say.
The problem continues when we look into famous public figures and world leaders. Donald Trump is the president of the United States of America, (for anyone who lives under a rock), along with other things, including being the biggest hypocrite this world has ever seen. He is the man who promised to make America great again, he is the man who promised to fight for the LGBT community, then cut federal protections for transgender teens, he is the man who tweeted that there is ‘no upside and a tremendous downside’ to a strike on Syria, before firing 56 missiles at an airbase in Syria. He is the man who is essentially impacting 323.1 million peoples well being, yet nobody takes him seriously. Hypocrisy doesn’t just undermine a leaders authority, it directly affects how large groups being led function. Then there are our idols. Leonardo Dicaprio is not only Jack from the Titanic, but supposedly a leader in environmental practices. He even made teen vogues ‘green issue’. There’s just one thing- Leonardo seriously put his foot in his mouth, when he made the bonehead comment, “I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.” One private jet trip from New York to California is equal to several people’s total annual carbon emissions. Let alone jetting across the Globe weekly. Looks like it’s time to rethink his travel arrangments. Then there is the beloved Dr.Phil. His sitdown pulled in a 3.4 households rating, roughly 4.8 million viewers. And it’s funny isn’t it, watching people pour their hearts out to this guy before he comforts them with strong advice. But maybe it’s time Dr.Phil took some of his own advice. His first wife Debbie reported that he expected her to complete all of the chores, stay in slim shape, and ‘lift weights to improve her bust line’. That doesn’t sound like a very stable relationship to me Dr. So these famous figures as teaching us that if we want wealth, power, and glory, actions and words aren’t required to meet in the middle. What a way to enforce bad morals and practices into an already confused society. A majority of the population still admire these famous and powerful people. The media presents them as these glowing figures, they highlight positive attributes while leaving hypocritical behaviour out of the equation. They can’t give up their famous persona. We have to hunt for the truth or we will be forever blind to fake people who say certain things just to get a cheque.
So other than copying leaders and celebs, what personality traits lead to being a hypocrite?
When people are uncertain on what they truly believe in, their actions are not likely to be coherent with the beliefs they claim to have, 100% of the time. This is common in people our age because we are still ‘finding ourselves’ or whatever. It’s easy to say that we follow what our pairs believe in, maybe healthy eating, for example, but then eat canteen every second day. That makes you a hypocrite. Constantly expressing how stressful and important an internal is, then spending half the class time you have to work on it on Facebook. That makes you a hypocrite. Telling your friends how bad alchohol is, then passing out in a corner almost every party. That makes you a hypocrite. I believe that uncertainty leading to hypocrisy has an innocence to it because were just a little bit confused. This is our time to find out what is true to our heart, don’t fall through the cracks and trail on your friends and families beliefs. Some people are hypocrites because they want to uphold a glossy reputation of the illusion that they are perfect. These people are incredibly frustrating because they are constantly telling you all the great things they do and believe in, that are complete yarns. (These people also often have deflated egos). Neuropsychologists know that there is a distinct difference in brain activity when a person tells the truth as opposed to when a person tells a lie. Lies and hypocrisy are no accident.
Nobody likes a hypocrite. So drop the act, come clean. Keep it simple, keep it honest, and keep it you. It’s the little things that can help improve our hypocritic manner. Don’t pass judgement unless you have experienced something, cut down on little white lies, stop calling others out, simply become more aware of your actions in comparison to your words. In this day and age, it’s easy to reflect what our idols and leaders do. But maybe next time you’ll think twice about their victorious speeches before you support them. It’s what they’re doing behind the scenes that show their true qualities and morals as people. Put simply, hypocritical people are annoying. They are infecting our generation with false information. We have all passed a hypocritical comment at one point or another, sure. But it’s time we recognised that this is a problem that will be passed down to the younger generation if we don’t become more aware of it.
Practice what you preach, or change your speech.