Insincerity and the Games We Play

Insincerity and the Games We Play

Many people I’ve counseled over the years caused considerable pain to themselves or others because of their insincerity. Maybe they knew all along they didn’t truly love the person they were with. Perhaps they were still willing to “use” that person to fulfill some desire. Some loathed their job but couldn’t separate themselves from the money or the status of their position. Others wanted something from someone but fearing they wouldn’t get it by asking directly, conned or manipulated them. It goes on and on.

We play many “games” in life. And we play them with others as well as ourselves. These games get us things we want. But they come with a hefty price tag.

Insincerity Has Its Price

Insincerity gets in the way of healthy, intimate relationships. It also gets in the way of personal fulfillment. When you’re insincere, you don’t just fool someone else, you fool yourself. And while we humans are incredibly adept at such self-deception, it always carries a soul-crushing price. Insincere folks live a life not only of falsehood but of “quiet desperation.” They neither know themselves nor the true status of their relations with others. Insincerity is toxic to any relationship, whether it be with someone else or yourself. While the lie may never “out,” it will always do damage. It keeps us a prisoner. And as has been said many times before, it’s the unvarnished truth that truly sets us free.

Acting with a sincere heart and benign purpose helps others trust us. But it also helps us trust ourselves. And trust, is the bedrock of any healthy relationship.

Simple is Not Necessarily Easy

The “10th Commandment” I’ve been talking about is simple, but by no means easy to heed. It’s so much easier to be false at times. It often helps us get something we find attractive or avoid the painful. But there’s always a price to falsehood – to insincerity. So, to the best of your ability, be of humble and sincere heart and purpose. Be honest with yourself about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Let your intentions be noble and transparent. Harbor no hidden agendas. Sincerity is a prerequisite for integrity. And it’s the path to inner peace and happiness.


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Check out my bestselling books as well as the many articles on this blog. And look for my new book on the Ten Commandments of Character soon.


3 thoughts on “Insincerity and the Games We Play

  1. Thank you for this particular post. I never saw myself as insincere or a game player. I only saw others this way. But, I’ve stayed in a marriage where i don’t feel valued or respected. I always thought leaving the situation because of my feelings would be selfish and it would be wrong to break apart an entire family because of my feelings. I wonder how and when I should draw the line between my feelings and living insincerely. It’s hard to see your own situation objectively.

  2. I realize, now, how my insincerity has harmed me and others. I have covered up my true feelings to please others. I thought I was being altruistic if I worked to please friends in my life, regardless of my feelings. When I couldn’t muster up the desire to continue to cater to demanding friends, I continued to pay “lip service” to their demands. Eventually, they would see through my inability and insincerity, and our friendship would fail. I allowed fear, obligation, and guilt to hold me hostage, to keep me from revealing how I felt, and to truly express my thoughts. I didn’t want to “rock the boat” and now I’ve learned the hard way that suppressing my feelings was harmful to all involved. Dr. Simon has it right when he says “the truth shall set you free.” I plan not to mask my feelings in a friendship again, especially with high maintenance friends and demanding individuals. It’s healthy to speak up, truthfully when I need to. Lesson learned!

  3. Anne Morrow Lindbergh said it best, ““The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. ”

    Insincerity is a choice, and a terrible one at that.

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