hypocrisy involves saying one thing and doing the opposite, while double standards involve treating different things or people differently in the same situation based on arbitrary criteria.

What is hypocrisy?

(Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay )

Picture depicting hypocrisy

The word “hypocrisy” is often used to describe someone who says one thing but does another. For example, a person might claim to care about the environment but then litter or fail to recycle. However, hypocrisy is more than just saying one thing and doing another. It’s also about having a double standard – holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself.

A common example of hypocrisy is when someone criticizes another person for something that they themselves are guilty of. For example, a person might criticize another person for being overweight, even though they are overweight themselves. Another example is when someone criticizes another person for being messy, even though their own home is cluttered and messy.

Hypocrisy can also be seen in people who have different standards for themselves than they do for others. For example, a parent might allow their own child to stay up late and watch TV, but not allow their friend’s child to do the same. Or, a boss might give her employees deadlines that she herself cannot meet.

While hypocrisy is often used as a negative term, there are some situations where it can be positive. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking and you criticize your friends who smoke, you may be more likely to succeed in quitting because you don’t want to be a hypocrite. In this case, hypocrisy can be used as motivation to change your behavior.

What is a double standard?

A double standard is when two different people or groups are treated differently in a similar situation. For example, if person A is able to do something that person B is not able to do in the same situation, then there is a double standard. Another example of a double standard is when one group of people is given a benefit that another group of people is not given in the same situation.

Examples of hypocrisy

(Photo by Alina Sofia on Unsplash )

Picture of a hypocritical situation

There are countless examples of hypocrisy in the world. Here are just a few:

  • A politician who preaches family values but is caught cheating on his wife.
  • A religious leader who condemns homosexuality but is later revealed to be gay himself.
  • A person who touts the importance of hard work and self-reliance but then relies on welfare or charity when they themselves are in need.
  • A parent who lectures their child about the dangers of drugs but is secretly abusing alcohol or prescription medications themselves.
  • A person who tells others to be environmentally conscious but then drives a gas guzzling SUV and throws away recyclable materials.

Examples of double standards

Here are some examples of double standards:

  • A person who believes that premarital sex is morally wrong but has sex before marriage themselves
  • A person who criticizes others for being messy but is themselves a messy person
  • A person who expects others to be punctual but is often late themselves
  • A person who doesn’t like it when people interrupt them but interrupts others often

While these examples may seem hypocritical, they’re actually not. That’s because in each of these cases, the person holds different standards for themselves than they do for others. They may not even be aware that they’re doing it.

Double standards can occur in any area of life – from relationships to work to parenting. And while they may not always be harmful, they can be frustrating for those on the receiving end. If you think you’re guilty of holding double standards, try to be more conscious of it and see if you can even things out a bit.

How to avoid hypocrisy?

In order to avoid hypocrisy, it is important to be aware of your own personal biases and assumptions. It is also important to be honest with yourself and others, and to hold yourself accountable to the same standards that you expect from others. Lastly, it is important to be open-minded and willing to change your perspective when new information is presented.

How to avoid double standards?

Avoiding double standards requires self-awareness, open-mindedness, and a commitment to fairness and consistency. Here are some tips to help you avoid double standards:

  • Be aware of your biases: We all have biases, but being aware of them is the first step to avoiding double standards. Take time to reflect on your beliefs, values, and attitudes, and how they may influence your judgments and decisions.
  • Treat everyone equally: Treat people the way you want to be treated. Try to apply the same standards to everyone in similar situations. Avoid favoritism or discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, religion, or social status.
  • Be consistent: Establish clear and consistent rules, policies, and procedures, and apply them consistently to everyone. Avoid making exceptions or changing the rules for certain people or situations.
  • Be open-minded: Be willing to listen to different perspectives and consider alternative viewpoints. Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions without all the facts.
  • Seek feedback: Ask for feedback from others to help you identify any blind spots or double standards you may have. Listen to their feedback without defensiveness or justification.
  • Hold yourself accountable: Take responsibility for your actions and decisions, and be willing to apologize and make amends if you realize you have acted unfairly or inconsistently.

By following these tips, you can avoid double standards and promote fairness and consistency in your actions and decisions.

The repercussions of being a hypocrite

  • Being a hypocrite can have negative consequences both for the hypocrite and for their relationships with others. Here are some potential repercussions of being a hypocrite:
  • Loss of trust: When someone is exposed as a hypocrite, others may lose trust in them. People may feel deceived and wonder what else the hypocrite has lied about or kept hidden.
  • Damage to reputation: Being labeled a hypocrite can damage one’s reputation, both personally and professionally. It can lead to loss of respect and credibility among colleagues, friends, and family.
  • Strained relationships: Hypocrisy can strain relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. When people discover that someone they trusted has been dishonest, they may feel hurt and betrayed, and may be less likely to trust or confide in them in the future.
  • Internal conflict: Living with hypocrisy can cause internal conflict and cognitive dissonance, where a person’s beliefs and actions are at odds with each other. This can cause stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
  • Loss of influence: Hypocrisy can undermine a person’s ability to influence others. When people see that someone’s actions don’t align with their words, they may be less likely to follow their lead or take their advice.

The repercussions of having double standards

Having double standards can also have negative consequences, both for the person who holds them and for their relationships with others. Here are some potential repercussions of having double standards:

  • Perception of unfairness: Double standards can be perceived as unfair, especially when people are held to different standards for no justifiable reason. This can lead to resentment and a sense of injustice.
  • Damage to relationships: Double standards can damage relationships, particularly if they involve unequal treatment of people based on factors such as gender, race, or social status. This can lead to tension, conflict, and a breakdown of trust.
  • Hypocrisy: Double standards can also lead to accusations of hypocrisy, particularly if the person holding them claims to stand for equality and fairness. This can damage their reputation and credibility.
  • Inconsistency: Double standards are inconsistent and can create confusion and uncertainty about what is expected of people in different situations. This can undermine motivation and trust.
  • Missed opportunities: Double standards can prevent people from realizing their full potential by limiting opportunities and holding them back based on arbitrary criteria.

What are examples of double standards in relationships?

There are countless examples of double standards in relationships. Here are just a few:

  • One partner is allowed to cheat, but the other is not.
  • One partner is allowed to lie, but the other is not.
  • One partner is allowed to be disrespectful, but the other is not.
  • One partner is allowed to have double standards, but the other is not.

What is the root cause of hypocrisy?

The root cause of hypocrisy is a lack of self-awareness. We are all guilty of it to some degree – we all have double standards and we all judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves. We are quick to point out the flaws in others and slow to see our own.

Hypocrisy is dangerous because it erodes trust. If we can’t trust people to be consistent in their words and actions, then how can we trust them at all? And yet, hypocrites often don’t realize they are being hypocritical. They sincerely believe they are acting in accordance with their values, even as they contradict themselves.

The only way to combat hypocrisy is through increased self-awareness. We need to catch ourselves when we’re being judgmental or holding double standards, and consciously choose to change our behavior. Only then can we hope to build trust with others – and with ourselves.


Featured Image By – HonestReporting on Flickr

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