This post contains discussion of child abuse.
Oxford Reference defines cognitive dissonance as "The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, perceptions (i.e., cognitions), or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change."
U/Independent_Ad_3915 recently asked the people of Reddit, "What's the worst example of cognitive dissonance you've seen in real life?" Read on and try not to get too frustrated:
1."People complaining about other people's driving while committing the same errors — but it's OK, because they 'are in a hurry.'"
2."My significant other's grandmother died this year of cancer that she had for 10 years. She refused to get treated and refused X-rays, because she believed X-rays would give her cancer."
3."People on government disability payments talking about cutting welfare."
4."When the pandemic started, a friend of mine got really obsessed with the fact that you can't leave your home or go near people without a mask — but it never reflected in his own actions. He judged others but did not follow guidelines himself. He worked at a grocery store at the time and refused to wear a mask his boss told him to wear, while complaining about people coming to the store without masks and putting his health at risk."
5."Brexit voters who live in Spain and other parts of the EU. Voting to kick out foreigners without realizing that they are the foreigners is peak cognitive dissonance."
6."People who have generational wealth but claim that they 'pulled themselves up by their bootstraps' and 'worked their ass off to get where they are,' while claiming everyone else is just lazy."
7."People who purport to live their lives like Jesus and are hateful, judgmental, and non-accepting — which is the exact opposite of what the man was about, historically."
8."My uncle refuses to acknowledge or give credibility to ANYTHING animated. 'It's a fucking cartoon — it's not real!' So if we take the factual events of WWII and animate it, it's not real anymore?"
9."My parents are libertarian and hate the idea of socialism. They constantly talk about how much they love the library."
10."I had a (now ex)-best friend who had a pregnancy scare. She was super pro-life and a very conservative Republican. I asked her what she was going to do and what support she needed from me, and she said she was considering getting an abortion if she was pregnant. When I seemed surprised, she said, 'Well, it's different for me. I'm not a slut like those other girls. I'm not ready for a baby. It's different...' We stopped being friends after that. I couldn't handle it anymore."
11."An American flag next to a Confederate flag. They were on opposite sides of the same war."
12."'This weather is crazy! It was never like this when I was a kid' meets 'Climate change is a hoax.'"
13."Teachers supporting policymakers who want to cut education funding."
14."A neighbor complaining about increasing homelessness and then talking about how she can barely afford her mortgage payments on her rental property ever since interest rates rose higher. 'I'm not allowed to raise the rent past a certain amount, so now I'm paying the mortgage out of my pocket!'"
15."My mother told me that, many years ago, our family had the children taken and forced to go to a Catholic boarding school. She told me that they cut their hair, beat the kids if they spoke their native language, forced them to read the Bible, and forced out our native belief. They even outright murdered many kids while not telling the parents anything. I was already horrified, but then my mother told me that we're a Catholic family that believes in Jesus..."
16."Speaking as a leftist myself, some people claim to be progressive and say a lot of good things on many issues, but then they'll open their mouths and say the most horrible, dehumanizing, frankly nauseating stuff about fat people. And you realize, 'Yeah, these people are not progressive at all.' They don't understand the humanity that underpins these issues one bit. They're just playing tribal football, and are actually haters no better in spirit than the fascists who control the right."
Got your own examples? See you in the comments!
This post has been edited for length and clarity.