Samyak's Nook

Yes, I'm a hypocrite

The curse of being open-minded is that you often have to settle for being a hypocrite in many situations: someone who changes their opinion on things depending on the situation at hand. According to me, being hypocritical is not as simple as it looks. There are two facets to it.

You can either be a time-series hypocrite or a situation-specific hypocrite. Many people in human history are famous for being hypocrites because they didn't practise what they preached. But being a hypocrite is not only about if you budge from your opinion through actions; it's also about when.

A time-series hypocrite will budge from their opinion in different time frames, depending on the facts. They might jump from one opinion to the next and sometimes even back to the first, but there's a trend that is followed here: the time-series hypocrite will change their opinion less and less as time progresses.

A situation-specific hypocrite is someone who goes back and forth on their opinion, depending on the situation. These people need no information to act against their opinion. This is why they are largely seen as the "wrong" kind of hypocrite.

This difference is important to highlight because failure to do so can lead to you taking sides of things without reason. You tend to shield your opinion from people who you think are different. Holding your opinion and not the pursuit of truth is what becomes the driving force of your life. This is a politicians' way of life. I'd go as far as saying it's a bad politician's way of life.

Hypocrites are born because of the volatility of the human mind and also its ability to change. It tells us there could be a difference between opinion and deed as one is largely controlled by the logical part of the brain and the other is controlled by the emotional part.

If you think about it anatomically, we lose up to 10000 brain cells every day and gain new ones in their place. So, it's only natural to expect that your brain will change its shape and form over days, months and years. In fact, if your neural regeneration is slow, you'll find it harder to budge from your opinion, which happens with many old people. I might as well remind you that.

People have been captured on camera saying things that they don't agree with at present, and they are mocked (or even worse — abused) for what they said ten years ago. I don't think it makes sense at all because of the inherent nature of the human mind, as discussed above. But if they are mocked for doing something they refuted to doing 10 minutes ago, it may reflect the weakness of opinions and the lack of moral boundaries of that person.

To live with being a hypocrite better, there's one thing that works better than everything else — self-awareness. If you know yourself well, the root of your opinions and your childhood experiences which shaped them. Perhaps the reason why you're craving that cup of coffee is not that you need it to work well, but you want to get that tiny socialization "high" by visiting the shop and meeting your friends.

The way to be a better hypocrite, which is more of a time-series hypocrite, you need to have strong opinions, but loosely held. These opinions should be based more on questions and the answers that you get from those questions. Hypocrisy should be tightly held by the vines of rationality, and anything which gets in the way of being rational should be noticed quickly.

If you really think about it, rationality suggests that being a hypocrite is not possible, or at least shouldn't be done in principle, but that also tells us about the nature of the human mind; it's irrational by default. Driven by emotion, navigated by reason.

And yes, did I mention I'm a hypocrite too? I might invalidate whatever I've written above in a few years. Who knows...