Revolutionary Road: When the Individual Deceives Himself

Demosthenes said that “there is nothing easier than self-deception, since what you want yourself is the first thing you believe.”


Not without reason, daily life is full of small self-deceptions, which we all overlook, because they collaborate to our own well-being. The problem arises when a whole life is marked by a strong feeling of frustration, which materializes in many different ways depending on the individual, and that can have great consequences for those people who, suddenly, wake up from that “self-induced” lie, discovering that the reality is very different from the ideal that they have tried to maintain, out of fear and impotence to face their own circumstances.

Self-deception, a matter of survival for evolutionary biology

The scientific explanation that is currently well-known as to why we believe our own lies, thus boycotting what we really want, has an evolutionary cause according to numerous biologists and psychologists.

A clear example is offered by Professor Robert L. Trivers, who alludes to the fact that this condition could be a way that “could be considered a sophistication of deceit, since hiding the lie to oneself makes it more invisible to the rest”. This explains it with clear examples that are linked to situations in which if the speaker does not believe what he / she says, the interlocutor will grasp it more easily (through non-verbal language). But, what if the person really believes it? In that case the interlocutor will have less ability to read between lines, so the success of the lie will be much more likely.

Given this, self-deception can play a positive role in that some of these can be led towards an improvised truth that gets the individual to start based on this first lie (case of very high self-esteem that is more guarantor of success that low self-esteem, whether or not it is justified) or can develop a catastrophic role when the person refuses to see a reality that is diametrically removed from that person really wants, with the psychosomatic consequences that result from it .

“Do not tell my subconscious”

The story of April and Frank, is the epilogue to which most romantic comedies should have, so as not to romanticize this kind of relationships lasting an hour and a half, a heartbreaking feature film in which routine, cowardice, comfort and the frustration combine leaving a frame of desolation for the hapless protagonists.

These characters with aspirations that are immersed in this life “irremediably empty”, are transported by a feeling of power and struggle against the emptiness of a reality that does not want to find a way to go to Paris, a place that is described as what They want people but they never dare to do it. Everything is going well until the self-deception is showing its face among the protagonists, attracting them back to what they so detest, to those justifications that have ended up replacing their wilted dreams.