Fear of Hypocrisy
Accusations of hypocrisy are most effective in ruining a person’s credibility. Once labelled as a hypocrite, it becomes nearly impossible to justify one’s actions or regain authority.
Many influencers try to keep their opinions to themselves for this very reason but psychological studies suggest that once you publicly voice your opinion on something, you remember it whenever the topic comes up again and you make a conscious effort to practice your moral beliefs and philosophies. Consequently, when you decide not to express what is wrong or right, thinking that you won’t be able to practice what you preach, you end up with a higher probability of not trying to do the right thing, because it removes the additional helpful pressure of the fear of hypocrisy.
Calling out people’s hypocrisy is equally important in order to maintain the fear of hypocrisy. Here are some instances :
The same guys who are preaching about gender equality after a video on it went viral, use stereotypical phrases like “Don’t be such a girl”, in their day to day lives.
The same people who are raising awareness about climate change use air conditioners, deodorants in their day to day lives.
The same Indians who get offended when a foreigner calls them a Pakistani, call any foreigner with relatively small eyes, “Chinki”, regardless of his nationality.
Time also plays an important role in this. Calling someone out for being a hypocrite and justifying it by exposing something which they said around 5 years ago does not make sense because they might not have been as wise or aware back then.
Many of us also excuse such behaviour when a hypocrite acknowledges his hypocrisy. For example: “I think it’s morally wrong to waste energy, but I sometimes do it anyway.” This shows that what angers us about hypocrites is not just the fact that they are doing something wrong, it is just that they are false signalling and making us believe that they are doing something right. This needs to change, it should be equally important to call a hypocrite out even if they are aware of it. It’s not the false signalling which should anger us, the wrong deed should anger us.
Most people let this fear affect them in a negative way, especially in these sensitive situations, and think that the best solution to it is to keep their mouth shut. This fear of hypocrisy drives us to do the right thing and it should stay that way. So when you feel like stopping yourself from expressing your views on an important topic, just to avoid the extra backlash if you fail to follow through, it might actually be a wiser choice to voice your opinion, letting the constant fear of hypocrisy in the back of your head, force you to stay on the right path from that moment onwards.