We are all perpetually smoothing and rearranging reality to conform to our wishes; we lie to others and to ourselves constantly, unthinkingly. When, occasionally—and not by dint of our own efforts but under the pressure of external events—we are forced to see things as they are, we are like naked people in a storm. There are a few among us—psychoanalysts have encountered them—who are blessed or cursed with a strange imperviousness to the unpleasantness of self-knowledge. Their lies to themselves are so convincing that they are never unmasked. These are the people who never feel in the wrong, who are always able to justify their conduct, and who in the end—human nature being what it is—cause their fallible fellow-men to turn away from them.
In the Freud Archives, Janet Malcolm