Google defines hypocrisy rather succinctly as
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
I mostly fall into this trap when I claim to have moral standards and beliefs that I want to adopt, but I’m just. . . not quite there yet. Like arguing that I’m totally considerate to my friends, but neglecting to call them and say hi or tell them when my team is doing a procedure we all need to see.
I also fall into this trap when I’m not quite sure how to explain what I believe so words fall short of actions and it looks like I’m trying to pull the wool over your eyes when really I’m just trying to get it out of my own. But my actions are pretty consistent when it comes to beliefs.
On the other hand, my actions are totally erratic when it comes to standards and behaviour. Guilt tends to force me to act contrary to normal for a little while . But then I slip back into my old habits, and all my pretty speeches are centred around who I want to become, not who I am right now. (And, really, which one’s more important? The first one, of course).
But is that really hypocrisy, or just a standard failing of human character?
Another type of hypocrisy happens when the person identifying the hypocrite is herself a hypocrite and the very act of calling someone on their hypocrisy only serves to underline that fact even more. They are pretending to stand on some moral high ground when really they’re about as superior as Anakin facing down Obi Wan after he got his legs chopped off. And nothing irritates me more.