We’ve all lied before, whether it’s to keep someone from getting hurt or to achieve something we want. Sometimes people lie to themselves about how they’re truly feeling.
But the narratives we spin can sometimes get out of control, and even white lies can have negative repercussions.
It’s okay if you’ve been lying more frequently–everyone does it, even though not everyone will admit to it.
What causes compulsive lying?
It is still not fully understood what causes compulsive lying, but there are some theories.
Distorted view of reality
While compulsive lying can have many causes, one of the most common is a distorted view of reality.
This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as an individual believing that they are always right or that everyone is out to get them.
As a result, they may lie in order to protect themselves or to make themselves look better.
Avoid feeling uncomfortable or anxious
Some people may lie as a coping mechanism to avoid discomfort or anxiety in social situations.
They may feel like they need to impress others or be liked, so they fabricate stories and lies to make themselves seem more interesting.
Past trauma can also lead to compulsive lying. In order to protect themselves from reliving painful experiences, they may lie or twist the truth to avoid facing the pain.
Those with low self-esteem may feel inadequate and believe that they are not good enough.
As a result, they may lie about their accomplishments or fabricate stories in order to boost their own image and feel worthy.
Symptoms of another mental health condition
Compulsive lying can also be a symptom of other underlying mental health conditions, such as borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.
How to stop compulsive lying?
There are several tips you can try to stop compulsive lying. It includes:
Acknowledge that there is a problem
The first step in addressing compulsive lying is to acknowledge that there is a problem and to be willing to work towards change.
It’s important to understand that while lying may have been helpful in the past, it is not ultimately beneficial in the long run and can negatively impact relationships and trust.
Observe patterns in your behavior and try to identify what triggers your lying.
Is it when you feel anxious or insecure?
Are there certain situations that make you more likely to lie?
Understanding the reasons behind your lying can help in addressing them.
Replace lies with honesty
Instead of immediately resorting to a lie, pause and think about the consequences of telling the truth.
Practice being honest in small ways, such as owning up to a mistake or admitting when you don’t know something.
Compulsive lying can be a sign of underlying mental health issues, so it’s important to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.
Therapy can help address the root cause of the lying behavior and provide tools and strategies to cope with triggers and stop compulsive lying.
It can be tempting to fabricate stories or lie about your accomplishments in order to impress others. But ultimately, being truthful and genuine is more important than trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
Accept yourself for who you are and focus on building healthy relationships based on honesty and trust.
How to help stop compulsive lying?
If you know someone who is always lying about anything, Here are what you can do to help:
- Express concern and support for the individual without judgment
- Encourage them to seek professional help
- Offer to go with them to therapy sessions
- Practice active listening and empathy
- Help create a plan for addressing triggers and promoting honesty
- Reassure them that it’s okay to make mistakes and be imperfect
- Offer to be a support system and encourage positive coping mechanisms instead of lying.
While compulsive lying can be a difficult habit to break, it is important to remember that change is possible.
Treatment options like cognitive-behavioral therapy can help people learn new coping skills and ways of thinking about themselves and the world.
With time and effort, it is possible to stop lying compulsively and start living a more honest life.