Honesty is the best policy, and we know that. So, how do we stop lying about any and everything?
There are many types of lies: straight out lies, omissions, “little white lies”, you know, those kinds of lies. But let’s face it, a lie is a lie, now isn’t it, really? Well, yes, but there are two types of liars that are so similar that scientists think they are the same thing.
Mental health professionals think differently. These are pathological liars and compulsive liars. Guess what, I agree with the mental health professionals and here’s why…
Pathological vs. Compulsive Lying
Although they are definitely close, these two types of liars are different. Pathological liars seem to lie with a definite motive. Everything they lie about is designed to benefit them in some way, even when the benefit comes after the lies cause the liar problems, which is strange.
Pathological liars also mix truth with lies so the lies are more subtle and believable. So, obviously, pathological liars go to great lengths to not only get what they want but also not get caught.
Compulsive liars, who we are going to focus on today, lie about everything, anything, and at any time and anywhere. There is no clear motive to the lies either. A compulsive liar will lie when there’s no need at all to tell a lie. It’s not like they lie about important situations or things they fear will damage their reputation.
They evenly lie about both important and unimportant things in the same manner with no regard whatsoever about how others see them. It is an uncontrollable urge to lie. It’s almost as easy as breathing. I know someone who does this, by the way. It’s kind of creepy.
If this is you, let’s learn how to stop lying
It may be really difficult to stop compulsive lying considering there’s no motive. However, there are a few things we can try. After all, honesty is important, no matter what the situation. If you cannot be honest, then you cannot be trusted…ever. Let’s start with these few ideas.
1. Are you conscious of your lying?
First of all, you must know whether you actually realize you’re lying in the first place. Do you think you’re telling the truth when you lie? Are people always accusing you of lying and you don’t know why? This can be frightening, to both them and to you. It’s even frightening to me as I think about it.
In order to stop compulsive lying, you have to get to the point where you actually know what you’re doing. Some people do and some, unfortunately, have lied for so long that they think everything they say is the truth, and in turn, think everyone else is the enemy by their accusations.
So ask yourself and your friends and family if you are, indeed, a compulsive liar. If they say yes, then listen to them and have an open mind.
2. Stop justifying the lies
Validation of lies only makes lies easier to tell. There is rarely a good reason to tell lies.
I’m not saying I’ve never lied, I’m just saying it shouldn’t be an easy thing to do, and you shouldn’t defend your lies either. The larger issue is that most lies were taught by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others in the family.
They may have told you to tell lies to save someone’s feelings. If so, you were raised to be a liar….sorry, but it’s the hard cold truth. I was raised this way too.
Only in this last decade of my life have I become determined to learn how to be honest even when it was hard. So, put less energy into the justification of lies and more energy into learning how to stop lying the best way you know.
3. Which liar are you? Compulsive or pathological
Also, don’t forget to determine whether you genuinely are a compulsive liar and not a pathological one. While pathological lying is bad, compulsive lying is much harder to break and will probably need the help of a professional. So, before trying to complete all the steps to stop lying, understand 100% which type of liar you are.
4. Figure out why you’re lying
Okay, If you are a compulsive liar, then you’re lying for no apparent reason. So this will be your reason, you’re a compulsive liar. If you are another type of liar, then there is a reason behind the lies you tell.
You need to discover the reason if you have one, or else you cannot stop the lying. You will always turn back to being fake instead of being real.
5. Seek help
A compulsive liar, if this is what you are, will need to seek professional help. At some point early in your life, you started this pattern of untruth. It could have been as far back as when you were a small child. If you watched others lie, then you learned that it was a normal thing to do. Of course, this is not true.
Many families actually don’t see telling the truth as normalcy. They live in a backward sort of mentality. If you grew up in a family like this, then it’s perfectly normal to lie – it’s what everyone did. In this case, professional help will be the only thing that turns your life around.
6. Separate yourself from other liars
You can also stop keeping company with other compulsive liars. It may be hard if this includes your family, but you must think about your own well-being. Maybe if you are away from other liars for long enough, you will start to value the truth a bit more.
Hey, we can work together to stop lying
I know I sound mean, and maybe a bit hard on you. But, if it helps you turn your life around, then it’s worth you getting angry with me. If this pertains to someone you know, then I’m glad you have some options to help them.
I believe that lying can become addicting just like any drug or alcohol. If you do it for so long, it becomes second nature…which is what I think the basic definition of compulsive lying must be.
If you want to learn how to stop lying, then get started with these tips today.
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