Our system is always looking for safety. It will do whatever it takes to feel safe. Security can show up in many ways. It is connecting with like-minded people, feeling secure in someone’s arms, in someone's presence and telling lies! Yes, you read that right. Telling lies creates safety.
Believe it or not, everyone lies most days. It’s not conscious or generally harmful lying, and it’s more about embellishments of the truth. You lie to keep people engaged and create excitement. It happens so often that you won’t even notice it.
Many lie to keep the peace in their life or make someone smile. Of course, this good intention has its place, but sometimes people must deal with the truth. If they can’t, they have wounded boundaries that have not been acknowledged.
Many people lie to protect themselves from an unpleasant situation or conflict. Many people lie because they know they've done something that will anger another person. While some people who lie want to protect the feelings of others and spare someone else pain or hurt, many lie to protect their feelings, self-esteem, self-confidence, or other personal emotion. For example, people may say, "I didn't love them anyway," when they did, and are lying to protect themselves. If we feel neglected, we can exaggerate how we think to gain attention and rewards.
Lying is expected when we fear we will be punished. Unfortunately, this does not get anyone anywhere other than creating more guilt. People can feel tormented by lying, but telling the truth can have harsh consequences.
Some people lie to get attention. They feel ignored or rejected and need everyone's attention to recharge. Unfortunately, this type of lying comes all too easily in our social media world. Lying makes crafting a sob story or traumatic tale easy. Having others fuss over you makes you feel important, seen and heard.
Sometimes dishonest people will go out of their way to lie for a specific reason. These people lie to see how loyal you are to them. They do it to see if you’ll be there or on their side when they need you.
Everyone wants to be liked, and being part of a group is essential for survival. Many people lie to be accepted by others.
Lies are not always life-destroying, but they are everywhere because we all need to feel safe, secure and supported.
Pathological or compulsive liars do so to get what they want, caring very little for those who get hurt. Lies are coping mechanisms until they become obsessive, and then they become a disorder.
In some cases, pathological lying can result from childhood trauma, such as neglect or abuse. People who did not get their needs met as children may begin lying as a coping mechanism to get the love and reassurance they crave.
People will often lie in therapy as they cannot deal with the shame or embarrassment of what has happened to them, and if they were honest, they fear they may not mentally or emotionally be able to deal with the consequences.
I have a core value of honesty. So when I sense someone is lying to me, I give them the benefit of the doubt as I know, as a therapist, there is a reason for lying, and when they feel safe and secure, they will eventually reveal the truth.
Lying hurts, but so is the person who is lying. If we can find compassion and understanding in our hearts, we can create a place of safety that they have never experienced before.
In abundant love and kindness for all gentle souls, Angela