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Compulsive lying problem

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real2020

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC, USA
I've lied to all of my friends about my life. I've said some pretty drastic things, like that people in my life have died or that I have a boyfriend and a LOT of other stuff. I'm ashamed to admit it here, even though it is anonymous, but I understand that this lying is destructive, manipulative, cruel, and I am taking advantage of caring people. Because nobody knows the real me or my real life, I can't open up to anybody or talk to anybody about my problem. I recently went to therapy for self-harm, and I stopped hurting myself. But, the therapy didn't help, I simply solved my own problem with self-initiative.

I don't want to go to counseling for this problem because I am too embarrassed to talk about it in person. I want to start being honest with the people in my life. It seems like lying has become such a habit that I say things before even thinking, I barely realize that it isn't true. The lying has led me to be lonely and unhappy, but I believe that if I can change my ways and be honest to the people in my life, I can be happy and have happy relationships. Does anybody have any advice or experience with lying that could help me turn my situation around? I would be so grateful for any help!
 
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sab1978

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
105
Location
Canada
Have you asked yourself why you're lying? I bet it started because of a fear of rejection. You lie to protect yourself from feeling rejected. Eventually, if you do it enough, it becomes a habit even if you don't benefit from the lie. Question is, why are you afraid of rejection? It usually comes down to feeling unworthy of love...goes back to childhood. Does any of this resonate with you?
 
Tamziie93

Tamziie93

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
549
Location
England
Hang on a moment your running away with yourself here stop right there freeze 🤣

Who have you hurt by lying?

If you have said someone has died in your life?

A they obviously don't know you that much so how can it possibly hurt them

B it's obviously a side effect of your illness so it's not exactly something you can help don't beat yourself up

C everybody lies and I mean absolutely everybody to some extent

You could be lying for attention so you say something an you just are desperate for someone to speak to you to understand you to notice

You could try an come on here regular to talk to people instead of lying to people you know but sort of don't know you that well because if you are able to tell them someone died in your life an they are running around like normal then how well can they know you

I think you will be fine don't worry about the past lies what's done is done let them go your not a bad person for lying your just lonely and attention starved.

If you want you can lie to me all day and night because I won't know a difference and it won't affect my life :)
 
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real2020

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC, USA
Hi sab1978, I would say that I don't feel unworthy of love, I just don't like my life or sharing it with others. I'm embarrassed of my home and how my family acts and who I am, and I guess I felt like if people thought that tragic events had happened in my past, they would think I was a strong person. When I was really young, my parents taught me to never seek attention and that people would judge me if i sought attention. So I grew up without the kind of care or attention I wanted, and when I got a little older, I started telling huge lies in order to get attention but not act like I was seeking it. I now realize that it has isolated me and made me lonely and it's manipulative to people that are kind and caring, so I want to turn myself around so that I can be happy and have real relationships with people. I don't know whether to admit to all the lying or to simply just gradually go away from the lies and just let people see my real life. It would be honest to own up to the lies, but I don't want to ruin all my relationship with amazing people, even though I deserve it for manipulating them.
 
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real2020

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
10
Location
NC, USA
I lied about a bunch of big, dramatic things that were wrong to lie about. I said that my parents were divorced and I lived with my mom and step-dad and my real dad was in jail. I said that I had depression and anxiety and had attempted suicide. (I did have a self-harm problem but no diagnosis, just going to therapy) I said that I had a boyfriend and that my parents had physically abused me when I was younger and that they had kicked me out of their house last year, leaving me homeless until they took me back.

None of this is true. I have a pretty bad relationship with my parents because they are very stubborn and protective and often unreasonable. I suspect that both my mom and dad have some level of autism, although I'm of course not qualified to actually determine that. I did struggle with feeling awful all the time and a self harm addiction, but I lied about having been diagnosed with different mental illnesses. I felt like by talking about all these fake problems, I would appear strong and interesting. But it has simply left me lonely and embarrassed and I wish I had never started lying. But, I'm left with the decision of coming clean for these lies or simply stopping lying. I know that it is right to own up to it, but I'm friends with some amazingly kind and caring people, and I know I would ruin those relationships by admitting to lying. Does anybody have advice for whether I should come clean or just stop lying? Also does anybody have experiences on breaking a lying habit, how do I stop lying completely?

Sorry for all the long paragraphs and replies, I'm just desperate for help and an escape from my problem. I would be so happy for any advice anybody could give me, thank you!
 
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coggoblin

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
17
Location
United States
I know you posted this a while ago but I have a very similar problem with lying. I'd say the only differences are what I've lied about and obviously our personal experiences, but I also had parents that starved me of attention. I've lied about drastic things to make myself seem strong and interesting too (and maybe so people will excuse my weird traits or mean/inconsiderate things I've done) and I know I would also probably lose my friends and boyfriend if I were to own up to these lies and I don't want that to happen either. I've also gotten into a habit of lying before I can even think about it to where it feels like I'm telling the truth. Sometimes I even cover up the lies with more lies if it feels like I'll be exposed and I wonder if my friends have noticed the inconsistencies. I almost hope they do because that would mean they already know I lie and are willing to let it go. I try to think about it this way, although I can see how it won't help my progress in becoming more honest, if the lie isn't hurting the people you are lying to then owning up won't be saving anything but your peace of mind. The lies I've told don't really put anyone in danger of facing criminal charges or being hurt and don't really make anyone I value look bad and that's the reason I keep up with them even though it makes me feel pathetic. If it's something drastic I try to avoid lying again by saying that I don't want to talk about it. Of course I shouldn't encourage lying, but if you already have then it's done and you can't change it and it's up to you to decide if the guilt of sticking with the lie is harder to deal with than losing your friends (if it's certain that they will drop you if you come clean, you never know they might be understanding.) The guilt will probably still eat away at you, even if you come clean but probably moreso if you don't. Another thing to consider is if they can find out about it without you telling them, if they do find out another way their chances of accepting you after the fact are probably lower. I wish there was some way to start over or make things right without such shitty consequences but I just make not hurting people my first priority in my interactions and that has helped curb the lying to some extent. I don't think this makes you a bad person, the fact that you recognize it's bad and want to stop shows that you have a good conscience but your mental hangups can sometimes negatively influence your behavior. I wish you the best of luck in this, I know how hard it is to break a habit like this. If you need anyone to talk/relate to, don't hesitate to reach out xx
 
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Wanttofeelpeace5

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
438
Location
New zealand
It's never to late to be honest. If lying makes you feel better but makes a liar of someone else then a liar can cause a lot of damage . Imo therapy only works if you are completely honest .
 
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