Why Lie? Be You -
Jamie had never thought about how often she lied or whether or not other people even noticed. She would lie about anything and everything and couldn’t seem to stop. It would happen so quickly and before she knew it, a stream of lies would pour out of her mouth. Stuff that wasn’t even important would suddenly seem worthy of a lie. A friend would ask if she had watched a show the night before and she’d smile and say, “Yeah, it was hilarious!” She had, of course, not seen the show and her stomach would tense up in fear of being found out. Other times, her friends would ask her about her brother and she would find herself making up a ridiculous story that made everyone laugh but had, nevertheless, not actually happened.
Jamie never questioned herself and although she was aware of the fact that she was lying, she often got so enthralled with the lie that a part of her felt like it could be the truth. Her friends, however, were beginning to get frustrated. They didn’t believe her anymore and found her stories annoying no matter how funny they turned out to be. She was getting on their nerves. Even Jamie’s best friend felt betrayed and hurt that she was constantly being lied to. Something had to change.
A lot of times we don’t even realize that what we are doing or how we are acting is effecting those around us. Jamie felt her lies were just a part of who she was even though she knew deep down that she was not being true to herself. The lies kept growing and eventually, Jamie’s actions had had an impact on everyone in her life. Her best friend finally confronted her and told her that she was sick of her lying and that she had a problem. Jamie was embarrassed and hurt when she was called out on her lies. She became defensive and angry with her friend, telling her that she didn’t understand her and had no idea what she was talking about. Inside, however, Jamie knew her friend was right and that she had been lying more and more over the past two years. Something did have to change.
If you know someone who sounds like Jamie, be a good friend and confront him or her privately. Tell them you are frustrated and have been for some time. It is important to let them know, however, that you still care about them. Let them know you want to salvage the friendship but only if the lying stops. As difficult as it may be to be honest, it will help your friend realize the seriousness of the situation.
If you are the person who can’t seem to stop lying, start by recognizing when you are about to lie. If someone asks you what you had for dinner and you respond with a lie, quickly follow the answer with “I’m lying,” and tell the truth. Right then and there. By admitting that you were lying, people will begin to trust you again and believe what you are saying. You may also want to keep a journal and ask yourself specific questions.
What is it about the truth that I don’t like?
Why do I feel the need to embellish a story or make people laugh?
How do I feel after I’ve lied?
When do I typically feel a strong need to lie?
What was the last big lie I told?
How would things be different if I didn’t lie?
What part of me needs to grow or change in order for me to stop lying?
The truth is that lying will only lead to pain so don’t let your lies take control of you. Be honest, be genuine, be yourself and I promise that things will start to change. Suddenly, you will find that you are happier and have even more friends than before because you are no longer hiding behind a mask. You are just being you and THAT is what will draw people in. Start being you today and help others who struggle with self-acceptance by letting them know you appreciate them for being them.
Copyright © 2012 by Maggie Steele