Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ask Wednesday: Ask Susan

How can I stop lying?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by DID expect that...didn’t you?]

I keep telling lies! I can’t help myself, I’ve always done it – even as a small boy. But now that I’m in my thirties it’s becoming a big problem!
    I lie about trivial things like how many sugars I’ve put in someone’s coffee, and I tell serious lies with regards to work, like having had an appointment with a client when I haven’t! It’s only a matter of time before I can’t cover my tracks and will be fired. I have changed jobs every two to three years because of this but I’ve now met a wonderful girl and want to settle down, get married, and have a family.
    So far I haven’t lied to her but I’m sure I will in time if I don’t get help. –Not Lying

Dear Not Lying,
    It’s a great first step that you see your persistent lying as a problem for you and that you know you need help.
    I do not know why you started lying, nor why it worked for you as a child and young adult. One Internet site offered:

Pathological lying is practically always caused by low self-esteem The lie is a bit like a drug: it makes the liar feel good for a little while. The three main reasons for lying on a regular basis are: trying to escape reality, doing it as a habit, and covering up an addiction.
Any counseling or group process devoted to figuring this out should focus some on how you got here (how lying makes you feel good or ok), and on how to change. No change of persistent behavior is easy to do alone, for most of us. Find a good therapist/counselor or support group. Use the Internet (yes, you can get some useful therapy on the device...if that is your preference), search for “help with lying addiction,” find a local counseling agency, try Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous or any 12-step group.
    A small way to start is by trying not to lie – to yourself or to anyone – about matters small or large. This will be a big change and won’t be easy at first. It will get better, with support.

[We would really like more questions to answer, so send ’em in….]

Copyright © 2014 by Susan C. Price


  1. Have you a friend or family member who habitually lies? Susan's advice to one such person might be of use, if the person you have in mind wants to change.

  2. Problem is the person doesn't believe they are less than truthful. Not being trained to counsel anyone it's a losing battle.