by Madeline Laughs
You know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a lie. It’s not a good feeling. All kinds of lovely stuff replaces your feeling of security, like suspicion, betrayal, anger, stupidity, feeling gullible, duped, fooled, used, etc.
I wondered why people lie and so I Googled it.
One common way to become the victim of lies is to ask too many questions. Can you believe that? The person being questioned feels they are losing a sense of independence and so starts lying in order to regain control of their privacy.
Who is likely to lie to you? Well, that would be the person you place the most trust in. This is the person most likely, and most able, to deceive you. And vice versa…the person you love and trust the most is the person you can most easily deceive.
Sometimes telling lies is much easier than telling the truth. Lying comes easily and is natural for almost everyone. It is not a skill. However one must be careful of the pathological liar.
Detecting lies is virtually impossible. None of the methods you see on television work or are foolproof. Nonverbal signs like a sweaty upper lip are a fantasy “tell” sign. People can even fool lie detector machines and it’s illegal to inject your suspected liar with truth serum.
If the liar is a loved one and you still have trouble believing them after they’ve told you what they believe to be the truth…is it ethical to spy on them to make sure they’re being completely honest?
It’s not ethical, but it can give you back some feeling of control in a situation you feel you’ve lost control of. You can’t look at this type of method like they’re “passing a test”, but it can give you back some peace in a situation where you have been successfully deceived for a long period of time.
In an era of technological domain where lying and deception has become more electronic via email and the Internet. Where an entirely separate and secret life can be conducted on your own personal computer and then locked away from prying eyes with a password…Wow.
This is a world where you can view pornography, watch videos, have a personal dating profile and even conduct illicit affairs writing and receiving salacious emails, planning rendezvous and all of it stays safeguarded in anonymous cyberspace.
You have your own personal cell phone tucked safely in your pocket or your purse. No longer do you have to worry that your spouse will intercept a call from your lover because your lover can secretly send their messages to the safety of your voicemail if you can’t answer. You can always duck outside to take their call if your spouse is in the same room. Or you can take a trip to the store and then safely return the call from the warmth and privacy of your car.
Lying has never been easier than it is today.
So what do you do?
First of all, you have to understand why people lie. All lies, no matter how elaborate are based on one emotion…Fear. Fear of being punished, rejected, embarrassed, getting older, being alone, etc. Just plain ole fear.
So the first thing you have to do is provide a place for the person to feel safe from harm and they will open up and gradually become truthful with you. It won’t happen overnight and in some cases it will never happen.
Knowing yourself and realizing your boundaries is the first step toward recovery. There are questions you should be asking yourself right away.
Is this friendship worth saving?
Am I willing to do the work it will take to save this friendship?
What are my issues with the truth?
Can I rebuild a foundation of trust with this person?
Finding out that a loved one has lied to you is not the end of the world. It’s not the end of your world. When you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation that you did not create and you’re blindsided with the reality that you have been deceived and you’re thinking that everything you believed and had faith in was a lie, take a step back.
Realize that the lies have nothing to do with you. This new reality is not about you. This is about the person telling the lies. This person is the one that has to own what they have created. Do not allow them to deflect their issues back to you.
Deflection and the need to make you the reason they have lied is also quite common. Annoying and sometimes devastating if you’re not self aware enough to see what they’re doing, but definitely commonplace.
The first basic, self – preserving instinct for anyone caught in a lie is to make it look like it’s your fault they lied to you. If they can make you feel like you deserved it, well, that lets them off the hook, right?
When you’re happily skipping along, loving your life and the people in your life and you know that life is good and you’re giving 100% of yourself to this reality you’ve created with love and a lie-bomb suddenly sends shrapnel into every corner of your world, it is not your fault.
It’s not just lovers that will go to great lengths to lie to you. Friends will do it too. Sometimes it’s easier for a friend to lie to you instead of dealing with the fallout of telling you the truth about something.
If you’re the one telling the lies you have to ask yourself this:
Is what I’m doing worth it?
When someone you love lies to you it doesn’t mean they don’t love you, it means they don’t love themselves enough. When you lie, you’re only hurting yourself.
I recently watched this entire scenario play itself out in real life. I was surprised that this couple hit every point I made right on the head, from hidden emails to deflecting blame. They never made it to a safe place with each other. They did make it right into divorce court though.
If you suspect you’re being lied to do the smart thing and ask about it. Create a safe place for the conversation and then prepare yourself for whatever happens. Lies don’t always have to be the end of a relationship or a friendship as long as the two people are willing to work through the reasons lies started being told. I think once you find that place of truth, it’s easy to honor the bond that originally brought you together.
- The truth about lying: Research shows fibbers like Lance Armstrong really do have ‘tells’ (vancouversun.com)
- Lies, Lies, And Status Updates: 4 Facebook Myths You Shouldn’t Believe (makeuseof.com)
- There is no Cure for the Sociopath (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Telling Lies and Breaking Promisis (theaimn.com)
- What is the worst lie you have ever told? (metro.co.uk)
- Lies and Deception… (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
- failure: lies vs. truth. (fueledbydietcoke.com)