Personal Growth

The Truth About Lying: Why People Lie and How to Cope

The Truth About Lying: Why People Lie and How to Cope
When someone you know lies to you it creates feelings of confusion, betrayal, and sadness. Those feelings can change to gut-wrenching sadness when it’s someone you love with all of your soul. It can stop you in your tracks, hinder your life goals, and make you literally sick.

These are all examples of how lying can affect another person. They all leave the one lied to wondering why? Why did someone I care about lie to me? Do they not trust me? Do they not love me as much as I thought?

Questions like these can plague the mind. The severity of how you allow the effects of lies to affect your life, happiness, and confidence can lead to depression. It can even become the reason some give up on life, but there is hope.

A great therapy is to focus on understanding. When you find yourself having questions play over and over in your mind, sometimes to the point of pure madness, just remember that each individual comes into your life with a purpose. Whether that individual remains a part of your life or not, your lessons are what holds the value. Often when you ask the right questions, strive to view the situation with a detached mindset, and practice a lot of patience with each other, you can build a relationship much stronger than the previous.

Reasons People Lie

Understanding why people lie can help you start to get relief from the pain. The following are some of the main reasons why people lie.

  • The thought of protection: This come in two forms—protection for others and protection for oneself.
    • Protection for others is probably the number one reason why people lie. They believe if they tell the individual the truth it will hurt their feelings or will in some way be detrimental. However, this may be one of the most insulting lies. It makes the person who is on the receiving end of the lie feel as though they must be viewed as someone who is weak.
    • The second form, protection of oneself, is driven by fear of judgment, loss of respect, or loss of love. In some cases, especially with children, it can be driven by a fear of punishment.
  • Personal gain: This includes attempting to attain financial gain, making others feel sorry for them, or sometimes playing a false victim role. At the core of the reason is greed—something that has been and will continue to be the fuel to many lies.
  • Little white lies: Little lies are often overlooked. Our society tells so many white lies they hardly recognize themselves doing it at all. For example, this includes telling someone they are fine (when they are not), that they like someone’s hair (when they truthfully do not), etc. These lies build up, one on top of the other, creating a slippery slope: Once we tell ourselves these lies are harmless, telling larger lies becomes easier.

How to Cope After You’ve Been Lied to

Only two scenarios can be in your future with someone who has lied to you: the one where you continue a relationship and the one where you do not.

If you are choosing to cut off communication with the individual, here are some helpful tips:

Reflection: Ask yourself the following questions.

    1. What experiences had you been thinking of?
    2. What type of personal growth was on your mind leading up to this occurrence?
    3. What lessons have you learned?
    4. How will this affect future relationships?
    5. How will this affect how you treat others?
Journaling: Keep note of the following.

    1. Did I act in any of the ways that parallel to the above reasons people lie? If not …
    2. Did I act in such a way that could have triggered someone to think I would react to the truth in any such ways?
    3. Keep notes of personal epiphanies that come to you.
    4. Write a letter to the person telling them how this situation has made you feel then burn the letter.
    5. As each day passes. it becomes easier to spot the blessings of a chapter closed. Write these down as well.
Meditation: A daily meditation practice will help keep you healthy and focused during this time.

    1. Sit in stillness for at least 15 minutes per day.
    2. Control your thoughts by repeating a mantra such as “I am calm” or “I am of clear mind.”
    3. Guided meditations such as the Deepak and Oprah 21-Day Meditation Experience is also a good option.
    4. Use nature as a meditative guide. Focus on the trees, clouds, and animals that are around you.
During times of pain and emotional turmoil, keeping a clear head space is extremely difficult. Meditation is a key tool for you during any life challenges. It may be the most difficult task of your day to start, but by the end of the 15 minutes your thoughts will most likely be more positive. If it helps, ask a friend to be a meditation buddy. You don’t have to be together, just plan on sharing the daily experience with each other over some form of conversation.

If you are choosing to continue a relationship or communication with the other party, follow the instructions above but add these as well.

  • Communication: Depending on who this person is to you and how deep the betrayal was, this could take weeks, months, or years to feel as though the emotions and trust have leveled out. This is an emotional rollercoaster and thoroughly exhausting. With all of that said, it is worth it when you are ready to build a stronger relationship and grow individually.
  • Be in ‘their shoes’: Every human has his or her programming. From childhood to present day, we have collected data. Data of how others treat us if we say or do certain things. Maybe our mother showed more love if we did well in school. To continue receiving this love if a bad score landed on our report card we may have tried to lie our way out of it. This is one example of how lying begins and rolls on into our adulthood.
In the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, he speaks on the five “A’s” of human needs.

    1. Acceptance
    2. Affection
    3. Appreciation
    4. Approval
    5. Attention

Keep in mind the person who has lied to you is only searching for one or more of the A’s from you or has a fear of losing them. If you reflect upon yourself with truth, you may think of a time in your own life where you have done the same. Maybe or maybe not to the severity of the situation at hand, but remember we are all programmed differently.

If the person with whom you are facing this challenge with is willing to admit to and work toward improving, you have certainly made the right decision to give them another chance. This life is about growth and evolution, sharing this process with another is more than rewarding in the end.