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How to Stop Habitual Lying

Habitual lying often begins as a means to gain attention, boost self esteem, or to increase social standing. However, over time the opposite often results. Habitual liars frequently find that they have burnt numerous bridges, spend large amounts of time alone, and have a difficult time maintaining relationships and retaining a job.

If you are a habitual liar and have decided that it is time to stop there are ways to stop lying. The following tips will help you take back your life.

First and foremost, it is imperative that you find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and can be honest with. Therapy is essential to determining the causes of your behavior as well as understanding what effect your lying has on those around you. Most therapy sessions will revolve around behavior modification.

You may participate in role playing exercises or situational skits with your therapist to help you deal with situations that would normally result in you telling a lie. It is important to make your therapist aware of any setbacks you may experience so that you can work through them.

Utilize your therapy sessions to figure out what your emotional needs are and how you can make sure they are met without resorting to telling lies. You may be lying in an effort to find companionship, increase your self worth, or to make your life more exciting. Work with your therapist to find ways to honestly meet these needs. Then, make this the basis for how you interact with others.

While working with your therapist you may discover that you have underlying psychological issues that must be dealt with. If your therapist feels that you may benefit from medication, they may refer you to a physician.

You may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication if you often lie in response to feelings of anxiety. If low self esteem or depression appears to be the root cause for your habitual lying you may find that antidepressant therapy is helpful. If you are prescribed medication it is imperative that you take it directly as prescribed and not stop your medication without discussing it with your physician.

Constant lying usually results in others not taking you seriously as an individual. Once others have realized that you are a habitual liar, you will have difficulty earning their trust back. Trust can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to win back. This may be a time when you want to participate in therapy with individuals that you have hurt the most by lying. It is an ideal environment to discuss what impact your habitual lying has had on others and make amends for your previous actions.

Just be aware that once you have told others that you have confronted your behavior and intend to change it, you must do it. If you revert back to lying, there is a good chance you will burn several bridges forever.

Be aware that you may need to start small. If you have spent the majority of your life telling elaborate lies you may find it almost impossible to stop lying overnight. Commit yourself to telling a small number of truths per day and increase them as time progresses. Do not expect that you can just stop a deep ingrained behavior in one or two days. It will take time, but it is possible to stop lying for good.

Know what a lie is. Lying by omission is a lie. This can be difficult for habitual liars to understand. Be aware that remaining silent is a form of lying that can have a significant impact on your relationship with others. For instance, if you cheat on your spouse and they find out, you cannot rationalize this to yourself by saying “Well, they did not ask me about it!” Leaving information out can have the same results as coming up with an elaborate lie, if not worse.

Telling the truth will likely dramatically decrease the stress that you are under. It is much more difficult and time consuming to try and remember what lies you have told and to whom. You will find that it is great relief to tell the truth.

Stopping habitual lying is difficult. It will take tremendous effort on your part, but the results will be well worth it.


Thursday 10th of May 2018

I've really always known that I'm a compulsive liar, though none of my friends have known of my facade before now. Since i'm moving in just a month, I informed a close friend of mine that I wasn't really the person I thought they were at all My entire personality is built on lies and I want to tear it all down i dont want to be a lie anymore

Graham ford

Thursday 11th of January 2018

Hi I’m have been a liar for sometime now! I wouldn’t consider my lies justified to even lie about in the 1st place,so I don’t even know why I do it,I suppose it must have started maybe 10 years ago or so when I realised I was becoming a serious gambler! I’ve now stopped gambling but my lies continue! I have no idea why I do it,because I know deep inside me,I always get caught out,and the whole sequence of events leads to disaster,sadness,heartbreak,and distrust every time! It’s mere simple things like I’m telling my girlfriend I’m going to stop smoking and I go out and buy cigs on the sly,very sneaky,but how thick can I be! And how gullible do I think my girlfriend is! It’s stupid,I’m now at a point where I’ve been thrown out until I’m sorted and I can prove myself! It’s so hard because I want to see her and my baby everyday,I still get to see my baby whenever I want,that’s not a problem,but I’m deeply in love with my girlfriend more than you can ever imagine! And to prove that and for her to trust me again and to prove to her is going to be so hard,it’s like she is being very stubborn with me and not contacting me! I understand we need space to sort this out,but it’s so hard,any help??


Tuesday 12th of December 2017

I can’t seem to stop lieing about stupid things and all it does it hurt the ones I love and I don’t know how to stop it


Monday 6th of November 2017

I couldn't read through the comments any longer after reading one that said "your true friends will stick around".

Let me comment from a victims standpoint. I lived with my wife for 16 years. I found out 6 months into our living together that she wouldn't tell the truth & she knew how much it bothered me. I was packing all my things to leave when she told me she was pregnant. I unpacked & married her. I believed in taking care of my responsibilities. I also believed in love & still do. I loved this woman with all my heart. I forgave her over & over for all the lies, threats, & cheating. We had 4 more children together. I love my children very much but my children suffered as well because of the lies she told. I always put my wife first & took her word over anyone's. I knew she had a record of lying but in forgiving her I just allowed it to continue. She spent everything I could save. She'd take it & blame it on the kids. She was physically and mentally abusive to my kids. She was mentally abusive to me. I made the mistake of moving on property that was given to her by her family. She was always hold this over my head, she wanted me to invest and improve on the property but she was continuously threatening to kick me off and leave me with nothing & homeless.

We are finally separated & the abuse continues. She is constantly harassing me in text, alienating me form my children, sending law enforcement to my house accusing me of child abuse, & has sent Child Protective Services multiple times. I can't get done the things I need to get done to take care of my kids because I'm constantly fixing the messes she creates. She took my oldest to the doctor & had him put on drugs claiming he had anxiety because he was afraid of me. Her mother I know is a habitual liar also. I don't know how many in her family are. But I have her whole family against me. I do know one of the aunts lied whether she knew it or not. I trusted her up til this point.

My oldest son has went down this road of lying also & second oldest can't be trusted now ether even tho I think he might still have a chance if it's corrected now.

I don't know how much more of this abuse I can stand from this woman. I'm broke, hurting, & don't have anything left but to trust in my God. I still have my kids but I'm so scared off what's next. She won't let up. She is destroying all of use & doesn't care. It's all about her. It always has been.

So from this victims prospective if you have a friend (I don't know how you could find a true friend then I was too this woman) then you better be correcting your actions. Because even your true friend can only take so much. You don't love someone & abuse then in this way. If you want to live them then learn how to because love isn't a feeling, it's a action & the actions of you lying to them isn't love. Lying to them is abuse.


Monday 4th of September 2017

I am a compulsive liar. I have ruined every relationship, friendship and familyship I have and I have to the lowest I've ever been. I really need to talk to someone who knows what this is like - to lie without meaning to. I've said some huge lies. If anyone reads this and is willing to talk please comment.


Sunday 17th of September 2017

Hi Chloe. I too have recently noticed my horrible mistakes of lying to everyone I love. I would lie about everything, school, money, what I was doing. I even lyed so much the truth started to fog and I could no longer remember what I have said and if it's a lie or not. What hasn't been my first step was coming clean to those I've lied to. And I still don't know if my lying is going to cost me the love of my life. But I've been using all my emotions of anger, sadness, and disappointment to fuel my turning around. I have made a promise to myself to never lye to anyone again. I'm still in a fragile place trying to make amends for what I've done. This is my first time commenting on these but I have read several other forums like this. Hope this helps. I also plan on getting counseling from my college or privately.