Why people lie.

By David Joel Miller.

Why do so many people lie so much of the time?

Truth or lie

Why they lie.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

We talk a lot about the importance of honesty. What it comes right down to it there’s a lot more lying than telling the truth going on. When I see couples, they frequently accuse each other of lying, or they both talk about how important honesty is to them. Commonly there are heated discussions about what the truth is.

Why is it so hard to find the truth? Why can’t people stop lying? The phantom nature of truth is behind a whole lot relationship conflicts and parenting issues. Here are some of the reasons why people can’t agree on what the truth is and who is lying.

They believe what they’re telling you even though it’s untrue.

Have you ever met someone who goes on vehemently insisting that something is true when others are equally certain that it’s not true? One common reason for this inability to agree on truth versus lie is that people insist on the truth of the things they believe to be right, up until they discover they were wrong.

I find it hard to call it lying when someone tells me something and really does believe it. I think we all need to recognize that just because someone tells us something does not mean it’s true. This does not mean there lying; it just means they are mistaken in what they believe. You need to make your own evaluation of things. Especially don’t rely on others to be correct when the consequences to you of their being mistaken could be serious.

Impression management, they want you to think well of them.

Most people want to be liked. They will tell you the truth about things that make them look good while leaving out the parts that make them look bad. You ask your spouse if they paid the water bill and they say yes. What they don’t say is they forgot to mail the check, and the bill got paid two weeks late. It’s common to bend the truth not by saying things that are outright lies, but by leaving out part of the story. Kids will avoid telling you when they got a bad grade on a test.

They want to spare your feelings.

Too much honesty can hurt people’s feelings. When we know that the truth might be painful, we tend to leave parts out or sugar coat what we say. The woman asked you, does this dress make me look fat, rigorous honesty is not the best policy. Friends are often reluctant to deliver bad news. If you can’t handle the truth, people are likely to keep it from you.

To avoid conflict, you won’t like the truth.

You ask your partner if they talked to their ex, today. They tell you no because they know you would be extremely angry if you found out they were having contact with that ex. They work at the same company with that ex, and they know they will see them every day. If when they tell you the truth, you punishment them, yell or give them the silent treatment, they stop telling you the truth.

Because it works.

Lying gets them what they want, and out of doing things they don’t want to do. Little kids learn early on to say what they think you want to hear. You ask if they did their homework and they say yes. The result is they get to watch TV or play video games instead of having to do homework. Lying can do two things, get you something you want, or get you out of having to do something you don’t want to do.

To avoid punishment.

The part they told you was true, they just left some things out. You asked the kids did they do their homework. You told them no TV till after the home was done. They tell you yes, I read three chapters of history. They leave out the part about not having done their math or English homework because right now there is a show on TV, they want to watch.

When you ask someone if they did something they were not supposed to do, the most common reaction is to deny they did it.

You are using a different standard.

Ask most kids if they cleaned up their room and they will say yes. To them cleaning up the room means putting one or two things in the closet, probably they tossed their dirty clothes in there. Out of sight out of mind. To you cleaning up the room means a lot more than hiding the dirty clothes.

Those are some of the reasons people lie. Ask yourself if you have ever been less fully truthful. Why did you do it? Was it one of these reasons? Can you think of other reasons you may have lied?

New Book Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in Kindle format for preorder. It will be released on 11/13/17. The paperback version is ready now.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of life

Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

More to come as other books are completed.

Thanks to all my readers for all your support.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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What will the therapist tell me about trust? Trust issues

By David Joel Miller.

What if I tell my therapist that I have trust issues?

Trust

Here is what I tell clients with trust issues. I am not too sure just what others may say and would encourage both professionals and client to leave comments about trust issues.

1. Trust is not an all or nothing thing.

The mistake we often make is we either trust too much, trust completely, or do not trust at all. There are plenty of friends that I trust, mostly, with some things, but I do not trust every friend from work with the pin number to my ATM.

Many people who say that they have trust issues have a habit of jumping into a relationship without getting to know the other person, and then when they are let down, they feel this person is not to be trusted.

This pattern of moving into over-close and trusting relationships too quickly sets you up when the other person is unwilling or unable to meet your expectations.

Be sure in getting into a relationship, any relationship, and that includes friendships, that you take the time to get to know the other person and find how much you can trust them and about what subjects.

This does not mean that you need to eliminate everyone from your life that you are not able to trust completely 100%. If you cut all the people, who are less than total trustworthy you may find yourself very alone. There are days I don’t even trust myself completely, but I like being with me anyway.

2. People who tell you things may believe them.

People say things, they think they are true but what they say may still be wrong. People often say that others have lied to them and as a result, they can’t trust anyone. This often happens when someone in a new relationship repeats things that others have told them. They believe what they say, and they may just be trying to be helpful but if the “facts” they have repeated turn out to not be true the other person who acted on the basis of those facts is likely to feel cheated or deceived.

Consider that the person telling you this may be wrong or mistaken and check the facts before you take action based on what someone else has told you.

3. Counseling is a corrective emotional experience.

For this relationship, to be helpful, you need to be able to trust the counselor. If you don’t, you need to look at why you are having difficulty trusting. Remember that no matter how much you trust that professional there are limits to what secrets they can keep. If you tell them you plan to kill someone they will not keep your secret. If you talk about child abuse, they will probably be required to tell that also.

Trust in this, and any other relationship should build over time based on how the other person handles the things you tell them.

4. Remember that people, even professionals can make mistakes.

Generally, professionals are “trustworthy, ” but occasionally we find one that is not. They may take unfair advantage of you. Take your time to get to know them and then make your judgment about how much you can trust them and with what.

This extends to friends and relatives also. We often have competing loyalties. Withholding facts from one friend can seem like dishonesty. Telling that person can violate the trust of another person. In romantic relationships, we tend to trust a lot when we want things to work. Later when the relationship goes sour, and that partner tells someone else our secrets we will feel betrayed and that our trust has been violated.

5. Most people have trust issues for good reasons.

The reason you have trust issues may well be that you trusted someone too much in the past and they let you down. If you have an experience in life of having your trust betrayed it is reasonable and normal to have trust issues with that and related issues in the future.

Remember that some people make a habit out of lying. They get what they want by not telling the truth. People in an active addiction get their needs met by misleading others. Sometimes the person you believed has lied so much it has become an automatic behavior.

Consider who you are trusting and do they deserve your trust. Especially be cautious if this person has violated the trust of others in the past. What makes you expect to be the one person that they tell the truth to?

6. People who are not trustworthy often find it hard to trust others.

The person who tells me they are suspicions that their partner is cheating and who want me to find out what others in their family are up to is often the person who has cheated or has done other things they do not want the family to know about.

If you are dishonest, it makes it harder for you to trust others.

Build your ability to trust by following these simple rules.

1. Pick people who are generally trustworthy.

2. Get to know them and build trust with them gradually watching what they do with little secrets before disclosing larger ones.

3. Make sure you are trustworthy. The old saying goes it is hard to con an honest person. Liars set themselves up to be deceived.

4. Make sure you are able to trust yourself most of the time. When you let yourself down be quick to forgive.

Here is hoping that you are able to overcome your “trust issues” and begin to trust yourself and others in appropriate ways.

David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books