How to avoid pathological liars.

By David Joel Miller.

A pathological liar can ruin your life.

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a compulsive, pathological, liar can testify to the way this can disrupt your life. You shouldn’t have to put up with someone who can’t or won’t tell the truth. When you first meet a pathological liar, they may be hard to spot. Some people lie about almost everything. A pathological liar will like to you even when telling the truth might have been more effective. The best way to deal with pathological liars is to avoid them whenever possible.

Avoid letting pathological liars into your life.

If you have questions about somebody’s truthfulness, exercise extreme caution. Don’t make excuses for them or try to change them. Once you identify somebody, who can’t be trusted to tell the truth, avoid them when possible.

If someone consistently lies cut them out of your life.

Having to constantly verify everything someone says is exhausting. If you have trouble believing things someone tells you to avoid having to listen to them. If possible, get them out of your lives altogether. If you must have contact with them because of work or family connections do everything you can to minimize both conversations and contact.

Don’t get angry with people who tell you the truth.

We tend to teach people how to treat us. If you become angry when people tell you unpleasant things they are likely to stop telling you the truth. Don’t force the people you interact with to lie to you to spare your feelings.

Encourage people to tell you the truth even when it’s uncomfortable.

If you want the people in your life to tell you the truth, you must go even further than withholding your anger. People must be encouraged to be truthful. That means thanking people for their honesty even when they tell you things you wish you hadn’t heard. It’s not fun having your flaws pointed out, but if you want to improve yourself, you will need to accept some honest feedback.

When in doubt double checked the story.

Before you rely on something, it is wise to double-check the facts. Don’t take everything you told at face value. Some people will tell you things, which they honestly believe, but which later turned to be inaccurate. I don’t consider factual errors to be lying. It’s up to you to decide what to believe. But if you discover that someone is telling you things that are inaccurate, and they know that they are lies, you should stop trusting them. Liars often lie to manipulate you and get you to behave the way they want you to. Before you take any action, consider the consequences of acting on what they told you and later finding out that it is a lie.

Move slowly in new relationships.

At the beginning of a new relationship, particularly romantic ones, people want to be liked. Almost all people practice “impression management.” It makes good sense to put your best foot forward. It’s not a good idea to point out all your flaws and problems to everyone you meet. Often we are misled in new relationships because we want to like that person and believe what they say.

It takes a good amount of time to get to know somebody. It can take even longer to find out whether that person is someone you can trust with your secrets. Don’t expect everyone to tell you all their faults. As a relationship progresses, both people should feel more comfortable about being who they genuinely are. The longer you know someone, the more trust you should have for them.

If you find that the longer you know someone, the less you trust them, there is probably something in your gut telling you this person is not to be believed. Don’t dismiss those thoughts without careful examination. Better to find out that someone is less than fully honest when their only casual acquaintances than to wait till you’re involved in a romantic relationship, possibly with children, or in an economic relationship where you stand to lose a lot of money.

Keeping pathological liars out of your life is an ongoing process.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Can you spot the paranoid person?

By David Joel Miller.

Paranoia comes in many shapes and sizes.

Fearfulness

Paranoia.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How paranoia looks depends on the group of people you’re looking at. Researchers who study paranoia believe it may have had an evolutionary advantage. Those who were too trusting did not survive. “It is important to ask why paranoia might be so common in the general population. One possible explanation is that paranoia is a trait that was selected and distributed in humans due to its adaptive value” (Ellett & Chadwick, 2003, 2007).

In many situations, it’s better to be suspicious and cautious, even if your wrong then to be trusting and end up harmed in some way. Being suspicious when in doubt kept our ancestors alive to reproduce. Trust issues seem to run on a continuum from mild suspicion to unhealthy, pathological paranoia. Recent research tells us that mild to moderate paranoia is a lot more common among nonclinical populations than has been recognized in the past. Most of these people who experience an episode of paranoia do not go on to develop a serious mental illness.

According to the Freeman brothers “paranoia is on the rise, fueled by disproportionate media coverage of the dangers we face from others; by increasing urbanization; and by a range of other social factors including fear of crime.”

Paranoia also depends on your viewpoint. If you have been the victim of violence or trusted when you shouldn’t have, you become less trusting. Groups who have historically suffered prejudice and violence, become more suspicious. Suspiciousness in women is likely to be diagnosed as anxiety. Wariness in men is more likely to suggest they will become violent and be diagnosed as some form of psychosis. Both Psychosis and Paranoia are much more likely to be diagnosed in males, particularly African-American males.

Definitions of paranoia.

Wikipedia defines paranoia as “an instinct or thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself.”

Google defines paranoia as “a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.”

“Paranoia is defined as false beliefs that harm is occurring to oneself which is intended by a persecutor (Freeman and Garety 2000).”

The meaning of the word paranoia has changed over time. The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia from 1890 defines paranoia as, “a chronic form of insanity developing in a neuropsychopathic constitution, presenting systematized delusions of more or less definite scope, while in other directions there may appear a fair amount of mental health. The prognosis is extremely bad.

Today in the field of psychology, paranoia is treated as a personality characteristic which can fall along a scale from extremely mild and rare to very high and constant. Ways psychologists measure paranoia are by using the Paranoia Scale (Fenigstein and Vanable 1992) or the Paranoia Suspiciousness Questionnaire (Rawlings and Freeman 1997.) When studying personality characteristics, it’s important to differentiate between traits, how paranoid a person is generally, and state paranoia, how paranoid the person may be thinking, feeling, and acting, at the moment.

In common usage, today when most people say someone is “paranoid” they are describing someone with excessive or unwarranted fears and beliefs that others dislike them, are out to get them or will betray them.

Paranoia along with excessive fear and suspiciousness are commonly associated with some of the more serious mental illness. Anyone with difficulty understanding what’s happening around them is likely to become fearful, suspicious, possibly even paranoid.

Subclinical paranoia.

Counselors see many clients with excessive, unreasonable fears. When those fears interfere with everyday functioning, they need to be treated. How much fear is warranted depends on your point of view. When someone has experienced infidelity, the belief that their partner may be cheating again may be very reasonable. If you have been the victim of violence, a heightened wariness is understandable. Life experiences, from your earliest years to the present taught you whether to be trusting or suspicious. Having been neglected or experiencing bullying increases the chances you will see the world as hostile and people as unreliable.

If, as far as you know, your partner has never cheated, but you spend hours each day checking their cell phone or social media for signs they are cheating, if you follow them or demand to know where they are every moment of the day, it’s likely your fears are about you rather than about their behavior.

According to paranoidthoughts.com, “around a third of the population regularly has suspicious or paranoid thoughts. In fact, paranoia may be almost as common as depression or anxiety.”

Subclinical levels of paranoia are associated with the anxiety disorders, depression, and with cognitive impairment. Excessive jealousy can become so severe that it needs to be treated as a “delusional disorder.”

Paranoia among people with substance use disorders.

There’s a significant presence paranoid symptoms among people with a substance use disorder. Some substances increase the level of anxiety and cause paranoia. The substance using lifestyle includes people who are untrustworthy and can result in traumatic experiences. Using illegal substances involves criminal activity. Telling whether extreme fearfulness and the beliefs that others are out to get is paranoia or reasonable is difficult when you have a substance use disorder. The belief that the police are following you and people are watching you may not be paranoia when you have a kilo of dope in the trunk of your car.

The way you think about yourself affects your risk of developing paranoia.

High self-esteem, feeling good about yourself, has been shown to reduce your risk of developing paranoia. Several other personality characteristics such as optimism and pessimism are also related. There is still the question of whether paranoia causes low self-esteem and pessimism or whether paranoia is the result of those personality characteristics.

In upcoming posts, we will talk about clinical, mental health disorders which may involve paranoia, some of the substance use disorders which involve paranoia and those subclinical problems, which lie on a continuum between trust issues, suspiciousness, and diagnosable paranoia. We should also explore some of the personality characteristics which impact your level of trust issues, suspiciousness, and paranoia.

For more on this topic see:

Trust

Paranoia

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Separating truth from lies is hard work.

By David Joel Miller.

Types of lies and their relatives.

Have you ever noticed some people could twist the truth into the oddest shapes while

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

still insisting they’re not lying? People seem to have a lot of trouble agreeing on the difference between truth and lies. Some people go through life constantly accusing others of lying to them. Other people will mislead you any way they can while insisting, sometimes under oath, continuing to insist they would never tell a lie. Here are some ways in which people may be deceiving you without having to tell detectable lies.

Lies of omission.

Someone close to you starts describing their plans for the weekend, you two are going somewhere to see friends. What they leave out that one of your exes will be there. Maybe they forget to tell you that you will be expected to set up for the party. They have exactly lied to you, but by leaving out part of the story, your expectation of a relaxing weekend has turned into another day or two of strenuous work.

Lying by leaving facts out, comes up in couples sometimes. One partner spends a lot of money, maybe sneaking new clothes into their closet, or hiding other expenditures. This deception goes on until credit card bill arrives. Some compulsive spenders will open new credit card accounts and hide the statement from the partner. Leaving out part of the truth can end up being more deceptive than an outright lie.

White lies.

Birthdays and the holiday season especially encourages white lies. These are things told to someone to mislead them with the intention of benefiting them. You tell your partner you are working late, but in fact, you have gone shopping for their birthday present.

Evasion is often used to mislead.

Maybe someone in your life has unpleasant news, you’re about to be laid off, or someone close to you as a health problem. They don’t lie to you, not directly, they just don’t answer your questions. By telling only half the story, leaving out the part you would not like, they have misled you.

Salespeople can be good at this. You ask about a feature you want on the product; they immediately launch into a description of several other features. They’ve avoided you finding out their product doesn’t have one of the features you were looking for.

Disagreeing about the truth can look like lying.

Disagreeing about the truth often happened in the areas of religion and politics. One person says this is good for the country, while the other candidate tells everyone how awful this would be. Both are likely to accuse the other of lying to the voters.

In close relationships, people often disagree about a great many things. When the argument gets heated, rather than acknowledge they have differing opinions, they are both likely to accuse each other of lying.

Mistaken beliefs may seem like lies.

Sometimes people are certain about something they say. “The company I work for will be doing a certain project. The store I shop at caries brand X.” You go there expecting a result, only to be disappointed. Did the other person lie to you? Not exactly. They told you something they thought was true, but you were misled. You may think that was a lie because you believe them and it turned out to be untrue.

Are predictions the truth or lies?

When someone predicts the future, be careful not to take that as a fact. Forecasters, whether it’s economic forecasts or weather forecasts, make lots of predictions. Some turn out to be accurate. Other predictions turn out to be wrong. If you invested money and lost a lot of it, or planned an outdoor event and it rained, you’re likely to be upset. Depending on who made the prediction, you may even believe they lied to you.

Ambiguous, misleading statements, can conceal the truth.

One way to slide something by others is to keep the statements very ambiguous. The fuzzier the statement, the more likely some people will hear what they want to hear. Some people talk a lot but include so few details that everyone hears a different version of the facts.

Lies of commission.

This is your basic, garden-variety, lie. It’s not true, they know it’s not true, but they say it anyway. With these kinds of lies, the liar is hoping you will believe them, and they can get away with something, at least for a while.

Boldface lies sometimes are believed.

Boldface lies are so huge and outlandish very few people will believe it. Initially, these statements sound laughable. The boldface liars tell these big whoppers loudly and repeatedly. If you tell a big enough lie, often enough, some people may start believing it.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to recognize a pathological liar.

By David Joel Miller.

Is someone in your life a pathological liar?

Lies

Lies.
Photo courtesy of Flickr (renaissancechambara)

Having a pathological liar in your life can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health. It can take a long time to identify the habitual liar. Learn to spot the people who are lying to you.

They lie even when the truth would work better.

Pathological liars will invent tales rather than tell you the truth. They will continue to insist that what they say is true even when their elaborations have become outlandish. They try to make their story more believable by adding lots of fictional details.

They often don’t realize they’re lying.

It’s common for compulsive liars to repeat their falsehoods so often that they begin to believe them themselves. They believe things should be true because they want them to be so. Since they believe their fictions, they will continue to insist they are telling the truth despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

Their life sounds illogical.

When someone’s stories don’t make sense, with their entire life sounds illogical, there’s a good chance they believe many things that are not true. Pathological liars create elaborate life stories which are a complete fabrication.

They use lies to manipulate people.

If you feel someone repeatedly tries to manipulate you, look for the lies and false stories embedded in their narrative. When someone’s trying to get you to do something, ask yourself how honest do you believe they are.

Their failure, to tell the truth, hurts people.

Pathological liars are not concerned about what their untruths will harm others. They lie to get what they want. They do not feel that it’s wrong for them to lie. They will continue their dishonesty even when they know it is hurting those who are closest to them.

Pathological lying is a behavior pattern, not a specific mental illness.

There’s no specific diagnosis for pathological lying. It is currently considered a pattern of behavior. This condition overlaps several personality disorders, particularly antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

Everything they say is meant to make them look good.

Narcissists in particular, repeatedly lie, to make themselves look better and more important. The recurrent liar tries to manage other people’s opinion of them by manipulating the facts even if some of their purported facts are complete fictions.

They blame others for everything that goes wrong. It is always someone else’s fault.

Chronic liars are never willing to take responsibility for what they’ve done. Anything that has gone wrong must be someone else fault.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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 they’re 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?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Lies you are telling yourself.

By David Joel Miller.

If you are telling yourself these things you are lying to yourself and may not even know it.

1. I can’t do it

Lies

Lies
Photo courtesy of Flickr (renaissancechambara)

Can’t usually means won’t.

By telling yourself you are not able to do a thing you convert your own mind into an enemy. Your brain starts creating this failure. Tell yourself you will fail and you will.

People who are positive are much more successful. They tell themselves they can and many times this turns out to be true.

2. Other people think badly of me.

Most of the time, most people are too involved in their own lives to pay any attention to you. Unless they are saying they do not like you and what you are doing, it would be a mistake to think that others disapprove.

Blaming other people for not liking you creates just that result. You think they do not like you, you do not like them and then you’re not liking them results in their not liking you.

You started this avalanche of negativity.

3. I am a failure.

The biggest failure of all is to never try. I see this in a lot of young people who are overly hard on themselves. A few recent graduates do get jobs at top companies. But the majority of them have to start out at the bottom and work their way up. Do not think you are a failure because you are not more successful than everyone else.

The biggest failure of all is to never try.

Accept that you are where you are and then work on improving yourself. You are not a failure because of what you did that did not work. Those are learning opportunities. The ultimate failure is to accept defeat and stop trying.

You have not failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet

4. People will talk about me.

People talk about the President, they talk about the Pope. What? Are you saying you are more important than them?

Having people talk about you indicates you are doing things. No one talks much about those who never try. No one knows they exist.

5. Not paying my bills means I am saving money.

If you came from a poverty mentality then you learned that if you paid the power bill there might be no money for food. What people who live that way miss is that those late charges and extra fees add up.

Learn to manage money, not be bullied by the bills. Pay your bills on time. Budget for what you will need and if there is not enough money find ways to cut expenses and earn more. Avoiding your responsibilities is not an effective way to save anything.

6. I can’t afford to save anything.

Savings is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple is, of course, not easy.

The more people earn the less able to save they seem to be. Savings do not need to be a lot to add up. Save a dollar a paycheck and at the end of the year, you will have fifty dollars saved up.

Most people in America spend a little more, sometimes just a dollar or two, each pay period than they make. Eventually, this adds up to a mountain of debt.

7. I should do or be —

Beware the tyranny of the “shoulds.” This doing things because you think that you have to can rob you of a lot of time and happiness. Now there are some things you should not do because they are illegal or will cause you problems. There are other things you need to do like pay your bills and care for your children.

But most of us every day do a bunch of things that rob us of time not because we really needed to do those things but because somewhere in our heads we recorded a rule that things always need to be a certain way.

8. Doing things for me is selfish.

Good self-care is not being selfish. Self-neglect is abusive. Do positive things for yourself to maintain your ability to do things.

9. Other people are the cause of my problems.

Blaming others is an excuse. It can keep you stuck. Rarely will you be successful in getting them to change to do things your way. Learn to work around those obstacles. Change yourself, your circumstances, or your reaction to those people, and you can often dissolve the power they have over you.

10. Others can do more than I can.

So? If you use this as an excuse for not trying you will never do anything. You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the best at anything. You just need to be you. Do what you can and accept what you do. Just make sure to be truthful to yourself and do your best.

11. Nothing will ever change.

Everything will change – eventually. In the long run, we are all dead. The question is do you want to start living a real life or do you want an excuse for why you do not try?

12. No one cares about me.

Start caring about yourself. No one in your life is likely to care more about you than you do. If you do not care about yourself you make it difficult for others to care about you.

13. I am right, I know I am.

Insisting you are right can be some comfort but it is rarely helpful to waste time arguing about who is right. Have the courage of your convictions but do not insist that everyone see things your way.

Be open to the possibility that sometimes you can be mistaken. When new information arrives reevaluate your thoughts on things.

14. I don’t have enough education.

Do what you can with what you have. People often overestimate the education and training they need to find a job, a partner or to be able to do something.

If you do lack the formal credentials for an opportunity you would like, consider going back to school. Do not tell yourself you are too old to learn. People are living longer these days. Jobs go out of existence. More people than ever before are returning to school in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.

You are never too old to learn something new.

15. If I just had – Then I would be happy and successful.

If you are not happy in the process of getting to your goals you are unlikely to be happy when you get there. Happiness is not a destination it is a process you learn along the way.

16. I don’t have that talent.

Talent is overrated. Lots of natural talents practiced thousands or even tens of thousands of hours to get that talent. We are all born with the possibility of becoming talented at something.

Most talent turns out to actually be skills. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more skilled you will become.

17. I was just born this way.

You are nothing like you were when you were born.  People grow. They develop. They learn things. If you learned something and it is not working you can unlearn it and learn a new way of being.

Genes turn on and off based on your life experiences. Do good things. Practice happiness skills and those thoughts you think are “just me” will change as a result of new learning and experiences.

Have you been lying to yourself? Would you be happier and more successful if you started telling yourself the truth?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

4 Ways liars get away with deceiving us

By David Joel Miller

How do they get away with lying?

Ever wonder how chronic liars seem to get away with telling falsehoods while other people get caught when they say the smallest thing that is not totally true.

Here are some of the ways liars get us to believe their falsehoods.

They spend time getting our trust first.

Is he Telling lies

Is he Telling lies?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A consummate liar will spend lots of time getting to know you, becoming your best friend and building trust, all the time waiting for the chance to tell that one big one and get away with it.

Watch out for those who have had relationships go sour in the past and they always have a story to tell about how the other person after a long period of time did them wrong. They usually have not resolved that misunderstanding but have cut that person off.

The chances are that no one is all good or all bad and if this person has a long string of being treated wrongly there is some part they are playing in this. Be wary of someone who is not able to admit that they played a part in past relationship failures.

We want to believe them

If they are offering something that sounds too good to be true it probably is. If they are making a special deal, just for us, we wonder why they are letting us have it. And exactly what are they letting us have.

The more you have an incentive for wanting to believe this person the more you let your guard down and the easier you make it for them to slide that whopper by you.

One way to prevent this is to be sure you watch out for any preexisting desire on your part to believe them. This results in you latching on to the things you want to hear and then tuning out the things that should have warned you that a lie was coming.

A well-crafted lie always needs to contain some truth.

Just because one of the facts you are told is rock solid you know it is true does not mean the rest of the story is accurate. Any good liar will know to embellish their falsehood with as much truth as can be crafted to fit around and conceal the lie.

The trick or treat method.

In this operation the would-be deceiver tells you lots of nice things, things you want to believe, things you think are true and then as your guard goes down they slip in a whopper.

This technique works best if the chronic liar keeps up a high level of small truths and a relatively few large deceits.

These are only three ways we might be deceived but the repeat liar is likely to know all of these and more.

How have you played a role in letting others deceive you and how might you be more discerning in the future?

Best wishes on creating that happy life you deserve.

David Joel, Miller, LMFT, LPCC

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Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.