Everyone lies, as the saying goes, and those that say they don’t are lying. Most though only lie to certain extent, generally, to save themselves or someone they care about, hurt feelings. But sometimes, lying can become a way of life. People lie to make themselves feel better about themselves, to bring others down, or simply to gain attention. The problem though, as Dr. Ana Nogales writes in a recent column in Psychology Today, is that when people lie for less than noble reasons, they tend to tear apart little pieces of their own self-esteem which can lead to isolation, and at times, a miserable existence.
Nogales, a clinical psychologist and well-known media personality, columnist, speaker, and advocate for victims of domestic, suggests that those who see lying as no big deal, or more aptly, simply a fact of life, reconsider what they are doing and why. She also says that such people need to reexamine the environment in which they live if the truly believe that lying is simply how life is lived.
The problem comes about when lying is used as a tool for deception, rather than as a means to prevent bad feelings. Also, sometimes, lying for one reason can be confused with another. For example, when someone lies to get ahead in their career. Such people can tell themselves that it’s the only way to succeed. This causes a distortion of reality that can lead to paranoia and eventually isolation.
Also, many people have come to see lying as a means to get through situations more quickly and easily. And while this might be true, doing so over time can lead difficulties when faced with circumstances that cannot be overcome with lies, and might also alienated others as they catch on to the strategy being used against them. Once again, isolation can result.
The biggest problem with chronic lying however, is when people begin to lose sight of who they really are. In some ways, it’s almost the same feeling as drug addicts experience. After years of making up stories about who you are or what you are about, your mind can become rather fluid as it tries to remember what is real and what isn’t. It’s this kind of lying that is most destructive as it not only leads to feelings of isolation, paranoia and fear of being found out, but to deep insecurities as the mind remembers that all the lying is simply a cover for masking the person you see as worthless beneath all the lies.
Dr. Nogales points out that most people, if they try, can put a stop to it all. It doesn’t take much more than some serous soul searching and a sincere desire to stop all lying.