While I’ve always told little white lies here and there, I never thought it was a problem. Turns out, I’ve been a compulsive liar my entire life but I never realized it… until my boyfriend pointed it out.
He started calling me out on everything. When you’re a compulsive liar, you don’t even know you’re lying half the time. It’s not intentional. Your body doesn’t show the classic signs like fidgeting, looking away, or sweating, so neither you nor the person you’re talking to are aware of what’s going on. My partner made it his mission to question me on everything, making sure that I was telling the truth. These days, I’m a little more cautious about my lies.
He did his best to get me to change. He would bring it to my attention when I was clearly full a crap, and while I totally appreciated it later, in the moment, I felt like I was being attacked. It’s not his fault, of course—he was just trying to help and he knew that I wanted to drop this habit for both of our sakes. I’m actually really grateful that he doesn’t take my lies personally because I know that anyone else would lose their patience pretty quickly.
The lies were pretty harmless. This is why it never occurred to me that I was a compulsive liar. The lies weren’t causing any trouble. The majority of them were totally pointless, actually. I’d lie about what restaurant I went to that day or what movie I was watching—stuff that really doesn’t matter—but to me, all of these things are avenues in which someone could ridicule me or make fun of me. That’s why the lying started in the first place. I’ve never lied about important stuff like who I was hanging out with or who I’m texting. I would actually feel bad if I was dishonest about those things.
I’m sort of embarrassed that I was so unaware of my problem. Even though I get annoyed at him for pointing out my lies, I’m actually very grateful that he cares enough about me to bring it up. It really made me take a look at myself and made me realize how often I’m lying. It’s as if my entire life was a lie, up until I met him.
All of my lies were believable. That’s the scariest part about it. I sell my lies like the greatest actor to ever grace a stage. They also make sense because they only slightly veer from the truth. If I’m asked what time I got off work, I’ll just change the time by an hour… for no reason. Just for the thrill of lying, I guess. It’s almost like I”m addicted to doing it.
It all stems from me being insecure. Apparently, compulsive liars have experienced some sort of trauma either in childhood or young adulthood that they just can’t shake and lying has become a way to protect themselves from the judgment of others. I’m a generally nervous, insecure person and lying has become a way to stay safe and make sure no one calls me out. It’s worked for a long time, but now I can see how just straight up wrong it is.
I really want to stop for his sake. Even though my lies haven’t hurt him in any way, I don’t want to live like this anymore. He deserves someone who is totally, 100% present for him and not constantly hiding under a bed of lies.
It’s a way to cope with my social anxiety. I’ve been socially anxious since high school. I’d actively avoid social situations, especially close, one-on-one encounters where I could potentially get “found out.” This is how I’ve managed to avoid being in a relationship for so long. I have this light level of paranoia that people won’t approve of me or are out to get me or whatever. Lying became this way of having control over my image. I could turn myself into an ideal if I tried, and doing that has turned me into a super stealthy liar.
It’s definitely because of how I was raised. Looking back, I was always questioned about things by my parents. Whatever I did or said, they would always try to prove me wrong. Like, are you sure? And how do you know that? My parents never trusted me so I never trusted myself to be right about anything. I was also afraid of getting in trouble, so instead of telling them the truth about what I was doing, I would lie. It’s become a habit that feels impossible to break.
I just want him to trust me again. I would love nothing more than to live my life in truth, and I really do believe in the old saying of “the truth will set you free.” Once I learn to be totally truthful, then I’ll be able to trust people and in turn they’ll trust me back. I know I’ll get there. It’s just gonna take some practice.
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