Lying and Trust Issues: How to Respond

What to do if you think you are being lied to:

Don't obsess-- when you invest all of your emotional energy in what another person is doing, you are only hurting yourself and handing your personal power over to that person to define whether or not you are "okay". 

Learn to take care of yourself, instead.  Detaching can be a powerful thing and an important one in self-care.  That doesn't mean that you allow inappropriate behavior, it just means that you realize what you can and can't control.  If someone isn't being honest with you, you only have control over your own choices.  In the long run, they are the ones who are losing out.  But obsessing over them is only going to deplete you of energy. 

Don't obsess, but have healthy boundaries of what you will and will not allow in your life.  Sometimes that means walking away.

Confront the person with the evidence you have.  Be realistic in your expectations of how they will react.  Ideally, the other person will be humbled, broken, remorseful and offer sincere apologies and genuine, lasting change.  Often times, you will be met with defensiveness, hostility, reactivity and anger.  This doesn't feel good when you are dealing with betrayal, so be prepared to set clear boundaries and limits with what you will accept.  Then FOLLOW THROUGH. When you have evidence, you have your truth.  That is a place to begin healing-- with or without the other person.

You may choose to not confront the individual.  Remember that if you are going to put yourself in physical, emotional or mental danger by confronting another person, do NOT do it alone, if at all!  We definitely don't endorse denial, but if confrontation creates unsafety, it's not healthy to do it.  Sometimes it's better to not confront, but many times that will mean a roadblock to healing that relationship in the long run.

Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.