Why do people lie? This is the golden question, isn't it? Truth is, there's not really one correct answer to this. People lie for many different reasons, and I'm sure I won't cover all of them!
Some people lie because they're afraid of how others will react if they find out the truth. Will they still love me or will they leave me? Will I be accepted? Will they get angry at me? Not knowing the answers to these questions can lead someone to lie. This doesn't make it ok for someone to lie - remember, we're explaining why people lie.
Some people lie or justify lying in order to make other people feel good or to put other's needs first. For example: Lying if someone hurt your feelings because you don't want the relationship to be awkward or you don't want to hurt that person's feelings. Also, sometimes people who struggle with Codependency will say "Yes" to things when they really want to say "No" to them. This is emotional dishonesty. Codependent people see this as "sacrificing their needs for others" or "taking one for the team". Fact is - it's lying. Period.
Some people lie in order to avoid getting at deeper issues of things, or to throw you off their trail. For example, a significant other may lie about their whereabouts in order to throw their spouse off the fact that they've relapsed and were at the bar drinking with friends. Lying can be a way to avoid talking about serious issues, thus prolonging problems and issues from being worked on.
By lying, some people can create the image they want others see of them. They want to look good, so anything they know others may not approve of, they will lie about, hide or cover up.
The sad reality is that some people do lie. The consequences are hurtful. As I mentioned earlier, there are many other reasons for lying, but this is a good start. If you find yourself struggling with the issue of lying or you're in a relationship with someone who struggles with lying, please seek help from a trusted counselor or minister.
We'll continue this series discussing why some people have trust issues.
Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.