How to deal with the urge to lie?

I have a tendency to do things like lie, frequently and I only really feel bad about it when someone finds out or if it’s going to really hurt them. I can lie about anything and i do it pretty much daily. I know that it’s wrong and that I shouldn’t but I just keep doing it
Asked by V

Hi V.  Thank you for your question, I think it is brave of you to be so honest in how you are feeling.  I can sense how much you want to stop the lying but it seems you have got yourself in a pattern and you can not get yourself to stop now even though you know you will feel bad when someone discovers it or you know it might affect them in some way. 

I think a good place to start would be to try and understand why you do it. It has to be meeting a need within you to make you do it.  You just do not know what it is yet.  By examining your thoughts, emotions and behaviors (in this case lying) we would be able to have a look for any patterns that have formed, what the triggers are and then begin to introduce strategies to help you stop.  Once the triggers are known you will also have more self-awareness and can begin to implement strategies when you feel you are at a point at which you could lie.  This will help you to stop.

Another approach to run alongside this one would be to have the conventional person centred therapy where we explore where this need has come from and what need it is meeting within you.  Does it come from something you witnessed growing up, was it something you needed to do in the past to stop something from happening or to stop you feeling a certain way?  These scenarios could easily form a pattern of behaviors which are no longer helpful for you, and in fact you do not want to do any more.   It sounds like you have now done this for such a long time, that something you perhaps did periodically for small reasons you now find yourself doing everyday, all the time.

I feel with the right support and with you wanting and being ready to make a change you could stop.  The strategies would need you to practice, practice and practice but in time you would find yourself doing it less and therefore new patterns of behaviors would form and you would no longer be doing it.