Updated: Jul 8, 2021
What is a lie? Is it sometimes a matter of perspective and opinion or more than that? What about the lies we tell ourselves and communicate to others? A lie is a mistruth, it's asserting something to be true, when it's false. This is done with the purpose of deceiving someone...even if that someone is yourself.
Certain personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder for example, means your mindset and day to day functioning involve regular lying. Individuals with personality disorders lie with the goal of getting attention, power, control, for fun, to feel safe and secure, to obtain resources, and sometimes just out of a regular habit.
But it can be argued that not all lies are problematic. Some lies can protect you, like when you say a positive narrative of past traumatic events that makes you feel like something never happened or wasn't 'really that bad'. That is a protective, defense mechanism to help keep you going. I saw this a lot when I worked with victims of violence and survivors of sexual abuse. Another form of lying is denial. When we are in denial about something we are not admitting and acknowledging the truth, which is probably too painful at the time to face. But nevertheless, it is a type of lie. We can be in denial about the state of our relationships, jobs, health, finances, etc. Denial is meant to protect us so we can keep going.
But what I'm interested in here is- what are the lies you're telling yourself? Can you see where you can improve yourself? Or do you feel that everything you do is perfect, great and anything negative that occurs is someone else's 'fault'? Do you ever tell 'mistruths' to slant things in a certain direction, or because you're afraid?
Where is dishonesty happening in your life? ...
Dishonesty can be helpful, and in fact a gift. Seeing where it's occurring can help us to see the areas where we aren't feeling safe and we feel we need to protect ourself. Dishonesty is in some ways a pointer, to where we feel afraid and where we are protecting ourselves. As humans we don't have fur, claws, or any kind of physical protection. For many people, lying and dishonesty can become a form of protection. They feel they can consciously or unconsciously keep themselves safe either by lying to themselves and/or others.
This may work as a short term solution, but in reality over time you're giving away your power and who you are for the sake of feeling a little safer. Over time, you can end up betraying who you are and what you really need... and lying can be a form of suppression.
So if you find yourself lying, even if it's just to yourself- it's ok <3
Please don't judge yourself too harshly. But instead, it can be helpful to reflect on why you're doing it and why you aren't feeling safe. Then ask yourself, what can I do to feel more secure in myself and in my life?