WHY ACoAs LIE (Part 2)

hide self 

to let anyone know the real me!

PREVIOUS: Why ACoAs Lie (Part 1)

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“We lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth”. However, this does not imply that all of us are pathological liars, although some are.
Yes, everyone lies sometimes & occasionally it’s the only safe recourse, but ACoAs tend to lie when it’s not actually necessary, useful or wise.  We can lie by making up untruths OR by omitting important info at crucial times (may be considered passive-aggressive)

COMPULSION: Compulsive liars (CLs) do so as a reflexive way of responding to questions. They bend the truth about most things, important & unimportant, since honesty feels awkward & uncomfortable to them, while lying feels right.

• Lying usually develops in early childhood, growing up in an environment where telling the truth was dangerous or unacceptable. For the most part, CLs are not overly manipulative or cunning (unlike sociopaths). They do know they’re not being honest, but it’s a hard pattern to break & one that takes its toll on every relationship

PAST: Lying was often the only way to protect ourselves & get some needs met in a stressful hiding childenvironment. We were constantly told our emotions & observations were wrong or crazy, so we learned to hide them from others & sometimes even from ourselves.  We understood very early that our parents really did not want to hear the truth, & so could save ourselves a lot of grief if we lied to them

EXP: Terry’s parents were restrictive & controlling, while being emotionally abusive & abandoning.  As a teen she fell in love with a man she knew they would be violently opposed to, so she came up with a plan to see him whenever their scheduled meshed.  From time to time she told her mother a few days ahead of a rendezvous – that ‘next Tuesday’ she’d be at the library after school to study (which she often did anyway).

Then every other day until then, she’d remind her mother about it so there would be no questions about her being late on that day. When Tue came Terry would get together with her guy. She was finally able to receive some desperately needed love & positive attention throughout her Senior year  – by lying!

b. OVER-HONEST – another ACoA irony is that while we found lying to be a survival mechanism in our dangerous & chaotic childhood, we also have a compulsion to over-disclose (TMI), by telling:
• every little detail of a situation      • the bald truth to everyone
• what we know about others (can’t keep a secret)
• everything that’s wrong with us (S-H)
• exactly what we think of someone, no matter how insensitive, inappropriate, cruel of self-destructive!

✶ The Inner Child part of us truly believes that to not tell someone what we know about them (their flaws, bad behavior, annoying ways…) or what we really think about a situation we’re upset about — is being untrue to ourselves! because:
• we want to letyour flaws them know that we know (to not be ignored & to cut thru their denial)
• we want to rub their face in it (our rage at their deception)
• we want them to get the message & change! (as my dear mother used to say “Wake up & die right!”)

❇️  What all this TMI really represents is lack of boundaries, lack of good judgment & letting the WIC run amok with its outrage!
BUT behind that is an attempt to compensate for all the lies, secrets, denial & ‘mind-fucking’ we were drowning in as kids


WHY ACoAs LIE (Part 1)

when I tell people how awful I am?

PREVIOUS: Adult Play Benefits – #2

IRONIC & Humorous article : How to Lie – 14 ways

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QUOTEs: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”  — Nietzsche
▪︎ “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” — Virginia Woolf
▪︎ “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”
— Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina

Everyone lies, sometimes, in varying degrees – even knowing that it causes problems. This universal reaction is tied to self-esteem. People want to look good to themselves & to others. The higher the threat to ones self-image, the bigger the lies.
Many animals engage in deception, deliberately misleading another, but only humans are wired to deceive both themselves. Lying to oneself (denial), mostly unconscious, is used by anyone who believe they can not bear to acknowledge (not accept) what they truly know about themselves or their loved ones
• to cover one’s butt when they’ve done something wrong & don’t have the courage to admit it
— to make themselves feel smarter & superior to everyone – a way to have the power to fool, or to make fools of others, who they disrespect for swallowing the lies
• to cover feeling inferior, because they believe others won’t accept them for who they are, so they “enhance / embellish / exaggerate” their accomplishments…. in conversation, on resumes, dating sites….lie to protect

SOMETIMES lying is necessary, IF —
• is saves you from more abuse (as a child / by spouse)
• your reputation, your rights or your life are in danger
• it could save your job, your home, your community
• it protects your family from harm by another
• it’s the only way to protect your privacy
This is not an endorsement of lying, only acknowledging certain realities

Pathological -grossly abnormal- liars (PLs) suffer from habitual dishonesty they can’t seem to control, which can be part of other ailments such as Manic-depression, Paranoia, Conduct Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder…… and can be a reaction to childhood incest, torture, constant beatings……

They’ve created a fantasy world that’s ‘better’, so they actually believe their own lies, not consciously realizing what they’re saying is mostly fiction. It’s a persistent & pervasive compulsion, motivated by survival rather than some kind of reward or other external factors (social pressure, family obligation, loss of job…)

• In some cases, an important factor in pathological lying is the difference in the brain. A study by Yang et al., published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2007, found that brain scans of PLs  showed structural differences in the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain controls morality, honesty and remorse
compulsive liar
PLs show less gray matter, associated with the controls needed for moral behavior (less inhibiting factors) & more white matter, which is possibly associated with increased brain activity (more lying). (More…. )

• Some PLs may be Sociopaths – people who lie incessantly to get their way, are goal-oriented (lying is focused on self-gratification), have no regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. They are often charming & charismatic, use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways, & have no remorse for their illegal or immoral activities

SITE:  Pathological Liar vs. Straight Shooter

NEXT: Why ACoAs Lie (Part 2)