Seven Recommendations about How to Stop Lying

June 24, 2019

We are told from childhood that lying is not good. Indeed, a confrontation with someone else’s lies is not the most pleasant moment in life. Everyone understands this, and yet, few people are trying to change their behavior. Statistics do not make happy reading: on average, a person lies 50-200 times daily! [1] What makes a person lie, even if he/she understands that he/she is doing wrong? In the article we’ll talk about how to stop lying.


  • What is a lie?
    • Why do people lie?
    • The negative consequences of lying
    • How to become a sincere person: Seven recommendations

What is lie?

A lie is a conscious utterance that is obviously not true. This is a deliberate transmission of distorted factual and emotional information in order to create or maintain in another person some kind of erroneous belief. [1]

Lies long ago penetrated all areas of our lives. It is said that without deception it is impossible to achieve success at work, keep a marriage for many years, raise a child, and maintain friendly relations with relatives and friends. This is a big error. Even a harmless lie can cause serious consequences for at least two people – for the one who lied, and for the one who was deceived.


Lying is a phenomenon that involves a variety of situations and tactics. Emotion, and actions, as well as words can be false. A person can distort data by removing important details from a story or embellishing reality. Even hiding important information is considered lying.

Why do people lie?

“I don’t know what to do with myself. I constantly lie – I make up stories, and sometimes completely “retell” them. I pass off my own fantasies as reality. I’m lying to everyone – friends, parents, husband. In the most recent case, I told my spouse that hospital staff behaved rudely to  me, although this was not true. I was just offended that the doctor did not accept me, so I lied. I did not expect this, but my husband began to call the authorities and demand that the employees who insulted me be punished immediately. The truth, of course, surfaced. As a result, I had to make excuses to everyone – my husband and the doctors. My husband was in shock, he looked at me in amazement – an adult, who had come up with this kind of nonsense! He has forgiven me because he loves me. But will he be able to tolerate me for much longer? My habit of lying has not gone away? I still lie – on trifles and serious issues. I can’t control myself and learn to become honest. I don’t know how to stop lying to a loved one”.

– Irina, 23

It is impossible to stop constantly lying to people without figuring out exactly what is pushing you to lie. People lie because they:


• are used to being “fake” from childhood;
• want to appear in the best light in the eyes of others;
• want to relieve themselves of responsibility or to justify their actions;
• want to manipulate others;
• seek to get some kind of benefit;
• want to meet the expectations of loved ones;
• are afraid to offend the interlocutor;
• are afraid to be honest and open;
• truly believe that their lies are true. [2]

The negative consequences of lying

None of the cases of deliberate lying lead to a productive outcome. Problems that a person lied or kept silent about, will not cease to exist. His/her real social status will not grow due to fictional achievements and successes. It is quite possible to force another person to do something by deceit, but a lie has the property of being revealed, and then the next time no one will want to deal with you.

A person who lies:


• can easily be under depression and oppressive fear,
• is often lonely and has communication problems,
• often participates in exhausting conflicts,
• has a bad reputation among colleagues, and few acquaintances,
• loses individuality. [3]

How to become a sincere person: Seven recommendations

“I’ve been married for 15 years and I don’t know what to do. My husband is lying to me all the time. He lies for any reason: that he will be soon at home, but he comes only after 2 hours; that he has lent a friend some money, although he himself spent it; that he paid the bills for the apartment, but actually has forgotten. I often catch him lying, but he constantly pretends that he does not lie. But why lie about home stuff issues? I don’t know how to explain to him that it’s time to stop lying. Calm conversations do not lead to anything, everything repeats again and again. We have a son who is 13 years old. The boy also lies all the time, copying the behavior of his father”.

– Marina, 35

Living honestly is a difficult journey requiring great personal change. It is impossible to stop overnight if lying has already become a pathological habit. It is a difficult struggle to adopt the usual model of behavior. In order to develop new personal qualities, it is necessary, step by step, to remove the many layers of lies, to look at life differently, to open eyes to unresolved problems and to acknowledge the mistakes made.

So how do you become sincere? Psychologists’ recommendations will help:

1. Be sincere with yourself

Many pathological liars eventually begin to believe their own untruths. This must not be allowed to develop. It is much more productive to admit a problem, not to run away from it. So why do you convince yourself that you didn’t call a friend because you have forgotten, and not because your relationship has been bad lately?

If you stop lying to yourself, you will be more honest with others.

2. Put yourself in the place of another person when you want to lie

To fight your own lie, when the desire to tell a lie is simply irresistible, try putting yourself in the place of another person. Here is the simplest, but very effective technique, which will gradually become a good habit. Before you lie, think about this: would you like yourself to hear that lie in a similar situation? Probably not. Develop empathy not to hurt the feelings of loved ones.

3. Highlight topics that make you lie

You should clearly see the reasons that make you constantly lie / embellish reality / hide the truth. Highlight these “painful” topics for yourself.

In what areas of life do you lie more often? This may be in your professional life, relations with a partner or while parenting. It seems easier to lie – even in a meaningless conversation you can seem better and more successful. All this is the reason for complexes and fears.

Having identified the problem areas for yourself, it will become easier for you to work productively on yourself.

4. If you can’t tell the truth, better keep silent

You understand that you cannot resist telling lies? Make yourself silent. Instead of making up stories again, politely get away from the question or change the topic. Perhaps your answer will create some awkwardness in the conversation, but it is much more productive than lying.

5. Do not exaggerate

To become an honest person, start small and stop embellishing your stories. Sometimes even routine discussions with a friend / girlfriend turn into boasting and tall tales. It seems that nothing bad will happen if you tell your colleagues how wonderful your vacation was, keeping silent that actually not the best hotel was chosen and all the time you were fighting with your spouse. But to be honest, you need to stop being afraid of being yourself.

Learn to control yourself. Do not embellish reality in conversations and do not give out advice, exposing yourself to be an expert in a particular issue which you know little about.


6. Stop gossiping

Even an innocent discussion with common friends can lead to unpleasant consequences. Yes, there is a desire to look better than others. But gossip for the most part is also a hoax, destroying friendships and professional relationships.

In order to stop gossiping, before engaging in an unpleasant conversation, think: could you say the same thing in person to the individual in question? If you can, then this is not gossip. But if not, you are likely to pull another person to pieces, which cannot be called good.

7. Practice telling the truth

If you are lying more often than telling the truth, practice being honest. This will help you be more open and recognize mistakes in your behavior.

One of the most effective forms of training is in communication with strangers (for example, on online forums). Openly communicate on thematic sites and reveal all the facets of your personality. To tell the truth to a person with whom you have no relationship is much easier, because of the absence of any negative consequences. It doesn’t matter what exactly you begin to discuss with strangers – your life, TV shows, favorite recipes, etc. The main rule is to tell the other person only the truth.

Another way to train the ability to be honest is to look at the mirror once a day and tell your reflection at least one truth that you hide from yourself or from others. This will help understand that admitting one’s own mistakes means doing the right thing and will help to develop decency. The time will come when you decide to sincerely reveal your lies to people whom you once offended. This will remove the burden of responsibility from your mind.

In order to stop lying to your beloved people, it is important to want to do so and come to understand that lying is just as bad a habit as, for example, smoking. The rejection of it must be decisive and unequivocal. In some cases, abuse of lies reaches such proportions that an independent solution to the problem becomes extremely difficult.

In the fight against a negative behavior model, including continuous lies, an excellent result is obtained by using the 7Spsy behavior modification technique. This is a certified methodology based on the theories of I.P. Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, A.A. Ukhtomsky and others.

Taking the course will help change the pathological model of behavior that prompts you to constantly tell lies – on trifles and on more serious issues. Very soon, the benefits of an honest life in which there is no place for lies will become apparent for you. You will notice that it is no longer necessary to remember the details of the told untruth, and those around you in response to your sincerity will begin to treat you with greater respect. Being engaged in the training program, you will replace negative attitudes with positive ones, and you will receive valuable recommendations that will help further develop honesty. Having understood your personal problems, you will stop going on about complexes and fears that constantly push you to knowingly lie and prevent you from developing.

The course of behavior modification lasts 2-6 weeks. Classes are held remotely, the psychologist gives recommendations via phone, e-mail and online chats. You do not have to tell anyone that you are training and solving your personal problems with a specialist. Participation in the course is strictly confidential.

To become honest means to become more self-confident, decent, and successful, and to rid yourself of numerous complexes. Lying can be destructive; it should not accompany you all your life. Being sincere is much more productive.


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