Dawson’s Blog

How To Stop Lying

There’s no question lying is a horribly destructive habit. And any destructive habit leads to painful consequences. When we choose to lie, we choose to suffer. Think how much better off we’d be if we would stop lying and live in the truth. Listen to the words of Jennifer: “I was lied to my whole life by my mother…everyday it was something new. After living with her for 14 years, I sometimes find myself exaggerating, and making up stories to seem cool. I don’t ever want to be like my mother, so how do I stop before I hurt my family, friends, and myself?”

Once we see how easy it can be to lie, we start sliding down that slippery slope leading to a… Click To Tweet

Jennifer realizes lying can go from one generation to the next. One hurt person will then hurt another person, because the curse of lying is not stopped.
how to stop lyingOnce we see how easy it can be to lie, and to control what other people think about us, we start sliding down that slippery slope leading to a miserable, addicted place. So the most important question we can ask today is: How do we stop lying?

8 Practical Steps to Stop Lying

1. Admit you have a problem. This is always the first, biggest, and most difficult step. Find someone you trust and tell them about your lying habit…no matter how big or small you think the problem is. The fact is you don’t want to lie anymore, but you can’t stop lying on your own. You need help to stay accountable. Megan said: “When I met the man who is now my husband, I knew I needed to work on [my lying] because I wanted/needed to be completely truthful with him. I told him that I wanted his help, and was amazed that he loved me enough to stick with me (even the few times I lied to him) and fight it out with me.”

Find someone you trust and tell them about your lying habit…no matter how big or small you think… Click To Tweet

2. Remind yourself how lying messes up your life. Lying destroys relationships and adds a tremendous burden to your life. Understanding that there will be consequences is a powerful deterrent in breaking the habit of lying. Phillip suffered the consequences of his lying in a big way: “I used to lie all the time, and I would normally end up getting caught in the end. It took me going to prison to find out that the truth is a much better way to go then to lie about everything. Take the time to think about what the consequences are going to be of what I say or am about to do?”

3. Try to figure out what pressured you to lie. What were you trying to hide? What would have been a better way to tell the truth? For example, all addicts feel they must lie to cover up their addiction. The more they cover up their addiction, the better they get at lying, and deceiving. Almost every lie has a reason behind it. Wrong actions almost always lead to lies. The reason Hannah lies is to control people around her. That in itself can be an addiction. “I try not to lie but if I see someone that I like pulling away from me because they think I’m weird I’ll start telling lies to get me closer to them. I end up living this horrible lie.”

Wrong actions almost always lead to lies. Click To Tweet

4. Tell someone when you lie. Admitting a lie can make a world of difference, and while it might hurt your pride, it’s far better than being a liar. Even better, confess to the person you lied to immediately and seek their forgiveness. This is humbling, but it will cause you to stop and think before you tell another lie. Someone once said, Confession is good for the soul. And it is also good in helping us break bad habits. It would also be wise to confess your lying before God. After all, He’s heard every lie you’ve ever told.

When you realize you have lied, confess to the person you lied to immediately and seek their… Click To Tweet

5. Be realistic about what you promise others. Deliberately broken promises are lies that lead to broken hearts. If you promise to do something and never intend to follow through, that is a lie. Additionally, many lies begin as a way to cover up the fact we can’t possibly do everything we promised we were going to do. Be honest about what you’re capable of doing, admitting to yourself and others your limitations, and you won’t feel a need to lie.

6. Talk to others about their expectations of you. If you find yourself lying to cover up how you have fallen short of others expectations of you have a conversation with your parents, friends, or teachers in order to come to agreement about what is reasonable for them to expect. Don’t sell yourself short. You may not be expecting enough of yourself, but an open discussion to get everyone on the same page is important.

start telling truth
7. Practice telling the truth. When you start to feel the urge to lie, stop and think for a moment. Think about what the other person would feel about you if they knew you were lying. Think about how you would feel if people lied to you all the time. And then, as painful as it may seem, tell the truth. The more we tell others the truth, the easier it is to continue to do it. Lying is a bad habit. Telling the truth is a good habit. Work on breaking your bad habit by replacing it with a good one. Angel said: “It spreads like wildfire when someone is caught lying. Then when the person is actually telling the truth, no one will believe them because they have told so many lies. For the sake of your family, friends, and loved ones, always tell the truth even if you are afraid of the outcome!”
The more we tell others the truth, the easier it is to continue to do it. Click To Tweet

8. Commit to a life of honesty, at all costs. Telling the truth might be horribly uncomfortable for you, but you’re starting to walk down a path of honesty and integrity, turning yourself into the person you desire to be. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t lie and make something up. Say, I don’t know. The freedom of the truth will be liberating.

Let’s be honest…it is going to be very difficult to stop lying. Claudia admitted: “I have learned that when you start lying it is hard to stop. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to get over a habit that has been a big part of your life.”

However, as you wake up to the reality of what you’re saying and doing and put a stop to the lies you are telling, you will soon reap the benefits of living a peaceful life. I promise, if you put forth effort to stop this toxic and destructive habit right now, you’ll be grateful forever.

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think are some of the rewards of being honest?

For more information and help, click the link below to download TheHopeLine® eBook, “Understanding Lying.”

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • gabriella

    I have lied my whole life and know I am ready to stop because it has broken me down to the point I have lost my family and friends is there anyway u can help me

  • TheHopeLine Team

    Hi Gabriella, You have taken the first step and have reached out for help! It takes a lot of courage to come to this point in your life. I want you to know you are not alone. We can help you with what you are going through. The next step is to call us at 800.394.4673 or register to chat at http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp. We also have a new app that you can download to your phone to chat, talk and find hope and encouragement. You can download TheHopeLine app to your phone here: http://thehope.dm/thlmobileapp We are here for you anytime!

  • maureen andeson

    i have not to stop lying.

  • Maria

    I cant stop lying to this one guy who meant so much to me and in my life. I lied over ten times about my past and how many guys I had sex with. Ended up losing him at the end :'( literally just now when he gave me a million chances to tell the truth I couldn’t. I messed up because I truly lost someone that I LOVE. My first love and my last :'(

  • cody

    Thanks for whoever made this

  • Sarah

    I lied to my friend about a numerous number of things to seem cooler, I guess.I realised now what the consequences can be like. I really am trying to stop. I can’t confess to her and tell her everything is a lie. She’ll hate me & right now she is the only person in my life that I care about. I’m trying to stop lying and forget the earlier lies. I can only pray that this works or I will lose the only good person in my life.

    • Unknown

      I know how that one feels… It hurts to know you lie to seem cool… But it takes a lot to stop lying. I grew up around lies and basically the whole “monkey see, monkey do” concept is true. Sadly enough. I honestly haven’t stopped just yet, I have a lot of progress to make and truths to tell. My lies will cost my friends and trust of family members…

  • BAYLEAF

    Your never going to stop getting in trouble its a part of growing up. just when you get caught tell them yeah I did that and it was a really stupid choose and I wont do it again and move on. but don’t lie it only gets u in more trouble. something that really helped me was I had a rubber band around my wrist and any time I felt like lying I snapped it. just told the truth. I hope this helps

  • tanya

    i want & will stop lying ive been a compulsive liar most of my life i was raised to the saying ‘lie ur ass off’ i disagree n wish i would of been different then my family. i have a beautiful 3yr old daughter and amazing fiancee that i have lied to so many times but that dont stop her from loving me but it has ruined her trust with me, so i cant change the past but i can better our future for our family. so im gonna read & learn from people with my disease and how to stop. ive prayed about it and asked god to forgive n help me. there is hope i know there is and i wont stop till i succeed!

  • Have you downloaded the free eBook? It goes into even more detail about causes of lying and how to change – http://www.thehopeline.com/ebooks/ Or chat with a HopeCoach anytime. All chats are free and private.

  • sahil

    i lie to my parents all the time i want to stop but cant, i just want to stop and regain my parents trust………. because i know that lying will get me somewhere…….. it will get me in a jail someday.

  • Harper

    I HAVE LIED ALL MY LIFE…. I have even spent a weekend in jail. Every time …. I think, I got a hold on it, I mess up again. I hate myself for lying and I know I need help. The only one who can take this away is GOD!!! It’s the only way any of us stand a chance, But why is it still so HARD.

  • oddy

    I have never been much of a liar (I’m a terrible liar), but I have lied about some pretty big things to my fiancé. A few years ago, I lied to him about a title loan I had. I was a single mom of 2 small children, and just trying to get by (and sinking fast). It caused a lot of hurt and anger understandably on his part. We worked through it and I swore I would never lie to him again. Until last year, I kept that promise. Suddenly, I lost my job and since he has been at home due to a work injury, We were struggling financially and instead of talking to him about it, I thought I would take matters into my own hands and racked up my credit cards to pay bills. When I finally got another job, I was still behind. A family of 4 on only my income became really hard, and so I took out 2 loans. Again, to pay our bills. Because of these loans, I naturally started getting further and further behind. I never told him about it. I guess in my silly mind, I thought I was actually protecting him by not telling him. I rationalized what I was doing. It was wrong. We tried to work through that too, but there was enough damage done. I told him I would pay the loans off with my tax return. But once my tax return came around, I didn’t make it my priority and then ran out of money to pay off the full balances. I paid them down thinking I would get it paid off in one or two more payments after that. But one of the loans kept racking up interest. I then refinanced one loan (the one that could be paid down) to pay off the other. But after looking in my bank account and seeing what I had done, he is livid.Because he could tell I was hiding something, he starting believing that I was cheating on him with someone at work (the LAST thing on my mind).

    A little off topic, when I am nervous, I get a red blotch on my neck that closely resembles a hickey. The day I took out one of the loans, I was obviously nervous and stressed and developed a blotch on my neck. He was and still is convinced it was a hickey. The day I took out a second loan, I developed another blotched. At this point he was absolutely convinced that they were hickeys.

    Because of all of this he figures that if I lied, then I must have cheated too. I was getting so sick of being accused of cheating, that a few weeks ago, after another argument about it, a coworker texted me. It was just a simple innocent text of him asking who called him and me replying that I didn’t know. That was it. I never gave this coworker my number (he probably got it from my boss), and I hardly ever talk to him at work. In fact, most of my time at work is me sitting on the opposite end of the office from everyone else buried in papers and files all day. Anyway, after him and I argued, I deleted the texts from the coworker, mostly because I knew that if he looked at my phone and saw the texts, no matter how simple, that he would start accusing me of cheating and giving out my phone number to this guy. So, I decided to just avoid the confrontation all together. I never put his number in my phone, because like I said, I hardly ever talk to him to begin with.

    Anyway, on Saturday, this same coworker called me on my day off to ask me about a customer that was in the office. After I hung up, my fiancé checked my phone and found the history of where I deleted the text. Now, he is furious, and CONVINCED that I have cheated on him. I didn’t. Never would.

    The bottom line is, because I have told these lies, now he thinks that everything I am saying is a lie. I even, in front of him, put a Bible in my hand and swore to God that I would tell the truth, no matter how bad it was, at all times. But he still doesn’t believe me, convinced now that every word I say is a lie. I meant that promise. I don’t ever want to go through this again. None of this I thought at the time, was to hurt him, but I have had to accept the fact that we don’t succeed in life on just “good intentions.” We don’t hurt the people we love most in this world, and hurting him is exactly what I did.

  • You can do it! Just the fact that you want to change is a great first step. Please chat with us online and we can help you find the direction you are looking for. We are here for you 24/7 – http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • Alka

    I stole money from my sister last year and did it once once more this year, and i lie a lot to my friends to sound cool. I lie to my parents sometimes I even regret doing it.The reason why i followed this link is because i think I’m now addicted to it. Sometimes I tell myself I mustn’t lie but I just tend to. What should I do to stop this?
    I feel if I confess, all the people I lied to will turn their backs on me

    Please help

  • It is not fair that they have put a label on you. Lying is a behavior, but it does not define who you are. People can definitely change. We want to talk to you. https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • I am sorry you are struggling with this, but I believe you can overcome this habit of lying. Your desire to do better is a great place to start and realizing where the need to lie came from growing up in a chaotic family. We have a free eBook that goes into more detail about getting help http://info.thehopeline.com/lying-ebook and you can chat with a HopeCoach anytime 24/7 – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • The two of you could read our free eBook about lying. It is a good way to start the discussion. Someone else who read it said, “My ex husband lies all the time we have two children and I always wanted to know why? This is helping me and I sent the information to him.” Here is the link to download it – http://info.thehopeline.com/lying-ebook

  • I am sorry you are struggling with this, but there is still hope. Recognizing you have a lying problem and wanting to change is the first step. You and your boyfriend will learn a lot through reading TheHopeLine® eBook, “Understanding Lying.” Getting to the root of the problem will start you on a path of healing. Download it here – http://info.thehopeline.com/lying-ebook

  • Rick

    I don’t think I will ever be able to stop lying. I’ve been lying since as far back as I can remember.

  • Abraham Garcia

    I cant stop the little white lies. And i only have this problem with my wife. Its really starting to mKe her hate me. But im so focused on not making a small thing bigger i lie to try to dissuade but it only makes things worse which i awknowledge. But its almost inate. I explain right after but by then her thought process has jumped to an extreme scenario which in turn makes the situation overwhelming and bad

  • TheHopeLine® has a free eBook about lying. There is some really helpful advice and true stories in it – http://info.thehopeline.com/lying-ebook

  • briana

    I lost the love of my life because I can’t stop lying about stupid things to either avoid confrontation/an argument or to spare his feelings or just anything of the sort. I loathe myself for this awful trait I possess. I want it to stop.

  • I am 13 I cannot stop lying… you say that you just need to admit when you lie, but it’s not that easy. I choose to lie to get out of trouble. I just can’t stop. Please help. Any advice would be much appreciated! Please…

  • Dia

    I told a really bad lie and this article changed my life

  • Dia

    What do you do if telling someone the truth is going to hurt there feelings? Example
    Wife: honey do I look good
    Husband: yes ou look great
    But really she doesn’t .

  • Jack

    I lie when I am too scared to face the truth. A couple of weeks ago, I made a mistake that I can never forgive myself for. I used illegal substances and ever since then, everyone who knows about it hasn’t looked at me the same. Every day I think about this mistake I made and since then I haven’t been able to stop lying. My relationship with my parents was deeply affected and will never be the same because of ME. I feel like crap and when other people can move on from this, I still can’t and I would do anything to go back and change the mistakes I made. I’m a Freshman in high school and I want to be in the US Marine Corps but liars can’t be trusted and can easily get booted out. This is a story to not only do illegal things but to not lie because it is very hard to break a compulsive lying habit. -Jack

    • Jack, there is hope. Have you downloaded our free eBook about lying? Getting to the heart of why you are lying is really important. You can chat with a HopeCoach anytime 24/7 – it’s safe, confidential, and free – here is the link https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ Jack, everyone makes mistakes in life and we learn from them and become better people.
      Here is the link to the free eBook, which would also be good to share with your parents to get a conversation started. Your parents love you and want to know the truth so that they can love you through it. http://info.thehopeline.com/lying-ebook

    • lynne ann

      Jack, You are being far too hard on yourself. First teenagers are the hardest critics and they don’t mean to be, they are growing. Secondly even the best of teenagers lie. You can rebuild what part of your reputation you think you lost by NOT doing it again…first and foremost…drugs will ruin your life. On the lying end of things, this is something you can control…Forgive your past lies, stop lying and move on. Before you know it you will be far more comfortable with yourself and self esteem. Remember you and your friends all want to fit in, but that doesn’t mean by choosing the option that will hurt you. You will find the friends that need you to say “no” too. Now forgive yourself sweetie. I hope you will be a Marine someday. Part of being a man is facing the truth and dealing with the consequences. The more you practice it the easier it gets and the stronger you will become…just a like Marine. Just be true to yourself Jack…no more drugs!!!

  • CAMERON COWAN

    can anyone help me please my lying habit has made my life a living heck? if you can cause it is really hard to tell the truth and I ly to try to stay out of trouble.

  • liberty

    last night i lied to my dad, he’s my hero. and i don’t deserve all the things he gives me. in the past years my mom has always lied to me and my family, i promised myself i wouldn’t become like her. and that’s where the lie’s started, i lied to myself that i wouldn’t be like her. when i was little all i ever did was lie, but i got away with it. it hurts me that i struggle to control myself when i lie. i really hate it every time i do i feel guilty. my dad left me alone at home and said he wanted me out. i would like some advice on how to earn his trust back?

  • Itumeleng Colin Buthane

    I really need help I lie about anything everything to my family and worse part to my girlfriend. Lied about my babe that he was dead and the tattoo on my hand remind me of him (instead it’s my grand mom who past on) lied about my age to her that I’m 31 and I’m 28 she’s 30.

  • Lee

    Hi, I’m a 45 year old man who has lied to everyone including myself for many years. I have now lost everything, my home, a steady job and most importantly the love of my life. I feel utterly destroyed and I need help before its to late for me. What can I do to reverse this downward spiral into oblivion ?

  • Triptrip32

    42 years old and still making up stuff or exaggerating stuff to make story seem cooler. I hate it, I just want to stop but find myself doing it over and over and then feel stupid afterwards. They are usually dumb senseless lies that don’t get me out if trouble, the weird thing is I actually can’t lie to get out of trouble but I can make up stories all day, I used to do this when I got really drunk so I stopped drinking in excess to avoid running into this behavior but now I’m doing it completely sober. I just want to stop but I’m keep doing it.

  • Triptrip32

    Going to try this. I have stop these lies, it’s killing me inside.

  • Connor

    I lie about playing games. I have been caught many times and still repeatedly play video games on my laptop. I dissapointed my parents to the point where they are going to send me to boarding school. I want to stop but I can’t. I need help fast. I love my parents and I want to earn back their trust and stop playing video games. Please help me

    • Andrew

      Talk to them maturely about it and if you really cant stop have them hide your laptop until you feel the stop feeling the urge to play games