How To Stop Lying

Why You Shouldn't Lie

Lying is a Horribly Destructive Habit 

Any destructive habit leads to painful consequences. When we choose to lie, we also choose to suffer. Think how much better off we’d be if we stopped lying and lived the truth. Listen to the words of Jennifer: "I was lied to my whole life by my mother. Every day 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?"

Jennifer realizes that 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.

Once 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.

Why Am I Lying So Much?

Sometimes, honesty is hard. For whatever reason, a lie feels like the easier or safer choice in a situation, and the next thing you know, you’re caught in a web of them. Here are some possible reasons why you might find yourself lying frequently:

  • You may lie to avoid facing negative consequences or conflict. Fear of being punished, judged, or rejected can drive you to hide the truth.
  • If you struggle with low self-esteem, you might lie to impress others. Lying might temporarily boost your self-image by giving you some positive attention or approval from others.
  • Lying can also be a way to shirk responsibility or avoid accountability for your actions. You may make excuses or blame others to avoid owning up to a mistake or a failure or to keep from having to clean up a mess you made.
  • Sometimes, people lie to protect the feelings or reputations of others. While this might seem noble, it’s still dishonest, and that will eat away at people’s trust in you over time.
  • If lying has become a habitual pattern for you, it might be a coping mechanism you developed because of childhood trauma, or a behavior that you learned from a dysfunctional family member.
  • Lying can also be a symptom of underlying mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or personality disorders.

If any of these sound familiar, don’t worry—it's never too late to make positive changes. Examine the root causes of your lying habit and address them with honesty and self-compassion. Seeking support from a licensed therapist can give you the guidance and tools you need to cultivate self-awareness and healthier coping mechanisms

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 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."

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 to 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 than to lie about everything. Take the time to think about what the consequences are going to be of what I say or are 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 the 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."

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 at 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. And when you confess, you can also ask God to help you break the habit. The Bible promises God will always show us a way out:

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13.

God actually has a lot to say about lying in the Bible. Check out these Verses of Hope for Lying.

5. Be realistic about what you promise to 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 that 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 an 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.

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!”

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.

Like any Addiction - It's Not Easy to Stop Lying...But Worth It.

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 an 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 help to stop lying, check out, Top Two Reasons You Should Stop Lying Plus How Liars Get Caught

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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297 comments on “How To Stop Lying”

  1. Hello Anna, Thank you for reaching out. It's completely understandable that lying has been because of your trust issues. We are proud of you for seeking help for your lying problem. Lying is an addiction and with help, you can overcome your need to lie. Would you be open to chatting online with one of our Hope Coaches about what is going on? A Hope Coach will listen and help you with any resources you may need to prevent this from happening in the future. To chat with a Hope Coach go to:

  2. Hello my name is Ben and I am a liar. Lying has become a second nature to me and I will lie over the littlest things. This has impacted my relationship with my girlfriend who I love very much, but it’s gotten to the point where my lying has came between us and she no longer trust me. I’m looking to getting help and stopping this really bad habit of mine.

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