Rather than guilt, which focuses on sorrow for wrongdoing, shame is an intense belief that you are a bad person. People who lie often feel ashamed about themselves or their choices, and deceive others in an attempt to shield themselves from further feelings of shame. This is why lying is often cyclical. For example, in an effort to hide shame from damaging relationship choices like cheating or anger issues, people who have made those choices tend to cover them up. Because they’re hiding the behavior rather than getting help, it often continues in future relationships.