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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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whats the fastest way to stop compulsive lying or combat i

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whats the fastest way to stop compulsive lying or combat it?

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating and confusing this situation must be for you. You are not giving a lot of details about the compulsive lying, so I will answer based on general knowledge. You need to remember, though, that each person is unique and so you may find that self help techniques are not enough to combat the problem and that you need to seek therapy to help you with both the behavior (lying) and the emotional drives and needs that are causing the behavior, the compulsive lying.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. For most people who lie compulsively, it is has become a habitual behavior. But it's not so much an obsessive disorder as it is a problem of self-worth and self-image.

Interestingly, I just finished a few months ago working with a man in my office who came with the exact same problem to therapy. Now in his case it was a need my client had to create an image of competence. What do I mean?

For most people, compulsive lying has a common purpose: to avoid criticism, to look good in others' eyes, to seem competent, to please, etc. See the problem that is emerging here?

That problem is one of not feeling able within yourself to see yourself as the person you want to be. There is a need to fabricate a fantasy that you don't believe exists in the real word that would make you feel worthwhile and complete. Yes, it's a self worth problem. And it often does relate to youth experiences. In fact, my client was bullied (not sexually) very much in middle and high school. Interesting isn't it?

Let me share with you some things you can do that he did in therapy:


He had to take some time and feel what he feels when he needs to lie. He has to get familiar with that feeling and need. And when he feels that feeling, he needs to tell himself to hold on and not speak. To take a minute, a full minute if he needs, and breathe and not do the automatic lie to make himself look better. Just that. Get to know the feeling and then not make the lie automatic. Take a breath first and choose how you want to answer.

The second step is a self-worth building exercise for self help since we're not in therapy session:

And in our society the best tools we have for popular consumption when it comes to confidence in self and building self worth is the motivational speakers. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motivational+speakers&aq=f


Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. There are now wonderful women speakers as well. There are now great women speakers as well if you're interested as well. Watch them all. Get inspired. Buy a book or two. Here are some possibilities, but they are only suggestions as there are so many good ones.

The first book is the father of all these type of books. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. There are classes in these books now! It was written in the 1930s and still has something to say to us today that is very worthwhile.

I think very highly of the second book on my list, which is a real classic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is the book that has helped more people than probably any other.

The third book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within.

So, I hope you see how I'm working with this: it's not the "lying" that I'm focusing on. It's the outward image he's trying to create (at least with you, maybe with everyone) that I'm trying to have him address.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am the liar I need sought your help. What you said makes alot of sense. Usually when I lie its about the little things. I twist the facts in my favor to make myself look better to myself. As my girlfriend pointed out to me it doesnt make the story look better to anyone but myself.


 


Thank you for your advise is there any other self help exercises you'd recommend? Im going to do the take a breath one.

I think you will be surprised how actually doing the motivational speakers' self esteem building exercises you'll find in their videos and books will help you focus more on who you are rather than your sense of not being good enough and not being quite what you need to be. Which has created this habit of creating a fantasy you that always does the right things, etc. even little stuff.


So, actually use those speakers to help yourself. The breath technique is really quite useful as well. And in between these, spend time thinking about the self worth paragraphs I've written to you. Print them out and actually consider them: how did you get to feel this way? How did this lying habit start? What were you like before the lying? Why did you start? What were you feeling about yourself that made you start? Get to know yourself and the behavior pattern you created. Your girlfriend clearly thinks you're a good person, she stays your girlfriend. So somehow you have negated that feeling about yourself she has. So get to know yourself and how it happened.


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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