No one thinks they purposely lie to themselves.
And even if you did, how would you know?
Knowing when and why you lie to yourself helps you open your heart to love and acceptance yourself.
Here is how to open your heart to start seeing and accepting the truth about yourself.
Anyone who lies to themselves will likely never know it, let alone admit it.
If you lie to yourself, you are, without a doubt lying to others as well. Start with a mistruth, and everything becomes skewed.
Now I am not talking about the little lies we tell ourselves to get through a rough situation or to make someone happy when they are down.
We find these lies acceptable, and even though we should be honest, sometimes little white lies are ok and provide relief in a difficult situation. The key is that you know when you do these white lies and why.
What I am talking about here are perpetual lies that become so ingrained that they affect your life negatively and get you into trouble not only with other people but, most importantly, with yourself.
Lying to Yourself
Lying to yourself hurts you the most. The problem is you won’t know that for a long time, as the impact is often cumulative, slow, and steadily it builds until the weight of so many mistruths comes crashing down.
This builds and builds as you unconsciously start believing the stories you tell yourself. They go unchallenged, and it is simply more natural and more comfortable to carry on.
Facing the truth about yourself is tough work and can be very uncomfortable. Still, if you desire to be a better person and yearn for more fulfilling relationships, catching yourself lying will stop the cycle and allow more connection with your true self.
Do you want to live a more authentic and fulfilled life? Having deeper connections with other people in our lives and ourselves is a profound benefit of coming clean about the lies we tell ourselves and others.
Here are eight key factors that will help you to break this soul-destroying habit.
1) You Use Substances to Numb Your Feelings
You may not be a full-blown alcoholic or a drug user, but at the very least, you often escape from ‘life’ through substances that help numb the drama in your life and help you to ‘feel better’ in the short term.
Substance abuse is a real indicator that you hide from something, in denial or trying to escape.
Anything can be addictive. I’m not talking about just alcohol or drugs; it could be an obsession with social media, gaming, obsessive fussing over your kids, your pets, shopping and spending money you don’t have or anything else that ‘allows’ you to disconnect from the truth.
Most of us are addicted to something. Until we see and admit our addictions, we will continue to depend on outside situations and influences to make us feel better. Still, their benefit is short-lived and deepen our disempowering behaviours.
2) You Run Away From Uncomfortable Situations
When things get too ‘real,’ like when people question you or express their disappointment in you in any way, you quickly zone out and may even cut people off.
You tend to go in and out of relationships, or you may be a loner.
People who lie to themselves often will not challenge themselves, even when the lying sabotages their future success and stability. Instead, you turn on the people who try to help, wake you up, get you to see reality. The key here is that there will be a ‘pattern’ of running from people and problems.
3) You are a People Pleaser
People-pleasing is a problem when your primary goal in all relationships is to be liked by other people no matter what. This is dangerous because it means you seek approval from outside of yourself, and it takes your attention away from establishing what you need in life. Since you are not grounded in yourself, it leaves you vulnerable to being used and abused.
You will – at times – go into a rage unexpectedly. This instability comes from not being yourself and working overtime to keep up a persona you can’t possibly maintain long term. All that frustration that is often buried must come to the surface, and when it does, it will be explosive or destructive to you yourself.
4) Your Life is Busy and Even Chaotic
Lying to yourself will leave you feeling drained and even exhausted. Your emotions may swing wildly between extremes of feeling great to feeling lost.
You will also find it extremely difficult to sit quietly with your thoughts. Meditating will seem impossible.
Connecting deeply within yourself will feel very uncomfortable, yet that is the very thing you need to bring calm into your life.
5) You Hurt the People Closest to You
You hurt the people around you. Those close to you may be frustrated with you, and you struggle to understand why.
You make a commitment then, either cancel at the last minute or don’t show up. You disappoint the people closest to you and hurt the people who love you. When they express themselves to you, you don’t understand them and wonder what they are talking about. You won’t accept how your behaviour impacts others.
People eventually keep a healthy distance from you because you are so unreliable and insensitive. This further distances you and makes you feel even more desperate.
As a result, you create stories to justify and create a division between you and others. This lie is easier to accept than look at yourself honestly.
6) You Over Extend Yourself
When you are lying to yourself, you will have exaggerated expectations of what you can do because, quite simply, you don’t know yourself well enough to be able to back what you say or commit to something. You have unrealistic expectations of others and yourself.
Your goal is short-term peace at the expense of long-term happiness.
7) Your Relationships are Shallow
Your relationships are shallow because you don’t have a relationship with yourself.
You want the very thing that keeps eluding you. Lying to yourself blocks you from having meaningful and authentic relationships with others.
You want nothing more than to have deeply profound and loving relationships.
Since meaningful relationships elude you, you blame your partners for not giving you what you need. It is always ‘their’ fault.
Blaming others for your issues is the biggest lie you tell yourself, and it keeps you stuck in a self-defeating pattern.
Until you see how lying to yourself destroys your own life, you will not understand why you should change your behaviour (it’s someone else fault).
Nor do you know why you should set healthy boundaries (what are they for? I’m wild and free). You will not be able to speak honestly about how you feel or be comfortable with a challenge. Instead, you lie to yourself, so you don’t have to deal with any of these things.
By continuing to lie to yourself, you choose to suffer.
8) Secretly You Wish Your Life Were Different
You recognize deep down; you are not happy.
When you start feeling those ‘real’ feelings, you quickly disengage from yourself and start the whole cycle of escaping from yourself, and the people you view are bringing you down. As soon as anything gets too ‘real,’ you run.
You then repeat the vicious cycle again and again.
If you see yourself in some of the above, then that is good. That’s the first step to getting better.
Recognizing the patterns and seeing what you do to yourself is the first step.
Admitting that you are central to all of what is happening in your life is the first critical step to waking up.
2) Listen to the People Closest to You
Ask those who love you or who you trust for advice.
Ask them how you have hurt them in the past. Sit and listen, fight the urge to defend and derail the conversation. Be prepared to hear some hard truths which are going to make you feel VERY uncomfortable.
Listening to others, you have hurt in the past is critical to taking ownership of your issues.
You can’t heal what you don’t feel.
You can’t undo patterns until you see them.
You can also go to a therapist, but the only problem with that is you will likely tell your version of the story – which will be skewed in your favour. So, the lies that you do not even recognize anymore will still be controlling your narrative. A good therapist will see through this, but many may not.
The best, most authentic thing to do is go to the people you hurt the most and ask them for feedback about YOUR behaviour.
Facing the people you hurt means you will be ready to face yourself.
Connect with the people near you. Photo by Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash
Underlying the motives of almost every person who ‘lies’ perpetually to themselves and others is an intense desire to be loved and accepted.
Somehow, somewhere you were hurt by someone. But that was probably a LONG time ago, and you are only continuing that hurt by sabotaging your happiness.
Break the pattern and start to respect yourself by admitting that you can, should and actually must treat yourself better.
It is time to stop lying to yourself, time to find yourself, be yourself and embrace who you are.
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