From S. Africa: I have a problem with constant lying. I tell myself I’m doing it for the right reasons but I’m hurting people
I have been lying for a few years now. I tried to stop but I’m realising now that it’s hard because it has become like second nature. I lie when I’m put into a corner, or when I have done something that I know I shouldn’t have. I lie to impress people, I’m starting to think that it is because I am an insecure person within myself. I continue to lie even though I know I shouldn’t and I do not want to be like that anymore. I need help and desperately.

A: Yes. You do need help. You identified the probable source of your lying. For whatever reason, your self-esteem is so low that you think that just being yourself isn’t enough. In addition, you have so little confidence in your own ability to deal with the consequences of your behavior that you try to avoid being accountable through lying. As you have undoubtedly found, this only makes things worse.

A letter like this one can confirm your idea that something is terribly wrong but it won’t turn things around. You’ve been practicing and reinforcing a self-defeating behavior for years. I encourage you to find a therapist to help you work on the issues.

The first step was admitting to yourself that you have a problem. Do take the next step and find a therapist to help you do something about it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie