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Lying as a Form of Control

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Lying as a Form of Control
Did you learn to lie as a child to protect yourself from rejection? Are you still doing this?

All of us, as we were growing up, learned a myriad of ways to try to have control over getting love, avoiding pain and feeling safe. One of the ways we might have learned is to lie.

We all had many opportunities to learn this way of protecting ourselves, which is a form of manipulation/control:

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• A parent or caregiver interrogated you about something you knew you were not supposed to do. Did you tell the truth or did you deny that you did it?

• A teacher asked why you didn't do your homework or why you did badly on a test. Did you say that it was too boring or you forgot or did you give some other, untrue, excuse?

• A friend asked you to a sleepover and you didn't like being with their family. Did you tell the truth that you don't like their parents or siblings, or did you make up some excuse?
Of course most of us learned to lie rather than have to deal with someone's disapproval, rejection, hurt or anger. We were too little and too scared to know how to manage these situations any other way.

But What About Now?

The problem is that you may never have taken the time to learn how to take loving care of yourself when someone important to you is angry, blaming, judgmental or hurt. Or, you might never have taken the time to learn to value yourself enough so that you don't have to try to control how people feel about you with lies or exaggerations. So you might lie as a way of protecting yourself from having to deal with their reaction, and as a way of trying to control how they feel about you.

But how do you end up feeling about yourself when you know that you are being manipulative rather than authentic? Even if you do manage to avoid someone's anger or judgment, how do you feel about yourself being so inauthentic? And if you believe that you are getting someone to like you as a result of being dishonest, inside you know that they do not like you for you, but for whom you appear to be. This cannot lead to feeling inwardly secure.

More from YourTango: Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate

Beyond Lying

What would it take for you to stop lying and be completely honest about who you are and how you feel?

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

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