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Lying as a Form of Control

By Dr. Margaret Paul
July 06, 2010

Did you learn to lie as a child to protect yourself from rejection? Are you still using this form of control, which is undermining your self-esteem? Discover how to heal lying.

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:

  • 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.

Beyond Lying

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

You need to learn how to manage the painful feelings of loneliness, heartache, or heartbreak that you will likely feel when someone you care about is angry, blaming, rejecting, judgmental, or hurt by your truth. As long as you are afraid of these authentic feelings, you will avoid them with your various protections, which may include lying.

We lovingly manage these feelings only when we develop a loving Adult part of ourselves. In the Inner Bonding® process, the loving Adult is who we are when we are connected with a spiritual source of love, comfort, wisdom and truth. We cannot manage these core painful feelings from our wounded, ego self. So when you are unable to spiritually connect, you will continue to protect against these feelings, which means that you will continue to lie if lying is one of your learned protections.

It is not as hard as you may believe to learn how to connect with your personal source of spiritual Guidance. When your intention shifts from protecting/controlling to learning what it means to be loving to yourself and others, the doorway automatically opens to experiencing this connection.

Intention is a powerful thing. Start today to become aware of choosing to protect/control or to learn/love and move onto the path of honesty, truth, and authenticity.


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