WHY ACoAs LIE (Part 1)

when I tell people how awful I am?

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IRONIC & Humorous article : How to Lie – 14 ways

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


Everyone lies, sometimes, in varying degrees – even knowing that it causes problems. This universal reaction is tied to self-esteem. People want to look good to themselves & to others. The higher the threat to ones self-image, the bigger the lies.
Many animals engage in deception, deliberately misleading another, but only humans are wired to deceive both themselves and others. Lying to oneself (denial), mostly unconscious, is used by people who believe they can not bear to acknowledge (not accept) what they know about themselves or their loved ones.
— to cover ones butt when they’ve done something wrong & don’t have the courage to admit it
— to make themselves feel smarter & superior to everyone – a way to have the power to fool or make fools of others, whom they disdain for swallow the lies
— to cover up feeling inferior, because they believe others won’t accept them for who they, so they “enhance”, “embellish”, “exaggerate” their accomplishments – … in conversation, on resumes, dating sites….lie to protect

SOMETIMES lying to others is necessary, IF —
• is saves you from more abuse (as a child)
• your reputation, your rights or your life are in danger
• it could save your job, your home, your community
• it protects your family from harm by another
• it’s the only way to protect your privacy
This is not an endorsement of lying, only an admission of some realities

• Pathological -grossly abnormal- liars (PLs) suffer from habitual dishonesty they can’t control, & can be part of other ailments such as Manic-depression, Paranoia, Conduct Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, etc. They actually believe their own lies, so they may not consciously realize what they’re saying is mostly fiction. It’s a persistent & pervasive compulsion, not motivated mainly by some kind of reward or other external factors (pressure, obligation, safety…)
• An important component in pathological lying is the difference in the brain. A study by Yang et al., published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2007, found that brain scans of PLs showed structural differences in the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain controls morality, honesty and remorse. PLs show a higher amount of white matter, which is possibly associated with increased brain compulsive liaractivity (more lying), and a lower amount of gray matter, associated with the controls needed for moral behavior (less inhibiting factors).

• Some PLs may be Sociopaths – people who lie incessantly to get their way, are goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused on self-gratification), have no regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. They are often charming and charismatic, use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways, & have no remorse for their illegal or immoral activities

“We lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth”. However, this does not imply that all of us are pathological liars, altho some are.

a. OVER-HONEST – another ACoA irony is that while we found lying to be a survival mechanism in our dangerous & chaotic childhood, we also have a compulsion to over-disclose (TMI), by telling:
• every little detail of a situation      • the bald truth to everyone
• what we know about others (can’t keep a secret)
• everything that’s wrong with us (S-H)
• exactly what we think of someone, no matter how inappropriate, cruel of self-destructive!

✶ The Inner Child part of us truly believes that to not tell someone what we know about them (their flaws, bad behavior, annoying ways…) or what we really think about a situation we’re upset about
• is being untrue to ourselves! because:
• we want to let them know that we know (to not be ignored & to cut thru their denial)
• we want to rub their face in it (our rage at their deception)your flaws
• we want them to get the message & change! (as my dear mother used to say “Wake up & die right!”)

✶ What all this TMI really represents is lack of boundaries, lack of good judgment & letting the WIC run amok with its outrage! BUT behind that is an over-reaction to & an attempt at compensating for all the lies, secrets, denial & ‘mind-fucking’ we were drowning in as kids
✶ We have a right to our feelings about people & events, but it’s not always appropriate to blurt out whatever is whirling around in our head, especially without double-checking OUR motives

The 2 main keys for deciding what to say OR not – are :
— what is our ultimate goal in a situation, which has to be decided by the Adult part of us, not the WIC! for it to be appropriate
— what will get us what we need without hurting ourselves, & whenever possible, other people

NEXT: Why ACoAs Lie (Part 2)


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