The Lasting Effects of Compulsive Lying on Relationships

Pathological and compulsive lying can seriously affect personal relationships at home and in the workplace. Chronic lying is defined as a habitual pattern of dishonesty and deceit in which an individual intentionally lies regularly about matters that are generally trivial or insignificant. Compulsive lying is defined as an inability to stop oneself from repeatedly telling falsehoods. It is often associated with pathological and compulsive behaviour. Pathological lying is a long-term behaviour pattern involving frequent and habitual lying without clear motives or benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how this behaviour can impact relationships with family members, coworkers, friends, and even strangers.

The Impact on Family Members

Pathological and compulsive lying can significantly damage family relationships, particularly between spouses or parents and their children. Lying within a family can lead to mistrust, resentment, guilt, anger, confusion, and even fear among the other family members. If left unchecked, it can cause irreparable damage to the relationship between family members as trust erodes over time. In addition to causing emotional distress for everyone involved, pathological lying can also strain the family financially if the liar lies about money matters such as income or debt.

The Impact on Coworkers

Pathological lying can also hurt workplace relationships between coworkers who must interact with each other regularly to complete specific tasks or projects successfully. Coworkers may start to feel untrustworthy of their colleagues if they begin to question their honesty or motives due to lies that were told in the past. This lack of trust can lead to feelings of conflict and tension within the workplace that could hamper productivity levels or make it difficult for employees to work together effectively.

The Impact on Friendships

Pathological liars may find it challenging to form successful friendships because people tend not to like being lied to by their friends. Even if someone has only been lied to a few times by the same person, this may cause them enough discomfort to choose not to pursue further interactions with that individual. This means that pathological liars may have difficulty forming meaningful connections with others since people are likely wary of trusting them after having been burned by lies in the past.             

Treatment Options

Treatment options are available for individuals who suffer from a pathological or compulsive lying disorder, such as therapy sessions with a psychotherapist specializing in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on identifying maladaptive behaviours, such as chronic lying, while teaching new coping skills so that patients learn how to better manage their emotions without resorting to old patterns of thinking or behaviour, such as chronic dishonesty, when faced with stressful situations in life or social interactions with others. Additionally, various support groups are available online. As a result, individuals suffering from similar issues can talk openly about their experiences while gaining advice from others who understand firsthand what they’re going through.
Pathological and compulsive lying can have severe consequences for personal relationships at home and in the workplace. It is essential to recognize when you or someone close to you may be engaging in this behaviour so that appropriate steps can be taken toward treatment options such as cognitive behavioural therapy to raise awareness; gain insight into their destructive behaviours or support groups. By accepting these proactive measures, individuals suffering from pathological lying disorder will gain more control over their emotions and learn how to better manage their thoughts without resorting to chronic dishonesty in various situations. With help, it is possible to break free of this destructive behaviour pattern and rebuild trust with those around them.

Wishing you all the best in your Wellness journey.

Insight into the life of a shopaholic

What is Addiction?
What do you think of when you hear the term “addiction”? The first thing that comes to mind for most people is alcoholism or gambling. In reality addiction encompasses so much more. By definition addiction is a behaviour or activity done repeatedly, that causes harm to the individual. The harm caused by the activity does not need to be physical to fall into this category. In my experience many addictions come from the same source: avoidance. Avoidance of memories related to trauma, negative thoughts, negative emotions, etc.

Why are certain behaviours addictive?
When we engage in enjoyable behaviours dopamine (the happy or feel-good chemical) is released in the brain. Increases in dopamine release can be due to substance use, or certain (enjoyable) behaviours. [Behaviours related to dopamine release are not always negative, for example: exercise, getting a promotion at work, or socializing.] Although dopamine is not considered addictive, the feeling it provides is one of the main drivers behind most addictions. Release of this chemical can effectively help us avoid negative emotions and thoughts.

Am I a Shopaholic?
As said in Time magazine: “The Science of addiction”, almost anything deeply enjoyable has the potential to be addictive. Shopping is a fun pastime for most, for some it is a compulsion.

I am sure we have all thought to ourselves at one time or another: “am I a shopaholic?”, particularly after a shopping spree.
Below I have listed some of the signs of a shopaholic:

  • Do you shop when you feel upset?
  • Has overspending created problems in your life (personal or financial)?
  • While shopping do you feel overly happy or anxious?
  • Post-shopping do you feel embarrassed?
  • Do you feel the need to hide your shopping habit?
  • Do you buy things that you do not need?
  • Do you think about money often or all the time

I am sure you have all heard the term “retail therapy” to describe shopping after going through something emotional (ie. loss of a job, a breakup, or a difficult week at work). When done in moderation this is not an issue. It is when it begins to affect other areas of your life (home, relationships, financial stability) that it should be considered a problem.

To begin moving past any addiction it is important to understand what is driving it. If you think you have a shopping addiction use a journal, to keep track of when you go shopping, how often, and how you are feeling before and after. Another helpful method is to reach out to a therapist, who can help you determine which negative feelings are associated with your addiction. Working with a therapist in this way can help you get to the root of the problem. Understanding the cause is the first step, after this you can begin to mitigate the cause of the addiction and start to change negative behaviours.

Addiction-related shame
Throughout the recovery process one of the most important things to be aware of is shame. Shaming yourself for any addiction is counterproductive. The negative feelings associated with shame can make you feel worse, which continues the cycle of addiction. If you are struggling with addiction know that you are only human, people make mistakes, and the best you can do is reach out for help and change your habits. While doing so, you should be nothing except proud of yourself. Proud for taking steps to better yourself, and the strength it takes to do so.