How to stop lying: 7 tips to be more honest

how to break habit of lying

You may admit it or not, but you may have lied to someone in some way or the other at least once in your lifetime. Whether you use small lies to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, refrain from revealing too much and too honestly about your life, or attempt to mislead someone by distorting information, lying can find its way into everyday communication. However, if you develop a habit of lying, it can’t be healthy for your relationships or even your own peace of mind! They can ruin relationships, break someone’s trust, and can also mess up your personal life. So, it is important to know how to stop lying!

Even if you have the desire to stop lying, that is enough to help you resist this temptation to overcome this behaviour.

How to stop lying: Effective tips

You can break free from the habit of lying with these expert-recommended tips:

1. Identify your triggers

The next time you catch yourself lying, hit pause and pay heed to what is going on inside your mind. Question yourself: Where are you? Who is along with you?  How do you feel? Why are you lying?

Getting answers to these questions might aid you in pinpointing which scenarios, emotions, or other factors trigger you to lie. Once you know your triggers, it can be helpful to come up with new ways to respond to them. For example, if stressful situations provoke you to lie, then before stepping into such situations in future, plan out some possible outcomes that might help keep you from lying.

Break free from your habit of lying with these tips!

2. Set boundaries

Usually, when someone asks us out, we happily say, “Oh, I would love to catch up!”. Have you ever stepped back to wonder, how much of that is true? Honestly, the statements you usually make with so much conviction are half-true. You do like that person and love hanging out with him/her, but you might not feel so at the present moment. You will feel more driven to lie when you are unable to set the right boundaries surrounding your personal or professional life. These small lies seem trivial, but they can take a toll on you. So, next time say the truth about the way you feel and not something you think the person wants to hear.

3. Imagine the worst-case scenario of telling the truth

Imagine a friend of yours asks you out for some help in a new project. You keep procrastinating because you do not have the emotional or mental bandwidth to offer help. Eventually, your friend will give up on the project because he feels he cannot finish it alone. Lies can not only hurt the opposite person but yourself as well. Before you go on to lie, imagine what worse could happen if you would tell the complete truth. Like in the above case, if you had uttered the truth, your friend might feel dejected for a while. But in the longer run, he would seek out someone who wishes to be on board. This will help both of you be involved.

Also read: 10 needless habits that make us unhappy in life

4. Always take one day at a time

If you are on a journey to become a better person by breaking free from this lying habit, do not expect an overnight switch. It may seem great, but it is not realistic. Instead, just commit to being more honest every single day as it comes. If you slip any day, do not fret. Start afresh tomorrow, and catch yourself back.

how to break habit of lying
Take one day at a time, and practice authenticity. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. You can tell the truth without telling everything

If someone at the workplace or in the family is trying to intrude into your personal life by asking prying questions, you might feel the urge to lie to shut them away. Surely, you do not owe anyone answers to your personal life. You do not have to lie to refrain from sharing details, but you can rather keep them private. You can try giving a polite yet firm refusal by saying, “That is personal and just between me and my partner,” or, “I would not comment on this”. If you hint that you are not comfortable sharing anything, people will stop asking sooner.

Try this: How to tell if someone is a pathological liar? Take this quiz to find out

6. Practice authenticity

We mask behind lies when we are image-conscious. We want to be liked by everyone around us, so we constantly lie to create a more pleasing image of ourselves. Practice being authentic by staying true to the “real you”. Say the truth, even if it sounds harsh. To maintain your image, one lie turns into hundreds of lies. You stay who you are, and the ones meant for you will always yearn to stay by your side.

7. Seek professional help

It is always a good idea to seek professional help when you want to break this habit of lying. Your therapist or counsellor can come up with more smart ways to deal with the lying habit. They may help you get to the root cause of your issues, and help you heal from them to become the best version of yourself.

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