Confessions from a chronic liar
There is a difference between a chronic liar and compulsive psychological liar. A chronic liar will lie due to habit. It’s because of an addiction they developed to the lying. They feel no personal gain from lying. It’s something that just happens, even if the lie is about something totally innocent (such as: I got chocolate cake, not hot fudge cake). However, it can also potentially be something huge like: I went to a pregnancy center to get tested for a pregnancy and never tell your partner about (that whole lie by omission concept).
A psychological compulsive liar will lie because they get effectively a kind of high from it. They will do it, knowing they are lying and feel a sense of pride and/or are sadistic. These liars will often have lies blown to obscene proportions. They might start small, but gradually grow to be very large lies.
As someone who has been a chronic liar, it’s very frustrating being lumped in with the psychological liars. I have lied subconsciously. I have lied because my brain thought it would be the “safest” thing to do, even if the emotional consequences would knowingly be devastating if the person found out I was lying. I couldn’t stop myself sometimes.
It was like I was riding backseat to my life and the liar was the driver.
My parents didn’t catch on until I was nineteen or so years old. Yes, our relationship has greatly suffered because of it. The truth is, I have been lying to them about so many things all my life, big AND small (like how I was in a romantic Lolita-esque, nonsexual, relationship with a 20-some year old man while I was 15).
The truth is, anything that causes “happy” chemicals to shoot off in your brain can potentially be addicting. This includes but is not limited to: chocolate, taking in suffering animals (to the point of hoarding), roller-coasters, going thrill seeking (such as jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, etc), among other things. The false positive high with negative things (you do bad things and get a “rush” feeling for example) can also be the culprit of addictions.
The truth is, everyone has at least a minor addiction on their life. Do you browse the Internet (tablet, mobile device, pc, etc?) for two hours or more at a time? Do you get a cup of coffee just about every morning and feel irritable if you skip a day or two? Do you must have desert after dinner? These are all casual examples of an addiction development.
For me, it’s lying, and I hate it. My counselor has been a great aid in putting things in perspective, but it really is like quitting smoking. It’s no longer a conscious decision a lie, but it’s hard as hell to stop the lie before it comes out.