My Name is Dena and I’m a Liar (How to Stop Lying)

DenaJanuary 21, 2010

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“In a time of lies, truth becomes a revolutionary act.” –Paulo Coelho


Alcoholic Anonymous’ Twelve Step Program is one of the most famous and useful addiction recovery programs in the world. I am a huge fan of the program and have seen it change the lives of countless individuals. Admission is the first step to recovery. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

This first step, admission, is applicable to all addictions and that includes one that I’ve suffered from for most of my life — lying.

An alcoholic is an alcoholic until the day that he dies. Even if the alcoholic has been sober for twenty-five years, he is still an alcoholic. Likewise, most addictions last a lifetime, even if the person has not acted on the desires or instincts for a long period of time. Hence the title of this post, “My Name is Dena and I’m a Liar.”

I have changed my habit. I have stopped lying, but I still call myself a liar (or at best, a liar in recovery).

Why Did I Lie?

When I was younger, I lied because everything was a competition. This is fairly common among children and young adults. We have the desire to be bigger and better than the next person. So we stretch the truth; we exaggerate our stories; we become the constant hero; the smartest, prettiest, and the fastest.

As I got older, my reasons for lying changed. Often times, my reasons were completely unselfish. Most times, I was just trying to spare someone’s feelings.

A big piece of my lying puzzle is the fact that I was raised among liars & exaggerators. Not to name names, but many people in my family are notorious for telling tall tales! It is a running joke and what comes out of certain peoples’ mouths is never taken seriously. In that sort of environment, for a long while, I believed that lying was alright. I thought that it was normal.

The Truth Shall Set You Free — The Turning Point

In retrospect, all of my lying stemmed from one main issue: insecurity. I was not comfortable in my own skin. I told lies to makes myself feel better about myself. I told lies to make myself more appealing to others. I was afraid of honesty. Then one day, I woke up. In the process of undergoing some radical life changes (including beating depression & losing 70 pounds) I learned how to love myself.

“As was his language so was his life.” –Seneca


This is Why We Lie

Insecurity is the reason that most people lie. Whether you lie about your professional credentials; your fidelity within your marriage; your weight/height/age; or even if you lie simply to spare another person’s feelings — all of those lies stem from insecurity.

Along those lines, maybe it is your partner who is dishonest? Relationship coach Laura Doyle offers advice that even fibbers and deceivers can benefit from – “If he doesn’t fear an unpleasant consequence, like being criticized, rejected or punished, then he will be free to tell you the truth. Creating a culture of emotional safety is a powerful way to foster honesty.”

The other reason that you lie is because you hold on to a false belief that lying is necessary. A huge percentage of people hold the false belief that, “It is not possible to tell the truth.”

That belief is entirely wrong! It is absolutely possible to tell the truth. If you really wish to become a truthful person, you must accept that fact.

On your journey to honesty, you will come up with as many excuses as you can:

-My wife simply could not handle it if I told her the truth.
-I would certainly lose my job if I told my boss the truth.
-I can not tell my friends the truth, it would crush them.
-Insert your personal excuses here.

Many excuses you will find; but a good excuse you will never find. There is no truth behind them. Anything that “requires” you to lie — whether it be a spouse, a job, a friend, or anything else — is certainly not worth your time. If you are devoting any substantial amount of your life to such things, then you are surely living a life void of happiness & fulfillment and you should be seeking out greener pastures straight away.

You Can Stop Lying Right Now

1. Start with the first of the 12 Steps, admission. Admit that you are a liar.
2. Let go of the false belief that truth is not possible. Accept that truth is possible.
3. Cut out any forces in your life that require you to lie.
4. Remember that any relationship that is based in love will also be based in truth.
5. Become more secure with yourself and in your own skin. This might be the hardest step, but it is certainly the most worthwhile. You deserve to be loved and you must start by loving yourself.

Live a Life of Truth & Experience the Benefits

There are numerous positive benefits that accrue from telling the truth. These benefits include (but are not limited to):

* Greater success/personal expertise
* An increased sense of grounding/confidence
* Less anxiety/worry/guilt
* Increased ability to deal with crises/breakdowns
* Improved problem solving abilities
* Improved interpersonal relationships
* Greater emotional health/control of one’s emotions
* Increased ability to influence others
* Better sleep
* Better health
* Increased ability to think well/reason soundly
* Less need to control
* Good humor
* Greater self-expression and self-satisfaction

By Dr. Abraham Kryger, MD, DMD: The Benefits of Telling the Truth

The Necessity of Truth

It has been almost three years since I was an active liar. As with all things in life, sometimes I fall down; but I get back up. Every. Single. Time. The life of truth is not always the easiest life to lead. Perhaps it would be much easier to lie, to fabricate, to stretch truth to its very boundaries. But the life of truth is the best life, the life of a Warrior & a Goddess.

Lies do nothing to light our spirits or contribute to our growth as human beings. In the world in which we live, lying may seem commonplace & accepted; but do not let that dictate your life or your values. The media, the marketers, the politicians, and many of the celebrities will try to convince you of lies. You will be bomb-rushed with images of airbrushed women & men with so-called “perfect” bodies & airbrushed faces. You will be told that objects (nice cars, fancy jewelry, big screen televisions) will make you happy. They will try to deceive you with their corrupt agendas — but you must rise above all of that. You must and you will.


“Integrity is a choice. It is consistently choosing the purity of truth over popularity.” –Byrd Baggett


Over the past few years my reputation has transformed in many ways. Although I may have been known as a “stretcher of the truth” in my past, today I am known as a Warrior of Light and a spreader of truth. I work hard to maintain this perception by aligning my values with my thoughts, actions, and words. Sometimes it is not easy and sometimes feelings do get hurt; but respect and truth will always wi
n out in the end.

Do you tell the truth? What things tend to get in the way of honesty in your life? What can you begin doing to overcome those obstacles?

Comments (13)

  • Olivier

    October 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

    That is unless you’re lying to yourself. If you’re holding to wrong beliefs, you may not realize that you’re lying (to yourself) as you indeed to believe these lies yourself (“you’re drinking your own koolaid”)

  • Natalie

    October 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for this post. I really needed it tonight, and I just happened upon it.

  • stephanie

    January 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I am a liar. I’ve lied to everyone in my life for many reasons, all excuses to protect myself. I like lying. It’s easy, but only for a short while. I then need to lie again, to define myself. I started a 12step for liars today after almost ending a ten year relationship. I still have my best friend, but he knows I don’t respect him. I told him the truth, at the time to try a save the relationship by being honest. But it’s not enough to give him honesty when I’m backed against a wall. I want to give him more. I want more. I admitted last night that I was a coward. I have never forgiven my acts of cowardice over my lifetime. I hid and hated myself, viciously clinging to lies. I still want to lie impulsively, but I’m dedicated to the truth. Please help yourself if this is you. It is worth the pain to be free.

  • Alisha

    October 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for this. I have messed up so badly and had no idea why I was lying over and over again. Now I no its possible for me to better to be the person I want to be.

    1. Dena

      October 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm


  • Anonymous

    May 24, 2022 at 3:04 am

    I have been lying all my life. I grew up in a household of liars and exaggerators and it has affected me in a way that i can’t stop lying. Recently I lied to my parents and blamed my friend for something I did, and then lied to that friend and said I didn’t blame them to protect our friendship. They don’t believe me and I wouldn’t either, I apologised for the situation but haven’t got a response. I want to stop lying because I am losing all of my friends to it, and I want to be a better person, but until this post I had no clue how. I am going to try my best to do better. Because lying bas brought me nothing but guilt and pain in my life. Thank you for this.

  • Anonymous

    August 12, 2022 at 7:47 am

    Hi im tayler and i am a liar. I have lied for years and hurt people around me. I have met the most amazing guy and his girls. But my lies are about make me lose everything. This is day one of fixing my problem. So wish me luck. I wanna give my man more then just honesty i wanna give him all of me. To fix the foundation of our relationship.

  • Anonymous

    August 21, 2022 at 6:24 am

    I am a liar, I lie because I’m scared of the consequences of not lying even though the consequences of telling lies are always far worse than the consequences of telling the truth

    I Lie because I’m a COWARD and my lies have almost certainly ended eight years of marriage to the most incredible person I have ever met and for that I can never forgive myself

    I am today sober from lying, I will not lie from this day onward

  • Michael

    August 26, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Hi there, my name is Michael, and I am a liar. I’m 26 turning 27 in October, and I’ve been lying my entire life, ever since I was a kid. I’ve lied so much and from such an early age that I never gave myself the chance to actually figure out or be remotely close to figuring out who I am. The worst part is that I’m an actor, so My passion and my livelihood are based in a business steeped in lies. I’ve hurt so many people over the years with my lies and I continue to hurt the people closest to me because of it. I cant bear the shame and depression of having hurt the people I love. I’m trying now to live in a place of integrity and truth, but the truth is terrifying, I’m terrified that I’m going to slip up and lie again because of how second nature it is to me. Does anyone on here know of any support groups for liars? thank you

  • Tatum Michaels Carter

    November 2, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    hi my name is Tatum and I have been a compulsive liar as far back as I can remember, even when I am lying I convince myself that I am telling the truth and even when I am telling the truth those around me believe that I am lying its a horrible circle. It is terrifying to think that I use my own insecurities and inner thoughts to hurt those who are closest to me with no understanding for how it may make them feel. I am desperately searching for a life of integrity and moral high ground whereby I can live a more fulfilling life without anxiety surrounding my daily lies. I have hurt so many people in my life and even when they desperately urge me to change I continue to do it. Does anyone know any support groups out there or mechanisms to help me move forward? Thank you in advance.

  • Anonymous

    January 28, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    I’m a liar. Ever since I could talk, I would lie. Lies were my security blanket so I wouldn’t have to face myself. I’ve lost so many friends and partners due to my lies. It has even ruined my relationship with my mom. I don’t want to be this way forever. I want to like myself so much but I’m not sure I know how

  • Joe

    February 27, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    I’m Joe and I am a liar. I am already in 12 steps for another addiction. My lying goes way way back, I want to figure out the root cause. I have a Theapist for my other addiction and we’ll be starting some work on my lying but it may be too little to late to save my marriage (at least that’s how it feels right this moment). She has given me way too many 2nd chances. And tonight I just did it again, without forethought, and I promised her and God this morning I wouldn’t. I need to leave for my 12 steps group. I just don’t know what to do at this moment.

  • Dan

    March 12, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Hi, I am a compulsive liar, and I am so ashamed of myself. The problem is, it’s all but destroyed my marriage. I’ve been telling my wife I’ll change but as I do I go back into it. I will do whatever I can to fix myself and fix our marriage, but deep down I know my wife will never believe me if I’m telling the truth. I’ve found that writing a journal and expressing my feelings helps, but I still lied to protect feelings. I lie to hide away, to not face my wrongdoings and to impress. I’ve failed the one person I love with all my heart, and I pray that I can change for the better. Reading that I’m not the only person with this problem has really helped. I can’t afford therapy and I’m rock bottom. I don’t deserve her, and I have to change….I want to change. Have I left it too late? Only God knows. I love this woman so much but how can she love me when I lie so much. Any advice or support would be great. Good luck to you all!

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