A client calls me and says, “I need help, I am constantly lying and arguing with my partner!”
The first thing that comes to mind is what this person is doing has to serve a purpose. All behavior is goal directed. The goal of all behavior is to maximize comfort and minimize discomfort. In other words, maximize the power of control to one’s personal self while minimizing the loss of power of control to social self. In situations of comfort, we tend to approach, in situations of discomfort we are motivated to avoid. In this case the conflict is the agenda behind the lying. To compensate for a frail sense of personal self in conflict with a threatened social self, the involved is motivated to lie to deflect a threat to power of control. Lacking in the self-assurance, the involved perceives his or her insecurity as a weakness, therefore interpersonal interactions are guided by the perception of “I am not good enough, It is too difficult, and I will never be happy.”
If the agenda is to deflect attention, then the lying serves the purpose of putting the partner off. In such a case, it is not the act of lying that is concerning, rather the self-perspectives in thought and feeling that necessitates the lying that is the issue. In such a case, as in all beings, we have an “ideal” of how we prefer the world to be and in that perspective how the world should treat us. In this case of deflection, it is obvious that the involved person’s perspective of “how the world should be” is in conflict with how it actually is. My suggestion is to get real. Ideals, like the fallacy of fairness are just that, fanciful fictional fallacies that open the involved to hurt and rejection. Look to your expectations. Are they rigid as demands of a fair world, one in keeping with you ideally embracing power of control over all interactions, or are they preferences? If they were preferences, there would be no platform to lie.