From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for the ‘Compulsive Lying’ Category

People Pleaser aka Master Manipulator

“If you live for people’s acceptance,you will die from their rejection.” Lecrae

You are born a  person who is humble & polite with everyone; a good human being, not hurting anyone. In the process you somehow starts getting uncomfortable with conflicts, you like people being happy with you. Gradually you can’t afford displeasing them, you’ve to make them happy at any cost. It becomes a self inflicting game of keeping everyone content at each given moment of time. The web grows from being at toes for one person to many. You start weaving stories, drowning in lies to cater to the needs of people around you.

My observation & research have shown a strong connection between people pleasing and self esteem. A person going through a low self esteem phase would love when people are nice to them. You make sure that you agree with whatever they say,do or think. You generally are the favourite sidekick, giving yourself an identity too. It sure does bring a short-lived sense of belongingness turning soon into strong feeling of worthlessness.

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The problem sprouts when you are close to two people having contradictory mindsets. You do the same routine, manipulating your words & actions as the need be. The saddest part is, apart from being a manipulator, you lose yourself!

Self bashing becomes our life style. We get stuck in this vicious loop. Our fear of disappointing people stops us to even do rational thinking. We suffer but we oblige.Sometimes, we helplessly see that we are being taken advantage of and do nothing about it.

People pleasing is a dangerous addiction, here are few ways to try sobriety :

  • Identify & stop the cycle of manipulation: You certainly can’t be a ‘Yes Man’ to all. Understand how sometimes you twist facts or information to make everyone happy and avoid conflicts.
  • Work on your self esteem: You don’t need others approval to feel good about yourself. Find a way to uplift your self esteem, sometimes a professional support helps.
  • It is okay to displease/disappoint people: As they say, you can please some people all the time, all the people for sometime, not all the people all the time. You’ll have few who won’t be contented by your actions, but that means you do have a voice of your own. Be proud of your identity and savor it.
  • Get comfortable with conflict situation: With the flourishing of your identity, you’ll face contradictions and conflicts. These are essentials for growth as a person. With conflicts come clarity.
  • Stop mincing words: You have a mind & voice, which means you’ll think and that will be expressed through your words. Please don’t try to hide your opinions in a gift wrap. Say exactly what you mean and sometimes not in so many words. People need to listen to YOU.
  • Self Care:They say;  the way we mistreat ourselves, if somebody did half of it we would kill the person. It is high time to make yourself priority. You need to please someone, let it be you.

It will take time, you don’t change overnight. Be positive, patient & persistent…be you!

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Partial Acceptance

If you’ve read my posts, you would know I am a firm believer in the first step of acceptance.

For any change in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for change.      

For any growth in us, we need to ACCEPT that there is a need for growth.

For any desire in us, we need to ACCEPT the need for it.

Even for being at the same place, we need to ACCEPT that we are happy with our present state.

So, acceptance is the key but what is acceptance?

You’ll say when you realize and give your approval to a particular situation or thing. And it is so right, when we start gaining  insight of a situation. It starts from becoming uncomfortable with a certain thing/ situation, realizing that something is not right and some work need to be done.

Analyze the situation, understand the issue and then accept that we need to change!

A mother having problems with managing her child with a disorder, won’t be able to do the needful until she accepts that her child needs help. A marital problem can’t be sorted until the people involved accept that there is a problem in their relationship. You’ll only be happy if you accept your original self with your challenges and strengths.

As an individual, when do you feel complete and secure. When you accept yourself as you are without any ifs and buts but is it so simple to achieve?

We struggle with the acceptance with our excuses and reasoning. We accept our challenges but not fully and consequently our work with  them is also partial. We like to go for partial acceptance because it allows us to live in a fake world without dealing with our inner conflict. This also makes us look for recognition from others, makes us lose confidence in ourselves. We stop the process of growth because we start living in the denial of there is no room for improvement.

Think about it, when was the last time you accepted something without any buts. If you are honest to yourself, you’re going to have a problem in recollecting it. May be you were fully accepting but that lasted for some time and if the time length was long the acceptance was not 100%. The moment you start having problems with acceptance, your growth goes through a downfall. You start putting your reasoning and stop the process.

So, what is the way of working on acceptance?

Be honest to yourself and embrace yourself the way you are. There is no place for bargaining. The moment you’ll surrender you will see the possibilities. You enable yourself by giving the strength of acceptance and working on your limitations.

For eg., Tina needs to work on her empathy. She realized that  a lot of time she is insensitive to people’s emotions. In the beginning she had issues in accepting her insensitiveness. Whenever she tried, her brain told her yes you did cross the line but what about certain situations where you were not so bad. This struggle went on for a while, until she realized she really need to do something about her situation, otherwise would end up as a loner. She understood her need to surrender to her insensitiveness, which in turn will help her accept it and work on it.

Until you live in denial you are snatching opportunities from yourself for growth. You’ll keep on fighting acceptance of your challenges and would fail in leading a contended life leading to restlessness and confusion. You’ll try to find the answers without any success.

Do remember acceptance is a process and need to be worked on everyday basis. If you are ready for being a better individual come out of your partial acceptance mirage and then you’ll see there is no limit for growth!

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” – J. Donald Walters

Why do people lie, when it is not even required?

I really liked this lady. Found her very friendly, charming and easygoing. She was so much fun to be with, real friend material. We started hanging out a lot together…and then it happened for the first time, she lied for no proper reason. It was a shocker for me because there was no need to lie in that situation but she did it. Then eventually a pattern appeared. She just lies, reason or no reason!

First it did put me off and I thought of just maintaining my distance but then I understood that this lady is also seeking a friend. She is lonely and slowly  understood the reason for people walking away from her. She complained about the world being devoid of genuine people, without understanding the simple equation of her getting back what she is throwing at the world. She has no clue why people are trying to get as far as possible from her. This lady needed help!

She  just isn’t able to STOP herself and as she lacks insight in her own self, consequently there is no reason to work on it in her life. In her perception the problem lies with the world and she honestly feels that people are not being straightforward. In a lot of texts this kind of problem is often referred to as compulsive lying or pseudologia fantastica.

The major issue with this condition is the inability to understand that there is a problem. It starts as a non conflicting way of getting what you want but slowly a person loses all sense of honesty. The person starts living in a fake world which is weaved by his or her own lies which in their minds is the reality of this world.

Does that mean the person is happy in this self made world?

The answer is NO!

A person who is used to compulsive lying is a very lonely and sad person. Because of the uncontrolled behavior, there is a dearth of people who even want to be with them. They hurt people and as a result have no real friends or loved ones. It is not that these people don’t want love or relationships, on the contrary they yearn for meaningful relationships and feel frustrated when unable to do so.Sometimes because of their uncontrollable behavior they are also not able to hold a job

The reasons of getting into this pattern could be numerous. It may be a  disturbed childhood, positive reinforcement to petty lying, need for approval, trying to create an ideal image and so on. The problem begins when you stop lying by yourself and it just starts governing you. You see yourself lying and you seriously aren’t able to do anything about it as it is beyond YOU!

The first step towards recovery is Acceptance! If you’re the person dealing with it, accept it and if it is a friend, have the talk.

The next step is to seek a therapist. I am from the school of thought which strongly believes that whatever is learnt, COULD ALSO BE VERY WELL UNLEARNT!

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