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Readers Respond: Do You Tell Lies?

Responses: 25


Updated October 25, 2009

Do you tell lies? While there is no good research on the connection between BPD and lying, lots of people with BPD will tell you that they find themselves telling lies even when they don't mean to. What do you lie about? What triggers your lying? Do think there is a connection between BPD symptoms and lying?

I don't like lying

I sometimes find myself lying, but I usually do it impulsively, and then realizing I did it. I feel so guilty about it, it shows, then it's even worse.
—Guest No


I don't lie. I sometimes interpret things wrong and may say someone is mean, when they probably really aren't. But I think it's just a different interpretation. Not a lie.
—Guest Mel

lying BPD

My friend who finished her masters in Psychology and is on her way to a PsyD told me that my boyfriend very likely has BPD the other day, and then the relationship started to make sense. Lying is frequent with him and it doesn't even have to be about anything particularly important. I've been doing some web research the past couple of days and lying is a frequent characteristic of BPD sufferers. What I had noticed about him before was that he seemed dissociative in his lying sometimes, like he would impulsively lie & then change the memory so that it reconciled the lie, weird. It turns out that this is common for people with BPD. Also, some research suggests that BPD sufferers have issues with memory. Because they tend to operate on emotion more than logic many times, their memories are sometimes processed and modified based on their feelings about situations, rather than the actual reality. I hope this helped!
—Guest psychgirl


I panic lie out of fear of being in trouble, even though I am 42 years old. I often fess up, still I know a lie is a lie. I hate myself for it.
—Guest gr82bjep

Does MY BPD Daughter Lie? Like a Rug!

My mother used that phrase when I was a kid. She'd say someone lies like a rug. I never got it then. I sure do now. My daughter is Dx BPD and has recently turned 15. She is the epitome of BPD and lies constantly. She creates chaoes and lies about it. Takes my cell, makes calls, says she never had the phone. The calls are to her best friend. She takes siblings' personal trinkets and lies. She has HW and lies that she doesn't. She fails a test and lies that she passed. We call it Crazy Lying. She lies so much that she could pass a lie detector test since she truly believes it herself. She does it solely to cover her bum. She could care less what we think of her, she is manipulative and uses anyone to get what she needs. We adopted her when she was 10, the damage her bios did is disgusting. She will never function normally which is unfair. We hold her to the truth and catch her hourly, but we try to not immerse the family in it lest we implode. Pity for romance for her.
—Guest vansmom

A way of avoiding the truth

My daughter has used it to avoid people seeing the distress and the chaos in her life. However, the truth can and does emerge at times which leads to more chaos in an attempt to avoid the past and the destruction that always follows. I can understand why so many family members and friends start to distance themselves from the sufferer. This then starts the cycle of avoidance and low esteem. The feeling of abandonment and the lies. No one likes to admit to making mistakes or "wrong calls" but this is how we learn to NOT make mistakes. The sufferer does not always see it that way because of the impulsivity. It is THEIR way of coping even if at times exposes others to the destruction.

Why all the lies?

It was about control with me. When my life was so out of control, I could have a little through lying. Sometimes it was to avoid conflict. I couldn't stand anyone being mad at me.
—Guest spikesdarkangel1215@yahoo.com

For me, it's an alternate reality

I was diagnosed with BPD in 1996, and, while pathological lying isn't one of my "lesser but included diagnoses," I often find myself lying simply because I can't stand one more moment of my real life; it often makes me consider suicide. I don't lie about other people, I only lie about myself, my accomplishments, and my lifestyle in the hopes that people will like "the new me" and someone will love me again.


I agree with most of the responses. Sometimes the lies are of how I wished things were or happened instead of what the real situation is. Only when diagnosed two years ago did I make the connection. Will definitely bring this topic up with my therapist. Thanks.
—Guest TennilleRN

Personal experiences

This kind of real life exchange demonstrates the shortcomings of the DSM-IV-TR. This is just one aspect of BPD that friends and family members experience of which clinicians are unaware: even clinicians who make a specialty of people with BPD. Another area like this is couples therapy. Partners nearly ALWAYS find couples therapy worsens the relationship because high-functioning BPs often seem so "normal" and result in more blame for the non-BP partner. Sessions prove so invalidating and so much gaslighting goes on that some non-BPs are quite scarred. I am hoping that comments about this will be invited too.

Things can change

When I was much younger, I told the kind of lies which involved the whole rejection-sensitivity deal, but now it is very important to me to tell the truth at all times, as I have come to know The Lord. So, with His help, and my working at it, going with the truth is always the first option I look at--although I'm still human, and not perfect, so I slip up sometimes.
—Guest Tee

I Can't Tell the Difference

I can't tell the difference between lying and telling the truth because I am so programmed to say what I think people want to hear. I don't tell whoppers as I am too terrified of being rejected if I am found out - but I fudge, exaggerate, deny things and change my facts all the time. I only just discovered this as I have been lying to myself for so long too about this! It's really hard to realize and admit that lying comes so naturally to me that I don't even notice I'm doing it. I would characterise it against the DSM criterion 'frantic attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment' - I would say my pathological lying is part of my ongoing attempt through frantic 'relationship management' to make others happy and therefore unlikely to reject me.
—Guest Charlotte

Fear Based Lying

I have a very strong moral objection to lying but without my realizing it at some point in my childhood, I developed a profound skill of manipulating myself into believing I was "telling the truth" while omitting information to protect myself. My wife rooted that out of me and I faced it head on. It was extremely difficult but helped me stop manipulating myself and others. But it may have done more harm than good. Manipulation called out, I found myself outright lying when "put on the spot" sometimes and I just absolutely disgusted myself. Despite an amazingly forgiving wife, I felt utterly incapable of telling her the "terrible truth" that just sickened me, the things I did while under no apparent control of myself (despite being completely sober and drug free). I don't understand it but I suspect the complete admission of every shocking and horrible event I can think of must precede the elimination of the part of me that makes those mistakes. I will be victorious.
—Guest BPD Dude

accidentally lying?

My friend with BPD says things I am pretty sure aren't true, though they aren't 100% fabricated either, just distorted. I genuinely believe he has no idea that he does this. He tells people what they want to hear and he wants that to be the truth so badly that he actually believes it. I think it's harder to deal with, in some ways, because it's hard to confront a lie that doesn't definitively, tangibly conflict with the truth.

BPD Lying Spazzum

My mum could ask me the simplest question like "why is the sky blue" I get so out of it I would probably say purple. I've been diagnosed with DID & IED. My mum thinks I'm borderline because I seriously don't think before I talk.
—Guest Aida

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