Make no mistake: lying is a type of abuse. We all lie sometimes, don’t we? So when is it abusive?
Lying is one of the most common tactics an abuser uses to gain power and control over their victim. Lying confuses the victim’s reality while helping the liar to shirk from their responsibility in the situation, often shifting the blame to the victim. Bosses, significant others, friends or family may use lying as a form of covert emotional abuse. Lying also paves the way for other types of abuse, such as physical abuse. While everybody makes mistakes, even little lies can quickly culminate into full-on manipulation of a person or situation.
A central element to covert abuse is stressful confusion: this is the emotion abusers want their victims to feel when lying to them. The covertly abusive tactic of lying increases the victim’s anxiety levels and causes their thinking to become clouded. A confused victim is less likely to respond quickly, go with their gut and confront the liar. There are many forms of lying an abuser employs to manipulate their victim. To avoid experiencing stressful confusion, becoming familiar with the forms and dangers of lying is crucial.
Remember, emotionally healthy people do not habitually lie. Especially concerning relationships with loved ones, transparency should be sought after, because that is what connects people. A genuinely loving partner, parent, sibling, friend, etc., will not continually lie; that is what divides people and prevents authentic relationships. Any combination and frequency of these types of lies should be noted and addressed.
If this blog helps you to see the lies you are facing from your partner or another we encourage you to seek support from a licensed therapist skilled in treating abuse on ways you can address or respond to the lying. M3ND provides many guides and resources to help everyone, whether you’re a victim, counselor, pastor or friend. We are here to help you and inform you. Together, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from being manipulated.