Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lying: How You Should Feel After You Do It

One of the hallmarks of a good sociopath – someone who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder – is frequent lies that help the sociopath to achieve his goals. However, everyone is guilty of telling a lie here and there without crossing over into Hannibal Lector territory.

First of all, think back to the last time you told a lie. Got it? If it’s a little tricky to pull up, let me help you. Think about all the people you see most frequently in your life – your partner, your boss, co-worker, and friends. My guess is that at least one of them has been on the receiving on end some sort of lie in the past few months.

Some people lie about simple things – and we call these “white” lies to make them seem a little more innocent. However, others lie about bigger things. Here is the point: When you lie about something big, the healthy response is to feel guilt because you know what you’ve done is wrong.

The next time a lie flies out of your mouth, check your reaction afterward. Hopefully you will feel some level of guilt, and this guilt will steer you toward truth in a similar situation in the future.

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