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How To Stop Compulsive Lying

June 10, 2013

One of the most damaging of all personal habits is that of compulsive lying. In my practice I have seen people who have, as they put it ‘destroyed their lives and relationships’ through compulsive lying.

What is the Difference Between a Pathological and a Compulsive Liar?

Pathological Liar
A pathological liar is someone who lies incessantly to get their way. They do it with little concern for others. Pathological lying is often a coping mechanism developed in early childhood and it is often associated with some other type of mental health disorder. Pathological liars have little regard or respect for the rights or feelings of others and are usually manipulative, cunning and self-centred.

Compulsive Liar
A compulsive liar is someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable but lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop due to being placed in a childhood environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning – they just simply lie out of habit. It’s an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship.

Most of us don’t enjoy practicing deception, but lying is a difficult habit to break. If you’re trying to get better at telling the truth, the following suggestions may be able to help:

You can’t stop lying if you haven’t admitted to yourself that you do it. Staying in denial only prolongs your pain and reinforces behaviours that make you unhappy with yourself. Therefore – admit and accept responsibility.

Check your feelings.
When you start to respond to someone with false information, you may feel physical symptoms. Your gaze may drop, your heart may pump harder, your face may redden, and your hands may clench. Become aware of these and other symptoms, and the next time you’re tempted to lie, use those symptoms as a boundary that will not let you go further into a lie. Catch yourself and change your wording to reflect greater accuracy instead of deception.

List the reasons why your lying did not address your problem.
Ask yourself: “What didn’t work here? Why not?” ( Example: Lying didn’t make me feel better; in fact it made me feel worse about myself later.) If you can learn as much as you can from one lie, then the next lie isn’t quite so traumatic. Remember, it’s more important to think of progress rather than perfection.

Practice apologising.
When you catch yourself in a lie, make a point of correcting your words to another person: “I’m sorry. That isn’t quite right. What I meant to say is ….” Or try phrasing like this:
“No, I didn’t actually get the work done, to be honest. But I expect to finish it up today.”
Making yourself speak the truth, even if it means changing your story, will help you become more apologetic and truthful. You will start feeling more comfortable in saying difficult things when you find that nothing terrible happens when the truth is told. And others will come to trust you too, so that sharing negative views will become easier.

Remember: you are not your behaviour.
When you feel bad and find fault with yourself, you give power your lying habit. The best solution is to become aware of the lie, disassociate yourself from it – because you are not your behaviour – and notice how it made you feel.
Finally, reward yourself for success along the way. One way is to start by counting the number of lies you tell in a week. Let’s say at the moment you lie 20 times a week on average. After a couple of weeks of trying to reduce this number, you count up remaining lies for the next few weeks and find an average of 10, give yourself a treat as a reward. It all helps to keep you on track.

Telling the truth can often be painful, but it’s far better to feel a pinch now than a punch later.


No Thanks For The Memory!

July 11, 2011

Occasionally, as happened recently, I am approached by a client who wishes to remove the memory of an event. This may be for any number of reasons, for example a traumatic childhood experience which the client considers debilitating in later life or perhaps the memories of a relationship which has subsequently ended.

Whilst on the face of it the request may appear to be reasonable and understandable, I declined this approach for following reasons:

Firstly, I feel it is true to say that every experience that we have in life (good or bad) is a lesson for the future. By removing the memory of the experience we remove the lesson – thereby reducing the chances of avoiding the upsetting or negative situation in the future. Also in the process of removing the memory I can never know what else I am removing as I wasn’t there at the original event.

 Aside from the potential risk of removing some other unknown information that the client may have had a need for, removing the memory of an event could potentially have had distressing consequences perhaps years in the future when the client finds they are unable to remember a seemingly unrelated situation that everyone else around them remembers clearly. There is also a possibility that an innocent party who was present at the original event may bring the subject up in conversation and again the client remembers nothing which could potentially cause embarrassment or distress.

I decided that a far more useful approach was to remove any negative emotions or feelings connected with the event while still retaining all of the details. This approach allowed the client to keep the learning gained from it without the unwanted debilitating effect.

Tel: 08444 125 812

Hypnotherapist Liverpool – Conquer Your Fear Of Flying

May 24, 2011

I was delighted to receive a postcard from a lady I helped with a fear of flying some months ago –
“Thanks for the excellent treatment – I’m now making up for lost time! New Zealand & Fiji were fabulous. Canada & USA – New England in fall is so beautiful”.

Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is a problem that affects large numbers of people, some of whom are able to fly but will feel quite anxious, and others who are simply unable to go on aeroplanes. Recent estimates suggest that between 10-40% of all travellers experience some kind of phobia. For many sufferers this is inconvenient or embarrassing. They may rely on alcohol or medication to get through, what is for them, a very uncomfortable experience. For others it is a major issue because their Aerophobia prevents both them and their families from going on holidays together.

If you’re a sufferer, it’s important to realise that you weren’t born a nervous flyer – you learned to feel that way. Fear of flying, like all phobias, is a just learned response. You can un-learn your response just as easily as you learned it.

Plan Ahead
Think about the day you fly before it happens — pre-book seats and order any special meals you might require, including any children’s meals. If you have any disabilities, contact the airline in advance of your trip to discuss special requirements, such as wheelchairs or assistance on and off the plane. If you have to travel a long distance by air, try to avoid connecting flights. A little extra money spent on a direct flight is worth the expense, if it means no added anxiety about possible delays or missed connections.

Know where you are going
If you have never travelled to your airport before, allow plenty of time to get there. If you are unfamiliar with the airport layout, or are a first time traveller, try a practice run prior to your day of travel.

Allow plenty of time
Arrive in plenty of time for your flight and always allow for delays when you travel. Carry a book in your hand luggage. If you feel anxious, take a portable CD or cassette with calming music to listen to while you are waiting. Never find yourself stranded at the airport with nothing to do, and at all costs try to avoid the bar! Alcohol will not get rid of fear and often makes it worse. It will also leave you dehydrated.

There are also things you can actively do once the plane is off the ground:

During the flight
Take plenty to do on your journey and do not forget to get up and exercise on those long flights. This all helps to keep your mind from wandering to places you don’t want it to.

Tense Your Muscles.
Be aware of your body. When you feel muscles that are tense or tight, you can relax them. Instead of fighting the tightness, show your muscles whose boss! You tense your muscles! You take control! Go ahead and tighten your stomach muscles or your leg muscles. Then pause and let go. You will be surprised at how your muscles feel warm and relaxed, and you once again feel in control.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the captain and crew are normal, responsible and experienced professionals, most with partners and families just like you. They are just as interested and have as many reasons for getting there safely as you do!

Tel: 08444 125 812

Hypnotherapist Liverpool – Mersey Hypnosis – Making Change Easier.

May 9, 2011

Hypnotherapist Liverpool – Mersey Hypnosis – Making Change Easier.
Many people think of change as negative or something to fear. But when you stop and think about it, change is something that we do as human beings from the very moment of conception – it’s the natural way of things! You can’t control how or when things change in your life but you can control how you respond. Change is something that you can get better at. It’s a skill you can learn. In this movie Hypnotherapist and NLP Master, David Laing shows you how.

Tel: 08444 125 812

Breaking The Smoking Cycle

April 28, 2011

I had a client this week who had several family members die of lung cancer after being a heavy smokers but he still felt the need to smoke until he came to see me. It’s very interesting to consider why this happens.

It’s very often the actual fear of cravings that stops smokers from giving up. They worry that they are going to experience traumatic physical pain. But when you think about it, smokers who say they can’t last an hour during the day without a cigarette can sleep eight hours without the nicotine withdrawal waking them and they don’t wake up in the morning in any pain. Some smokers will actually wait to reach work before they light the first cigarette of the day. They aren’t suffering terrible withdrawal pangs, they aren’t even in a mild panic. They are just looking forward to the first cigarette of the day.

The reality is that there is no actual pain, only the feeling of “I WANT TO SMOKE”. In fact smokers suffer nicotine withdrawal throughout their entire smoking lives and that’s actually the only reason they light the next cigarette!

When nicotine leaves your body it creates an empty, insecure feeling. When a smoker lights up to satisfy the craving, the nicotine is replaced and the empty, insecure feeling is immediately relieved. The smoker very often does feel more relaxed, less nervous and better able to concentrate than a moment before. But think about what is really happening. The current cigarette has merely removed the empty,insecure feeling created by the first cigarette and reinforced by every subsequent one. This is why there is this continuous chain effect to being a smoker.

Using hypnosis it is so incredibly easy to break the cycle. If you smoke, why not give it a try and get your life back?

Tel: 08444 125 812

Hypnotherapist Liverpool – Mersey Hypnosis – How To Say No.

April 27, 2011

More and more demands are made on our time nowadays. Learning to say ‘NO’  in your personal life can be one of the biggest favours you can do for yourself. It helps reduce stress and gives you time for what’s really important.

Saying ‘NO’ can be tremendously difficult for many people. In this movie Hypnotherapist and NLP Master, David Laing shows you how.

Tel: 08444 125 812

Self-Esteem problem?

April 20, 2011

I’ve had a number of clients recently with very low self esteem. It’s sad to think there are so many people out there who just don’t realise how wonderful they really are! I thought today I’d offer some thoughts that may help.

Self-esteem is not just about recognising your excellent qualities. It’s being able to see all your good points and weaknesses together, acknowledging them, and doing your best with what you have. You may not be the best golfer in the world, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying playing the game!
When you have low self-esteem, you feel unworthy of attention. The world seems like an unfriendly place, full of people who will ignore you or treat you badly. People with lower self-esteem often put others down, including family or friends. Very often they tell me things like “anyone I like wouldn’t like me so anyone who does like me isn’t worth bothering with “. People who feel worthless think that they have nothing to contribute.

One way to boost your self-esteem is to consider your good points. What are you really good at? What are your skills and interests? How would a close friend describe you?
Here’s an exercise you might find helpful:
Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. Write the following headings:

1. Good points
2. Bad points

Remember that we all have our positive and negative sides. Even the person with the lowest self-esteem can find at least one good point!
List your good and bad points under the headings. Your bad points might include things you have difficulty doing, things you don’t like about your thoughts etc.
When you’ve done that, change the heading on the “Bad points” column to “Things I Need To Improve”. Number them in order of difficulty, making the easiest first and make a commitment to start today. Remember this is about YOU not the rest of the world. Only you can make the choice to change. Once you get the first improvement made the rest get easier and easier.

It’s important to celebrate our strengths and build on our weak points to help us mature and grow. Do the best you can rather than aiming for an unattainable perfection which only makes you feel bad about yourself. Aiming for better self-esteem helps you to do better, and also to feel better.
Other people play an important part in how we feel about ourselves. If low self-esteem is a problem for you, think about your current relationships. Who undermines your self-confidence? Who helps you feel really good about yourself – at work, at home?
Develop friendships that make you feel good. Making changes in your relationships can be an effective way to increase self-esteem – but it is rarely easy. It takes courage to grow.

Tel: 08444 125 812