• Avoiding confrontation. Getting the person doing the confronting pacified or calmed down.
• The person lying doesn’t know or have the answers. It may be easier to go along with what is being implied or being made explicit and verbal than to face the unknown, unsaid, or unarticulated.
• The person lying is trying to save face or look good. Sometimes it’s easier to make things up than to risk disappointing people.
• The person lying is disorganized. He/she may have planted so many lies or has so much confusion about keeping people away from the truth that the lying has become a habitual form of avoiding what’s really going on. As a way of life, there is a great deal of confusion about what is “real”, what is accurate, and what is factual.
• Fear. It is just plain scary to dig inside, look at the truth, face the facts, and confront reality.
• The person doing the confronting has a low tolerance for ambiguity, thus there is a high insistence or demand for concrete answers. If the person being confronted doesn’t have a clear way to paint the picture more accurately, he/she may not know how to correct what is being implied.
• If the person doing the lying doesn’t have an accurate way to look inside, sort of speak, and come up with a description of self-experience, lying can be feasible. This may be the case of the person simply doesn’t have words for what they feel, notice, experience, etc. So they don’t bother.
If a person has a history of going along with the flow, or doing what the environment is prompting him/her to do, lying will be a behavior that is extremely difficult to change. “Automatic pilot” behavior is behavior that is not always conscious- and although it may result in painful consequences later (being confronted about lying)- it can be the easy thing to do in the moment.
Putting words on experience is one of the “what” skills of mindfulness. Paying attention to experiences within the skin encourages clients to accurately “look inside” (sort of speak) and to get better at describing what (exactly!) is going on. Looking “inside” can be rather aversive (and sometimes even painful).
Mindfulness is a conscious effort to be aware. It may mean paying attention to and interrupting a history of automatic pilot behavior. Over time, being able to accurately put words on experience, be assertive, and have a legitimate “voice” can be rewarding. Not only can it give persons a sense of confidence, but it can empower them with adequate words for their pieces of truth. They can also share observations and perspectives that may have been previously silenced.