Everyone lies from time to time, notes clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone in Psychology Today’s “Why We Lie and How to Stop.” Lies generally serve a purpose to the liar, such as manipulating someone’s emotional reactions to a story or getting out of trouble. Sometimes an adult child lies due to old patterns in the family dynamics, or because he wants to avoid adult responsibilities. Regardless, frequent lying is damaging to both the liar and the person being lied to, and it is important not to accept the behavior.
In some cases, lying becomes ingrained and apparently pathological, causing the person to lie even when the lie serves no real purpose. Pathological lying is a complex issue that mental health professionals do not fully understand, suggests Dr. Charles Dike in the Psychiatric Times article “Pathological Lying: Symptom or Disease?”