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Why do Felons Lie?

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As unfortunate as this is to say, one thing that felons have in common is lying.  That is a major part of how they got to where they are.  Everyone lies about something.  No one is always truthful.

The difference is in how big the lies get and the impact that they have on a person’s actions and the terrible consequences they can cause.  There are many reasons why people, not just felons lie.

In this blog post, we will cover the following :

  • Lying For Self Protection
  • Lying to Protect Others
  • Having an Addiction
  • How to Encourage a Felon to Stop Lying


Lying for Self Protection

Growing up, many of us learned to try to look good to others, to put ourselves in a good light in order to be accepted.  To not do so, might make us look like a fool.  We want to be well thought of.

Sometimes it may mean distorting the truth or simply making up excuses for our behavior, trying to make a good impression.  To not do so could result in rejection.  “If I don’t go along with my buddies on this one, they will think I’m a coward.”

For someone with low self-esteem, this is very threatening.  Our parents may have created a lasting impression that it is important to look good, and this may come at a tremendous price.  “I can’t tell my parents I have been using drugs again.”  While it may prevent damaging our pride, the result is to knock our self-esteem down even more than before.

It can become a vicious circle that becomes more and more powerful.

Each lie may protect us at the moment, but it produces an obstacle between ourselves and others.  Our guard is up against rejection, but our actions lead to rejection anyway.  What a terrible price that a felon and their family pay for that attempt at self-protection.

Lying to Protect Others

Often in deciding how to respond to a situation, we may look at it from a loved one’s viewpoint, or at least what we think the person’s viewpoint is.  Many times, we assume we know how our loved one will react.

We decide for them what their response will be.  “If my wife finds out I lost my job, she will be so mad.  I’ll come up with some money somehow.”

Typically, we do not want to validate their assumption because we are convinced it is correct.

If we tell our significant other the truth, they may be angry with us.  In order to avoid a confrontation, we change the truth.  We may tell only part of the truth, that we believe is safe to admit.  “I went over to my buddy’s place, but we just talked.   I didn’t do anything wrong.”

When a human being tells one lie like that, we often try to continue to maintain that as the truth.

We try to keep track of what we have said in order to not hurt the other person in case they find out the whole truth or the part that we don’t want them to know.  It becomes more and more difficult to keep track of the lies.

They keep building until we slip and let something out that tells our loved one that isn’t the true story after all.  This is another time when lies hurt both people.

Having an Addiction

Addiction is a terrible thing and can cause people to lie for reasons that don’t always make sense.

If someone is addicted to any substance, whether it be alcohol or drugs, they’ll do anything for their next high.

As a loved on, you need to understand that they are sick.  The substance that they are abusing has caused them to think irrationally and they are no longer fully in control.

If you are someone or have a loved one who is dealing with substance abuse – PLEASE make a free call to 866-945-2509 for assistance finding the help you need.  

But drug and alcohol addiction aren’t the only types of addictions that makes people lie.

Sometimes people lie because they are addicted to lying.  This is a real phenomenon, but not in the exact same way that we become physically addicted to drugs.  But it is still similar.

There can be a rush from having told a lie and gotten away with it.  So, we lie again and it results in a similar feeling.  It can actually become somewhat pleasurable to “successfully” tell a lie and not get caught.

It reduces the anxiety that the truth can produce.  “I know how I really got this money, but she doesn’t need to know.  It is just easier that way.”

Continuing to lie leads to more of that “high”.  And lying becomes easier and easier over time until we become so used to lying that telling the truth can seem quite painful.

We want to avoid pain, so we continue to lie whether there is a reason or not.

It becomes almost automatic, so we lie without thinking about it.  Others believe the lies until they become so contradictory that it is obvious that their loved one is lying again.  This hurts the person who has to listen to the lie over and over which ends up causing damage that is difficult to repair.

These are just some of the reasons that felons lie, but there are definitely more.

One thing that lies do regardless of the reason for the lie is that over time it drastically affects our ability to trust what has been told to us.  We become doubtful and suspicious.

Eventually, we feel so betrayed that there is significant damage to the relationship.  Whatever the reason for the lies to begin with, the damage is already done.

How to Encourage a Felon to Stop Lying

The truth is that it’s a really difficult thing to stop.  The biggest thing you can do is to give the felon forgiveness and let them know that it’s okay, to tell the truth.  Make it clear that the most damaging thing they can do is lie and that they absolutely need to tell you the truth at all costs.

And when they tell you the truth and it’s something you don’t like, you need to understand their situation and be empathetic to what they are dealing with.

Remember, society has already turned its back on them and is going to make it difficult for them to succeed.  You need to be a beacon of light in these tough times and do everything you can to help them.

Stay positive and stay encouraging no matter how frustrated or unhappy they become.

So what do you think about this blog post about why felons lie?  Do you feel that there are other reasons? Please tell us in the comments below.

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