Therapy That Works...

Stopping Self-Mutilation - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stopping Self-Mutilation:

What To Do About Teens Who Cut And Burn

Cutting, burning, and pinching are all ways that teenagers try to hurt themselves. A recent study found that 20% of teens have engaged in self-injury at some point in their adolescence.

But what’s the big deal?

Underlying Diagnosis: Beyond the obvious risks of serious physical injury or infection, this behavior can have devastating consequences psychologically. Self-injury is usually caused by some kind of deeper issue such as undiagnosed depression, anxiety, and extreme social isolation. In addition, teens who self-mutilate are at a much higher risk to commit suicide.

Lack of Coping: Most self-injurers report that they use it as a means to cope with negative emotions and to calm themselves down. In effect, their self-mutilation tricks the brain into releasing endorphins which numb pain and cause a sense of euphoria.

Teens hurt themselves for reasons that fit into four distinct categories:

1.) Release of tension and to stop negative feelings about themselves or others

2.) To feel, experience, and maybe even enjoy pain

3.) The classic “cry for help”

4.) To become an outsider

Here’s are some specifics ways that teens hurt themselves:

  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Carving into their skin
  • Intentional breaking of bones
  • Sticking with pins and needles

Parents, your daughters are more likely to cut, carve, and insert pins and needles while your sons are more likely to burn and intentionally break bones.

Now, is this a passing fad or something that parents should really be worried about?

Cyclical Nature: After committing harms to themselves, self-injurers often feel shame about what they have done and fear social rejection for their scars and behavior. This in turn only reinforces whatever anxiety or depression they were feeling beforehand and can start the cycle all over again.

Consequences For Life: Around eighty percent of self-mutilators report stopping the behavior within a few years of starting it due to "growing out of it" or they sought help. However, those who report self-injury tend to report higher levels of sadness and difficulty for the rest of their lives.

If you or someone you know is engaging in self-injury, please seek professional help immediately. This is an extremely difficult thing to deal with without the help of a professional therapist.

Sources:

"The Kids Aren't All Right" by Rachael Rettner on MSNBC.com, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39100605/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

The Effect of Parental Alienation On Children - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Parental Alienation II:

The Effect of Parental Alienation on Children

Parental alienation—the relentless campaign of one estranged parent to destroy their child’ relationship with the other parent—is on the rise. It spans the range from careless hostile remarks to premeditated and systematic attempts to assassinate the character of the targeted parent.

If you are concerned if your child is a victim of parental alienation, be on the lookout for the following behaviors:

Brainwashed by Lies: These kids are basically brainwashed and now regard their targeted parent as the enemy or as a worthless afterthought. This kind of betrayal can occur even in the most tender and loving relationships. Tragically, I have seen such division lasting for years.

Contempt, Rejection and Disrespect: The child shows contempt, rejection, and disrespect for the targeted parent. These comments are often irrational, insulting and traumatizing to the parent who feels helpless and hopeless.

Rehearsed Answers: The child has been taught to orient to the controlling needs of the alienating parent at all costs. He is often unable to specify why he dislikes the targeted parent. In fact, he may exaggerate the faults of the parent to justify his rejection. His comments parrot the alienator’s words and feelings.

Long Term Damage: There is minimal data on the long-term effects of such alienation on kids. However, we do know that the earlier the separation from a parent, the more traumatic it is for the child. The basic tenants of loving relationships—trust, loyalty, and forgiveness are never learned and the child may struggle for a lifetime because of these experiences.

There are several steps you can take to preserve your relationship with your child:

Educate Yourself: Parental alienation can be an elusive phenomenon to prove especially in a highly intense forum such as child custody. There are several books with great resources that are “must reads” for parents (Please see the sources for this post).

Remain Calm: Understand that you have been systematically undermined and that you are taking every step to remediate the situation. Focus on what you can control and don’t stress about other factors. Do not lose your temper, reject your child or insult your ex in front of your child.

Work with Great Experts: Hire a psychologist and a lawyer who are proven experts in parental alienation. The therapist must acknowledge the massive psychological impact such alienation has on the child and targeted parent. Your attorney needs to possess a solid understanding of this type of emotional abuse and the substantial legal skills to protect your child and your interests.

Sources:

"Divorce Poison," Dr. Richard Warshak

"The Custody Revolution" by Dr. Richard Warshak

"Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation," Dr. Douglas Darnall

Is Parental Alienation A Real Problem? - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parental Alienation I:

Is Parental Alienation a Real Problem?

The term parental alienation first came into the public conversation during the bitter custody struggle between actors Kim Bassinger and Alec Baldwin. This widespread phenomenon has done tremendous harm to America’s families. Now psychologists are wrestling with whether parental alienation is a classifiable mental health syndrome.

So what is parental alienation and why is it becoming such a problem for American children?

Systematic Campaign of Alienation: Parental alienation is a systematic campaign of character assassination. It is not gender related or age related. One parent is determined to permanently alienate the child’s affections toward the other parent.

Spans the Range: Parental Alienation spans the range from careless, self serving comments that undermine the child’s view of the other parent to outright malicious intent, legal battles and reckless actions.

Emotional Abuse of Children: Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse of the child. As one expert said “ Bad mouth your ex and you simultaneously bad mouth your child.”

So why do parents set out the ruin the relationship of their ex with the child?

Revenge: Getting back and getting even is the number one reason parents assault their ex’s. Rebuffed or disappointed spouses get enormous secondary gain from inflicting pain on a spouse they believe has wronged them.

Child is Perceived as a Possession: For some parents, adequate boundaries with their children are absent. They child is an extension of themselves. The mind of the child becomes the battlefield for revenge. The parent attempts to banish the other parent so he can have the child to himself.

Compensating for Inadequacy and Guilt: Parents try to resolve the rejection or their sense of failure by convincing themselves that they are the best parent. Posturing as the superior parent makes them feel better even if it’s at the expense of their child. They have no conscience about the suffering of the child and the other parent.

Sources:

"Divorce Poison," Dr. Richard Warshak

"The Custody Revolution" by Dr. Richard Warshak

"Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation," Dr. Douglas Darnall

The Truth About Long-Term Relationships - By Chris Gearing

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Go The Distance: The Truth About Long-Term Relationships

With the new Drew Barrymore and Justin Long comedy “Going The Distance” in theaters, many couples are seeing a long distance relationship in a new light.

But what’s it really like to go the distance?

Recession Reality: Thanks to the economy, long distance relationships are relatively common nowadays with partners working jobs in different cities just to make the bills. The worst part is that as the recession drags on, so does the time apart – couples have been long-distance for years now either at work or at school getting ready for new jobs.

New Technology, New Relationships: With the advent of new technologies like text messaging, Twitter, and Skype available for free at the touch of a button – carrying on long-distance relationships has become easier than ever. Even though the frequency of communication has show no effect on whether or not couples stayed together or the quality of their relationship, technology has made it easier than ever to talk to our loved ones – no matter how far they are.

Magnify The Positive: Researchers have seen higher levels of idealization of a partner if they are far away. In addition, couples try much harder to avoid conflict if they are long-distance since they don’t want to spoil their little time together with fighting.

Progress Is Slow: Real partnerships and relationships develop through conflict resolution and fully knowing the other person – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Due to the lack of face time, long distance relationships tend to progress at a much slower rate, both towards breaking up and marriage.

If you’re considering a long-distance relationship, the biggest question that you have to answer is do you really trust the other person?

Physical attraction is not the same as the building blocks of love - trust, similar values, and a common view of the world. If you’re moving into a long-term, long-distance relationship, be extremely sure about what your partner will feel, think, and do when you’re apart.

SOURCES:

“More Young Couples Try Long-Distance Relationships” by Sharon Jayson, USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/mentalhealth/2010-09-09-longdistance09_ST_N.htm

Adult Child Anxiety! - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Adult Child Anxiety!: Why Parents of Twentysomethings Can’t Calm Down

Even though your children are grown, do you still worry about them? Trust me, you’re not alone. You will always be your child’s parent, and that means you will always worry about them. New research says that if you think your child has a problem, it will make you unhappy.

But this is only for parents with adult children who are really in trouble, right?

Nope. The study found that having even one child who has a physical, emotional, lifestyle, emotional, or behavioral problem can have a negative effect on the parent. It didn’t matter if the other kids were successful – just one child with one kind of problem was enough to tip the scale.

Parents, here’s what you can do to pick up your mood and stop worrying so much – become emotionally fit:

Courage Under Fire: You must learn to remain calm under fire. Resilient people have an awesome ability to control their emotions even when things get stressful. Try taking a walk, count to ten, or distract yourself before you react to upsetting events.

Count Your Blessings: Focus on the positives in your child and remember that positive emotions literally undo negative emotions.

Say "Thank You" Often: Expressing gratitude to others is a huge step in becoming emotionally fit. Too often we take for granted the enormous blessings that surround us. Give thanks that you have a healthy child who is working to change their lives!

Acts of Kindness: Giving to others is a huge boost for emotionally fit people. Try volunteering around the community or do things for your children without asking for anything in return.

Make a Friend: Make a friend and see them often. Friends are the cheapest medicine, bar none! People with many friends have the lowest mortality rates, lower risk of disease, and a much higher satisfaction with their lives.

SOURCE:

“Adult Kids’ Problems Still Affect Parents’ Mental Health” by Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-08-13-APA-parents-stress13_ST_N.htm

Dating Violence Among Teens - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dating Violence Among Teens

CBS 11 News

Dr. Sylvia Gearing

With the start of school, parents need to be aware of when they need to be concerned about violence in their teen’s relationship.

Depression is Rising:

Dating violence among teens is a very real phenomenon that has increased enormously in the last five years due to the increasing rates of depression and anxiety in teens and twentysomethings. A new study reports that more cases of severe mental illness are being reported among college students than a decade ago.

Parents Should Be Aware:

Parents should be aware that domestic violence in adolescent dating relationships peaks in high school with around 45% of all kids experiencing violence at the hands of a partner. Once a teen is abused or becomes the abuser, the pattern tends to continue with both sexual and emotional violence increasing in high college.

Here are the specific signs to look for if you're worried that your teen is a victim of violence:

Avoiding The Truth:

Teens who are being abused are generally shell shocked. They are literally frozen by the stress. They have no idea what is going on and fail to protect themselves. Many kids from good homes are naive about what abuse is, normalize the actions of the abusive partner and make excuses for the abuser until it is too late.

It Begins with Verbal Violence:

Parents should be on the lookout for verbally abusive texts, emails, phone calls or outright face-to-face shouting. Emotional violence is usually the first type of abuse in a relationship and is the most common type of relationship violence.

Teen Becoming Isolated:

Abusive partners prefer that their partner remains isolated and unable to turn to others for help. In addition, the abused partner isolate herself from friends and family. She seems to shed her former relationships—best friends, family connections, socializing patterns. She stops responding to others and denies she is being victimized.

Increasing Anxiety and Depression:

Domestic abuse victims show signs of anxiety and depression such as agitation, sadness, withdrawal, low energy, emotional mood swings, tearfulness and a decline in functioning at school.

Progressive Pain:

Look for signs of increasing disconnection from others, less responsiveness and avoidant behavior. She is locked in a cage of agony and doesn’t know how to ask for help.

When you hear "domestic violence," you probably think of a man hitting a woman. But that's not always the case:

These days, it seems that neither gender is safe. On average, about half of women have been a victim of domestic violence along with 27% of men. However, this number is probably low for men because of under-reporting of abuse. In fact, we’re hearing more and more about women stalking men who have rejected them.

The causes for each type of domestic violence seem to be quite different. Male-on-female violence seems to be much more about control and domination while female-on-male violence is more verbally expressive and is used to communicate pain, jealousy, frustration, and other emotions.

Parents, here's what you can do to help:

Many family and friends prefer not to get involved out of respect for personal boundaries. However, this is one time that you need to speak up as a parent. Caring about your child now involves compassionate intervention. Do not turn your back.

Gather Evidence:

Collect the observations you have had and organize them into a coherent conversation. Specify behaviors you have seen and conversations you may have overheard or read online or through texting.

Stand Your Ground:

Domestic violence at this age is especially lethal since adolescent brains are often immature and impulsive. They literally lack the critical thinking skills to put it all together. That’s where a smart parent comes in.

Get the Community Involved:

If you present your evidence and they are still resistant, go to their community of friends, family, religious leaders and ask them to help. For more serious cases, please seek out a psychologist. However difficult these steps are, they may very well save your child’s life.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

Sources:

JAMA

Archives Journals (July 8, 2008) Relationship Violence Appears Common Among College Students

Teens Who Murder - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teens Who Murder

CBS 11 News

by Dr. Sylvia Gearing

This summer has seen a rash of parents murdering their children. However, a new demographic is on the rise - children and teens who kill their parents.

But is this common?

Teens tend to kill other teens. Homicide is the leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 overall, and the leading cause of death for African American teens. Eighty five percent of murdered teens are male and most were involved in some sort of physical fight that led to murder. Males are 400% more likely to be murdered than females.

Homicides are highly predictable if we pay attention to what we are observing. Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to learning to prevent violence.

Here are the warning signs in teens:

  • Lack of Conscience
  • Angry Outbursts
  • History of Oppositional Behaviors
  • Actual Threats—written, spoken
  • Past Acts of violence
  • Access to Weapons
  • Past Suicide Attempts
  • Family History of Violence or Bullying
  • Cruelty to animals

But what pushes a teen over the edge into homicide?

A person arrives at a tipping point and decides to act violently when four conditions are met:

  • They feel justified
  • They perceive few or no alternatives
  • They believe that the consequences will be favorable
  • They believe that they have the ability to succeed

Do peers have any influence on a child's decision to murder?

Sinister Looks:

The withdrawal, the surly attitude, the overreactions about normal issues, the dark and sinister looks are all indications that something is terribly wrong with the teen.

Generation Me:

The child who is grandiose, self centered, exhibitionistic, entitled, shameless, arrogant and defiant may also feel justified in turning to violence if it suits his purpose.

No Conscience:

The sociopathic child who delights in the pain and suffering of others, who has no moral compass, who is paranoid and fearful of others, who is vengeful if slighted is a prime candidate for becoming homicidal and for taking your child with him.

Parents, here's how to know if your child is in trouble:

The worst mistake parents make is to ignore what they are seeing right in front of them. Intuition is our warning system built into our brains specially developed to allow us to predict violence and to avoid it.

Here are the signs of intuition:

  • Nagging Feelings and Persistent Thoughts
  • Black Humor—Jokes such as “He’s just going to shoot us all!”
  • Hunches and Gut Feelings
  • Hesitation and Suspicion
  • Uncontrollable Fear

Stop Denying:

Many adults prefer to view violence as a normal “rite of passage” through childhood. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please educate yourself about this pattern of trauma and train yourself to recognize it when you see it.

Bystanders Are Key:

Research now argues that the bystanders of potential violence are one of the vital keys to decreasing this growing problem with teen violence. Speak up, speak out and get your teen the professional help to evaluate his potential for violence. You may save his life and the lives of those you love.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Source:

"The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker (GET THIS BOOK!)

Eat, Pray, and Love From Home - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eating, Praying, and Loving From Home

How To Have A Journey Of Self-Discovery On A Budget

By Dr Sylvia Gearing

With the release of the movie, “Eat. Pray. Love.” this past weekend, millions of Americans witnessed the journey of a woman’s self-discovery through the countries of Italy, India, and Indonesia. But in this tough economy, not everyone can spend a year living, laughing, and loving abroad. Not to fret – if you’re looking for a quest akin to Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing saga, there’s plenty you can accomplish right here at home.

Remember that the Point of the Quest is to Find Yourself, Your Beliefs and Your Soul Mate

FINDING YOURSELF THROUGH PHYSICAL PLEASURES:

Your body is the temple of your soul and is extremely important in any journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. The body, your center for “worldly pleasures,” is stimulated by the five major physical senses – taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Taste and Pleasurable Eating:

Did you know that we have over 10,000 taste buds, but taste is the weakest of the senses? In an age of fast food and 80-hour workweeks, we don’t take the time to really savor our food.

Here’s How to Use Taste:

  • Slow down, sit down and calm down when you eat!
  • Eating should be a relaxing, sumptuous and even sensuous experience.
  • Try fresh foods from farmers markets or preparing your own food from simple, international recipes. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook gourmet food!

Touch and Tactile Experiences:

Touch is an undervalued sense but it’s extremely important to pleasure.

Here’s How to Use Touch:

  • Buy Clothing: Sensual lingerie, soft, flowing clothing, silky bed sheets, plush throws, and plump pillows are comforting and enticing.
  • Pet The Dog: Don’t forget to cuddle up to your cat or dog—they are great sources of nurturing.
  • Get A Massage: Nothing relaxes people more than being touched. Hire an expert and indulge yourself.

Sight and Visual Experiences:

Have you ever been to a place that just clicked with your sense of style? Maybe the Coliseum or your childhood home, visual beauty is enchanting for all of us. Surround yourself with beautiful colors, textures and arrangements.

Here’s How to Use Sight:

  • Take the Time to Notice: Nurturing visual experiences are everywhere—a sunset, a stunning candle in your bedroom, a gracious moonlit night, the drape of a towel on a chair, or even the colors of your favorite flowers.
  • Take the Time to See: All of your world can be visually savored if you just take the time to notice and acknowledge the beauty right in front of you.
  • Bring Beauty To You: Take some time and assemble your personal list of beauty—candles, soaps, china, crystal, pictures of travel destinations, favorite pieces of art, pictures of your friends and family, flowers, etc.

Sense of Smell and Aromas:

Smell is the number one sense tied to memory and it really makes an impression – whether it’s the sweet scent of your mother’s cookies in the oven or the smell of cedar burning on a cold night.

Here’s How to Use Smell:

  • Burn lightly scented candles for your meals, your relaxation time and “just because.”
  • Bring highly fragrant flowers to your office
  • Use your own special perfume or cologne as your personal scent signature.

Hearing and Sound:

Pleasurable sounds are stimulating for your mind. Brain scans show that music—in particular—stimulates certain pleasure areas of the brain and lowers anxiety.

Here’s How to Use Sound:

  • Relax or meditate to natural sounds like the ocean tide or thunderstorms.
  • Listen to music all the time, whether it’s Beethoven or Lady Gaga. Music enhances any ordinary experience – whether it’s cleaning the house, talking to your friends or working out.
  • Sing loudly. Anxiety diminishes enormously when we’re belting out our favorite tunes.

FINDING YOUR BELIEFS THROUGH SPIRITUAL PRACTICES:

Spirituality asks the most important questions about life—why we’re here, why things happen, and where God is in all of this. Spiritual practice, irrespective of which religion you use, nurtures the most of important parts of ourselves—our minds, our hearts and our souls.

Here’s How to Enhance Your Spiritual Self:

Stillness and Thought:

An essential first step is mastery of some sort of meditation or self-reflection – whether it be through prayer, meditation techniques, long thoughtful walks, centering yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even just quiet time! Shut off your cell phone, exit your e-mail, and close your laptop for even an hour a day and ground yourself with one of these practices.

Attend to the Now:

Be present in every single moment of your life and live in the now – I call this “mindfulness.” This may sound a little “Zen” of me, but it really works. Give your anxiety a break, and suspend your thoughts while you focus on what is right in front of you. Combine the mindfulness mindset with the above steps for stillness and meditation for a real “one-two” punch of spirituality.

The Sound of Silence:

Silence leads to self-discovery and to understanding someone else. Silence lets you think effectively. Silence allows the world to pour into you while you contemplate, rather than react, to events. It is the elixir of creativity and perspective.

Gratitude and Reverence:

Experience your life with a true sense of gratitude and reverence for the things around you – whether it’s for your kids, your partner, your job or for the many blessings in your life. Viewing life through the lens of gratitude leads to higher levels of optimism, hope, and plain old happiness.

Acts of Altruism:

Try doing something fun and then try doing something altruistic. Studies show that you will remember your acts of altruism longer and more fondly than the “fun times.” In fact, selfless giving to others can even make you happier over the long haul.

FINDING YOUR SOUL MATE:

Soul mates come in different packages—a sister, a best friend, or a lover. Now, with your physical and spiritual sides in balance, you’re ready to share your world with someone else in an effective, intelligent way. By balancing your physical and the spiritual selves, you’re more discerning, less needy with others and more perceptive about what you need from anyone that walks in and out of your life.

Your combination of the worldly and the spiritual perspectives prepares you to define a relationship on both shared and individual terms. You have to nurture your physical self and embrace your spiritual self to fully experience and love another person.

Here’s How to Find Your Soul Mate:

Maintain Boundaries!:

Elizabeth Gilbert observed (rather wryly) that as she visited the ninth generation medicine man in Bali, she didn’t want to ask him about the meaning of life or what happens after we die. Instead, all she could think to ask about were her “boy troubles.” A common misstep is to let our relationships carry us away, and we end up leaving ourselves behind! Define yourself as an individual first—both physically and spiritually before you step into a relationship!

Shared Terms:

Women are so programmed all our lives to orbit around the needs of others—“accept me and I will do anything for you!” That kind of thinking was great two hundred years ago, but our new world requires self-sufficiency AND interdependence. We have to love him and leave him everyday to become ourselves in our jobs, our roles and our minds. But at the end of the day, we come home to him relaxed, refueled, and ready for intimacy.

The Golden Rule:

The great Greek philosophers taught that there was one golden rule for life – balance, in all things. Balance in our work, in our consumption, and in our relationships. Maintain the balance between worldly pleasure, divine transcendence, and experiencing and loving those around you.

Your feet on the ground, your heart fully opened and your soul finely tuned will lead to wise choices, magical moments, and mastery of the art of exuberant living.

SOURCES

Dr. Martin Seligman on TED.com

“Practicing Gratitude Can Increase Happiness by 25%” on PsyBlog (http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/09/practicing-gratitude-can-increase.php)

How To Catch A Liar, Part 3 - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How to Know if You’re Partner is Lying To You

Lying in America is sadly more common than ever with current studies estimating that we lie in about one fourth of our interactions with others. Most of these lies are committed to make our lives easier or to set boundaries with others. But the majority of Americans believe that you shouldn’t lie to your partner. Since trust is the foundation of love, lying can undermine even the best of love affairs. So why do all of us want to believe our partners so much?

Skin In The Game:

When you’re in a relationship, you want to believe your partner. You have “skin in the game” and have invested in this person. When he begins to lie, it's hard to believe that that he thinks so little of you. You don't want to believe that he would make up a lie, sell the lie to you and then watch while you believe it.

Unfortunately, most of us end up filling in the blanks of information a liar omits in an effort to see him in a positive light. If he is lying and we work to believe him, he is basically getting away with it.

Gender Differences in Lying:

One study found that men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Psychos And Sociopaths:

Remember that some people lie flawlessly and are difficult to catch due to their skill. Think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They are able to control their emotions, their thoughts, and their bodies simultaneously. The flip side of that coin is that these people are generally sociopaths or psychopaths—definitely not dating material!

Now, if your partner is lying to you – your decision about whether or not to stay ultimately comes down to how invested you are in the relationship.

Here are a few tips depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship:

Early Liars Never Change:

Lying early in the relationship is a big sign of dishonesty. If they’re already lying to you in the beginning, what makes you think they won’t lie to you later on? Pay attention and get out quickly if you hear 2-3 lies in the first few weeks of a relationship. Please don’t pretend that everything is just fine. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later on.

Road To Recovery:

For long term relationships, you need to confront the problem immediately, set a limit, and establish a zero tolerance policy.

If there is a problem in the relationship, don’t linger—get help and resolve the issues. Most couples wait an average of six years before they seek help - and it's usually too late.

Lying Can Snowball:

Lying is a serious issue and tends to snowball. Rearranging the truth can get to be a bad habit for even the best of us. However, you can go from lying by omission to outright deceit. What seemed innocent in the beginning becomes a habit of pathological lying. Don’t let lying take over -- you won’t know what’s real and what’s a lie.

Source:

Paul Ekman’s excellent work on lying including Unmasking the Face and Emotions Revealed

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

ABC News, Study: We All Tell Lies Over the Phone, February 25, 2004

How To Catch A Liar, Part 3 - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How to Know if You’re Partner is Lying To You

Lying in America is sadly more common than ever with current studies estimating that we lie in about one fourth of our interactions with others. Most of these lies are committed to make our lives easier or to set boundaries with others. But the majority of Americans believe that you shouldn’t lie to your partner. Since trust is the foundation of love, lying can undermine even the best of love affairs. So why do all of us want to believe our partners so much?

Skin In The Game:

When you’re in a relationship, you want to believe your partner. You have “skin in the game” and have invested in this person. When he begins to lie, it's hard to believe that that he thinks so little of you. You don't want to believe that he would make up a lie, sell the lie to you and then watch while you believe it.

Unfortunately, most of us end up filling in the blanks of information a liar omits in an effort to see him in a positive light. If he is lying and we work to believe him, he is basically getting away with it.

Gender Differences in Lying:

One study found that men and women lie at the same rates but about different things. Women are more likely to lie to make you feel good while men rearrange the truth to make themselves look better.

Psychos And Sociopaths:

Remember that some people lie flawlessly and are difficult to catch due to their skill. Think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They are able to control their emotions, their thoughts, and their bodies simultaneously. The flip side of that coin is that these people are generally sociopaths or psychopaths—definitely not dating material!

Now, if your partner is lying to you – your decision about whether or not to stay ultimately comes down to how invested you are in the relationship.

Here are a few tips depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship:

Early Liars Never Change:

Lying early in the relationship is a big sign of dishonesty. If they’re already lying to you in the beginning, what makes you think they won’t lie to you later on? Pay attention and get out quickly if you hear 2-3 lies in the first few weeks of a relationship. Please don’t pretend that everything is just fine. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later on.

Road To Recovery:

For long term relationships, you need to confront the problem immediately, set a limit, and establish a zero tolerance policy.

If there is a problem in the relationship, don’t linger—get help and resolve the issues. Most couples wait an average of six years before they seek help - and it's usually too late.

Lying Can Snowball:

Lying is a serious issue and tends to snowball. Rearranging the truth can get to be a bad habit for even the best of us. However, you can go from lying by omission to outright deceit. What seemed innocent in the beginning becomes a habit of pathological lying. Don’t let lying take over -- you won’t know what’s real and what’s a lie.

Source:

Paul Ekman’s excellent work on lying including Unmasking the Face and Emotions Revealed

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

ABC News, Study: We All Tell Lies Over the Phone, February 25, 2004


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