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How to Break Away From a Liar

by Elise Wile

It’s a shame that liars don’t all look like trolls or have a complete lack of humor, because if this was the case, staying out of relationships with them wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as many prevaricators can be quite charming, making it difficult to cut ties with one, once he has snared you. If you set your intention to leave unhealthy relationships behind, however, you can give the liar the boot, once and for all.

Change Your Perspective

Being in an unhealthy relationship can erode your self-esteem, says therapist Andra Brosh, Ph.D. on her website. The result can be that you can begin to believe you are responsible for your partner’s behavior or that you don’t deserve anything better. This loss of perspective can cause you to become stuck in a relationship with a liar who does not intend to change her behavior -- ever. Regain a healthy sense of perspective on your relationship by talking with a trusted friend or counselor about your situation. Once you get the perspective you need, breaking away will be easier.

Develop an Independent Life

One reason people stay in unsatisfactory relationships is that they are fearful of being alone, says Brosh. If you’re afraid that leaving your pathological-liar boyfriend means that you will be alone every weekend, begin building up your social life now. When you’re busy learning how to rock climb with your new hiking buddies and enjoy your evenings volunteering at the homeless shelter, you’ll find that it is much easier to ditch your con-artist paramour.

Acknowledge Your Brain Chemicals

Being with someone who is a chronic liar can set you on a roller coaster. The problem with this, is that sometimes, relationships that have extremes such as very low lows make for highly satisfying highs. When this happens, your relationship can become like any other addictive behavior -- leaving you at the mercy of rushes of dopamine and other brain chemicals that are stimulated by “highs.” When you realize this is the case, step back from your biology and refuse to let your biology manipulate you. Doing so will give you the distance to discontinue the relationship, says psychological researcher Juliana Breines, Ph.D. in a March 2013 article in “Psychology Today.”

Make a Plan

Goals are easiest to meet when you have an effective plan. This is true whether your goal is to lose weight or lose that liar you have become attached to. Developing an “if-then plan” can help you to separate yourself from a bad relationship, says Breines. For example, think of alternatives to put into place when you are lonely. Instead of breaking down and taking your lying paramour’s calls, you might decide that your first plan of action is to head to the salon for a pedicure or drop by your brother’s house to spend quality time with your niece and nephew. When you break your bad habit of going back on the fibber, you’ll find that he no longer holds much of a place in your life.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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