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I am 21 years of age and I've been a stupid teller of lies in my past. I've almost never lied in situations where it can be hurtful or destructive. I usually have had spun yarns about past life experiences. Initially, I did it to inspire people with my imaginary stories in which story characters (could be my mother / my friend's dog or anyone) did great stuff despite of their disabilities and other shit (which I find incredibly stupid now). I've stopped all of it, but still face the consequences.

I am not equipped with a good memory which makes me forgetful about what version of the story I've shared with the person I'm talking to.

What happens when I get caught-

I've been caught by my friends with good memory or maybe they just remember, and they say- "but that day you told me that xxxx happened" and its very embarrassing and pushes me towards saying another lie. Some of these friends are really nasty and make fun of me which I find funny but still hurtful after some time. I register my defeat and keep my mouth shut in front of such friends and am comfortable talking only in their absense

Lets say I'm talking to a friend named Ted. Ted and I are good friends and have talked a great deal in the past and now I meet him after a break (after few months or an year). Ted has never caught me red handed. Now, the following three major problems can occur-

  • Ted asks me about what happened to my cousin who was being bullied at school. And I don't remember what false story and for what reason have I told Ted in the past (I have no such cousin being bullied). I reply with anything like he's fine now (sometimes another lie or a whole new interesting inspirational story about my imaginary cousin's struggle)
  • I am in he middle of the conversation and want to tell Ted about an interesting past event (truth). But I've no clue whether I've already told him some other version of that same event. Due to this reason, either I avoid telling him anything about it or start beating around the bush and wait for Ted to respond in a way that I can be sure of whether he knows/ doesn't know.
  • I face the fear of getting caught and tell Ted about it. But later I'm thinking- maybe Ted has caught me before and didn't tell me about it to see the extent I'll go to with this incredible stupidity. Maybe all I've said right now (truth) was just another lie according to him (which again he didn't care about). Maybe Ted is waiting for my confession and all of my contribution to this/ further conversation is pointless until I confess.

now-

  • I have promised myself that I'll never share false stories of my imaginary friends/their parents/their dogs/their bullies/their girlfriends/their ... with anyone.
  • I find myself carrying a burden when talking with my friends now and I want to share this problem with some of my close friends. I don't remember my false/stories lies to point out when I confess, so I might seem whiny about a problem that they don't think I even have.

What I want to achieve is-
if they find any incoherence in my conversation (with some previous conversation we might have had) they skip it and not argue with me about it as it only makes me feel like a complete idiot. And that they trust me in our current and further conversations as I've changed now.

3

Honesty is the best policy. I used to be in that situation but not anymore.

I extricated myself by telling them the truth: "I lied thinking stupidly that it would help you with the situation you faced. I was wrong. I'm an idiot and recognise my fault and will try not to do it again. If you can't forgive me, I understand and I will live with the consequences of my stupid behaviour."

I then went on to only tell the truth no matter the consequences and it made me squirm. Now, many years later I am trusted as a man of my word and I refuse to lie about anything. The fact I'm telling the world this is evidence of the change.

Yes, it will take time but the rewards are so much better and last a lifetime. The bonus is that I don't need a good memory because others tell me what I did and it's always good things I hear about myself.

Lies are like cancer, they spread and people learn not to trust with important things but don't tell you the opportunities they never gave you as a result.

It all comes down to opportunity cost: truth unlocks doors but lies lock them shut in secret.

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