May 27, 2011 - submitted by Alexis, United States of America

Q. Team Oracle - #26
"I have been a terrible liar to my family. I feel like I am stuck in a web of lies. I have recently been telling the truth. Still, I don't feel right inside. The worst part is, my mom found about all my lying and has not been believing me. I don't blame her though. Oracle, please tell me what to do. I need some direction. Also, please note that I am only of 12years of age.

The Oracle replies:

Don't worry Alexis, it may take time to regain your family's trust but by now telling the truth you are on the right path. As long as you give them reason to believe you, they will soon see that you have changed your ways. If you get a chance to sit down with your family and tell them how sorry you are for your past lies but have changed. Tell them you will prove that you can be trusted but you do have to earn that trust back. They may doubt you for a while but just keep on being honest, that's all you can do. It might be hard for you to feel mistrusted but that's a consequence of your lying so ride the wave. Hopefully it will pass after a significant length of time. If the urge to lie comes back, don't give in to it. There's a famous story about how detrimental lying can be, don't become like The boy who cried wolf.
Also, don't be too hard on your self, it's part of growing up.
Over to you...

I don't know how serious your lies have been, but either way, there's honestly not too much you can do at this point. Your mom is probably more hurt than anything else. By lying to her, you violated the trust she had in you. Her reaction is completely understandable. You telling the truth is a step in the right direction, and it's exactly what you should do at this point. By being completely honest about everything, you can, in time, gain your mother's trust back. It will take a while, but if you do what you're supposed to do, your mom will realize that you've made changes for the better and learn to trust you again. Good luck! Violet.

I'm surprised to know you're just 12. I think you are mature for your age if you speak the way you do and ask for some direction. The thing is that you need to have a long conversation with your parents (or just your mum). You said they don't believe you anymore, but trust me, if you really open yourself to them and explain the reasons why you lied that way, they'll notice that you are being sincere. Start the conversation with something like "Ok, I'm gonna tell you all the truth and what's going on. I NEED you to listen to me". I, as well as your parents, don't know why you lied that much. Maybe you are having some troubles you cannot handle alone and in that case, your family will understand and support you. If they know what's happening to you; what you feel. When you talk to your parents you should tell them EVERYTHING (even the lies they don't know; don't hide things anymore). That's the only way you can fix things up. Be brave and talk to your family. Your attitude coming here and asking for help tells me that you want to make things right and that you are capable to change. And that's a great start; you don't want to grow up as a liar, you want to be a better person. Remember this: your actions have always consequences. Think of this if you are tempted to lie about big issues. Hope everything goes allright. Love from Argentina. Noelia.

I feel sorry for you, but you know it's just you who made you family not trusting you. I understand if you feel bad about that, but you can't go back in time so it's hard to solve your problem. If you apologize and tell them you'll never do such a thing again maybe they will understand and give you a chance. If you used to apologize more often they might not believe you now as well. Ask your family what you can do to make it right and try to be as nice as possible for them - not only for a week, but always. If you are truly willing to get things right I think you will succeed, if not, you've done your best. I really hope I could help and give it your best, Lisette.

Lying never entails anything good, and even telling the truth won't stop you from feeling guilty. Having your mom find out about all of your lying will not make it any better. What you should do is formally apologize to your mother and to the rest of your family for having lied to them. Admitting you were wrong will help get this weight off your chest and allow you to start making progress in the right direction. I think a deeper question you should ask yourself is...Why were you lying to them in the first place? If you lied to avoid punishment for disobeying your parents or for inappropriate behavior, do your best to right those wrongs. No matter what the reason, lying destroys trust in others. Your parents may feel like they are unable to trust you at the moment, so give them some time to come back around. In the meantime, be straightforward and honest with them at all times. Hope this helped! Blake.

At one point or another everyone lies so don't feel ashamed of this. It's when you make lying a habit that it becomes a disgrace. As the little boy who cried wolf once too many times, the people surrounding him stopped believing in what he said. So you should make a promise to yourself and your family that you won't lie anymore. This will help restore your relations with your family and help you become a better person. Colin.

I think the two most important elements is time and honesty. When you have built yourself up to be a certain person, it's a very difficult structure to break down. You have, unfortunately, built yourself up to be a liar, so to change that perception of you over night is not going to happen. You cannot expect your mom to completely believe you over night, even if you have changed. It is going to take time. But it certainly can be done. Please don't take this as a "You are doomed to be known as a liar for the rest of your life." Because you are not. Just like a house, you build your reputation over a long period of time, however you can also break it down and build new one. Don't be discouraged. It will take a lot of time but day by day your mom will see how you have changed. Take every opportunity to be honest with her, even when it hurts. Because in the long run getting what we want now, by lying, is not worth the reputation we are going to have later. Joseph. S

My brother is going through a similar phase and my parents have no idea how to handle it. Being on 12 years of age and realizing that lies only get you out of trouble for awhile but telling the truth makes you feel in control. When you tell a lie, you are lying to yourself and you don't want that. You want to be honest with yourself. So Alexis, just sit and talk with your parents, that's all you need, tell them everything. EVERYTHING. And build your trust back. Take Care. Zeina.

Lying is a terrible habit, one that is very hard to overcome. If you are feeling really bad it might be due to a big secret you still have not told your parents. I think the best you can do is be brave and come clean with them, or to the person you are lying to. You have a tough road ahead, since you need to regain your parent's trust, give it time, and remain constant. If you catch yourself lying, face it up, first to yourself, and then to the person you are lying to, it could be your parents or even your friends or teachers. You need to be consistent with your behavior. Just remember, your parents will always love you, even if they are sad and disappointed right now. Give it time and try to avoid lying. Greetings, Raquel.

1st of all: Don't feel bad! Lying is human nature in it's most obvious form, everyone lies, and I mean EVERYONE. You've already made a huge step by wanting to address this problem, and that's something not everyone can say. Most people have to lie to themselves to tell a lie too, because the guiilt will come bearing down on your shoulders, and you'll want to fool yourself into thinking what you've lied about.
I'm happy to see someone realizing this at such a young age, I was well into my teen years when I realized this! And, Of course your mom/mum will come around, she loves you no matter what, and she will see that you're trying to improve, and she will be very proud, trust me. Best of wishes, Bradley.

Please forgive yourself. You cannot do anything about your past dishonesty, except to apologize to those close to you whom you may have hurt. You are very young, and you don't deserve to burden yourself with the weight of something that you can't go back and change. Your actions will speak volumes to repairing the breach in trust with your mother. Let her know that you have stopped lying and have learned from your mistakes. Tell her that you will work hard to regain her trust. If you don't feel comfortable talking with her about this, write it all down, as if she were right in front of you. Then give her the letter. You have stopped lying, you will rebuild trust in your relationships, and you'll be able to forgive yourself and move on! Good luck, Aimee.

To gain your parents trust back, you need to prove to them that you can be trusted. They need to know that you have changed, and you could explain that to them. Was there a reason that you were lying in the first place? If there was, then tell them why you were lying. To make yourself and your family feel better about this, then you need to start believing in yourself again. In time, they will learn to trust you again and you will feel much better. Mindy.

Thank you all for your replies.
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