traits of bpd

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Did She Lie?

In this blog post we are going to be addressing the coping behavior of lying and why women with traits of BPD or borderline personality disorder so often engage in it. Although lying is not part of the criteria for diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, many romantic partners of women with traits of BPD report that lying was a major component of their behavior pattern.

This pattern of lying is not just limited to those with the diagnosis of BPD. So for this blog post we will be referring to all women who engage in behaviors associated with BPD, whether or not their behavior is extreme enough to qualify for the diagnosis.

In the first part of this blog post we are going to address three common types of lies that women with traits of BPD often engage in with their romantic partners:

1. A partner who chronically or compulsively lies and is completely aware of it.

2. A partner who is lying for revenge and is aware that she is lying but believes
you deserve it.

3. A partner who is not lying at all, but truly believes the lies she is telling.

Once we have covered these three basic categories of lies we will take a look at the motivations behind each of these types of lying. We will then explore a few common situations in which women with traits of BPD tend to lie so you can more easily identify what kind of lying your partner may have been engaging in and what motivated those lies.

Here are the scenarios which we will be addressing to make it easier to apply these concepts to your relationship:

Lying to cover up bad behavior

Lying to make others look bad

Lying to make you look bad

Lying to make themselves look good

Lying to get out of responsibilities

Lying to be perceived as a victimized

Lying to get attention

Lying to launch a smear campaign

Let’s begin our investigation into the motivations behind BPD lying by exploring the first category of lying, the kind that the liar has full awareness of. We are going to examine what some people refer to as compulsive lying or cover-up lying. This form of lying is a coping mechanism that many people use to ward off feelings of shame and humiliation over how others will see them or how they may see themselves.

Because partners of women with traits of BPD may have a very hard time accepting that their partner could be lying to them purposely in ways that cause them great pain and distress, we will spend a little more time addressing compulsive lying than we will for the remaining two categories.

The Cover-up or Compulsive Liar

Compulsive lying is a habit of convenience that over time can turn into a full-blown addiction. One of the unusual components of compulsive lying is that unlike many other addictive behavior patterns, the person who lies compulsively will usually be fully aware that they have a problem.

Another unusual aspect of compulsive lying is that people who lie compulsively often believe that since no one ever calls them on their lying, that everyone around them actually believes the lies. Because liars are so rarely confronted, they may interpret acceptance of their lies as sign that they are highly skilled at fooling others.

Their erroneous assumption that those around them believe their lies may cause them to continue lying indefinitely, feeling that if people found out the extent to which they had been fooled they would be permanently ostracized. This need to keep their secret at any cost will often drive them to defend their lies even when someone does confront them, no matter how irrefutable the evidence may be.

Compulsive or cover-up lying could be considered an extreme coping mechanism. It cannot physically destroy a person as drugs, alcohol or risky behavior might. But when people cross the line into lying chronically, they run the risk of destroying all trust and credibility with those around them.

Because trust is the core foundation of every kind of relationship we might enter into, a person who lies for personal gain is essentially voiding any social agreements they may have entered into. Although lying is highly effective way to get out of shameful or embarrassing situations, we will find that the social consequences of chronic lying are so severe that few people are willing to risk engaging in it.

But there is a good reason that this extreme coping mechanism is surprisingly common among women with traits of BPD. Because these women have a very limited understanding of the kind of trust it takes to be in a romantic relationship, they may fail to recognize the grave risk in crossing that line.

Let’s now take a look at exactly why cover-up or compulsive liars lie.

What Compulsive Liars Get Out of it

When compulsive liars lie, they do it in order to protect their self-image. Chronic liars generally do not feel safe when others see who they really are. They have a very weak sense self-esteem which causes them to feel threatened by the even the thought of negative judgment from others.

Women with traits of BPD are naturally highly over-sensitive to negative judgment of others. Because of this sensitivity, they usually find themselves feeling threatened by what their relationship partner might think of them. This uncomfortable imbalance of power can cause a woman with traits of BPD to feel inferior and can very easily trigger feelings low self-esteem.

If she is not educated about her unique sensitivity to negative judgment and taught skills to compensate for caring too much about what others think, she is very likely to use coping mechanisms to protect her self-image. Lying is a fast-acting antidote for feelings of guilt, shame and humiliation. It is also a highly effective way to maintain ultimate control over her self-image.

Compulsive lying is not as well-publicized as other common addictive coping behaviors such as gambling, sex, alcohol and drugs. Yet it has all the same hallmarks.

Most compulsive liars describe the beginning stages of their lying as fairly mild and harmless.
They usually report that they started to lie in order to bolster others’ impression of them. They soon find that lying begins to happen automatically, and then in the final stages they will discover they are helpless to stop.

Just like any other addictive behavior, in time, the original relief gained from the behavior will lessen. The need to lie will increase over time until many of them find themselves compulsively lying even when there is no possible benefit to them.

There are many compounded problems that develop for cover-up liars. Lies tend to call for other lies either to bolster the lie or to ensure secrecy. Cover-up liars may eventually have entire networks of lies that must be maintained. Some chronic liars report that the difference between a lie and the truth at some point begins to blur. Others state that eventually their lies begin to seem like the truth, and the truth may feel like a lie.

Let’s now take a look at exactly why cover-up lying is so effective and how it is that these chronic liars can get away with lying for decades without ever being publicly exposed.

Why Cover-up Lying Works

The reason that chronic lying is an extremely effective way to avoid consequences, responsibility, humiliation, embarrassment and any other uncomfortable emotion is simple. Lying for personal gain is against the social rules of every culture. Not only is it against the social rules, it carries so much social stigma that very few among us are willing to confront an individual who engages in it.

Being lied to for personal gain by people who we trust is one of the most insulting actions that can be taken against us. Because most people hate liars, any admission that we don’t believe someone who is lying will hold within it a statement of extreme distaste or even disgust.

Accusing someone of lying is such a highly-charged allegation, that few people ever call a compulsive liar’s bluff. This gives them a free pass to edit reality in any way it suits them indefinitely.

Let’s now take a look at the role of cover-up or compulsive lying in a relationship with a woman with traits of BPD.

Compulsive Lying and BPD

The way a woman with traits of BPD engages in cover-up lying is no different than a cover-up liar who does not possess these traits. For the most part she will be aware and conscious of all of her lies. Occasionally she may believe her lies, but she will probably have to pump herself up emotionally in order to do so. And like all compulsive liars, although conscious and aware of her lies, if confronted, she will deny that she was lying.

The most effective way to tell if a romantic partner was using compulsive or cover-up lying is through how regularly it happened. Lying in order to keep one’s self-image untarnished can be a full-time job. Most women with traits of BPD who engage in cover-up lying will lie continually, about small things, big things, and everything in between.

Let’s now move on to our second category, lying for revenge.

Lying For Revenge

Lying for revenge is by no means limited to women with traits of BPD. Revenge lying is a common coping mechanism for many men and women who feel betrayed and humiliated after a romantic breakup. But revenge lying is a hallmark of BPD behavior that can even occur while a relationship is still going on. And revenge lying from a woman with traits of BPD after a breakup can be extreme.

When women with traits of BPD use lying for revenge they are purposefully lying and they know they are lying. But they are lying because they honestly believe in that moment that their partner deserves to be punished for making them hurt.

To put it simply, revenge lying is a quick and easy way to inflict the kind of pain that will ease the sting of her humiliation. Although a woman with traits of BPD may not believe any of the false allegations she makes to hurt him, she will believe that she is fully justified to lie for revenge.

Let’s now take a moment to examine why a woman with traits of BPD may believe that even the most innocent and loving partner is deserving of revenge. We are going to look at a unique characteristic of this disorder. This characteristic is present in women with both light and extreme traits of BPD.

The unique characteristic which sets women with BPD apart from the average person who lies for revenge is a tendency to become emotionally dysregulated. Emotional dysregulation is the term that is used to describe the irrational state we all get into when our emotions run too high. But although we have all experienced being irrational while in a state of high emotions at some point in our lifetime, most of us experience this delusional state of upset only occasionally.

But women with traits of BPD may get dysregulated very easily and may spend a good deal of their waking life in a dysregulated state. Women with traits of BPD do not need an outside event to trigger emotional dysregulation the way most people do. They can manufacture this state from their imagination. This means that a woman with traits of BPD may at any point become irrationally convinced that you deserve punishment as revenge for the pain she believes you have caused.

And because women with these traits will not have built a foundation of trust within their relationship, it is very easy for them to imagine their partner as an enemy. Although most of us would be very hesitant to cross that line, women with traits of BPD, having never established trust in the first place, will easily cross back and forth to suit their mood. And once she has crossed that enemy line she will not hesitate to use lies to hurt you.

Her emotionally dysregulated state may cause her to believe that you are out to hurt or betray her when you are not. But the slanderous comments she makes about your character will be purposeful lies. For instance, if she believes you are planning to cheat on her, she may want to emasculate you as punishment for your bad intentions. She will be aware of her lies, but she will honestly believe that you deserve the false accusation.

The way to identify whether your romantic partner was engaging in revenge lying is by figuring out whether her lies seemed to be punishing in nature. Women with traits of BPD who appear to enjoy their partner’s suffering are often engaging in revenge lying. Body language that expresses disgust, contempt or condemnation accompanying a lie are usually signs of revenge lying.

There is occasionally some overlap between cover-up lying and revenge lying, and some women switch back and forth between the two. A good way to distinguish between cover-up and revenge lying is through your partner’s demeanor. Cover-up lying is usually done without too much malice. A cover-up liar may be over-dramatic, but she will usually not be vicious.

Let’s now take a look at lies made in what we could call an innocent context. These kinds of lies are unusual in people who do not suffer from emotional dysregulation and are therefore a little bit harder to identify.

Innocent Lying

Innocent lying or lies that the woman with BPD believes, usually occur when she is in a state of light paranoia, often the beginning stages of emotional dysregulation. In this state of mind she will honestly believe that her partner is capable of cheating on her or that he may not care about her needs.

Innocent lying can occur when a woman is only slightly dysregulated, in other words, not yet fully believing that her feelings are facts. Because she is still in the fear stage she will not be out for revenge. She will merely be mistakenly believing that her feelings must have been caused by a real event.

Innocent lying is a common in women who have very light traits of BPD. In this state she will truly believe that all of the pain and humiliation and fear she is experiencing is due to her partner’s lack of support, care or commitment to her. She may innocently accuse him of negative character defects such as not loving her, not standing by her. She may accuse him of trying to make her feel bad or making her feel humiliated. But innocent false accusations are usually accompanied by fear, panic or sadness as opposed to anger or malice.

A good way to identify whether your partner was innocently accusing you is if there was an authentic quality to her accusations. In other words she would have seemed to honestly believe that you let her down, disappointed her or did not support her. She may accuse you of flirting with other women, but she will seem more panicked or hurt by it as opposed to sarcastic or vengeful.

We might call this form of innocent lying misinterpretation. Although it can be very stressful for a romantic partner, this form of lying is not as damaging to a relationship as cover-up lying or revenge lying.

There is one exception to the rule when it comes to innocent lying. There are some instances when a woman with extreme traits of BPD may become so emotionally dysregulated that she enters a truly irrational state where she may appear delusional in what she is saying or doing. Although it’s very hard to interpret what may be going on in the mind of someone in this extreme state, we can assume that in those moments the woman does believe any lies she may be telling.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the three different types of lying that women with BPD engage in, let’s take a look at some typical scenarios where each of these types of lying occurs so you can more easily identify the types of lies that may have taken place in your relationship.

traits of BPD

Lying to Cover Up Bad Behavior-Compulsive Lying

Lying to cover up bad behavior is usually associated with compulsive lying. Men who are in relationships with women with traits of BPD who lie compulsively often become confused once they find out their partner has traits of BPD. They may tell themselves that their partners are blocking out their lying because the pain they are covering up is so unbearable or that they believe their own cover-up lies. This is understandable. Because of the way compulsive liars are perceived in society, not many partners are eager to pin that label on a loved on.

The truth is, although women with traits of BPD may have some elements of amnesia and they may also have psychological reasons for covering up their tracks, they are usually very well aware of the lies they tell to cover up bad behavior. Not having a clear awareness of how severe the boundary violation of lying for self-gain is in a relationship, they may not experience the same level of inhibition that most people naturally possess.

Let’s now turn to another common scenario for women with traits of BPD who lie to their romantic partners.

Lying To Make Others Look Bad-Compulsive Lying

When a woman with traits of BPD lies to make others look bad, she is engaging in a form of bullying. She is feeling low in self-worth and wanting to make someone else seem even lower than she is. This is a form of lying that anyone with low self esteem may engage in.

The woman with traits of BPD uses this tactic in the same way those without these traits use it. Most of the time when she lies to make others feel bad she will be using compulsive or cover-up lying. In other words she will be aware and conscious that she is lying.

However, there is a certain amount of pumping of emotions that can go along with lying to make others feel bad that helps make the put-downs seem more realistic. And this can sometimes make them feel like the lie is true, at least in the moment.

Lying to Make You Look Bad-Revenge Lying

Lying to make you look bad is usually a form of revenge lying. Women with traits of BPD have a very hard time identifying their resentments towards their partners and will often be holding onto several dozen at a time. You may be punished now for a resentment from the past that you have never been told about.

In other words, your partner may lie about something in the present in order to have an excuse to make you pay for something she believes you did in the past. As with all other forms of revenge lying, she will know she is lying, but she will honestly believe that you have done something to deserve the punishment.

There can be some cross-over with cover-up lying when a partner with traits of BPD tries to make you look bad. If lying to make you look bad can keep the pressure, guilt or blame off of her she may consciously lie for personal gain.

The way to distinguish between these two types of lying is by determining whether she seemed angry, vengeful or sarcastic in her demeanor. A malicious tone usually points to revenge lying. If there seems to be a dramatic quality to the lie or an exaggeration in tone or gestures it is probably a cover-up lie.

Lying To Make Themselves Look Good-Compulsive Lying

Lying to make themselves look good is usually a form of compulsive lying or cover-up lying that women with traits of BPD use to hide a part of their self-image they are not comfortable with others seeing. This type of lying is conscious and purposeful.

However, similar to lying to make others look bad, a woman with traits of BPD may pump herself up emotionally to more easily carry off the lie. And this emotional pumping may in some instances cause her to at least temporarily believe her own lies.

Lying To Get Out of Responsibilities-Innocent Lying

Lying to get out of responsibilities is often a form of innocent lying where the woman believes her lies are true. Women with traits of BPD tend to have a great deal of fear around responsibilities. Their defenses often kick in to protect them from looking weak. The form these defenses usually take are little thoughts from the subconscious mind fed into the conscious mind that give justifications for her to avoid a responsibility.

She will usually believe these justifications, flimsy as they may be. When she says she feels sick to get out of a responsibility, she will probably be convinced she is too sick to participate. She will actually believe she is too overwhelmed, too tired, too underqualified, too overqualified, or any other excuse her she uses to get out of her obligations.

There can be some cross-over between innocent lying and compulsive lying when it comes to avoiding responsibilities. If she is using innocent lying to avoid a responsibility, it will be because she is feeling too much shame to admit to herself that she is afraid.

If a woman with traits of BPD uses compulsive lying to get out of a responsibility, she will not be experiencing fear of responsibility. At that time she will be purposely manipulating those around her to avoid doing something she simply does not feel like doing.

The way to tell if a partner believes her justifications that excuse her from her responsibilities or if she is consciously lying to get out of something she doesn’t want to do is to examine her demeanor. If she seems honestly upset, sad, guilty or sorry that she can’t fulfill her responsibilities, she will probably believe her lies or be innocently lying.

If she is defensive, acts like you don’t deserve an explanation, blames you in some way for her inability to take responsibility, or seems dismissive or angry when she offers excuses, she will probably be using compulsive lying which she will be conscious of.

Lying to Be Perceived as a Victim-Innocent or Compulsive Lying

Lying in order to seem like a victim is often an innocent lie or a case where she believes her own lie. Victimhood gives women with traits of BPD great overall relief from their underlying shame around being out of control. In order to avoid this shame, her subconscious mind may step in to convince her that she is a victim in her own life.

However, cross-over often occurs with compulsive lying. Many times the tone of voice can be a give-away that a person crying victim is lying and knows it. Over-dramatic intonation will point to compulsive or cover-up lying as will exaggeration of body language.

Because victim identification comes so naturally to women with traits of BPD, this is one area where you may not be able to tell the difference between innocent and conscious lying. Women with BPD can often rival professional actresses when it comes to playing this particular role.

Lying To Get Attention-Innocent Lying or Cover-up Lying

When women with traits of BPD lie to get attention they are usually using compulsive lying. However, if a woman with traits of BPD tries to get your attention in a direct way, even if it is by telling you that you aren’t giving her enough attention when you know you are, she may be using innocent lying and will believe her lies.

If she creates a scene which demands your attention in some way other than telling you outright that attention from you is her goal, she will most likely be using compulsive lying to fabricate a stronger need for attention than is necessary. Over-dramatic behavior will usually point to compulsive lying. Honest upset will be more likely related to innocent lying where she actually believes you haven’t been paying attention to her.

Let’s finish up with one of the most severe forms of destructive behaviors that women with traits of BPD engage in.

Smear Campaigns – Revenge Lying and Innocent Lying

A smear campaign is a term that is often used to describe attempts to destroy the reputation of a partner who has caused them pain due to a breakup. Smear campaigns can be used to destroy the personal, community or professional reputation of a romantic partner. This very destructive behavior pattern is common, particularly after breakups, even among women with light traits of BPD.

The way they go about destroying their partner’s reputation is by contacting the people in that person’s life and spreading damaging lies about them. This form of revenge lying relies on eye-for-an-eye reasoning that ensures the partner of the woman with traits of BPD feels as much or more pain as the woman herself felt. Smear campaigns can be launched even when the woman instigated the breakup and can also occur when the smeared partner is completely innocent of wrongdoing in the relationship.

Smear campaigns consists of a combination of both intentional and innocent lying. She will be intentionally lying when she falsely accuses him. But she will believe her own lies about what he did to deserve being lied about.

There is one exception to this rule. Smear campaigns are occasionally launched as part of cover-up lying when a woman with traits of BPD is afraid that her partner will expose her behavior during the relationship within their circle of friends. She will be lying in order to shift the negative focus on her partner so people are less likely to believe his allegations against her.

You should by now have a clear understanding of what motivates women with BPD to lie. Because lying is such a disturbing violation of trust it can be painful to revisit old memories with these new concepts in mind. However, I believe you will find that using these distinctions to fit some remaining pieces of the puzzle together may provide the closure necessary to put this traumatic experience behind you.

Related Posts:

BPD and the Nice Guy Personality Type

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Breakups With Women With Traits of BPD – Five Misconceptions That Keep Men From Letting Go and Moving On

Identifying Traits of BPD In Women Before Relationship Commitment

Romantic Idealization And Devaluation In Women With Traits of BPD

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Men Stay

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits of BPD: How to Let Go of the Good Times

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits of BPD-The Defense Mechanism of Projection

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