The Show

Hurtful Lies and Shattered Trust

Do you ever lie? Dr. Phil gets to the bottom of why people tell tales and explains why you may lie and how to put an end to the falsehoods. Plus, find out how to change your relationship with a liar.

Why We Lie




Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Robert Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships, and asks him, "Why do people lie, generally?"


"People lie because they can get away with it, because it works for them," he says. "It's a way to get along with other people. It's a way to control your world, and it's a way that you can use to make other people do what you want them to do."


"What do men lie for? What's their general purpose?" Dr. Phil asks.


"Men usually lie to make themselves look better. They build themselves up," he says. "Women tend to lie more to make other people feel good, to make them feel good about themselves." 

"One of the things you say is that parents actually do teach their kids to lie," Dr. Phil says.


"We think that we're always telling our kids to be honest and always tell the truth, but the reality is there are instances where we do quite the opposite," he explains. "We'll say, 'Grandma knit you this new sweater. She's going to come over and give it to you. I know you're not going to like it but tell her that you love it.'"


"So we teach our kids to lie, but it seems to be a white lie," Dr. Phil says. 


"You can call it a white lie, but the problem is these white lies can snowball into bigger and bigger kinds of lies. So you've really got to be careful, and I think you've really got to draw the line," Dr. Feldman says.


"What's a typical female lie?" Dr. Phil asks.


"'Oh, you look terrific.' 'Oh, I agree with you.' 'I love that movie too,'" he says.


Dr. Phil repeats a few others women tell. "'You look so thin!' 'You haven't aged at all!' ‘I was just about to call you.' ‘This is delicious!' ‘Sorry I'm late, traffic was terrible,'" he says. "And I love this one: 'Your secret is safe with me.'"

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