Like any thinking experience, lying doesn’t just happen. CNN spoke with Tali Sharot of University College London, who is an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience who explained the brain science behind lying, particularly, lying for personal gain. “When we lie for personal gain,” Sharot explains, “our amygdala produces a negative feeling that limits the extent to which we are prepared to lie.” The more we lie, the less the amygdala is able to produce its response. As the response grows weaker, our lies become bigger.
Lies tend to accumulate and snowball, which is why it is important for men in recovery to understand that truly, there is no such thing as just one even when it comes to lying. One little white lie can turn into a few little white lies, which can turn into a mountain of growing lies. Lies become stronger, and easier, when lies are for personal benefit, like hiding a relapse. Dishonesty can have a purpose, which makes it even more dangerous and enticing for men in recovery. Seeking that reward from lying, men lose their ability not to lie anymore or lie the same way. As the CNN article points out, “…small lies can desensitize our brains to the negative feelings associated with lying, which opens the door to more significant lies.
Perhaps we slip and use once, briefly, without telling anyone. We don’t go on a bender or binge for days on end. One little slip is all it was, we think, so there is no need to worry anyone by telling them. This lie feels comfortable and makes sense in protecting ourselves and others. Though we feel a little guilty, we know we haven’t committed any major harm, other than our dishonestly. Perhaps we slip again. Then, we slip again. Still we aren’t going on a bender or binging out of control. Yet our lying, and our ability to be honest about our recovery, is starting to spiral out of control. We are deceiving ourselves and others. Thankfully, there is a way out of addiction.
Everyday at Tree House Recovery, men are finding freedom from addiction. Call us today for information on our men’s treatment programs: (855) 202-2138