Family BondingWhen A Family Member Tells Lies About You?

When a family member tells lies about you

When A Family Member Tells Lies About You?

One of the fundamental pillars of human relationships is trust. And one of the quickest ways to destroy trust is lying. As people grow older, they expect to be lied to in one form or another and mentally prepared for it. But what do you do when a family member tells lies about you?

There are various degrees of lies in this world, some are intended to do harm or manipulate people while others are more innocent like white lies to protect someone’s feelings. Even the most mentally prepared person isn’t usually ready when family members lie about them. Since family members share the same blood, blind trust is a given in most families. But when this blind trust shatters, things can get really ugly. So what do you do when a family member tells lies about you?

Family Lies and Toxic Family Members

Family lies and toxic family members
Family lies and toxic family members

Though it’s a total negative, lying is considered an innate human trait that is present in every human. Even you, dear reader, have lied about something to someone at some point in your life. As we grow older, we understand this universal truth and learn to adapt to it when dealing with strangers and outsiders.

People (family members included) usually lie because of the following reasons:

  • To escape an uncomfortable situation.
  • To avoid and deflect feelings of guilt and shame.
  • To cover up or hide something.
  • To mislead and manipulate.

But all the preparation in the world is pointless when it comes to lies from family members and friends. These relationships didn’t happen overnight; they result from months and years of interactions, dependence, and most importantly, trust. So when the people closest to us lie about us, it can be more shocking and painful than other kinds of lies.

Lies in a family can be very complex and nuanced. It can be something as simple as your sibling lying about you to your parents or as complex as the real identity of a biological parent being hidden from a child. These lies can be very distressing as they’re often part of a more nefarious manipulation strategy known as gaslighting.

Lies also form the basis of a toxic family environment, which can lead to the development of long-term emotional and mental issues in the victim, especially in the case of gaslighting. Gaslit individuals can get so confused by a seasoned liar that they can start to question their own sanity, which is highly dangerous.

The worst part about a family member lying about you is often not the lie itself but them maintaining the lie. Both the victim and the perpetrator know full well what’s going on which makes everything 10 times worse. If the perpetrator is a parent figure, then the habit of lying and gaslighting is ingrained in the victim as well.

When a family member lies, it’s usually regarding the following issues:

  • Financial issues
  • Physical and mental health issues
  • Drug issues
  • Physical and mental abuse issues
  • Parentage issues

It’s understandable that all these issues are sensitive and why people would want to hide them, but lying about them involving another family member is both unforgivable and dangerous as it can create a cycle of generational lies that continue with each passing generation.

Understanding a Liar

Understanding a liar
Understanding a liar

In a sense, every human being is a liar- no one can claim with absolute confidence that they haven’t lied about something at one point or another in their lives. But that doesn’t brand us as ‘liars’. When someone keeps lying repeatedly on multiple occasions about different things, only then can someone be labeled as a ‘liar’.

To understand why family members lie about you and how to deal with it, you need to first understand the mindset of a liar. The first thing you need to understand is that there are no ‘accidental lies’. When someone lies to you it’s a conscious decision, not an accident. He or she knows full well the consequences of the lie and does so to achieve a certain goal.

The reason liars lie in the first place is due to their own self-esteem- they know that the person they’re lying about or the goal they want to achieve isn’t possible within their own capabilities. So they lie to gain better social standing among peers and family members. This is one of the most common reasons little children and teenagers lie a lot- sometimes reflexively, sometimes intentionally. They usually do so to avoid trouble or getting dragged into unnecessary drama.

The good news is that this behavior can be rectified when the kids are young; the older they get the more difficult it is to correct this toxic behavior pattern. On rare occasions, some people can even turn out to be pathological liars which requires extensive therapy and treatment to deal with.

When a liar lies, they usually do it for the following reasons:

  • To defend themselves from accusations of their own actions.
  • To create a good public image even if it means destroying the image of another.
  • To be liked by a particular group or person.
  • To manipulate an individual or a group.
  • They’re unable to control themselves because they’re pathological liars.

Once you understand the mindset of a liar, it will become easier for you to decide how to deal with a family member who tells lies about you.

How to Deal with an Adult Family Member Who Lies About You?

How to deal with an adult family member who lies about you
How to deal with an adult family member who lies about you

As we all know, family dynamics are complex with individuals of various ages thrown in the mixing pot. Whether it’s a toddler or an elderly grandma, anyone can lie to you, but you cannot deal with them the same way. You cannot take the same approach to dealing with a child liar as you would with an adult liar.

Thankfully, adult liars are comparatively easy to deal with since you don’t have to tiptoe through the tulips to not affect their mental health. Adults are fully aware of the consequences of their actions, as such you should have no guilt when dealing with them in a stern manner.

Here are some of the common ways to deal with an adult family member who lies about you:

Be Wary of Their Words and Actions

Once you realize that your father, mother, or elder sibling is lying to you, you should be very wary of their words and actions. Adults usually have set behavior patterns, and if an adult family member has lied to you more than once then you need to be careful how you interact with them.

Keep your interactions to a minimum and indirectly let them know that you’re aware of their lies in a respectful manner. While it won’t stop them from lying to you in the future, it will at least make them think twice.

Keep Them Out of the Loop

Keeping a lying family member out of the loop when living under the same roof with them can be a difficult task, but not an impossible one if you’re already wary of the liar in question. Don’t let them know of your long-term plans and always inform them about decisions and actions at the very last moment.

This way the liar won’t have the time to prepare their lies and manipulation to control you or make you look bad in front of others. You might feel bad at first not letting your loved ones know about what you intend to do, but if they’ve broken your trust in the first place, it’s a necessary course of action.

Confront Them When Necessary

One of the primary reasons an adult family member may lie to you, or about you is because they believe they won’t be confronted. Prove your toxic family members wrong and confront them about their lies both privately and personally. When confronting them, don’t lose your cool- be calm, logical, and precise.

One of the main reasons liars lie is because they believe that even if they’re confronted, the anger and frustration of the victim will make them look like the good guy. Subvert the liar’s expectation by confronting them in a mature, calm, and collected manner.

Don’t Let Them Shame or Guilt You Into Submission

One big advantage that lying family members have is that they can guilt or shame you into submission. Lying parents usually tend to do this a lot to keep their kids in check. Forget the age-old saying blood is thicker than water; sometimes your own blood can be your biggest detractors.

Don’t let your emotions get in the way when dealing with a lying family member- they didn’t let theirs get in the way when lying to you. Self-care is a very important aspect of personal development, don’t let false guilt or shame get in the way when you’re the victim.

Draw Personal Boundaries

When it comes to family, most people are quite lax when it comes to drawing personal boundaries. Lying family members take advantage of this, so when you realize you’re being lied to, it’s time to draw some personal boundaries no matter how painful it may seem.

Drawing a personal boundary will prevent them from getting into your head with their lies. The worst they can do is complain to people outside the family that you’re giving them the cold shoulder, but better to tolerate a bit of slander rather than sacrifice your personal peace and happiness.

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How to Deal with a Child/Teenage Family Member Who Lies About You?

How to deal with a child/teenage family member who lies about you
How to deal with a child/teenage family member who lies about you

When it comes to children lying, you need to be a bit more careful when dealing with them. Though they do lie consciously, most kids and teenagers don’t understand the full implications of their lies. As such they need to be guided properly to the right path instead of the sterner measures you would take to deal with a lying adult family member.

If your child or younger sibling is lying about you then you need to think things through objectively after going through the initial wave of negative emotions such as anger and frustration. As an adult you need to teach them that lying is not the solution to anything, it’s the root of all problems.

Here are a couple of ways to deal with child/teenage family members who lie about you:

Filter the Serious Lies from the Harmless Lies

Kids are often prone to telling harmless lies such as saying they like something even if they don’t to placate their parents or any other family member they’re with. Then again, they’re equally prone to telling serious lies to avoid blame such as blaming someone else for breaking something when they broke it themselves.

Your job as a parent or a senior guardian is to determine which is which. If you go about being strict about harmless lies, then it will only encourage them to do so more in the future but be cleverer about it so you don’t get the drift.

Instead, you should focus on determining which kind of lies a kid/teenager is telling and take steps accordingly. Be stern to discipline them for serious lies, but when it comes to harmless lies a slight warning in a loving tone can do wonders.

Teach Them That Actions Have Consequences

Most adult liars lie because they didn’t have to face the consequences of lying when they were kids. Don’t make this crucial parenting mistake and let your child’s lies go unpunished. You don’t have to verbally or physically discipline a lying child to teach them that their words have consequences.

First, leave them with a stern warning, and if that isn’t enough, slowly cut off their privileges- reduce their time on consoles, take away their phones for a certain period of time, put restrictions on how much time they can spend outside, and so on. There’s more than one way to skin the cat, you just have to find the right method to rectify a lying child/teen’s behavior.

Take Them to a Professional Therapist or Counselor

If all attempts at dealing with a lying child at home fail, then the only option you have left is to get help from a mental health expert like a psychologist or counselor. Sometimes even small kids and teens can become pathological liars before turning into adults, and when that happens, professional therapy becomes the only recourse.

However, your child might not be receptive to the idea of going to therapy, which is why you should hold an intervention first. Have a family gathering and gently explain to them how their lies are affecting the family dynamics. If even this fails, then find a good child therapist or counselor to deal with your child’s lying issues.

Consequences of Not Dealing with a Lying Family Member

Consequences of not dealing with a lying family member
Consequences of not dealing with a lying family member

Many families ignore lying family members thinking that a few scoldings will set the situation right, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Once distrust seeps into a family’s dynamic, it can never be fully repaired, resulting in fractured familial relationships. When a person falls victim to a family member’s lies the following things can happen:

  • Distrust of other family members and destruction of familial relationships.
  • Inability to form and maintain healthy relationships outside the family.
  • Affects the victim’s image and leads to low self-esteem.
  • This results in feelings of resentment and hatred against the perpetrator, creating a toxic home environment.
  • This results in anxiety and a false sense of reality in the victim.

As you can see, the consequences can be quite severe, so make sure to deal with a lying family member as soon as you can.


1. How to deal with character assassination from family members?

The best way to deal with character assassinations from family members is by confronting them in front of the rest of the family with facts.

2. What to do when a family member stops talking to you?

If a family member stops talking to you for no reason, it’s likely because of a lie told by another family member. Communicate with the person who’s not talking to you and find the root cause.

3. What if my family has lied to me since birth about my parentage?

These kinds of lies hurt the most, but there may be a good reason why such a lie was established as a fact in your life. Find out the reason, and if it seems acceptable enough, forgive the lying family members.

Final Thoughts

When you find out that a family member is lying to you, it can be very painful at first. After all, the people in your family are supposed to be the ones you can trust the most in this world. But the reality is family members lie because of their agendas, and if that agenda is harmful to you, you need to deal with the situation as soon as possible for your family’s best interest.

Next Attraction: Why Does My Grandma Hate Me?

Tyler S. Rios, a parent of two, shares her valuable insights into family life. Her blogs focus on parent-child relationships and navigating family conflicts. Tyler's wealth of experience empowers readers to handle family challenges with resilience and resolution.

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