Teens and Compulsive Lying: What You Need to Know

Teenagers are bound to test boundaries, push limits, challenge authority, and disregard guidance at some point during their adolescence. Young people face extraordinary challenges during their teenage years, all while enduring surging hormones, physiological changes, and a newfound need for autonomy. Teens are known to tell fibs, little white lies, for various reasons. It is important to establish a distinction between fibs and lies. Chronic teen compulsive lying is more than just occasionally telling a white lie. Constant lying can develop into a bad habit that could cause harm to the young person and/ or others.

Signs
There are several signs of which to be aware that could indicate your teen may be lying. Psychology Today provides the following examples:

Changing the topic or offering irrelevant information when put on the spot
Higher than normal vocal pitch
The long lag time between question and response
Stuttering is not present in normal speech
Lack of natural silence or pausing. Faster than usual talking
Physical distance, barriers, and non-verbal communication cues of dishonesty (e.g. ease of arms and legs, stepping behind a piece of furniture to create a physical barrier, etc.)
Avoiding eye contact
Please be aware that even in situations where your teen exhibits one or more of the above traits, it is possible that he or she may be telling the truth.

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