General chatter - Why do women lie?

View Full Version : Why do women lie?

04-18-2011, 03:44 PM
I am thinking currently of one woman in particular, but I know she is not alone in this. Why do women lie to each other about their weight, size, food choices, activity level, etc.? I have never been one to lie about it even at my largest, so I honestly do not understand this. I can almost get lying to a guy, especially one that the girl is interested in. I don't get lying to another chick though, especially not one that you KNOW knows better. My biggest size was 22. The girl I am thinking of is currently quite a few sizes above that, though I can't tell you how many for sure. She tells everyone, including me, that she wears a 20. Why? I know better. I was a 20 for a long time, so I know that size well and she is not it. She knows me better than to think that I would judge her based on her size. So why lie? She also lies to everyone, including me, about her weight, her weight loss, what she's eating, and her exercise. She keeps saying that she's losing weight and yet I keep seeing her get bigger. I love her and want to help, but I don't know how. She asks me for help because she sees that I'm having success. I give her advice, but she doesn't follow it. Sometimes I feel like calling her out on the lies would be helpful to her even if it made her mad at me for a while, but I don't know. I think that trying to understand why she lies would help me to help her. Does anyone have any insight?

04-18-2011, 03:53 PM
Sounds like she's uber self-conscious and feels the need to lie...or maybe she's a pathological liar (that happens too). Have you talked to her about it? It's embarrassing and a difficult conversation but sometimes people need to be caught in their lies to open up about the reasons and such.

Sorry, I'm not much help..I wish you luck though.

04-18-2011, 03:53 PM
It's like the celebrities saying they can eat anything and they just burn it off ... or that they're not in the gym all the time. Seriously. We KNOW better, but ... they like to tell the "story" ...

04-18-2011, 03:55 PM
Everyone's road to good health is their own. That includes how we feel about ourselves and how we want to be seen by others. Everybody lies for different reasons, and your friend is probably lying to herself as much as she is to others. She just doesn't want to be judged, by herself or others, because of her size. Saying she's doing certain things is her way of feeling more safe around others.

Reality may or may not step in and give her a wake-up call. In her heart, she knows what she needs to do. She's just not ready to do it.

04-18-2011, 04:06 PM
I hear ya, I knew this girl that was originally my weight loss buddy when I first tried (and failed) to lose weight. She went out of town for a couple months and was bragging that she was just magically dropping weight without trying. She came back and she looked the same. Finally I started my journey to lose weight and again she left for a couple months. I had lost 15 lbs, I asked her how she was doing and she told me she lost 20 lbs. She came back and she still looked the same while everyone (mutual friends) were mentioning how good I looked.
She left again, and....yes, you guessed it. She' lost 20 lbs! But she looked the same when she came back. She did mention once that one of her friend's kids asked her "How can you lose a total of 60 lbs but still look the same?" hahaha!! I guess I wasn't the only one wondering what was going on.
Now she says she's too busy to try to lose weight but that she's losing without trying anyways.

04-18-2011, 04:08 PM
There is a small chance that she may not be lying. Sizes can vary HUGELY from brand to brand.

Also, once I was sure that a girl I knew was fudging her numbers - but she let me borrow jeans one time and they were, in-fact, the size she said they were. It is very hard to tell someone's size by just looking at them. I wear a size 10, but the majority of my friends have asked if I'm a size 6. Everyone carries weight so much differently.

However, she could be lying. Just to make herself feel better. I don't think it's that big of a deal and I wouldn't bring it up to her.

04-18-2011, 04:11 PM
Reminds me of my anorexic friend oddly enough. She lies that she is so thin because she has a super-human metabolism and that she eats like a pig, while I KNOW and have seen her cut a quarter of a toast bread slice into smaller dices before eating half of it for dinner...

I know the situation might seem opposite, but I think the problem is the same. Heavy people saying they eat like birds and have a mean metabolism and overly thin people saying they eat like pigs and burn better, they both do not want to belong in the norm.

Your friend's problem is probably part of a serious eating disorder that affects her mental health and social life. I'd be gentle but honest with her. I'd talk to her somewhere private, in a very friendly and concerned manner, trying to show I'm on her side and ready to help, not trying to make her feel bad about lying.

(though that didn't help with my anorexic friend... yet at least :( )

04-18-2011, 04:18 PM
There is a small chance that she may not be lying. Sizes can vary HUGELY from brand to brand.

Also, once I was sure that a girl I knew was fudging her numbers - but she let me borrow jeans one time and they were, in-fact, the size she said they were. It is very hard to tell someone's size by just looking at them. I wear a size 10, but the majority of my friends have asked if I'm a size 6. Everyone carries weight so much differently.

However, she could be lying. Just to make herself feel better. I don't think it's that big of a deal and I wouldn't bring it up to her.

Yep - If I saw me, I'd think I wore about 3 sizes larger than I do.

04-18-2011, 04:28 PM
I have never lied about my weight-but I do feel really embarrassed about it. Well,not so much now that I am actively doing something about it, but she may just not be able to admit to herself that's it's true-like telling other people means that it's real. I feel sad that she feels so bad about herself she feels the need to lie.

04-18-2011, 04:42 PM
There is a small chance that she may not be lying. Sizes can vary HUGELY from brand to brand.

This was what I was thinking too. I have different brands of jeans that all vary in sizes from 14's to 16's. My 16's are snug which is weird and my 14's are starting to fall off of me! So you just never know.

I would not ever ask or talk to someone about what size they are wearing, though, but that's just me. I would stop talking to her about her size, because you don't want to hurt her feelings and even if you don't mean to hurt her feelings you could be. If she is lying it is probably because she is very insecure and talking about it probably makes her feel worse.

04-18-2011, 04:49 PM
Is it possible that your friend has lost 20 pounds, then regained it, then lost it... etc? I know I have been on that roller coaster before.

I am also puzzled by lying about sizes. For a fictional example, I started watching Drop Dead Diva on Netflix. The show is not exactly great, but I wasted some time watching it. Since it's the story of a skinny girl sort of brought back to life in a larger woman's body, there are lots of body issue deals addressed. A few times on the show they have talked about the star's size as a 16, and I just don't believe that. She's a pretty woman who carries herself well, but she does look larger than that to me. In another episode, she was defending a woman who had gone from being skinny to fat and had "gained 50 pounds." When I look at the difference in the pictures I would have said more like 100 pounds...

I don't really know for sure, but it struck me as odd that this show, that seems to be primarily geared toward celebrating all sizes, was lying about the larger women on the show.

04-18-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I don't ask her about her size. She brings it up, and I am certain that this is not a brand difference thing. it's not as if she's saying she wears a 20 and looks more like a 22. It's a bigger difference than that. I don't personally care what size she is, though I do worry for her health, especially since she has 2 little ones and had gestational diabetes during the pregnancies. Their father is not too healthy either for some reasons beyond his control and some that aren't. So it worries me, but for vanity stuff, I really don't care. It's just that she keeps asking me to help her and I don't know how to do that if she lies to me. The lie about her size I think is just one that she needs to admit for her mental health, but when she asks me for advice on her food/exercise plan but lies to me about what she's eating and doing I have no idea how to help her. She has been to the doc and she told me that all her hormone levels, thyroid, etc. came back normal. Without some kind of hormonal problem, if she were eating and doing what she claims she would have lost weight by now. I'm almost to the point of telling her the next time she asks me to help her that I can't until she stops lying, but I don't want to hurt her.

04-18-2011, 05:01 PM
I think it's all about being gentle but firm. If she's constantly asking for advice, not following it, then frustrating you by asking for more then maybe it's time to have a heart to heart (since it sounds like she does value your opinion). If it's not worth it then you should just let it be. If it were me and it's someone I've been talking to for a while, the next time she asks I'd try to gently ask her if she's noticed she's been struggling lately with sticking to whatever plan she's using and ask her how she's feeling. A friend of mine once sat me down and asked me why I'm having so much trouble and asked how things were going for me emotionally. It helped so much because it urged me to open up and look at myself more honestly..and it was comforting to know she cared enough to risk hurting my feelings to get to the deeper issues.

04-18-2011, 05:15 PM
I had friends ask for advice then not take it OVER and OVER. So now while I'm slowly (super slowly) whittling away they are still the same size.

Honestly those people after a while I stopped going into detail and started saying "eat less move more" and left it at that. They probably know I got tired of them asking me but oh well- I'm focusing on myself not them.

Unfortunately you can't say much more than "I think you know what to do, I hope you get to it." Because I don't believe it either when someone insists they are on plan and NEVER move an inch.

04-18-2011, 06:12 PM
Yeah it is super annoying when someone asks for advice but then doesn't follow through. I enjoy being helpful and since I have lost this huge chunk of weight and feel so much better I like too share tips that I have learned along the way. But I also know that there are some people who like to talk about losing weight but are not ready to lose the weight. So I will be helpful in the beginning but if I notice that they aren't doing anything I don't bring it up. If they bring it up I will do a little chit chat with them but not invest much effort, time or thought. 1st rule of social work "People have the right to self destruct" I think that sometimes when others who need to lose weight see me they feel guilty about the lack of effort they have put into losing weight. Don't stress yourself or your friend out about it if you don't want to give any more advice then don't. If you feel like you two are close enough to be upfront about your feelings then say something. It seems like the latter may not be the case.

04-18-2011, 09:59 PM
Denial is a big thing. I was convinced I wore an 8 when I was pushing a 12 and figured if I told people I wore an 8, maybe they would believe it too.

She could be telling the truth, or she could be lying. But from the sound of it, she's just not ready to accept what needs to be done and do it. Which is fine, if irritating to you - she'll do it when she's ready, and if she doesn't at all that's her choice too.

04-19-2011, 01:50 AM
I don't understand a lot of social stuff very well, but is it possible she's not really interested in losing weight at all, and is really just trying to reaffirm that you're not going to stop being her friend and supporter?

04-19-2011, 10:15 AM
I don't think lying about her size is a big deal.
If she asks for help, offer to help her. It's up to her to take the advice or not.

04-19-2011, 10:50 AM
I wonder about this too. People lie about their size, what they eat, all kinds of things. And it's not like they've been put on the spot and don't want to admit to their real weight/size/whatever. They volunteer! My favorite, and one you see all the time: I don't eat enough. Or it's cousin: I don't eat frequently enough. There are all kinds of theories about how often you should or should eat, and why, but you don't get to be over 300 lbs because you skip breakfast! I'm thinking of a friend of mine who at her peak out-weighed me by 100 lbs., and was shorter than me, yet told me she wore only one size bigger than me. I found out her weight after she'd gone on the Fat Smash Diet and wanted to tell me how much she'd lost. When she did start losing weight, she was eating only 800 calories a day, and she went nutso and alienated all the rest of our group of friends, and eventually me.

04-19-2011, 11:07 AM
I had a friend like that too. She'd starve herself all day, drink 6 cans of mountain dew- then eat chinese at night and tell me she didn't understand why she was fat. I did point out to her 6 cans of mountain dew and chinese food was not healthy. Needless to say we haven't spoken in over a year since I started losing weight AND keeping it off.

04-19-2011, 11:25 AM
I think that the next time she asks me for help (in a couple weeks if the cycle doesn't change), I will gently tell her that the best advice I can give her is to be honest with herself. I don't care if she tells everyone in the world that all she eats is broccoli while she secretly scarfs down McDonald's, but she needs to be honest to her. I've advised her to keep a food journal before, I think I will remind her of that and suggest putting it somewhere only she will see it so that she can be completely honest in it. I'm thinking that I might also tell her that if she wants someone outside of herself to be honest with that I'm here and that I promise I'm not going to judge her or tell anyone else anything she tells me about this stuff. Good plan?

DixC Chix
04-19-2011, 12:05 PM
Lies are easier than going to the gym or regulating food intake. I get it. I did it.

Women lie about this stuff because they are not getting admired, praised, complimented enough by others AND themselves. I did it because I had a lot of negative self-talk to combat. I needed to have people believe an illusion that I was worthy enough to have their praise. And that this might somehow quiet my thoughts that berated me.

I think the food and activity journal helped to give me a source of praise to myself. But I really had to work at using it for praising myself for everything in it rather than treating it as the correct behavior that I should have been doing all along and therefore not noteworthy. This also goes for not berated myself for eating off plan BUT being joyful about getting right back to it.

04-19-2011, 12:08 PM
I think it's a good plan. If you feel like she needs it, you can couch it either further. Tell her to write down everything, and if she still isn't losing she can take it to her doctor as evidence to look for some further problem. But my guess is that honesty truly is the problem.

How close is this friend? How annoying is all of this to you? Because if it's a problem for you, you may have to tell her at some point that you can't help her and she has to stop asking. And that she might like that. I hope it doesn't work out that way.

04-20-2011, 06:15 PM
I think that's a good plan. The friend I mentioned before, I just resorted to listening to her tales and just plain being her friend. I've noticed she's been more open about all she eats now and her sweet weaknesses. I just chalk it up day she's decide to lose weight on her own there's just nothing I can say or do to encourage her. It has to come from her and (Like you said) she has to be honest to herself.