Why People Lie

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 3 weeks ago

Dr Demartini challenges the notion of what telling the truth means, and explains why it is wiser to strive for a more objective and balanced understanding of yourself and the world.


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DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 3 weeks ago

Do you have the illusion of “always” being an honest individual? Or do you agree with the writer of Psalms 116:11 who claimed that all men are liars? Well in fact, actually it might be wiser to state that all humans are both liars and truth-tellers depending on the situation.

In my signature 2-day program, the Breakthrough Experience, which I present most every week, many attendees arrive on the first day harboring strong polarized emotions such as resentment and despise, or infatuation and admiration towards someone in their lives.

Once they answer a series of specific questions aimed at bringing what’s unconscious into conscious awareness, helping them to see equally the positives in the so-called negatives and the negatives in the so-called positives, their polarized emotions tend to be neutralized and balanced. The more neutral their perceptions, the more honest and authentic they tend to be. Their highly polarized subjective biases become transformed into a more neutral, objective and truth expression.

For instance, I ask about the particular traits, actions, or inactions that they may resent the most in some individual. I then guide them to reflect and look inside themselves and identify each of the many different moments when they have displayed the same traits, actions, or inactions to the same degree that they perceive in the individual they perceive they resent. 

While this question is often initially met with denial and replies such as, "I would never do that,” or “I pride myself on never doing that,” upon closer examination, they realize, "Yes, I have done that just as much as I perceive them doing it." 

Whatever actions you judge in others you too do the same actions. What you resent in others reflects what you are feeling ashamed of in yourself. You are resenting them because they are reminding you of what you are judging and feeling ashamed of within yourself.

This realization unveils what I believe to be a wise truth: you tend to judge external traits, actions, or inactions that mirror internal traits, actions, or inactions that you're ashamed of, that you’re too proud to admit that you yourself have done or not done to the same degree.

You tend to create a protective façade - a dissociated pride persona - to conceal your shame. In other words, you are most likely to judge and emotionally react to behaviors in others when you haven’t identified and owned those exact traits, actions, or inactions in yourself.

This exercise reveals a profound insight: everything you judge externally is a reflection of parts within yourself that you haven't fully embraced or loved.

You might find it hard to believe initially, but having done this exercise in over 120 thousand attendee cases in the Breakthrough Experience, I've substantiated this insight, and I'm certain it holds true.

When you judge, you are likely to believe your opinions represent some form of more objective truth. Instead, it’s more likely that what you’re experiencing is a subjectively biased opinion, a survival mechanism deeply rooted in the subcortical area of your brain, the amygdala. This mechanism distorts your reality, often leading you to generalize statements, exaggerated negatives with confirmation biases, and downplay positives with disconfirmation bias when resentment comes into play.


In essence, you're distorting your perceptions and convincing yourself that this distorted view is the ultimate truth, which is a form of self-deception.

Similarly, when you infatuate with someone, you tend to create a grand narrative about them, perhaps even deeming them a soulmate based on superficial similarities. Yet, as time passes, the downsides likely emerge, revealing that your initial opinions were skewed because you were so busy emphasizing their upsides and disregarding their downsides.

However, as you gradually recognize the downsides in the individuals you once infatuated with, you often simultaneously start to see the upsides within yourself. This process leads to a leveling of the playing field, sometimes resulting in moments of perfect balance or unconditional love. It's in these moments that you are most likely to attain a more pure reflective awareness and empowerment, and experience the more objective truth.

So, are all human beings liars? In that context, I would say yes.

People often blur the line between their opinions and the more objective truth, allowing subjective biases to overshadow a more balanced objective awareness.

That being said, can you experience moments of objectivity and unconditional love? Once again, I would say yes. It’s in these moments that you are likely to maximize your potential and actualize your true or authentic self, experiencing a glimpse of truth.

Yet, the irony is that, most of the time, you may find yourself entangled in a web of lies about your existence. You may go through life, exaggerating, minimizing, and passing judgments on others, caught in a perpetual state of internal strife. Instead of dwelling in moments of love, you may often find yourself immersed in conflict. As Empedocles once stated - love or strife.

The speed at which you grasp both facets of an event or an individual reflects the wisdom you possess in life.

For example, if it takes weeks or months to perceive the downsides of someone you're infatuated with or the upsides of someone you resent, it indicates a lower level of reflective insight - a heaviness burdened by subjective emotional baggage, rather than the illumination of love and pure reflective awareness.

I believe the key reason why human beings distort their reality or lie is rooted in their impulse and instinct for self-protection or survival.

When infatuated, you tend to see others as “prey”, impulsively desiring to consume and absorb them. Conversely, when you resent someone, you tend to perceive them as “predators” and feel an instinct to avoid them. This is because your amygdala in the more primitive part of the lower subcortical region of your brain seeks the easy path by trying to seek pleasure and avoid pain and difficulty. As such, it tends to polarize you rather than helping you integrate, balance, neutralize, or synthesize your experiences.

The key is to have the courage to be truthful, integrate yourself, live by priority, and see both sides objectively.


Living by priority, being more objective, and seeing both sides simultaneously while calming down infatuations and resentments and practicing self-governance increases the probability of authenticity and a path of truthfulness. This, in turn, tends to enhance your self-worth, as it becomes a reflection of your authentic self.

Yet, more often than not, you may find yourself entangled in lower-priority pursuits, subordinating to external authorities, attempting to live other people's set of values, which clouds your judgments and neglecting your objectivity and true self.

In these moments, you likely sit with your subjectively biased opinions, perceiving that they are truths, when in reality, they are just one side of the equation that you hold onto as an opinion. This pattern extends to various aspects of life, from politics and religion to hypocrisies, bigotries, racial discriminations, and biases. These are often rampant lies about people, creating unnecessary divides.

Media also tends to perpetuate distortions by painting a skewed picture that contradicts the reality experienced when meeting people from different cultures.

It’s one of the many reasons why I am so inspired to host the Breakthrough Experience so frequently, because I get to share with teach the attendees a process I’ve developed called the Demartini Method. This method includes a powerful set of questions designed to hold you accountable, and more objective helping you see both sides of your perceptions simultaneously, dissolve fantasies and resentments, and bring you back to the present moment. In doing so, you are more likely to be present and grateful, seeing life as it is instead of one side only. The moment you perceive both sides equally, you experience a moment of truth and unconditional love.

The underlying reason for your inclination to lie is rooted in the belief that, at any given moment, there will be more advantage than disadvantage relative to what you perceive is most important to you.

Conversely, when you choose to tell the truth, it's likely because you perceive a greater advantage in doing so.

I believe that it’s wiser to recognize that in a world that inherently maintains balance, any perception of an advantage over disadvantage often leads to a distortion - the very essence of a lie. Your subjective confirmation bias and subjective disconfirmation bias distort your perception of your outer reality to favor one pathway over another. Even though later you discover the other sides of the balanced equation. You blindly infatuate with someone only to eventually discover their other side.

Your decisions, often influenced by the anticipation of consequences, tend to be driven by a primal fear of losing “prey” or fear of gaining a “predator”. In this process, you’ll tend to make choices aimed at maximizing gains and avoiding potential threats. So, distorted perceptions of these situations can lead to skewed reactions, as you base your decisions on incomplete, biased, or inaccurate information.

I'm a firm believer in being more accountable, by asking new sets of questions to be able to see both sides of life simultaneously. The quality of your life is based on the quality of questions you ask. And quality questions are those that help you see both sides of life simultaneously.


By embracing this approach, and using tools such as the Demartini Method, you can more effectively enhance your capacity for neutral, balanced and objective perceptions and action taking, helping you foster a more authentic and balanced understanding of the world around you.

Engaging in strife, forming subjective opinions, and passing judgment can lead to a sense of entrapment, leaving you at the mercy of external influences rather than the freedom associated with experiencing a state of love and appreciation.

Your true power lies in being yourself, a magnificent truth that unfolds when you refrain from exaggerating or minimizing your perceptions of other people. Instead of placing them on pedestals or in pits, it is wiser to balance your euation and foster a connection with them in your heart. This is why I teach the Breakthrough Experience - to assist individuals in liberating themselves from the falsehoods that permeate their lives and to realize that while much of their existence is subjectively biased, moments of grace, love, authenticity, and truth are truly within reach.

To Sum Up:

Whatever you see on the outside is a reflection of you. When you resent others, it’s likely a reminder of something you feel ashamed of. When you admire others, it's a reminder of something you're proud of in yourself. It’s wise to realize that what you see in them, you’re seeing a reflection of yourself.

Like many people, you may tend to mistake your subjective opinions for objective truths. As such, you may live in a subjective bubble, perceiving your biased opinions are truths, when they are actually lies about your reality.

Acknowledging your inherent inclination to lie, driven by the impulse and instinct for self-protection, seeking advantage over disadvantage, is the first step towards a more truthful existence. The Breakthrough Experience, with its clinically-proven Demartini Method, provides the necessary tools to liberate yourself from the lies you tell yourself. By understanding the subjective biases that hold you in bondage, you can return to more liberating moments of grace, truth, and authenticity.

The question posed is whether you have the courage to be truthful, to integrate yourself, and to live by priority. In a world often entangled in lower-priority pursuits and subordination to external authorities, the challenge lies in rising above and seeing both sides simultaneously and objectively.

The Breakthrough Experience, with its transformative methods, serves as a guide in your journey of self-discovery and empowerment. The emphasis is on letting the voice and vision on the inside be louder than external opinions. By mastering the art of asking the right questions, seeing both sides simultaneously, and loving life as it is, you free yourself from emotional baggage and bondage.

The Breakthrough Experience is an invitation to a more empowered life, offering you the tools to recognize the truth in your magnificence and that of those around you. It encourages a transcendence of judgments and a return to moments of grace, love, authenticity, and truth. If this resonates with you, the 25-hour program holds the promise of a profound transformation – I would love to take you on the powerful and life-transforming journey.


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