How to Spot a Compulsive Liar Before Starting a Relationship

Lying is morally wrong but it is also quite normal. Everyone does it. In fact, one researcher said [1] that lying is an unavoidable part of human nature.

How many times have your loved ones asked if you were ok and you said that you were, when in fact you were not? Or have you ever been running late and told your friend that you would be there in five minutes when you knew fully well that it would take at least ten? And what about when toddlers say that they haven’t eaten any chocolates despite having their face smeared with it?

At a certain age, we learn that lying is hurtful and most people will develop a good set of morals to try to hurt other people as little as possible. Pathological lying, however, is very different.

What is pathological lying?

I once knew a girl who was charming, sociable and gregarious. Over time, however, I started noticing too many inconsistencies in her stories and claims that were blatant untruths. Whenever she was caught out, instead of confessing like a normal person, her pathological lying continued to the point that she even created further lies.

Scientists have discovered that there are brain abnormalities in pathological liars[2]. The prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain is responsible for remorse and morals. Brain scans revealed that those inclined to pathological lying had much less grey matter in this area.

What signs should you look for?

Contradictions

Their stories are inconsistent and will eventually begin to become undone over time.

Attention seekers

They will go to lengths to concoct elaborate, grandiose stories or achievements, in order to get them the attention or admiration they want.

Defensiveness

The goal of pathological lying is to manipulate you. If you question something that may seem inconsistent, they will instinctively get very defensive or possibly even angry.

Master liars

It may take a substantial amount of time before you are able to detect their web of lies because it is an art they have perfected. If they suspect that they may be found out, they will simply make up another lie to cover things up.

Asking you to repeat yourself

If they are caught off-guard, they may ask you to repeat what you have said so that they have enough time to fabricate something else for you to believe.

Unafraid of their lies

They lie with no regard or fear of the consequences or how it may impact the other person.

What you should know about dealing with a pathological liar

They spend time studying you

It’s important for them to study you in order to learn what your weaknesses are and to be able to take advantage of you. They will get an understanding of how to sway you and what things you may or may not believe.

They lack empathy

It is not possible for them to feel remorse for their actions like a normal person because of how their brain is wired. They lack the ability to be concerned about if they may hurt you or how their lies could impact you. Do not expect them to sympathize with you or see the results of their actions. They are, however, able to feign emotions if it benefits them.

They will use whatever means necessary, whether psychological, emotional or sexual, in order to deceive you into whatever they desire. This sense of “connection” that you will feel towards them causes you to lose your guard and feel a false sense of trust.

There is no cure for pathological lying

In order to get treatment, they would first need to admit they have a problem, which they will rarely do. Furthermore, a lot of psychologists would not agree to treat them, since they are often unable to be truthful in sessions. Lying is second nature to them and simply, they do not know how to exist without doing it.

Reference

[1] BBC: Lying
[2] Livestrong.com: Treatment for a Pathological Liar

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