Every moment is a fresh beginning
Our intuition is the first line of defense when we’re talking to a compulsive liar. We somehow don’t feel “right” about what they say and do. With time, we find they were deceiving us all along, and this hurts. In fact, the feelings of anger and betrayal can be overwhelming.
We all lie now and then, but some people do it all the time. Here are 7 signs there might be a compulsive liar in your life.
They tell a different story every time
Compulsive liars lie so often they forget what they lied about and to whom. This is why their stories always change. They keep adding more and more detail and will never admit to doing so. It feels like you’re trying to find your way out of a maze. You try to call them out on their lies, but as soon as you do, they’ll change their story again. This leaves you exhausted from trying to find out what the truth is.
This isn’t to defend them, but compulsive liars live in their own make-believe world, built on a web of deceit. When you try to push them out of their comfort zone, they will jump on the defensive. They make efforts to avoid people and situations that compromise their comfort. They do not welcome unpredictability and deal with it by making up even more lies.
They’ll Take Attention any way They get It
Compulsive liars love attention more than anything. They’ll take it any way they can get it, usually by trying to provoke sympathy. They’ll try to make you feel bad for them, bringing up a problem or telling a sob story over and over again, out of context. People who are truly suffering don’t bring up their issues in general conversation.
It is a gross understatement to suggest liars love attention; they live for it. They are masters of the art of manipulating conversation to draw attention. They know when to provoke a response to their advantage and are always aware of what has to be said to this end.
All Liars Have Selfishness in Common
Compulsive and pathological liars are unable to grasp how their lies affect those around them. They are utterly incapable of empathy. They lie to benefit themselves and don’t care if someone gets hurt. You can beg, you can cry and plead, but you won’t move a liar. They care only about their feelings. Even if you point this out, they won’t understand what they’re doing is wrong.
The deceivers in our lives live to disappoint us. We justify their behavior at the beginning of our relationship with them. Ultimately, though, it becomes clear having a normal relationship with them is totally impossible.
If It Sounds too Good to be True, It Probably Is
Liars are smooth talkers. Everything they say sounds perfect and we want to believe it’s true. Yet, it somehow seems off. Trust your intuition: if it sounds too good to be true, that’s exactly what it is. They have excellent communication skills and can change their tone depending on the subject and conversation.
At the beginning, they will tell small, white lies over trivial matters, so it’s hard to identify them as pathological liars. The lies get bigger and bigger with time, so you should exercise a high degree of caution. Not every smooth talker is necessarily a liar, but it never hurts to be suspicious. The policy of “guilty until proven innocent” will protect you in the long run.
Changes in Pitch, Unusual Blinking, No Eye Contact
Shifty eyes or refusing to make eye contact when talking is a major red flag. There’s something fishy if you notice peculiar eye movement whenever you’re talking to a person. There may also be fidgeting, changes in vocal pitch, and irregular blinking patterns, where they either stare without blinking or blink more often than normal. Liars that haven’t perfected their skill may get anxious, and this manifests in stuttering, facial twitches, unusual hand gestures, and lots of fillers like “uuhhh” and “ummmm”.
Their facial expressions may be inconsistent with the content of their messages. They will try to distract you with other interesting points of conversation to divert attention away from their key messages. They tend to use the first-person pronouns “I” and “we” very rarely. They also avoid using emotion-tinged words.
They Hate Criticism Most of All
Liars have an intense and profound hatred of criticism in common. Nobody will be pleased when you accuse them of lying, but compulsive liars will get extremely hostile. They will deflect their faults on you by playing the victim, which is their favorite pastime. They are well-aware that they have lied yet again, but they will try to convince themselves they haven’t or that their lies were warranted. They will either vehemently deny they lied or justify the reason they did.
Pathological liars will get irritated and immediately change the subject. This is the outcome of careful planning. They want to confuse the person who confronted them, accusing them of being paranoid or making them feel guilty for “snooping”.
An Unusual, but Telling Sign: They are Perfectly Still!
Fidgeting is a common manifestation of anxiety, but if you encounter someone who sits or stands perfectly still, do take notice. It’s natural to make relaxed and subtle movements when you’re having a normal conversation. These are unconscious for the most part. A rigid, motionless, catatonic posture signals something is very wrong. According to experts, this is a sign of the biological ‘fight’ response as the person prepares for possible confrontation.
It’s Never too Late to Start Over
It’s very hard, if not impossible to change a compulsive liar. Their lies have benefited them for a very long time. They see no upsides to honesty and the only way to protect yourself from them is to put a distance between the two of you. You’ve tolerated their lies for some time and that has shown them they work on you, so even if they change one day, it won’t be while you’re still in their life. By continuing to tolerate their ulterior motives, you’re infinitely setting yourself up for the role of the victim.