March 18, 2007

Pathological Liars

So you think you might be dating a pathological liar?  No, you're not.  He's just a big jerk.

The popular stereotype of a pathological liar-- a chronic liar, deceiver, who lies to get out of things, or into things; who tries to con you into something, or control you; who cheats on you and then denies it, makes up stories about where he was-- all this is wrong.  It's malingering, but it isn't pathological lying.  He's a tool, but he's not psychiatric.

"Pathological lying" is often interchanged with "pseudologia fantastica."  (NB: many psychiatrists use pseudologia fantastica interchangably with confabulation-- this is also wrong, as will be described below.)  Pathological lying was originally defined as complex lies which are internally consistent, that may drag on for years and-- and this is the key point-- do not have an obvious  purpose or gain. They're not trying to con you into or out of anything.  They're just making crap up.

The lies are unplanned, spontaneous.  Once told, they generally stick (for years)-- but it's fair to say the pathological liar doesn't know what he's going to say until he says it.  He is a bullshit artist who makes it up as he goes along, and who then semi-believes his own crap.

And the lies aren't even useful lies.  You ask him what he did last Saturday and he tells you he went to the museum; and maybe he says at the museum he saw a guy try to rob the gift shop, but he got caught by two off duty cops wearing blue hats.  And later you learn he was really at a movie with his girlfriend and you think, why the hell did this freak make all that up? 

That's why it's called pathological. 

A pathological liar is like a 4 year old kid, who tells you what happened to him down by the lake. Meanwhile, there's no lake.

The important question here is this: does the pathological liar know he is lying?  Or does he believe his stories?  Is he lying, or is he delusional?

The answer is: both.  Sort of.

He is not delusional, but he hovers in that half-world of the narcissist (oh, there's that tie-in), where the lies are believed until he gets caught, but then-- and this is the move that only a few can pull off-- he acknowledges that the "facts" are lies, but not the essence, the spirit.  "Ok, look, I'm not really in the CIA."  But in his mind, he knows that if conditions were right-- if something big went down-- he could be exactly like a CIA agent, and that's close enough.  If he saw a suicide bomber, he'd be able to movie- kung fu him, grab the Sig Sauer and squeeze off a few rounds.  He also knows which wire to clip.  How does he know?  Because he's in the CIA.

If aliens actually did come and attack us, he knows he would actually be able to fly a spaceship.

Pathological lying is not "confabulation."  In both cases, lies are told spontaneously and freely, without clear intent, purpose, or gain-- except that in confabulation, the reason the person lies is to fill in the deficits in his memory; he can't remember what actually happened. Hence confabulation is associated  with dementia ("when I was 18 I went to Paris with my unit and I saw... 8 puppies get eaten by Chamberlain and de Gaulle-- hand to God I saw it"), and especially with alcoholic dementia/hallucinosis ("I don't know what happened to me-- six guys jumped me... yeah... six... Canadian guys, I think they were Satanists, no, wait, Stalinists, yeah, that's right, and they could read my mind...")

What about biological correlates?  There aren't any, because this isn't a disease, it's a description.  Here's an example: an article entitled, "Prefrontal white matter in pathological liars" found massively (20%+) increased prefrontal white matter, and a 40% decrease grey/white matter ratio in pathological liars, as compared to both controls and antisocials.  But before you crack an anatomy book to figure out what that means (more prefrontal white matter= more ability to think and reason), you should know that the subjects they labeled "pathological liars" were really people who purposely and frequently lie to get a gain-- in other words, they were big fat evil scumbag liars, but not pathological liars. What this study found was that people who frequently lie develop a better brain for manipulating information, remembering stories, etc-- which is interesting, but not all that surprising.

My take is that pathological lying is a disorder of identity; the person imagines for himself an separate identity, and then fantasizes experiences and events which may be otherwise ordinary and predictable-- he went to the museum-- but in his mind happen only to "that" person.  The lies hold the clues to that identity, but they may not be obvious.  For example, maybe the part of the lie that's important isn't that he saw a guy rob the gift shop and get arrested, but that he was at the museum by himself-- the point is that he imagines himself a loner, or an artsy type, etc.  Or maybe he's sees himself living in a world where crimes happen frequently.  And maybe he thinks he's a superhero.

The pathological liar doesn't place much value in experience; it's all in identification.  He doesn't need to be in the military to know exactly what it's like, because he's watched enough war movies (e.g. one) or read Tom Clancy. (Aside: that's the huge appeal of Clancy and Crichton-- enough detail to make you think you know the inner workings of the professions they describe.)  It's wrong to dismiss the lies as valueless; like Zelig, these people do have an intuitive grasp of the relevant thought process, emotions, affects, and even consequences of the experiences they describe.  They're just made up.  So when he gets caught in his lie, he secretly blames the other person for not appreciating  that whether it's a lie or not is trivial, irrelevant; it still affected him just the same.

------------------ 

(It would be interesting to study whether (true) pathological liars are able to provide a better "profile" of criminals, heads of state, etc, than professional profilers, and what supplementary factors might improve the accuracy of the profile.  ("Here are some videos/documents on Vladimir Putin.  Tell us what you think. Then, go out to dinner with this beautiful blonde ex-FSB agent and see if you come up with any further insights.")  I suspect also that pathological liars would more predictably pass the new fMRI lie detectors; these detect binary lies ("are you this or are you not this?") but pathological liars hold contradictory truths simultaneously and thus may not register as deceptive.  (P.S. I think I know how the test procedure can be altered to pick this up; but I also think I know how these tests can be reliably beaten.  If anyone wants to study this, let me know.))

 












Comments

LP wrote:"...but p... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2007 8:17 PM | Posted by AK: | Reply

LP wrote:

"...but pathological liars hold contradictory truths simultaneously and thus may not register as deceptive."

Question from an interested lay person:

Could pathological lying have any tie-ins to dissociation or to something that Orne termed 'trance logic'?

If I understand it correctly, trance logic occurs when someone functions as a child but uses a facade of adult level rationalization.

For an analogy, it would be like using a primitve, 1980s operating system to try and run MS Word.

Many revert to trance logic when under severe stress. Great ways to witness trance logic are those situations in which politicians and CEOs are caught with their pants down, or a religious leader crashes and burns in a drug and sex scandal and the hapless disciples insist that its actually enlightened teaching, not really a drug and sex mess.

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So, it's pathological if th... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2007 11:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So, it's pathological if the lie serves no purpose? It's not pathological if it's to get something or to get out of trouble? I'm always surprised when it's someone successful who compulsively lies. I knew this doc who lied every time his lips were moving. He told me he was vegan, I guess he forgot he was vegan, because he sure enjoyed his 3 meat bbq plate. I thought that was a stupid thing to lie about. It might have made sense if I was vegan, but I'm not. I guess I was supposed to be impressed? Eveything had to be big and grandiose with him. Pathological liars also tend to brag a lot. E.g. "I have a hummer." Funny, but I never saw the hummer. Must have been in the shop 24 hours a day every day. I guess I just expect that people who are successful wouldn't be that insecure, sadly that's no guarantee.

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Don't expect the fMRI would... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2007 1:12 PM | Posted by Tom Wilson: | Reply

Don't expect the fMRI would not be able to detect various types of liars. Pathological liars use mental activity to lie and it can be detected. It may be different than the 'normal' person who lies or it may not be. In any event the mental activity will give the person away as research with the fMRI advances.

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My question is --what to do... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2007 4:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

My question is --what to do WITH a pathological liar?

You're at work, and a co-worker comes up and tells a crazy story about another co-worker, say.

Do you nod and smile? Confront him? Tell him "Stop lying. Everyone who works here knows you tell stories"?

Will confronting him make him make up MORE stories about you as revenge?


How does one deal?

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also, the biggest question ... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2007 4:45 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

also, the biggest question I have re pathological liars is why don't they experience shame at the thought that, "This person knows I lie to make myself look more important."

Like, many lies that the pathological liar I know tells are self-aggrandizing. "I fought off a mugger. I played varsity hockey and was recruited heavily." etc etc.

Presumably this is a sign of a desire to impress people, right? Then if he cares so much what his listeners think, why isn't he embarassed to be caught lying to them?

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my friend...she tells me al... (Below threshold)

May 2, 2007 10:00 PM | Posted by Apu apocifina apelfoen: | Reply

my friend...she tells me all this crap about how she gts raped...she has brain tumors...shes got pregnant and had "under-the-counter-abortions" without her parent's knowing.....(shes only 16 so that wouldnt work..) and she tells me NOT TO TELL ANYONE .. but she tells everyone herself...and yea. its SUPER annoying. and i think, she may actually believe all these things..how do i confront her?

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This is a very interesting ... (Below threshold)

May 9, 2007 1:32 PM | Posted by MissLynne: | Reply

This is a very interesting article and like a previous comment, I am curious about 2 things.

1 - how do you deal with a pathological liar. My significant other and I have been dealing with a habitual and pathological liar for about 3 years now. the worse part is she is the custodial parent of their daughter. based on my experience with her, i believe that this disorder is DIRECTLY related to schizophrenia and/or multiple personality disorder. the scariest part - of course - is this person believes her own lies.

and 2 - how do you confront this type of person. right now my thoughts are that these types of people are beyond help, being that they believe their own lies.

anyone know of using pathological lies as support in family court?

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My mother was diagnosed as ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2007 7:19 AM | Posted by hannah bruce: | Reply

My mother was diagnosed as a pathalogical liar in the 1980's she left both myself and my half brother. Do you think its possible to recover from such an illness?

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My friend constantly lies a... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2007 2:40 PM | Posted by Lucy: | Reply

My friend constantly lies about the stupidest things. It is unbelievably irritating and sometimes i just want to explode with anger. Usually i just don't say anything because i know if i do she'll lie herself out of it and then try and make me feel guilty and tell others who don't know she lies to turn them against me. On occasions i have confronted her when i have had full evidence but she never gives an explanation, she just says "I'm really going to be a different person, i really want to be good friends with you" but she never ever does. The types of lies she tells are things like "My eighty year old aunt is in hospital with a brain tumor and they don't know if she's going to be ok" She usually tells them after she has seen someone else getting attention for a similar reason. Her stories are always much worse though so that she will defintely get the most attention. She has all the traits of a person who is a pathological liar. I really don't know what to do about it and whether she'll grow out of it.

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From all I've read I don't ... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2007 7:31 AM | Posted by Pauleela: | Reply

From all I've read I don't feel so alone trying to deal with the liar in my life (my sister). She "embellishes" everything, even the simplest of matters. Most upsetting is when she looks to me for backup (I never back her up). Can a person be a pathological liar and just an "ordinary liar" at the same time? Is embellishing to the nth degree lying? I think it is. Well, I must say I am a bit confused. The most important question, to me, is how to deal with such a person. I surely don't want to be the victim of the latest fabrication.
Enjoying the posts... very helpful..
*pauleela*

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This was a great, insightfu... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2007 9:40 PM | Posted by danny boo: | Reply

This was a great, insightful blog. I know a woman, 28, who constantly lies to me about where she lives. I know she lives at such and such an address, I often went there at her invitation, but a few months ago, she suddently told me she moved to another address and she told me the new address and when I went there, i found out that there is no such address. But she continues to tell me she lives at this new address and has moved from the old address, but i know for a fact that she still lives at the old address, my friends have seen her go into the building, and i have seen her go into the building, and so she continues to be this amazing pathological liar, even tells me i am her best friend, and she is very friendly and loving and romantic when we meet at other places, and on the phone, but she continues to insist she has moved and lives at a new address, when in fact she doesn't. so sad. Her background is this, at 17 she was trafficked to a new country from her native Malaysia to marry an older man, he was 47, and she had two kids by him in 4 years, both boys, and then he threw her out, after giving him the two male heirs he was after, to continue the family line and name, so out on the street, she went into the sex business and has worked there from 22 to 28, and my guess is she was sexually absued as a kid, marriage was also hell, her parents sold her to traffickers, and now, even though she makes good money, and bought an expensive car, without even having a drivers license, she lives in a kind of fantasy land with pathological lying, denials that don't make sense, appointments that are never met, sleeps at night with aid of roofies for 6 years and Stillnox too, so i imagine her brain has been scrambled. but what most interests me is how she insists she has moved and i know she has not moved. sad case. but your commentary sheds light on this very vexing issue of pathological lying. yes, she gains nothing from this action, she wants nothing from me, in fact, in every other way, she is a good friend, but this lying is so weird. AND she is very narcissitic too, always making videos of herself only playing around in her apartment with new clothes she buys.... so bipolar, drugged out, narccsy, p liar, premature birth as well, she told me, famililes, lovesless, abused all her life....and yet such a sweet woman when she is in a good mood.

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apu, i think you are right ... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2007 9:45 PM | Posted by danny boo: | Reply

apu, i think you are right re:

''i believe that this disorder is DIRECTLY related to schizophrenia and/or multiple personality disorder. the scariest part - of course - is this person believes her own lies.''

i think pahtolocail liars are closely related to multiple personality via abuse cases..... it's their way to COPE, so have pity on them and don't get angry, try to understand it from their abuse case....

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My 77 year old father has c... (Below threshold)

July 21, 2007 2:30 PM | Posted by billie: | Reply

My 77 year old father has chronically lied his whole life. Now that he is older, he has developed health care problems that also affect his health - it's ironic that he spent what should have been the best years of his life doing what he now does because he is a very ill man. Has anyone else had the experience of growing up with a parent who is a chronic liar?

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BOY THIS HITS THE NAIL ON T... (Below threshold)

July 23, 2007 10:27 AM | Posted by JOHN HENRY SOULES: | Reply

BOY THIS HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. IT REMINDS ME SO MUCH OF MYSELF. I LOVE LYING TO EVERYONE AROUND ME AND IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A MAN THAT I CAN GET SO MANY PEOPLE TO BELIEVE ME. I GET SYMPATHY AND EVERYTHING EVEN THE LOVE OF A GOOD WOMAN WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT AN EVIL PERSON I AM.

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The most amazing pathologic... (Below threshold)

July 29, 2007 6:07 PM | Posted by Morgan: | Reply

The most amazing pathological liar I ever met was this guy who had a house and my boyfriend and I needed a place to stay. The guy said he was a skipper on a ship and was leaving on job soon for idustrial fishing by Alaska. He said he needed a house sitter while he was gone. He left and I heard later he was roaming around town. Turns out that he was a squatter and didn't really even own the house he asked us to look after.

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I came here hoping to find ... (Below threshold)

August 14, 2007 7:09 AM | Posted by Olyveoil: | Reply

I came here hoping to find answers only to find more questions. Currently, I have a 22 year old mother of 2 living with me. She is my daughter. She was not abused in this house, emotionally nor physically. We have two children, both raised in the same manner. The one has grown up to be "normal", but she seems absolutely bent upon running to things that get her into trouble and lies about it. She lies about her friends and work. She seems to have no ambition in life, but to hang out with people like her. Last night I caught her lying to me about being at work. I had the children and she was supposedly at work. I called her work place at closing time and was told that she never even showed her face last night. I confronted her and she still insisted that she did go there. I don't know what to do. She's still living here because she is the custodial parent of her two little girls and we're very concerned what she will expose them to in regard to her so-called friends and her chosen lifestyle. Any good advice anyone?

Thanks.

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I am a psychiatrist and hav... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2007 11:59 PM | Posted by Liane J. Leedom, M.D.: | Reply

I am a psychiatrist and have recently reviewed the literature on pathologic lying. I can find no evidence that people other than narcieesists, borderlines and antisocials do this.

Alone's response: do what-- lie? (Or be pathological liars?) I'm not sure, but the framing of your statement suggests to me that you see "borderline" and "antisocial" as fixed categories-- you are, or are not, borderline-- as opposed to a description of behavior and thought which is changeable given context.

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My boyfriend of a year has ... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2007 8:32 AM | Posted by latoya: | Reply

My boyfriend of a year has been lying to me almost the entire time. Everytime we got into an argument he would get a phone call from someone telling him that someone in his family died. Withink 8 months he had lost everyone, or so I thought. I finally figured out the truth and he is making up excuses as to why he lied. He said he did it to preserve our relationship. I think it goes deeper than that. He worked hard to make me think they were dead and to constantly gain my sympathy. He used it to gain financial support from me because I felt so sorry for him I wouldn't keep pressing him to get a job. Towards the end he turned violent. Now he is apologetic and wants me to assume a portion of the guilt for his behavior and make a plan for the relationship to work in the future. I think he might have a personality disorder that goes even deeper.....

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I recently learned that a m... (Below threshold)

August 30, 2007 11:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I recently learned that a man I really care for lied to me about some of the most fundamental details about himself and his life. He did it with such ease that I didn't even suspect anything for the first couple of months that I knew him. I gently confronted him with the contradictory information and he maintained that he was telling the truth. I couldn't believe it, because the facts were right there in black and white. I still care for this man (although certainly not like I did before), but I never trust anything he tells me anymore. I feel sorry for him because he obviously has some problems, but his behavior really hurt me.

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My EX girlfriend lied like ... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2007 6:48 AM | Posted by Jermaine Ghia: | Reply

My EX girlfriend lied like this. Whenever anything would come up in our relationship where it was even suggested that she did something wrong she would reflexively lie about it, making up whatever excuse was necessary to get out of being responsible for her actions. Our relationship ended when she lied about where she was so she could see her ex boyfriend. I believed her at first and accidentally discovered her lie. She immediately made up a new story and just abandoned her original one. Each time I would point out all the holes in her story and then she would just modify it or change it all together if necessary. She thought nothing of just changing a story after it was pointed out that it couldn't be true. AFter all was said and done she went through 4 completely different versions of what happened, the final one being the most ridiculous. She would always try and turn the situation around on me and make me into the bad guy for exposing her lies, one time she told me that I betrayed her trust by checking up on her and 'letting her think that I trusted her.' This was after catching her in a lie. I won't even speak to her now.

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i think i am a pathological... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2007 1:25 PM | Posted by Ra: | Reply

i think i am a pathological liar. i have no idea why i do it. my brother does it, my dad. for no reason at all. is there any way to stop?

Alone's response: yes. Decide to stop. Pathological liars fill the void of their identity with words. If the words stop, then the identity is uncovered and subjected to scrutiny. You have to be brave enough to withstand that scrutiny.

It's like a teenager, who hides in plain sight; who talks, dresses, acts in a manner he believes to be unique and independent, but which is so obviously common to everyone else in his group. It's all made up, but he feels it as genuine. What matters is that others see and judge the clothes, the words-- so they don't think to judge the person underneath.

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I HAVE BEEN SEEING THI... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2007 8:49 PM | Posted by REALLY HURT: | Reply

I HAVE BEEN SEEING THIS GUY I WAS REALLY EMOTIONALLY IN LOVE WITH ON AND OFF FOR 15 YRS. THE OFF TIMES WERE ME GETTING HURT BY HIS DECIET. WE WERE BROKE UP ONE TIME FOR 3 YRS. HE GOT ENGAGED SHE BROKE IT OFF(WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THE REAL REASON) HE SAID HER FRIENDS AT CHURCH THOUGHT IT WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA.HE ALWAYS CAME BACK INTO MY LIFE.MOSTLY TOGETHER FOR MONTHS THEN I WOULD FEEL THE DECIET AND WE WOULD BE OFF AGAIN. THIS LAST TIME HE WAS BACK FOR 4 1/2 YRS. AND IT WAS GREAT, FEW PROBLEMS. I WAS HIS "ONE TRUE LOVE" THEN HIS MOM DIED ,THEN MY BROTHER DIED THAT BROUGHT US EVEN CLOSER TOGETHER. WE HAD LONG TALKS ABOUT EVERYTHING AND WERE THERE FOR EACH OTHER.HE PROFESSED THAT THE YEARS OF DECIET WAS HISTORY AND IF IT TOOK A LIFE TIME TO PROVE IT HE WOULD.WE HAD THE BEST OF TIMES. DANCING...LAUGHING.. SITTING ON THE BEACH WATCHING THE SUN SET...SITTING UNDER THE STARS.. "HERES THE KICKER" HE GETS THIS JOB DELIVERING TRAILERS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES FOR A BUNCH OF MONEY(RED FLAG)HE CALLS ME THO ALL DAY LONG AND ALWAYS TELLS ME GOOD NITE. ALWAYS TRYING TO PROVE TO ME HE IS AN HONORABLE MAN. WELL HE DIDNT TELL ME WHAT WAS IN THE TRAILERS. FBI POPS HIM AND F I N A L L Y I HERE FROM HIM A MONTH LATER.PROFESSING HIS LOVE. I WRITE BACK YOU "LIE LIE LIE". ALL THOSE PHONE CALLS I AM WORRIED ABOUT HIM AND HE IS DOING "WHAT"!!! HE GETS A GOOD LAWYER,GETS OUT AND LEAVES ME A MESSAGE THAT I WASNT THERE FOR HIM HE WAS INNOCENT! THAT HE LOVED ME SO MUCH AND I REALLY HURT HIM THAT MY LETTER TO HIM KILLED HIM. SAID "GOOD BYE" AND HUNG UP. HE HAS NO PHONE NOW AND I DONT KNOW WHERE HE IS.THIS IS "MY KICKER" I FEEL BAD THAT I WASNT THERE FOR HIM. AND I MISS HIS 50 TEXTS A DAY AND PHONE CALLS OF LOVE. "WHY DO I FEEL SO BAD AND ALL ALONE" ??????

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According to your definitio... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2007 11:14 PM | Posted by Murphy: | Reply

According to your definition, there is no doubt in my mind that I am a pathological liar. Every point you made matched me spot on. I've thought that I was for a very long time. I definitely lie less than I once did, but I still do it, as recently as last night even. My question for you is, do you recommend confronting the lies? Would revealing the truth to people I've lied to possibly help? These lies aren't particularly destructive, but they have gone on for years, and my only real concern is stopping more lies from happening.

Alone's response: I can't tell you what to do about your past. But I can tell you what to do for the future: just stop. And before anyone says, "that's easy for you to say" understand that the lying is not an organic compulsion, it is a learned response. When you stub your toe, do you say, "shit" reflexively? That's not genetic. Saying _something_ might be genetic, but not "shit." I know it feels reflexive, but you can now see it's a learned response. Lying= death. It invalidates your identity. Not even "bad" or immoral; nihilistic. It will likely panic one to try to interat with other people without this backup mode of interaction-- what they hell else will you say? But just as it "feels" more natural, in a sense, to lie-- like having a drink before a party conversation; you have to make it feel natural not to.

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I've only just been able to... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2007 8:20 PM | Posted by Monty: | Reply

I've only just been able to admit to myself that I am a pathological Lier. Sadly it has cost me my relationship and the woman I truly love. My advice to anyone who thinks they are a pathological Liar...just make a decision to stop and if you do tell a lie then admit it right away. Each day you are aware of and doing all you can to stop this awful learned behaviour and coping mechanism will move you towards a better future for you and all those around you. Start now before it becomes too late, it isn't worth the pain that may result...take it from one who lives with the pain.

Alone's response: I'm not making fun of you: but this comment could be an example of another lie, but not a pathological one. Here's an example: a person writes this here because he anticipates the type of woman who would be reading this post (e.g. one who has been in a relationship with one.) He thinks/hopes she will connect with thim because he represents something shehasn't been able to get in her own life (a repentant/self-aware liar who wants to move on), etc,etc. (Again, I'm not saying you are doing this, I'm just using your comment as a way of explaining the difference between a pathological liar and a narcissist (in this example.)

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Let me start by saying I am... (Below threshold)

October 10, 2007 10:45 PM | Posted by Need A Fix: | Reply

Let me start by saying I am a Liar. We can label it whatever anyone likes but the fact remains that what people like me are. I am not writing to try and shed light on anything just maybe to help me deal. I have stood by for most of my life and whatch as I have destroyed relationships, jobs you name it my lieing has in some way played a role in its destruction. I dont pretend to know how to fix it I still lie to this day. I now have two childern and my relationship is strained because of my lies. I am now to a point in my life I am going too do one of two things either I am going to fix it or crawl into a hole so no one else is emotionaly affected any longer. I have tried to get help and the last shrink or doctor I spoke with about told me to just stop. Easier said than done I really dont think he understood the probelm. I do however think I have my own explanations for it. I grew up in a abusive home, was not the best looking kid or talented one in my class and was always made fun of. I have come to the conculsion that my lieing is to help me feel better about myself but how to curb it is another thing. I have a good job lots of friends who care about me and family that loves me but they dont deserve this from me does anyone know where I should start? Because I am mentally tapped out and about at the end of my rope..

Best Regards
Tom AKA ?????

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This is all well and good, ... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2007 10:16 PM | Posted by Cindy: | Reply

This is all well and good, but nothing has been said about how one should deal with a liar, pathological or otherwise. My 32-year-old younger sister is a dangerous liar and an opportunistic thief, and it is ruining her life and those of her children. She lies about ordinary things when the truth would work just as well, makes up stories about being seriously ill, and tells fantastic tales about the hardships she has endured, most of which were actually caused by poor choices.

She is irresponsible with money and always has an amazing "emergency" for which she needs to "borrow" money, which she never pays back. She will also steal pretty much anything if given the opportunity. She even stole our mother's antique rosary and pawned it. My mom saw it in the pawn shop window and had the choice to either buy it back herself or call the police. She chose to buy it back to avoid having her arrested. When she asked my sister about it, she said she needed money for food for her kids and was planning on buying the rosary back as soon as she could. Any of us would have given her money for food.

Confronting my sister just makes things worse - she gets belligerent, makes up even more lies, and twists things so that the confronter feels guilty about even bringing it up.

Sometimes she rants for long periods over relatively minor events that she has blown up in her mind. This behavior started when she was a teenager. She received counseling and medication on and off in her teens and twenties and walked out of a home for troubled young women (that my parents worked hard to get her into) after only a couple of weeks. When she starts getting help, she tells everyone all about how she is bravely dealing with her tragic life, but when the sympathy and interest wear off, or when the counselor sees that my sister is lying about everything and tries to cut the crap, she gets angry and stops her treatment.

It has reached the point where my father will have nothing more to do with her, my mother is tired of being manipulated and caught in the middle, and my siblings are fed up with the money issues. It's really depressing, because I still love my sister - she's bright, funny, hardworking, and would give me the shirt off her back (even if it was mine to begin with). I want the best for her and her children, and I would love to spend time with her, but I can't even have her over to my apartment because she steals so badly, and it's emotionally draining to hear her go on about how badly the rest of the family has treated her. She was not mistreated as a child growing up in our house, and we've tried our best to support her as an adult. There were four of us kids, and the other three of us turned out to be fairly well-adjusted adults. I know that my grandmother was a narcissistic liar as well, and my sister's personality and temperament are so similar to the way she was. Anyway...there's no doubt she has a problem, but how can we help her and still protect ourselves? I can't just throw her away.

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I mainly have a question. I... (Below threshold)

November 15, 2007 12:50 AM | Posted by JessicaLynn: | Reply

I mainly have a question. I've been married for 4 months, to a wonderful man whom I have a six month old with. He ALWAYS lied when we first met. Things like saying he was legally blind, whick he obviously isn't. I mean, totally random, stupid lies. Sometimes they were actually relevant to keeping himself out of trouble, but mostly just random. We fought endlessly about it. After a couple "I'm leaving" conversations, he seemed to stop. Since then He's only lied on a couple occasions, but everytime, it makes it so much harder to trust him. Today he lied about buying lunch. Money is tight in our home right now, but I knew he needed to eat, and wouldn't have been angry if he told me the truth. Is he honestly trying, or am I just putting myself and my son in a bad place?

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I have an x daughter in law... (Below threshold)

November 24, 2007 5:40 PM | Posted by ann oakley: | Reply

I have an x daughter in law who lies about everything she says she is bring my graddaughter for a visit and never shows up and never call to say why she didnt come or anything I get so mad at her and I think it is so rude for an adult to do something like that I am just shocked that anyone would do anyone like that.what should I do or say to her it breakes my heart that she plays games with the little girl.

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I have been friends for abo... (Below threshold)

November 27, 2007 3:04 PM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

I have been friends for about 6 years now with someone that has revealed himself to have very serious lying problem. What is truly incredible is the depth of his lies, and how fantastically detailed and consistent they are, even year after year. In the latest round, he's been contacted by a big record company to go cut a record in Nashville. When the weekend came that he was supposed to go, his phone was off the entire time... I assumed he was in studio or whatever. On that Sunday, I reached him, and he told me he didn't go, because a friend he grew up with died in a tragic car accident and he was too distraght to actually leave. So now supposedly it's rescheduled for December sometime. (Holds breath) I could write for hours on how deep the rabbit hole goes here, but the bottom line is what do you do about someone like this? His lies are virtually harmless, always told to evoke sympathy or to generate positive feelings towards him. Fantastic things happen to him at every turn. He claims he has the best and worst luck of anyone you'll ever meet. (I told him if he actually was a successful recording artist, he'd soon die in a plane crash as an example.)

I choose to keep him in my life because he's a good person that has a problem, like most of us. I never take what he says at face value, and I expect most things he says to be a lie. When I catch him in one, I confront it... but nothing changes.

So to many of you that have posted what to do with someone like this... realize you can't change them, you can only decide how you want to include them in your life, or not at all. I think unless you're really equipped to deal with them on your own terms, its easier to not deal with it at all. Good luck everyone.

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I have a friend who constan... (Below threshold)

November 27, 2007 9:37 PM | Posted by Shana: | Reply

I have a friend who constantly tells unnecessary lies. She has had a real tough past so i was wondering if this disease can develop over time? she lost her mother in a car accident and her father abandoned her when she was just a baby so she lives with her grandmother. In school she gets teased alot about her looks and what not. i was one of the only few people who chose to be kind to her. she took advantage of that she calls me all the time...almost as if she has no one else. obsessively calls me like 14 times a day literally. for some reason she feels like she needs to lie to gain attention and worth. like....she told me she was graduating last year and she never showed up or appeared on the graduation list...and she told me she would be walking the night before. umm she has also lied about doing things/going places..she'll make things up. like someone got sick in her family and doesn't know if they'll be ok....i don't KNOW whether or not to believe her. it sucks because i don't want to get involved in all this if its just going to turn around and stab me in the back but at the same time i know she needs help.

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Certain Pathological Liars ... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2007 5:00 PM | Posted by B: | Reply

Certain Pathological Liars are FUNNY as Hell! If you know of one or two, don't take them seriously, Have FUN with them Folks.

Depending on the personality traits and characteristics of a Pathological Liar (aside from being a PL), I find that a PL can be extremely FUNNY and Entertaining with his or her outrageous LIES and Stories.

Our Family has known a Pathological Liar, (through a Friend) for over 2 decades and everytime he comes over to visit, we have a ball with him, laughing off all his hysterical LIES he says about himself, his lifestyles and other People.

Here are some of the highlights of his Lying Career: (Note: The following Lies were dissaproved, discounted, and/or He never came through with his promises and claims)

-"I have a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and I have 250 games/cartridges for it" (notice at that time, the SNS barely came out, and supposedly he already had 250 games for it (60/70 Dollars a Pop)...thats well over $12,000 invested into an SNES LOL)

-"I am going to Give You My (entire) PAY CHECK so that you can go out shopping for yourself" (never happened)

-"I am going to come out with a new (rap) album next month" (album never comes out, at least from the realm of his own mind lol)

-"You know I'm the type of guy that'll come over to hang out with you guys, and slap $800 on the table and we'll go out and spend" (never happened)

-"You know I'm the type of guy that'll come over to hang out with you guys, and throw down several thousand and we'll go out and spend" (never happened)

-"I am going to buy you an (expensive) Gold Chain so that you can wear it" (never happened)

-"I'm coming out with a new album next month" (album never comes out, at least from the realm of his own mind lol) Note:This is not a repeat/typo, he literally says this everytime we see him, every other month, every six months, every year, He's coming out with a new album, and we never see/heard of his First!

-"I'm an A&R for Epic Records" (sure you are)

-"My boy I know produces for Diddy"

-"I wrote the Don Cartegena Album for Fat Joe" (now he's apparently writing albums for high-profile rap stars)

-"I just got back from touring (concerts)" (Zero evidence to prove that)

-"I benched 5,000LBS" (now for shits and giggles, we just made up a number and asked him "How many times did you bench 5,000lbs ? 20 Times ? (((hold the laugs))) and he answered "Yea...20 Repetitions" (((laughs)))

-"I have a Car, My car is down the block, behind that Van, back there in the Corner, behind that Light Post" (when he left, we saw him walking out of our apt building, and he walked over the opposite way and caught a CAB lol) (no car whatsoever)

-"I had sex with Foxy Brown (rapstar) in a closet" (Mr. Don Juan himself)

-"I'm going to buy you a brand new pair of Jordans ($150 Sneakers)" (Never even got to try them on)

-(in the Mid 90s) "Ima hook you up with a Job, giving out Flyers to people in the streets, and they pay $750 a Week, $750 Dollars for giving out flyers" (never heard about that job offer again)

-"Some guy tried to rob our jewelry store one day by grabbing merchandise of the counter, so I(250some odd pounds) grabbed a bat, Jumped over the counter, and cracked a would-be theif on the head with the bat, who tried to rob the jewelery store where I worked at. He ended up getting stitches on his head and 7 years in Jail on top of that" (((Laughs)))

-(((Pathological Liar stands around our apt, Eating highly fatening Little Debbie cakes...and he notices us giggling and looking at his large ass belly fat...and he looks at us and says)))...

..."The Doctor told me im supposed to eat, to lose weight, you guys laugh but I'm suppose to eat a lot to lose weight" (Lots of Junk Food as a Diet for an already obese person ??? LOL)

There were just so many lies about himself, and/or about money, women, etc, that I cannot even remember most at this point.

What makes it even more funny is that he will look at you straight in the eyes and lie his ass off, wihout any apparent smirks, just serious, and think that we actually believe him.

Sometimes, when he is in the middle of another Lie...We will throw in a few numbers to see if he agrees with it and runs with it...for example...

Pathological Liar says:

"I make good money, I make about...I make about (((looks up to the ceiling and thinks))) I make about..."

and I'll interject: "What ? $3,000 a week ?"

Pathological Liar says: "Yea Yea, $3,000"

I'll respond: "A WEEK ?"

PL Says: "Yeah, a Week"

another example:

PL Says: "I bench press about...I bench press about...(((thinks)))"

I'll interject: "about 2,000LBS right ?"

PL Says: "Yeah Yea, 2,000LBS" (and we ran him up to "admitt" and claim that he benches 5,000LBS...TWENTY TIMES!)

Simply hilarious and entertaining.

and there are many many more stories/lies he has told us that were too much to cope with (we exploded in laughter while trying to hide it/cover our faces).

Watch out however, as I found out that this Pathological Liar can be extremely unstable in terms of temper control (mainly if you Call Him Out On His Lies...serious no-no).

This pathological Liar seems so wrapped up in his own Lies, in his own world, that if you question him or his lies, He will attack you verbally, or even attempt to physically attack you (if he hasnt taken his meds that day).

So when I say "Have Fun" with a PL, please have fun Safely...Ask them Questions, bait them into saying more hilarious and outrageous Lies, BUT, do not challenge them or question them. They can be illogical and hostile at times (depending on the PL's cerebral issues).

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My mother is married to a c... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2007 11:01 AM | Posted by Sonya: | Reply

My mother is married to a chronic and dangerous liar. He is my stepfather. He lies about everything! Seriously, everything. If my mom asks him to pick up peach ice cream from the store, he returns without it saying, they (the grocery store) didn't have any. Once we learned about this, we would always call the store in advance. The store would have just what she needed. Why does he do this to her? He's a sick puppy. His 1st wife died, was educated and independent. So is my mother. He has an inferior complex. Of course, no one knew until after the fact. All the uncertain mean-spirited baggage he held on to before has traveled with him in his new marriage. He lies so badly that he creates nonsense issues that make him look really stupid. Poor man-he always looks as if he is preparing a lie while eating or watching tv. What's wrong with people like that?

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I know a nice lady who is m... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2007 11:13 AM | Posted by sarah: | Reply

I know a nice lady who is married to a man we all thought was nice, too. He's not; he's a liar. He wants people to think he knows a lot about everything, and he does read a paper frequently. But news is not what he lies about. If my husband tells him about an incident he has experienced, he comes uup with something, too. But guess what? We now know how to make up things to see where he goes with it. Well, he lies, or will ask about something that happened 50 years ago, that he barely knows himself, just to have the group thinking that he is the man with the news. His children know he is a liar. They usually look away when he stumbles through one. He does not stutter until he prepares his lies. He is a joke. Most of his friends don't want to be around him. But they have so much fun making him tell the lies, that they leave laughing out loud. The friends call him the Liar's Club Dunce.

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He is the liar of the town.... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2007 11:17 AM | Posted by rhonda: | Reply

He is the liar of the town. I am sick and tired of Mr. B's lies. He lies just to LIE. Aren't people like this dangerous.

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Mahn i stole so mcuh stuff ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2007 10:22 AM | Posted by Teh Bawla: | Reply

Mahn i stole so mcuh stuff u kids dont even no. I got me sum cash, some pops, i got a chevy escalade, sum sweet 19" inch blades and sum 18" monitors for my sit. yall cant touch mah sweet intel Xeon processorz dog.

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Do you ever learn to trust ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2008 3:52 PM | Posted by L: | Reply

Do you ever learn to trust a liar after being "burned" by them? I want to trust, I love her, but she's told so many outright lies, hurtful ones (like being abused and molested and having a rape test and police involved!) I just can't seem to get past these lies and believe ANYTHING she says ..... is there any hope for her or me??

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Very interesting. Makes me ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2008 8:01 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Very interesting. Makes me wonder where you get this from though. It's too "right" and detailed to be seen from far away. You must have experienced it in some way. Either that or you're a genius and a great judge of character, someone who probably needs to become the next Dr.Phil ;=)

Alone's response: let's all just agree that it's the latter...

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I want to first point out t... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Posted by Christian LaBrecque: | Reply

I want to first point out that pathological lies are behavioral, it is not a disease. The reasons for such behaviors vary from person to person, but the important thing is that YOU CAN STOP. You have to want to, but it's possible. I lied like crazy for nearly the first 21 years of my life. I started when I was really young, maybe 6 or 7 and didn't stop until last year. And the wild thing...., I just turned it off. I think I started doing it when I realized I didn't have to tell the truth about embarassing things. I grew up in a working to middle class neighborhood, and learned from an early age that (believe it or not) being a poor kid from a broken home didn't win any popularity contests. I started lying about what my parents did for a living. "My dad's a fireman", in reality by father was a drug addict and untreated diabetic that my mother left a few years earlier for fear of her life and her children's, and my step father (whomI was talking about) was a short order cook, a mean drunk and wife and child abuser. Then I lied to people about why I would have a black eye, etc. Soon after I was spinning fantastic tales about an association of mine with a spy or police agency (details varied), the problem was, I was seven years old. and the lies continued. Without going too long, just know that I BLEW IT, with just about every friend, every girlfriend, and caused them all tremendous alienation and possible some behavioral problems by mere association. Anyone who wants to talk about any of this, particularly those who have been abused, my URL and E-mail are listed.

- Christian LaBrecque
chrstn_labrecque@yahoo.com

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I worked very briefly for a... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2008 7:56 PM | Posted by Observer: | Reply

I worked very briefly for a small newspaper publisher who told me so many outrageous lies it was hard to count them all. They mostly centered around his experiences that were (amazingly) similar to mine. I think he sold ads by conning people, and some ads he ran weren't even authorized by the "advertisers". Sometimes, he had the audacity to try to collect on these! Anyway, I asked him if I could file a W-2 instead of being an independent contractor, and he gave me a blank index card and told me to fill it out. He asked me how many dependents I would claim. It was obvious he intended to leave me with the impression that I'd filled out a W-2, hoping I'd forget the details later. His scams and lies were so transparent, they were funny. I would laugh with my husband about them many times. This man had highly developed verbal skills, and he told me he had attended some kind of prep school in Connecticut. I think he was from a higher socioeconomic background, given the fact he owned a home in a nice area. His lying was probably quite a handicap for him, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if he lived off some kind of trust fund. Maybe he collected SSI. He didn't seem very functional.

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A girl in my class in schoo... (Below threshold)

March 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A girl in my class in school is lying about having a friend, who doesnt exsit. Me & fellow class mates all think she is a pathological liar, but we don't know how to deal with it. Does anyone know how? Shes only 14.

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iv just found out my friend... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2008 2:26 PM | Posted by Olivier donald: | Reply

iv just found out my friend whom iv known for nearly a decade, has been lying to her closest friends, me being one of them, for at least 7 years. everything i knew about her, her whole person, is a lie. suddenly i dont knw her at all. she made up a whole person, mixed up peoples lives with this person, stirred trouble between friendships, made up ridiculous stories, from the smallest of things to huge things like having cancer. only recently has she been caught out big time in one of her latest lies and has accepted the fact that shes a pathological liar. but the thing is, she's still lying to me even now. it's so hard to be here for her when i'm so hurt and pissed off at her lies, but she's making it even harder by contuing to lie even now.
is it treatable? what the hell do i do??

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I lie constantly, but I'm n... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2008 12:45 AM | Posted by Maggie: | Reply

I lie constantly, but I'm not sure if I'm a pathological liar. The reason I lie isn't just because it's a habit, it's because lying is fun. It's a challenge for me, and I enjoy it. Lying is hard; you have to show the correct emotion, and make sure the person you are lying to never catches you. The more times I lie without getting caught, the more fun it is for me to lie.

Is this also a symptom of a pathological liar? Or something else?

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I am a habitual liar. A hor... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2008 5:00 PM | Posted by Applecart: | Reply

I am a habitual liar. A horrible horrible person. Just recently, my lies have wrecked my entire friendship structure, destroyed my family's trust in me, and generally made me feel pretty damn sucidal. I keep on hurting those I love, and feel like I CAN'T STOP IT.

I am at a loss, and have looked here for help. I am tired of the effort it takes to maintain this whole structure of lie and counter lie, and it gains me nothing but heartache.

Help.

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WELLLLLLLLLLL I know this g... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2008 8:18 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

WELLLLLLLLLLL I know this guy who pretends he uses toilet paper and goes into the bathroom just to poop and then wash it off in the shower. IT is really weird. he also showed us his appendix scar and said 50 cent shot him when he was 10 years old in Boston, yeah.. weird. he also pretends to get in a car accident every other week and then when hes done with that, his mom gets in car accidents. he got charged for rape and sexual harassment and then tried to lie to us to saying all this crap about his door being open, when we see it closed. he has about 5 girlfriends and a squirrel tail and gets caught with all of it and says they didnt see anything as the one girl watches the other girl make out with him.

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I think I am a pathological... (Below threshold)

April 22, 2008 7:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I think I am a pathological liar. I have no idea why I do it, to make myself more interesting? I have very low self esteem, I think. You see, the main trouble is that I can hardly tell when I am lying. I know what things happened and what didn't, but I have no idea how I FEEL about things. A while ago I sat in the mirror talking to myself, but every time I said anything I had to follow it up by asking myself if I was just making all the feelings up. I know it makes no sense, and it drives me crazy. My lies are usually about horrible things. Rape, abuse, sexual promiscuity, in the past I've made up entire people and pretended I dated them or was dating them at the time. I don't even know why I'm doing THIS. Typing this here, right now. Is it for attention? I don't know. And if it is, why do I want your attention so badly? I don't even know you. Is this supposed to impress you?

I think that for some reason I have always wanted there to be something wrong with me. I've wanted an eating disorder or an even more fucked up childhood, I want a psychological disorder, even one with a bad stigma attached to it. Why? I HAVE NO IDEA. I honestly don't know what is wrong with me that I would want there to be something wrong with me. Sometimes I think that maybe I am just a horrible person who deserves nothing. Deep down I must realize it fully and so I just desperately search for some scapegoat that can't possible be MY fault, I was BORN this way, my parents ABUSED me until I got this way, my brain isn't producing enough of X chemical, it certainly is not my fault.

But it is, isn't it?

And the worst part is, I can only say it here, because if anyone found out I would lose everything and everyone.

I've considered going to a psychiatrist, but I worry I will just lie to them, too. And of course I'd believe, happily, anything they said was wrong with me just as long as it wasn't my fault.

I think I want to stop but I worry that then I will really know what kind of person I am. I am afraid that someday I will kill myself. Actually, I'm not sure if I really worry about that or if I just want people to think I do because I'm this mysterious, troubled person. Everything about me is a lie and I wish I could start my whole life over.

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latoya. kick him out if he ... (Below threshold)

May 5, 2008 11:40 PM | Posted by a: | Reply

latoya. kick him out if he still lives there or run very very fast in the opposite direction and find a new home. this guy is a loser and will only bring you down. definitely the pathological liar...lying for his own personal gain and violent too??? no. he must go. you will end up getting a restraining order which he will violate and end up in court over and over til he gets a stiff enough penalty or your dead...whichever comes first.

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Up until I was in the seven... (Below threshold)

May 10, 2008 10:29 AM | Posted by humpty dumpty's friend: | Reply

Up until I was in the seventh grade I had a serious problem with lying. Thank god someone at some point called me on my inconsistencies. I can still remember the moment, in the middle of a classroom(home-ec) on a bright sunny spring day.

I was not one of the popular kids. My father was overly strict and distrusted all of us kids. I thought my life was dull, so when my friends would talk about what was going on I just added my "stories" to theirs. When I got called on it, I realized that I had told so many lies to so many people, that I couldn't remember who I told what to and I was in a very uncomfortable spot. I wish I knew what made the light bulb go off for me at that moment and what led me to make the choice to try hard not to lie going forward.

I had no sense of who I was for a little while after I stopped lying. Luckily, I figured it out (it took a long time) and am so much happier. Here's the ironic thing...I now work with someone who tells incredible, fantastic stories, has been "caught" repeatedly by several people and still doesn't "get it". She truly still believes that people believe her, and I think on a certain level she believes her own stories.

Having been where I was as a teen, I see it as someone living in their head. I remember thinking about my stories after I told them. I didn't know what the story was going to be until it came out. Where the story went depended on how people responded. Later I would relive the story and how good I felt seeing peoples' responses and interest in my stories.

When I watch people at work with this person, no one confronts her. Everyone just goes along with her stories and even will ask questions as if it is a normal conversation. I had peripherally known this person for years and was not aware of her lying until I started to work with her. I felt like I had to try to "help" her, so I asked to talk to her one day and came clean about my past and steered the conversation towards a string of lies that she had told me and pointed this out to her. I guess I had hoped that she would be relieved to be able to fess up and know that someone understood, but instead I got another lie to explain the inconsistencies I had pointed out.

What made me that spring day in seventh grade, know that this was not how I wanted to live my life and make the commitment to not lying? What compelled her this day when I spoke to her to not even be able to recognize when someone was showing concern and being sincere to continue to feel the need to lie? It is very fascinating to me. It is also very frustrating. I am now 45 and she is 41 and I see what my life might have been. I am thankful every day that I interact with her that someone cared enough about me to face me about my lies and that I made the choice I did.

I guess I felt compelled to write this in the hope that just one person who is living the life of a pathologic liar recognize themself in it and make the same choice that I did over 30 years ago. I can see in this person that I work with how unhappy and sad my life would be if I had not been called on it and made a choice to stop. Also, just to say that if you are on the receiving end of an endless string of lies, don't play into it. Don't act like you are interested. Don't ask questions thinking that the person will realize that you know they are lying and change. It only reinforces the behavior and lets them tell more stories. If nothing else, ignor it, hard as it might be. The show needs an audience to continue. Don't be the audience.

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I fell in love with a man w... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2008 1:21 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I fell in love with a man who is a pathalogical liar. He and I have been together for nearly three years, and I know by now that nothing I can say or do will change him. He is a 50yr old man who cannot help himself but lie about everything. I know he loves me as best as he can possibly do but it's not the kind of love that a normal caring human being could feel. He is self oriented, all he cares about is himself in the end, and he doesn't care how many people's lives he crushes to get what he wants. The sad thing is, he is so smart, so talented, so sweet when he wants to be...But in the end the core of his being, which is to lie to get what he wants, is his ultimate down fall. He will forever live his life in torment because he has screwed with so many lives. He is unchangable as the the color of my eyes. He is will always be focused on himself, and he will always to seek to get what he wants. Sad but true. Run away from people like this. There is no point in trying to fix something that is broke and unfixable.

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Gosh, I'm on here to find o... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2008 8:50 PM | Posted by debra: | Reply

Gosh, I'm on here to find out how to deal with a pathological liar.
It's one thing to play along with it, like no big deal. But when I see my grandson learning this from his mother? It's got to stop.
He is picking up her ways on how to lie and he's only 9 years old.
His mom gets away with it, now he thinks he can act that way and get away with it.
And while they do this, it's like they're the smart ones and the rest of us are idiots. Idiots for allowing them to behave this way.
When I try to approach her on this subject of her lying, then she turns into this "poor me mode", and makes up another lie to get people angry at me. My hands are tied, and I give up on this matter. I just hate seeing my wonderful grandson , starting to behave like his mom.

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In reply to the comment mad... (Below threshold)

June 1, 2008 3:13 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

In reply to the comment made on Aprill 22, 2008:

You sound exactly like the person who is the reason I looked up this article. This person was a close friend who, over the course of several months, told me some pretty serious fabrications, everything from losing her virginity while drunk at a party, how that same guy stalked her (she actually called me once to say he had just shown up at her work and she was pretty sure he was following her), how she was molested by her sister's husband when she was six, how she was seeing a therapist, to how she took fourteen Tylenol and had her stomach pumped. She would even tell me, on several occasions, that she was suicidal.

However, I had a number of sources that told me she was a liar, so I took every "serious" thing she said with a grain of salt. After several months of lies, she finally admitted that she made everything up, and her reasons sound very similar to yours, as far as being insecure and having low self-esteem. What it came down to was that she needed to feel important to other people, needed to feel like she was cared about. In her head, she thought the only way to gain people's trust so that they would tell her their major, private problems was to tell them her own, so she made up her own serious problems. With this warped logic, she thought that the only way to gain people's trust was to lie to them.

She also told me that she always just wanted something to be wrong with her. What it all came down to was she wanted to feel loved, but it was crazy that she didn't feel that way in the first place. Aside from her lying problem, she's got a very normal life: she's got two loving parents, a beautiful home, she's smart, pretty, and talented in a number of areas, and she has plenty of friends. She was never abused as a child, nor has she witnessed, been a part of, or affected by any tragic event. She just wanted attention.

In all honesty, we're not as close as we used to be, but it's not because she lied. I made it my goal to get her to stop lying, and as far as I know, she has, and she's apologized to the people she's hurt with her lies. Ironically, we're not as close because, once she stopped lying, she turned to other kinds of attention-seeking behavior, like drinking to be "cool" and randomly hooking up with inappropriate guys and dating guys she doesn't care that much about just to fit in.

But back to you: The lying can stop. Even if you don't actually come clean about past lies, you don't have to tell any more. Just stop, and let others get to know you, see you for who you really are. You don't need lie to sound interesting or to feel like people care about you. Like I told me friend, you're not a horrible person, you just want to be cared for. It's not a lot to ask for, but it's easier to get when you're honest.

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I MET A VERY SMART, KIND MA... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2008 8:09 PM | Posted by kathy: | Reply

I MET A VERY SMART, KIND MAN A YEAR AGO, HE IS A THERAPIST THAT WORKS WITH ME AT THE HOSPITAL . MY BROTHER COMMITED SUCIDE LAST YEAR, THAT'S HOW I MET HIM. HE TOLD ME HE WAS GOING THRU A BAD DIVORCE BECAUSE HE WANTED CHILDREN AND HIS WIFE DIDN'T. HE TOLD ME HE WANTED CHILDREN. THAT HE WENT TO A COLLEGE IN TEXAS,WHERE HIS PARENTS LIVED ON A HUGE RANCH. HE SAID HE SPENT TIME WITH THE HOMELESS KIDS IN ATLANTA, AND THAT ONE KID DIED OF CANCER WHILE HE SAT WITH HIM FOR DAYS. I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM BECAUSE HE WAS SUCH A GOOD MAN. (I THOUGHT). I ALWAYS WONDERED WHY I COULD NEVER GO TO HIS HOUSE AND HE WOULD ONLY CALL ME WHEN WE WERE AT WORK. NEVER AT NIGHT . I FOUND OUT THROUGH A PHONE CALL I RECEIVED FROM HIS GIRLFRIEND (NOT WIFE) HE WAS NEVER MARRIED THAT HE LIVES WITH HER . HE HAS NEVER OWEND A HOUSE , HIS PARENTS ARE POOR AND LIVE DON'T LIVE IN TEXAS ON A RANCH. EVERYTHING HE EVER TOLD ME WAS A LIE. HE EVEN SAID HE HAD FIVE SISTERS!! I WOULD HEAR HIM TALK TO THEM ON THE PHONE FROM TIME TO TIME. WELL THEY DON'T EXIST EITHER. HE DOESN'T HAVE FIVE SISTERS. THIS IS SOOOO SCARY BECAUSE HE MAKES EVERYTHING SOUND SO BELIEVEABLE . TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT THE GIRLFRIEND TOOK HIM BACK. WE HAD BEEN SEEING EACHOTHER FOR ALMOST A YEAR. HE WOULD SPEND EVERY WEEKEND AT MY HOUSE . THE GIRLFRIEND SAID HE WOULD TELL HER HE WAS AT A TRAP SHOOTING CAMP OUT OF TOWN EVERY WEEKEND. IT IS VERY SAD TO ME TO KNOW THERE ARE THERAPIST WORKING WITH PEOPLE IN NEED FOR HELP WHO THEMSELVES ARE MESSED UP IN HEAD SO BADLY .

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My son is 19 and I believe ... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2008 1:37 PM | Posted by Beth: | Reply

My son is 19 and I believe a pathological liar. I am looking for help for him because I really believe that this problem is going to ruin his life. I cannot believe a word he says. He was going to a community college and just stopped going but continued to tell me he was going. I told him to apply for a job which he said he did and he never did. He lies to his girlfriend to his friends, even to his grandparents. Sometimes, like this article talks about,its about things that don't even matter. Like the other day, he told me he went to see this movie and he really liked it and I found out that the movie had not even come out yet. Also I heard him telling his friend a story about something that happened to me once and he made it be his experience down to the very detail.Why does he do it? Where can I get help for him?

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I love the way you present ... (Below threshold)

July 11, 2008 2:21 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I love the way you present the literature in understandable plain English.
I guess there is not hardcore name for big, fat, scumbag liars who lie to manipulate, steal, slander and gain power maliciously etc.

Scumbag liars is good. I suggest you put this forth as an idea. Then the rest of us actually have access to really helpful and important information ie. the victims of these liars.

Thanks again for the article. I was surprised that I was mistaken about pathological liars. They are gomers and the other, more maliscious ones are scumbags. Good to laugh at a subject that has just about disembowelled me in the past.

Bev

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Scary. I was wondering why ... (Below threshold)

July 22, 2008 10:48 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Scary. I was wondering why I had many weird-ass daydreams, or even my behavior and fantasy-like superiority complex.
Is there a cure?

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About four months ago I fou... (Below threshold)

July 22, 2008 11:53 PM | Posted by Rita: | Reply

About four months ago I found out that I had been in love with a pathological liar for 10 years. We've been married for seven years and are now getting a divorce. What's wrong with me that it took me ten years to figure it out.

He tells lies to get sympathy, money, drugs, out of trouble, into peoples lives, and sometimes for no apparent reason. We have two children and I believe that the only reason he spends time with them is because they make him feel good about himself. I worry about them when they are with him. A year ago our son was sick with a cold. My husband came home from work and saw this. Then he said that someone at work had a daughter that had meninghitis. At the time my husband had a pain medication addiction. We took our son straight to the emergency room. Apparently the only way to test for meninghitis is a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. My son endured two attempts at this before the doctor said that he should be transfered to a children's hospital. We got there and got him settled in his room and then my husband started telling the doctor about his pain from a car accident he had had two years earlier. The doctor said that he would write him a prescription. The next day our son had more blood drawn for tests. It was just a cold. Later I found out that he lied about the meninghitis, but I don't know for sure if it was all planned to get more pain medicine.

He also cheated on me with a woman that caught on to his lies much faster than I did. He told her that I had left him and the kids and that our son had cancer. Apparently she gave him money. She also has a son. Her son, it seems got attatched to him.

These are just the worst of the lies he has told. I was a naive person until all of this. I really didn't know that people like this were so numerous.

Should I be scared? What should I do?

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Clearly you've met my ex-hu... (Below threshold)

July 24, 2008 1:44 PM | Posted by Em: | Reply

Clearly you've met my ex-husband.

In all seriousness, thank you for the very interesting and entertaining read.

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A true pathological liar ra... (Below threshold)

July 30, 2008 9:08 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A true pathological liar rarely gets caught... most of you or have experience people who are complusive liars. People who lie,but makes no damn sense. A pathological liar does not believe his or her own lies or has some scho fantasy disorder type bs listed. Its merely a person who can think quicker and more complex then a regular person. A person who can read people easliy. Someone who has a higher EQ, verbal IQ and maybe IQ in general. So this bs about you know someone etc etc and your tired of it, your just dealling with someone who makes up shit then tells you out of habit. Pathological liars don't realize at first that there going into a lie until they are in the middle of telling it or are done. They lack the remorse and feel little guilt if any from lieing because of the way their brains are designed, more white matter means the ability to think and reason better, less grey matter not feeling guilt for doing it.
There the exact opposite of an austic person who finds lieing practicly impossible. You know how i know all this... because ive been a pathological liar since i was 6 years old and im now 28... Im not known for this or ever have been known, course if i were accused Im so good with words being that i have a higher verbal IQ that id just get out of it. So you probably know a pathological liar just not the one you think is one.

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Why do all of the pathologi... (Below threshold)

July 31, 2008 12:02 AM | Posted by Rita: | Reply

Why do all of the pathological liars that have posted comments on this site spell "lying" wrong? It's not lieing. It's strange. My soon to be ex-husband does it too.

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Yikes!! May want to read up... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2008 7:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Olyveoil's comment, by Angelbaby: | Reply

Yikes!! May want to read up on the Casey Anthony/Caylee Anthony case... Good Luck

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are you lying about this?</... (Below threshold)

August 12, 2008 10:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Murphy's comment, by nic: | Reply

are you lying about this?

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True pathological liars don... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2008 11:15 PM | Posted by Kristin: | Reply

True pathological liars don't usually get past me regardless. They may from time to time when they lie about things that seem a tad normal, but they get caught when they make mistakes in story lines, or lie about things that obviously most of them do, knowing certain people or stories that they change around because they are too impulsive to remember the last time they said this.

Just know you have to be more observant and remember they need you to buy into the bullshit, just tell them you think they are lying, I do always, later on they eventually would be honest. If you don't play their game they are forced to admit to their lies.

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My daughter failed out of c... (Below threshold)

August 29, 2008 12:23 AM | Posted by LoriE: | Reply

My daughter failed out of communtiy college, came home for Christmas, but didn't tell us until we got her grades in the mail. She had been telling us she was doing so well in Psychology that she had a B+ and didn't need to take the midterm.

She was on the rap dance team, the only white girl. Was getting a special outfit and hair done for the big competition at the teen nightclub, everyone was going to be there to see her dance. She saw some of these people there and told me all about it - never happened.

Stole all my gold jewelry, sold her computer (told us she'd given it to her boyfriend) was living with boyfriend for months, not a word from her, we were frantic, then she reappeared for Christmas - to get her presents no doubt.

Was home since Christmas - said she broke up with boyfriend, had me drop her off at a nearby apt. but didn't want me to watch her go in, finally admitted that she was seeing the old boyfriend again.

Took my gas card and let people fill up - they gave her the cash.

She is a beautiful girl, had learning disabilities in high school and I think she does a lot of this to make herself feel important. She is very verbal, surpised the teachers when they saw her test results, low iq.

She stole $300 out of my purse, we had changed the locks on our front door, office & bedroom to keep her out, I found she had a set of those keys. When I confronted her with the money theft, she moved out -- I believe she took the money for th esecurity deposit on an apt. with a friend - gosh, I'm actually relieved that she's gone, but wonder if I should warn the friend to watch her stuff!

She had numerous traffic tickets which she ignored, one day she called me to say they were towing my car away, turns out she's charged with a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license. we had to get an attorney, she gave us $200, but now stole back $300. I'm really worried about her, twice she's been picked up by police for being in a bad part of town, they've called us to come get her, she looks younger than her age and all innocent.

Says she's doing fine at work, practically runs the store, can't help but wonder what they really think of her, but grateful that she has a job!

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It was sad and funny at the... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2008 1:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Ben's comment, by Jennifer: | Reply

It was sad and funny at the same time to read your statements...all of them familiar. You are right, it can be pretty entertaining fun, but I am stuck in a relationship w/ one and I have developed very strong feelings for someone I constantly have to question. It hurts to find out he wasn't a "certified electrician" or all those times he called me on his "lunch hour" he didn't even have a job. Of course it makes me question everything he has ever said. Unfortunately his siblings lie often, too, but for some reason I can tell when they are. Robert is very good except for his alcohol/drug-induced moments where he tells me outlandish ones (for example: Told me that his dad shot himself in the head by accident and may be dead. I didn't believe him and the next day I learned that his dad hurt himself w/ a knife by accident.) I have learned of so many lies now and am still counting. Unfortunately, I am at a point where I don't know if I can live w/ that anymore.

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I feel for you, I really do... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2008 1:59 PM | Posted, in reply to Rita's comment, by Jennifer: | Reply

I feel for you, I really do. It's a horrible feeling to find out all the lies that your loved one told you and it makes you question everything. It makes you feel like a fool. It's very scary to me so I know where you're comin from. Robert has lied to get drugs before, too.

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The reason I found this blo... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2008 2:59 PM | Posted by Michael Shaw: | Reply

The reason I found this blog is because Casey Anthony's (you know...Where is Caylee?)lying has piqued my interest. This lying thing... Reading all these stories has been interesting. It's so amazing to me how people could live the life of a liar. The grey matter/white matter thing...low esteem...learned behavior from parents and friends etc. I've seen this in a step son I once had. His lying became so bad...he would lie to just to lie (also steal, cut school etc). Anything he said...just lies. He would lie and stick to his lies and if caught, he would only give in under extreme punishment. It got so you could not believe a word he said...not one! Finally because of his behavior I got a divorce...solely because of this kid...sad but true. I knew if things went on I'd eventually beat the crap out of him and lose my retirement.
It still amazes me about lying...I guess the only thing you can do is spot them and then disassociate with them. If they're an asset to know, then gain from that and then...move on/disassociate as much as possible...even if they are a relative!...also, never give them any money. And... they will probably try to continue to snow you...just walk off/hang up.
They might try to find a soft button in you...don't buy it! It's so sad that there are people like this.
So...check peoples stories...because there are liars out there...don't be naive. A friend once said "Believe 1/10 of what you hear and 1/2 of what you see" Hmmm maybe he's right.

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Thank you so much for your ... (Below threshold)

October 5, 2008 7:48 AM | Posted by Abraham Stubenhaus: | Reply

Thank you so much for your refreshingly honest and open look at the narcissistic, manipulative, powerless (and therefore powerful wannabes) liars, who decided to live their fake, soap-opera lives in the deep dark depths of evil and falsehood.
I enjoyed reading much of what you accurately described!
Thank you again,
Abraham

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I've seen several posts her... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2008 11:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I've seen several posts here asking for advice on how to deal with a pathological liar. The reason why there's hasn't been much, if any replies on how to deal with them is because you CAN'T! Impossible!

My 19 yr old stepdaughter is someone whom I would definitely say is a pathological liar. Nearly every phrase she utters is just a complete, pointless lie. It's interfered in her life, my family life, not to mention her father's life (my husband). She's sucked us dry for every single penny of savings we have. She has a 7 month old baby girl, and she uses her baby as leverage with my husband so he'll dish out more money to her. Every person outside of the family she meets probably thinks we're monsters as she presents the entire family, including her siblings, as abusive and intolerant. NOT! She's been living with us since she was 9 and I damn well she wasn't abused, neglected or unloved. She definitely was. She's attractive and smart. And the most prolific liar I've ever met in my life.

There is absolutely no way to deal with habitual liars other than to walk away. Shrug off as much as you can and keep all contact to a minimum. Confronting them really doesn't do any good, as they'll continue to lie, or twist things around to such an extent that in the end, you'll be the one to feel like the crazy one. Or, they'll get verbally or physically abusive. There is no "dealing" with them.

In the end, I think that knowing her has made me a better person, though. I realise that all people lie "sometimes". I rarely, if ever even tell a white lie anymore. I can't stand the thought of lying after knowing her and the detrimental effects she's had on this entire family. And I'm also getting quite good at spotting other liars as well. Ok... I've learned enough from that girl. I wish I could just get her out of our lives now.

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After reading my typo's in ... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2008 11:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

After reading my typo's in my last post... it was meant to say she "definitely wasn't" in reference to abuse or neglect.

I was fired up as you can tell :P

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Do not give money to a path... (Below threshold)

November 26, 2008 3:18 AM | Posted by Tom: | Reply

Do not give money to a pathological liar EVER if you want to get it back.

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I am a Pathological Liar. I... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2008 12:05 PM | Posted by Manda: | Reply

I am a Pathological Liar. I don't know why I do it, I just do. I recently hurt my family and my friends. I can lie on the spot without it even making perfect sense. But, it does make sense to me. I didn't even know I had a problem until recently. My mom confronted me about it, and I agree with her. I've done a lot of research on it but their really isn't anything to go on; as in how to help. I don't need to do it and people have told me to just 'stop' but it really is harder than that. I'm a pretty girl who has had lots of friends, without having to lie but I usually lose them once I start with the lies. I've had a good life and I really can't understand for the life of me why I would want it to seem like I didn't. I have now had it opened to me of what I am and how I'm affecting people, I need help. If anyone has any advice or websites please help.

Help please.

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Artists use lies to tell th... (Below threshold)

January 6, 2009 2:47 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Artists use lies to tell the truth…

…while politicians use them to cover the truth up.

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Well...I'm 19 years old and... (Below threshold)

January 12, 2009 10:39 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well...I'm 19 years old and I was actually previously engaged to a pathological liar. We were together for a year and then he proposed to me. I was truly in love with this man and because of that it took a life altering experience with him for me to start seeing him for the liar that he was. He's completely destroyed my faith in love and relationships and I don't think that I can ever trust another man again like I trusted him. His lies were just soo...I really don't even know how to explain it actually. His life...well our life...turned into something like a movie plot or a action TV show, something like that. It was completely ridiculous and I don't even know how I was so blind the whole time. He walked right over me, dodging all kinds of bullets, making up stuff for not reason...creating groups of friends that he never had, illnesses that only old women would have, a career on the fast track (all while he's still in college??), crazy things regarding the military, FBI and CIA...

Most of these lies started fairly late in the relationship when he had already gained all of my trust. I'm having such a hard time coping with this and moving on....I don't know what I'm going to do. My advice to everyone else is to really make yourself notice the signs before this happens to you. Trust your instincts and your own mind.

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I have been dating a man fo... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2009 9:19 PM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

I have been dating a man for about a year who said he lives in another state that is thousands of miles away. He was in my loction for business and was us here about twice a week. He wanted to form a relationship rather quickly which I found was a little odd but charmed me and I went for it full force. He had very extravagent stories to tell and seemed a little dangerous but I found it very exciting. This should have been a sign but I seem attracted to the wrong type of guys. The other sign was that every time we planned a vacation at his home, something would come up. About 10 months into the relationship I found out that he lived literally 16 miles from me with another woman. Very charming man who met my parents and we were all fooled. Everything was a lie. Even details that didn't even matter. After I found out, I ended it but he someone lied his way back into my arms. Once we were back together, the lies continued until I couldn't take it any more. Now, we have been apart for one week and he continues to call me. I just tell him that it's not just the fact that I can't trust his infidelties but I can't trust anything about him. He tell me that I am making a big mistake and I just say that I know because there is no sense in arguing with someone like this. He uses my work to contact me I have no way of avoiding his calls. I think he is a sociopath and only hope that things can calm down.

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is it genetic? i see one sp... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2009 9:59 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

is it genetic? i see one specific race that they're a pro to it. do they do it too to destroy somebody out of jealousy or insecurity?

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Yeah man. Doesn't make you ... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2009 5:24 PM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yeah man. Doesn't make you feel good though, ey? Suicide? Nah. It hurts too much!!

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It's funny how I feel exact... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2009 12:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Lindsey Carson: | Reply

It's funny how I feel exactly the way you do. I'm in major trouble right now, and I serisouly at the worst point in my life. I've lied to my best friends for over a year and now everyone is starting to doubt my lies. At first, I was shocked that these friends, who knew my pain and feeling throughout this whole thing, doubted me. But now I'm calming down a little and deciding on telling them the truth. I know there will be questions, and I will probably not answer them because I'll be too embarassed. Before this, I had decided to tell them and the others the truth, but still have this feeling that it was not a lie. I don't know what I'm doing. I think writing this out will help me understand myself and what really has been going on.

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I agree that some pathologi... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2009 10:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Liz: | Reply

I agree that some pathological liars will not be caught...it's impossible to know when they are lying. But there are subtle ways in which you know, usually they just twist the truth, they tell things or "forget" details of something but by doing so the truth is altered, so they tell you they haven't had sex in 3 weeks, for example, but they don't tell you they had sex that morning. When finally THEY tell the truth, you cannot find out by yourself, but they will tell you becuase they want to be punished or want to gain something by confusing the facts, they will say that when they said the past 3 weeks they did not count today.
Patholical liars are also sociopaths, and they can't stop the lie, it just comes out of their mouth. I lived with one for 3 yrs until he confessed on lying because he wanted out of the realtionship. I guess I was the lucky one. Even if it hurts at least I know he lied, and my suspicions where true...or was he lying when he confessed?
Who knows? but one of the versions of what he said, did, felt is a lie.
What to do? Run as fast as you can, you cannot help them, (no one can, they lie to their doctors too) and if you let them they'll confuse all senses out of you.
Liz

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I am a liar and I can't hel... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Posted by Moshay McLean: | Reply

I am a liar and I can't help it. I Get others in serious trouble from lieing I need help.

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I think u forgot about the ... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2009 9:11 PM | Posted by Sonia: | Reply

I think u forgot about the part how they exaggerate a lot. Other than that its was excellent keep it up!


P.S. thanks for the info because for some reason while i was reading this it reminded me, how i always tell wacko stories that are unbelievable. At least thats what people are telling me.

Do u believe me? It's true!

Example: An 18 year-old girl was driving and she ended up flipping the car and got it set on fire, because of the gas, while she was in the car. And she survived with horrid burns.

It's TRUE, but nobody believes me, do u?

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hello... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2009 1:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

hello

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Can a pathological liar cha... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2009 4:12 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Can a pathological liar change is ways? An 85 year old man named pierre holds a resonisble teaching postistion in the JC in SOCAL. Lying is a way of life for him. He recently go caught in a web of lies and says he much no become monogamous. Is it possible for someone who is unable to trust others and truthful to then change? Just curious

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Dear all,I've... (Below threshold)

April 16, 2009 4:46 AM | Posted by pen: | Reply


Dear all,
I've recently broken up with a woman who is a pathological liar. It is difficult to express how traumatized one feels by the experience. Letting someone into your life is such a wonderful experience and to find that it is based on a mirage is very painful. It is a form of violation. Unlike healthy people, they risk nothing when they have relationships because they don't expose who they really are.

The embarrassing thing is that I'm a trainee psychiatrist and didn't initially pick up on her subtle inconsistencies. One of the reasons I missed it was because she had friends supporting her who did not warn me of her problems. They seem to have problems themselves, otherwise they would not count her as a friend. I can forgive myself now for not seeing her for who she was, because it is normal and healthy to trust others. Thankfully I found out before any serious damage was done. She had only moved in with me very briefly but I was considering proposing and we even discussed having children.

There are many labels for these people including "pathological liars". An older term is psychopath. Currently the DSM classification label would be a personality disorder or factitious disorder or malingering. The personality disorders they most resemble include narcissistic, borderline or antisocial personality disorder. These conditions emerge in the context of severe emotional deprivation during early development. They learn to manipulate people around them to achieve their needs. They find it very difficult to show or get in touch with vulnerable aspects of themselves. This is because when they were vulnerable as children and infants, they were neglected. As a consequence they find it difficult to tolerate vulnerability in others and show little empathy or remorse for their behavior.

Treatment is dependent on whether the illness is distressing to these people. For some, long-term psychotherapy can be of use, but it tends not to work because it involves opening up in a truthful way to a psychotherapist. Because the deficit is one of truthfulness, they rarely improve. Some of the people who have told their stories here seem to have some insight into their condition and manage to simply stop what they are doing. I think this is the exception rather than the rule. Most of these people end up leaving a trail of destruction behind them or end up in the criminal justice system.

I have chosen to leave my partner because even if she confessed to all her lies I would eternally be looking over my shoulder. Such a relationship is asymmetrical, much like an parent-child relationship. It is not a mature attachment and for that reason I am leaving. I would be concerned if I wanted to stay because it would indicate that I was somehow trying to "save" her from herself. Only they can help themselves and perhaps loss of a relationship might motivate them to change.

Thanks to all for posting their experiences and to "Alone" for hosting this dialogue.

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I married a pathological li... (Below threshold)

April 16, 2009 6:09 AM | Posted, in reply to MissLynne's comment, by Jan: | Reply

I married a pathological liar. I am now divorcing him. He is a sociopath and has all the traits of the sociopath. He also has a Doctorate, has his own successful business and his well respected in his field of work.

How do I now beat this liar in court when he has the massive advantage of being able to lie without conscience. His latest Affidavit does not contain any truth at all. He has also threatened to tell Social Services I am a bad mum and threatened to get sole custody of our two children. He has made false allegations to the Police about me. Luckily I talk, and have not kept any of what has been happening to myself. I have amazing friends who have stood by me and are supporting me now. Social Services have made their assessment and so have the Police. The Police believe that I am a victim of domestic abuse. This was both upsetting and a massive relief to me.

I have a non-molestation/occupational order against him at the moment, but on 8th May he is taking it back to court to appeal. If he wins, he will be allowed back into the family home. He is manipulative and controlling and I have been through therapy and read self help books and I am starting to re-build my life.

Living with any kind of liar is very damaging to your health, I would expect that anyone who can lie so easily and without remorse also has other problems and disorders.

We once filled in a medical questionnaire on the internet, which I made him fill out truthfully and helped him with the answers. At the end of the questionnaire, the result was that anti-social personality disorder, which is another name for the sociopath. He agreed to see a psychiatrist but only if I agreed to stay with him. He said I had to stay with him because he had an illness.

In the past he has threatened suicide several times and gets very depressed and makes you feel sorry for him. The suicide threats never really worked on me but the tears always did. He would always apologise and promise things would improve and that he would change. I lived in hope for years that he would change and the life that he promised me would materialise. I always made excuses for how things were, the main one being stress of work.

He has had affairs right the way through the relationship. It wasn't until one stuck and became so obvious I could not longer deny it to myself that I challenged him, followed him and would not let it drop. That is when the lies became so obvious. He would lie on top of a lie. He didn't just lie about the affair, he lied compulsively about things that didn't even matter, and he was very convincing. So convincing that at times I thought it was me that was crazy. That is what these people do, even when the evidence is there and you know the truth, they will make you doubt it and believe their lies. Unless you are emotionally involved with this person you cannot appreciate how you can be taken in by them so easily.

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So I have been reading all ... (Below threshold)

May 10, 2009 12:00 AM | Posted by Me: | Reply

So I have been reading all the comments here. I wanted to share my own experience. I -by your definition only- am a pathological liar. However I have never had an issue with it, like you mentioned, my lies are spontaneous and I believe them. I thought about them the other day and tried to write down all my 'ongoing' lies. It's funny, I have perfect memory of who I have told what lie. I also never 'look to the ceiling' when lying. I don't show any difference in body language or affect when lying. I am currently in school for my PsyD and spend most of my time interviewing and or researching anti-social personality disorders. As a result I am constantly around lying and my clients are highly adept at detecting lies, my peers are even trained in lie detection, none of them even suspect me of lying. (as a side note to the person mentioning multiple personality disorder, please be up to date on your info, there is no such disorder, it has been refined and reclassified as Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID) and is a rare condition that only a mental health professional can diagnosis correctly. They also wouldn't be liars, at least the core personality wouldn't be, as the core has no knowledge of the alters until they are told about them)
I think it is important to know that not all liars destroy their lives or the lives of those around them. My lies provide me nothing obvious, most are simple, such as if I am telling a story about a girl in a pink shirt, I might say it was a red shirt. The real reason I lie is do to a desire to remain untouchable. I have been hurt in life and therefore I am very careful who I tell what. I have different people in my life I trust with different things, but never all of it with just one of them. It's a defense mechanism that serves it's purpose well. Don't be fooled that defense mechanisms are destructive. They only are destructive when they become maladaptive.
-steps down off soapbox-

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Like the last commenter, I ... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2009 2:43 AM | Posted by joe: | Reply

Like the last commenter, I am also a pathological liar. this article is dead on. but some of the commenters might be judging pathological liars a little too harshly. Like don't lend them money? These must be extreme cases. i guess maybe mine is less severe than other cases.

I have extremely good credit for my age, and I have paid everyone back that I have ever owed, as far as i know. I still make strong connections with friends, and people, but i guess because most of my lies are small lies, and they are used to try and build up relationships (kind of ironic) that i don't feel guilty about them. I guess what scares me the most is that if i ever did reveal it to some of my friends, how would anyone ever believe anything i said.

I am being careful now, not to lie to anyone, but its a part of me. i don't think about it. I will just be talking and insert several lies if i am not consciously thinking, do not lie. I don't literally believe my lies, but like the last paragraph said, i learn enough about a subject before spouting out a lie about it, and anyone that i know exceeds my intelligence in that subject, i wont reveal that lie to.

This is like some sort of disease, an ongoing battle, one that requires constant effort. don't feel bad for pathological liars, it is learned and practiced behavior, but don't go so far as to feel that we are without a soul.

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You're the type of scum tha... (Below threshold)

July 24, 2009 12:22 AM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You're the type of scum that is tortured and the torturer. People like you ruin lives and don't deserve to consume others in the malicious rollercoaster of your endless scams. You deserve to be exposed and removed from society, you will eventually meet the reciprocity of your own karma, and you will fall into the trap you've set for others.

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WOW.....just broke up with ... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2009 9:11 PM | Posted by Dana: | Reply

WOW.....just broke up with a "pathological" liar, or whatever he is. So many comments I have read hit the nail on the head: I do think this man believes his own stories, until caught. He told everyone at work last May that his mother died. Before that, it was his baby boy that was just born had died, and his 'lady friend' (another word for girlfriend) committed suicide, leaving behind two little ones that "no one else wanted, so I am adopting them myself"....all lies. I had just gotten a great job with a local college, just before the lay off where we had worked together, and before I could finish telling him about it, he also "had a new wonderful job/dream job"....also turned out to be a lie. He said he owned a timeshare in Park City, Utah. Lie. He said his children were at the house he was staying ALL summer long...(I had not a chance to get out there, was a bit away)...his friend's dad, which owns the place, said "He NEVER had any of his kids (from his two past wives) here at my house, NEVER!" This ex boyfriend also would be "talking to his kids" while on the phone with me....his "pretend kids" that were not really there. He really played out everything, actually talking to air, now I know. MIND blowing when you find out how someone had deceived you; I trusted him...sure, looking back, there were some tell-tail signs, but I was always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was in love with his sense of humor, how he could talk about anything, and with ease. Lots of practice he must have had! He always talked about his deceased father (yes, he was actually dead), how 'grandeur' his father was; how he came into a room and commanded respect....the 'men around my father that worked for him...surrounded him, trusted each other" yadda yadda yadda....and this ex of mine always tried to make himself like his deal old dad...."I am surrounded by many good, trusted friends that work for me"....like he is some Mafia boss, or I should say a German mafia boss...something like that. He said he is Mormon...yadda yadda yadda......but not Morman....yadda yadda yadda. I could go on.

Some of the stories in this blog made me laugh...with some sadness to them, and how I don't feel 'stupid'...I am not the only one that got caught up in the lies and deception of someone I had trusted.

My question: How do I spot a problem person with this personality disorder in the future, before it gets ugly??? I guess I'd better trust my instincts...but do not want to be hardened by this Giant Ass Hole that has caused me problems.

Thanks for sharing, everyone....helpful insight. Thanks to the Doctors that have posted also. Very good article and posts.

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Forgive me for sounding lik... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2009 10:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Dana's comment, by acute_mania: | Reply

Forgive me for sounding like a shrink, but from your description, it sounds like you suspected the whole time that he was full of shit, and for that reason were careful not to bring up subjects you thought he was lying about because you liked this guy, you were comfortable with the relationship, and you really didn't want things to get ugly.

If you in fact had no idea that he was full he shit, you'd be less careful about the subjects you brought up with him and his friends/colleagues/acquaintances. Inconsistencies would be popping up all over the place and you'd figure out that this guy was a real nutjob sooner rather than later.

So the way to go about this is to act totally gullible about whosever bullshit and talk about it very casually as opposed to walking on eggshells.

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Hell acute..... ... (Below threshold)

September 19, 2009 7:55 PM | Posted, in reply to acute_mania's comment, by Dana: | Reply

Hell acute.....

You are pretty right on with the comment about me being 'careful' about the subjects I'd bring up! I do have to tell you, I actually heard children in the background while on conversations with him, when he was 'at home'...or out sometimes. YES...he really took the lies far. The kid's voices? Maybe he called when he was around children, I just don't know for sure. Several other people were fooled by him also, and who knows countless others from the past and will be taken in the future. It's just a bit easier now, looking back, how some of the lies fit/don't fit...the longer I have been away from this sicko, the more CLEAR other things that I recall, seem to fit his lying pattern. Hindsight I guess.

I did do a background check on him, and all the properties he had lived in, the cities he lived in, were right on the money, just not the time-share, but I was not sure if those show up since they are fractional ownership. I could be wrong. Same with family names, he was telling the truth about them. No criminal records came up...so I thought I was doing it 'right'. He lied about some pretty stupid stuff, as sounds like many that are sick like this do; some critical, some just plain stupid and no reason to lie. He obviously is a very insecure man, lives in lala land.

I am glad it was not a long relationship, just a couple of months. Whew. So remember, even criminal/real estate/credit background checks may still not tell all!!!

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Personally, I sometimes lie... (Below threshold)

September 21, 2009 10:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Personally, I sometimes lie just to keep in practice.

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I am a pathological liar. I... (Below threshold)

September 24, 2009 4:08 AM | Posted by Candie: | Reply

I am a pathological liar. I lie to my boyfriend for 1 and a half years. I lie that i graduate from a prestigious university. I lie that my sister has passed away. I lie that i work in a prestigious media station and earn a high pay. I lie that i once reside in hong kong. I lied that i have many friends. I lied that i have $20k in my bank account. I lied that i am learning driving to improve mself. I lied that i take up yoga classes. I lied that i take up english courses to improve my english. I lied my tone of voice and slang my english when i am with him, and only him. I lied that my real mother is my step mother. I lied about my weight. I lied and lied till the stage whereby i want to leave him. I am trapped in my own lies. I dont graduate from a good university, in fact, i am only a diploma holder. I dont have any sister that pass away. I have never reside in hong kong and i dont slang my english at all when im not with him. I dont have a single savings in my bank account. I have no job at all. My real mum is my real mum. I dont drive and i dont take up english classes at all. I do nothing for a living. just laying back and relaxing at home. I dont have a single friend at all. Sounds so pathetic. I am lonely and i am a pathological liar. But i dont know how to break the truth about myself to him. He claims that he loves me alot and does not want to lose me. I tried many attempts to want to break off with him. but he comes back crying to me and asking me to stay. i did. but my guilt is eating me up. but it is so hard for me to admit to it. i think even if i dont wish to admit to my lies, i MUST STOP IT. and I MUST LEAVE HIM. i want to be fair to him, so that he finds someone better. i am sorry.

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Are you sure you aren't des... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2009 1:35 PM | Posted by CG: | Reply

Are you sure you aren't describing my Mother??? This is her to a tee. I just got the results of her psychological test -- and she actually LIED on the background information - work, family, etc.....
When she was in the hospital a few years ago, a doctor told me she has "white matter disease". I've told other doctors and nurses this, and they said they have never heard of it. The doctor that told me said she is unable to make financial decisions, etc. Isn't that the truth! Now she's in a different state - with a different sibling - putting us all through this crazy lying hell.

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so im new at this school . ... (Below threshold)

October 17, 2009 6:40 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

so im new at this school . on my first day of school i met a guy (it was his first day)(i later find out it was just the first day in THAT class)who said he was from my hometown and we talked about it for some time he seamed like he knoew alot. About the schools the motocross are's even the skate parks. then the next week i found he was making it all up!i recall him telling me a few other things. how do i know if he's lying everything he says is realistic but for no reason at all!

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I dealt with one pathologic... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2009 2:58 PM | Posted by sarah: | Reply

I dealt with one pathological liar in my past, my x-fiancé.
And I currently deal with my boyfriend (who I keep breaking up with because I can't take it).
My x-fiancé lied about big and small things. Much of his lying appeared to be about making himself appear "bigger" and "more important" in the World. It was sad that he didn't know he had vale just as he was.
The ultimate was telling me that he worked for a man who'd been a commander in Vietnam. My x's job was as a hired hit man who killed former U.S. soldiers who survived Vietnam by doing unspeakable deeds to the men under their own command. He also told a story of how he almost lost his foot, (again, in Vietnam) while going in after the war to set off unexploded bombs or something for EOD (explosives ordinance disposal.) Supposedly his foot got caught in a bear-like trap and he almost lost it. Such a colorful story. Turns out he almost lost his foot (which was true) trying to hang a tree swing for his kids in his x-wife's back yard many years earlier. Now THAT, the true story, would have been sweet and more than enough just as it was. He was able to get jobs lying. He worked as a mental health/therapist for, guess what, Vietnam vets, though he had no degree or license in counseling. This was years ago and I know he couldn't pass on by in that capacity on mere lies now.

My current situation involves my so-called boyfriend who I am trying to stay done with. His lies are not about being grandiose. And in fact, he is bothered by that type of lying. He lies about just about anything. I am not sure if he always knows he's lying, or if he only sometimes knows it.
He always adjusts the truth with each person he is with to say exactly what it is he believes that person wants to here.
There are lies I have confronted him on...and lies I am fully aware of that I just ignore. At this point I am beyond caring any more except in the ways he has been mad at me for calling him out on lies and he has tried to hurt me for it socially. An example of a lie: He's a pretty successful artist with a fan club following. Many women are in love with the artist and think they would love the man. So they send him pictures of themselves, flirt incessantly as does he, and many want to meet him in person, either with their own husbands just as genuine fans, or by themselves, hoping for more. Well, a while back one of these single-type women had a huge crush on the artist and wanted to meet him in person. Unknown to me at the time, he invited her to MY house to come pose for her portrait in person (I am 98% of the time the model for all the women's portraits). He did so behind my back and set it up while I was at work. I found out before the event and called him out on it., He had done the setting up on my own computer, idiot. Any way, he claimed it was nothing, and that the ONLY reason he did so was because I have an electric guitar that is just like the one the woman wanted in her portrait and he couldn't simply ask me if he could borrow my guitar for her portrait as I would have for sure said No he couldn't use it. Huh? I'm really not sure how this leads to inviting another woman to my home while I'm at work. Believe it or not, I have since met this woman, who apologized profusely and genuinely for her part in things. She really was just a crushed out fan who meant no ill, seriously. However, the artist/so-called boyfriend knew exactly what he was doing. (Oh, turns out he was un-attracted to her after-all.)
But lies also include things like tape-recording a phone conversation between me and my best friend, and when I saw a suspicious tape and asking him about it, (I had thought I heard him on the other line) telling me the tape had "girl bands" on it. I asked "what girl bands." "Oh, I don't remember." "But you always know the names of bands you record." I left the room, came back, the tape was missing. I asked about it. "What? What tape. There was never a tape. You are imagining things." Of course I found the imaginary tape, played it, and heard my phone conversation with my friend on it. Not only that, he confessed to playing it for his best friend and her boyfriend, but then claimed the tape quality was so bad they couldn't actually here the tape. Uh, I could here it fine. The conversation, btw, me crying after he had flown off the handle suddenly and called me a F-ing B. I didn't know why or where it came from so suddenly and angrily and it freaked me out.
Any way, sorry for the ramble. This is my first ever sharing about these things. I am glad to find a site that lets me know I am not alone.
A friend told me his lying is a part of his overall addictions, porn, nude pictures from female art clients, etc....and that unless he gets help he will never change.
He gets mad at me that I no longer believe pretty much anything he says, or that I consider he might be lying. He seems genuinely shocked, which makes me more confused. I tell him that at this point I assume most of what he says is a lie and that somewhere in those lies are kernals of truth but that I can't spend more precious life energy trying to sort these things out. I'm a full time grad student and working. He stays at home all day and does art and manipulates women on the internet to fall head over heals for him and think he's King of the Universe. In the mean-time, his best friend (x GF from many years ago) is his watch-dog bull dog who hates my guts and will defend him tooth and nail....I don't know if she doesn't know what a liar he is and has been completely conned by him, or if she doesn't care. But she spends her time making rude comments about me on the internet. I ignore her and them all and treat her like she doesn't exist, which seems to agitate her even more.)
Wow, I am so out of this "relationship," really.

Guess I just want to have a clue what kind of liar I have been dealing with all these years. Bottom line, he always has to come out looking good and right. I have to appear wrong and crazy. And when he tries to shmooze me back over, or any one else, he says exactly what it is he thinks the person wants to here.
The "right" answer isn't the truth...it's to figure out what you the individual wants him to say, and to say it.
Oh yeh, and lies are about small things too, like "Is that my cereal?" in his bowl. "No, it's mine." And I take a bite and it's clearly mine. "Oh, I thought it was mine."

And yeh, confronted about a lie he, either gets very angry, but often just smoothly changes the story so I must have just misunderstood, or changes what he had intended. But no matter, I am the bad guy, or the misinformed guy, or over-reacting as that's not what he meant or was going to do, etc...

What is the scariest thing to me is that his lying is seamless. I see no physical "tells." No odd-body movements, no voice quavering, nothing, that might indicate he's lying. And his tongue is quick. He can make his lies up ready to order on the spot in a flash without hesitation. I am sure he would pass any polygraph.

So, what kind of liar is begging for me to let him back into my den?

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

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thinking is flawed here, so... (Below threshold)

December 8, 2009 7:10 PM | Posted by Surek Prakash: | Reply

thinking is flawed here, sorry but i dont agree

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Ok I have been living with ... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2010 12:18 AM | Posted by duronimo: | Reply

Ok I have been living with a liar be it pathologiacl or not. I am confused now. i had hiom nailed as a narsaccist personality disorder. What ever it is he kept me in the dark for years. I now am looking back daily and trying to work out why he so disrespected me to tell such crap. He uses death as a feature. His wife died of cancer...his baby died and was buried in a white coffin....his birth mother died giving birth and his Dad shot himself. Its all fantasy. However he also says that he broke his back in the USA and that he visited Thailand alone, he didnt he went with me. Yuk its nasty. he has lost a lot of friends here but has taken off cos it was all catching up with him. Now he has started on someoneone else, guaranteed.

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No - this is an etymology, ... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2010 7:25 PM | Posted by Leanne Poole: | Reply

No - this is an etymology, and a deliberate one. If there were no concerning feature to "pathological" as a constellation of characteristics, there wouldn't have arisen the term. The fact that the etymology of "pathological" is being shifted to detract from the public safety issues that have arisen from the deliberate attempt at counter-social strategy consistent to pathological psychological 'disorders' and criminal states is in fact noticeable and will impact both judgement statements, sentencing and psychiatry in general. There has never been a 'layman's term' for "pathological" other than "significantly advanced in deviant strategy", whether it describes lying, sexuality, business practices, racial bias, or any other aspect of personal social conduct. Hopefully this pathologically-motivated fudging will be exposed as the carefully groomed ass-covering 'correction' it is. Correction: pathological lying, and any other pathological behaviour is ALWAYS cause for examinations in terms, let alone societal monitoring, before 'grave' loses its impact, buddy.

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I have had a very close fri... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2010 8:46 AM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

I have had a very close friend since the age of 13 until the age of 26 who was a pathalogical liar. She has ruined the lives of 5 men (that I know of), behind their backs after sleeping with them and then going up to their best friends telling them she was raped by that friend. At the moment she is dating one of the men who she claimed has raped him. These all became clear two years ago when a common friend of ours (with whom she claimed to have a special sexual relationship for years) that we communicate once or twice a year called me up and asked me why she was being so weird to him on the phone when he called to chat or why I wasn't being as pissed off when he called out of the blue after a while. I told him that their relationship had a sexual bond, maybe that was why she was expecting more attention from him. HE HAD NO IDEA what I was talking about. They had never slept together, they were just friends as me and him were. She is harmful, really harmful to her friends and she is destroying all the relationships she has happening around her. She has turned a lot of common friends against me. She is calling up people she knew long ago who I met recently (I have no idea how she got that info) and telling them horrible things about me.
Confronting her is not a solution. I just want her to disappear from my life completely. Therefore at the moment I am running away from most of our common friends, and 13 years living in the same big city produces a lot of common friends.
It has never been harder to trust people.

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I tell u one think all poep... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Posted by Lara: | Reply

I tell u one think all poeple that lies should die for i am getting tired of lieing to i just cant go threw this i cant is there anyone that as to go threw what i have to go threw its they tell me something and it dont happen

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I was recently conned by a ... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 2:05 AM | Posted by obzerv: | Reply

I was recently conned by a pathological liar. He was my neighbor. He came to me with some story about a "family emergency" and that he was going to lose his kids. He asked to borrow money. The guy had tears in his eyes and I foolishly trusted him so I lent it to him. Within the first few days afterward I started getting suspicious because he would get caught up in his own lies. For example he would be overly nice and tell me he had a tennis racket in his apartment and that we should play sometime, and the next day he said he had to go out and buy a tennis racket so we could play. I confronted him and said I thought he had one, and then he said it was old. I asked his mom later and she said he didn't have one. This is just one example of the countless lies this guy told straight to my face. He left town and has come up with ridiculous lies for why he hasn't payed me back, from a late plane (even though he never came anyway) to a car crash. Whenever I confront him with his lies he immediately starts talking about something else. I talked to his mom and it turns out he stole from her as well, including her jewelry, flat screen tv, and her car. His mom burst into tears and told me she was going crazy and felt like she was living in a fantasy world because she didn't know what was real anymore because of her son. He also conned another neighbor in taking 300 dollars with a promise to refurnish his home, it never happened. I believe pathological liars suffer from some sort of other mental disorder usually.

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WHAT THE FUCK!!! You are fr... (Below threshold)

May 6, 2010 11:27 PM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

WHAT THE FUCK!!! You are freaking terrible!!!! I can't believe you would even have the balls to call yourself a MAN!!! phuuuuuu!!!!

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I AM THE BEST OF THE BEST W... (Below threshold)

May 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Posted by TIFFANY: | Reply

I AM THE BEST OF THE BEST WHEN IT COMES TO LYING! I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON, BUT I ALSO LOVE IT. I HAVE TOLD SO MANY EXTREMENY BIG LIES, A NORMAL PERSON WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH THEIRSELVES. I HAVE LIED TO PEOPLE THAT YOU SHOULDN'T LIE TO, LIKE THE PRIEST AT MY CHURCH. I SOMETIMES THINK THAT I MIGHT BE THE SON OF SATAN. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CAUGHT IN ANY OF MY LIES. SO ALL OF YOU THAT THINK THAT LYING IS FUN AND WORTH IT, YOU ARE RIGHT! DON'T YOU JUST LOVE GETTING WHAT YOU WANT, WITHOUT OTHER PEOPLE KNOWING HOW YOU GOT IT. I'M SO HAPPY I WAS BORN WITH THIS DISORDER, I NEVER WANT TO GET HELP!

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After reading this (among o... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2010 7:19 PM | Posted by SHANE: | Reply

After reading this (among other articles about pathological lying) I'm pretty I am one. Why? I cannot think of a person off the top of my head that I haven't lied to. All of my friends, even those that I've had since elementary school (I am in high school), are under the impression that I live an entirely different life. I have told them all that I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and I make up random crap about having to take hormones and having 'episodes' because of it. In reality, from what I know about BPD, neither of those factors is actually involved. Also, all of my friends think that I used to be apart of an entirely fictious group of friends located in Poway. When asked, "What did you do over the weekend?", I would reply with some sort of glorious annecdote about these people. I was always consitent with names and personalities for these characters. Also, I told even my best friend that I was dating around, even though that isn't true at all. I even programmed my phone so that when I texted myself, it would appear as if a different name texted me. (Also for the BPD thing, I did research about the different hormones so that I could experience side effects the next day.)

I do believe this article was correct in saying that pathological liars have no idea what is going to come out of their mouth before they say it. I don't remember how either lie orginated or with whom, but I have constructed an entire reality that all my friends believe. They think I'm this personality-disease-stricken lothario with a thriving social life. In reality, my only friends are them.

I am excellent with the actual practice of lieing. I know what I've told who...and I can see why the adjective 'manipulative' is used. My motivation most likely lays in the fact that I want to appear experienced socially/romantically, even though recently I got my first ever girlfriend (a senior, bitch!). We broke up but my less-than-truthful tendancies had nothing to do with it. My motivation for lieing about having BPD is probably a plea for attention, an excuse to act eccentric, and/or a reason for me not to be responsible for my behavior.

So...this is the first time I've ever really acknowledged any of this. I assure everyone that I realize that I'm not this person that I've fashioned myself to be in the eyes of my friends. Is this because I'm afraid of rejection? I don't know. Either way, I'm at a crossroads: I refuse to 'come out' as a pathological liar. However, I could lie about some cure for BPD (I have already staged a scenario as to why my 'other friends' no longer talk to me) and dig myself out of that.

Yet who's to say another lie about my very lifestyle itself won't take its place?

I want to see a specialist to determine if I am indeed a pathological liar, although --having written this whole thing out-- it seems pretty hard to deny. I think it will be intriguing to meet someone and not lie AT ALL to them. We'll see if I can do it, lol. As previously mentioned, I really don't think about it. I think of this person I want to be seen as and I construct it for each knew acquaintance without thinking. It's not that I believe myself to be this person...perhaps I just WISH I was and I know that I could SELL it if I had to.

Advice or comments for me? ^^;

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i want to share that i went... (Below threshold)

August 7, 2010 11:12 AM | Posted by rachel: | Reply

i want to share that i went from being a pathological liar for most of my life to being a very honest person so there IS hope for pathological liars. what turned me around (to make me become an honset person) is i grew up and i finally realized about morals and consequences. i started to believe in the words of Jesus and that i cannot lie and get away with it because there will be consequences. believe me the consequences have been terrible, all the shame i feel for lying it never leaves me. i started pathological lying as a child because i was bullied and ignored and i wanted attention so desperatly. our parents did not do a good job teaching us about morals and consequences so i resorted to lying to getting the attention i craved. even tho i lied for attention i still didn't get much. as a teenager i became very ill and have been very ill for years and the doctors do not know what exactly is wrong. so i would tell lies to my friends about what illness i had because i wanted to lie about it rather than tell them that the doctors don't know. like the article stated i grew up telling many, many pointless lies and it was just the way i was accustomed to living. i lied about things that there is no purpose to lie about. so in summary here are some things that seriously contributed to my years of pathological lying....poor parenting with a lack of clear instruction about morals and consequences, severe lack of attention, being ostracized and bullied (my schoolmates didn't like me so i try to lie to make people like me). its been about 3 years now that i've been living a clean (honest) life and i like the honest life better but the shame and humiliation of the lies i've told will haunt me till i die.

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there is a list of bullies ... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2010 9:56 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

there is a list of bullies who are pathological liars and used me for a target for a long time.. One fillipino girl is seriously in need for mental help and I recently found out after cutting my self off from them they are still trying to make connections with me, by for one harrassing my family members. I am scared. We are taking police action. All of them are really dangerous and all of them need a restraining order, there sociopaths!! This filipino girl which the only relationship i have with her is to just work with her tried to be me for months!!! stalked me at school. She and other bullies on that list told me what I was doing everyday to my face and I am traumitized!!!

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I had thought I had narciss... (Below threshold)

September 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Posted by Cody: | Reply

I had thought I had narcissism my entire life, and I may still have it. But my main problem has always been with lying. I've broken down my lies into different categories of lies which I don't consider 'lies'. Well over the last few months I've gotten caught in many of these and stopped certain categories, but now I've addressed the fact that I've broken down my lies into different types of lies, and then I stopped and admitted to lying, which despite the friction that has caused, it was the right thing to do.

It's petty shit too. I'm looking over the first few paragraphs. "Believes he's a CIA agent" oh you have no idea how many times I've basically thought I was survivor man and believed it. I'm no survivor man, I'm little more than a college student. Hell I lied and said I texted someone, which nobody cared if I texted this person or not, but I said I did when I didn't. It makes no sense why one would create this, and put the burden of the lies on others, it makes no sense why I did it, and may still do it.

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My boyfriend is like that..... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2010 8:36 PM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Kay: | Reply

My boyfriend is like that...it hurts us more to know that you guys lie. We just don't want to hurt you because we actually care about you.

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<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2010 11:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYV1QC2Xj6w

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My sister, who is 17, is a ... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2011 2:26 PM | Posted by Kelsey: | Reply

My sister, who is 17, is a pathological liar. It is terrifying how easy it is for her to lie about the most ridiculous things. She'll steal food or clothing from others in the house, and lie about it, claiming she saw others take them or it was an accident that they ended up in her possession.

She has lied about gruesome things as well. My family found letters and diaries full of claims of physical and sexual abuse from my father and brother, and physical abuse from my mother. She fell down the stairs when she was 2 from reaching for a toy and split her head open, and she wrote an entire paper when she was a sophomore about how I had actually pushed her down the stairs. She has lied about being raped. She has lied about having sexual relations with men and women. She has lied about being friends with nonexistant people. She has lied about dating people that she never did. She even wrote a letter to her best friend (at the time) about how she was moving across the country as her dying friend, who was suffering from cancer, Ana's last wish. There never was such a person.


Every time she is confronted about a lie, she becomes verbally and physically abusive. She dislocated my father's pinky, and he is a big guy and not easy to harm. She has left my mother, 13-year old sister, and I covered in bruises.

She needs mental help, but no one will do anything about it because they are all too stubborn and self-righteous to believe that anything is seriously wrong.

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we assume pathological liar... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2011 5:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

we assume pathological liars are men?

i have been living with a pathological liar for a few yrs.

she is also a narcissist, arrogant, delusional, paranoid,
aggressive, a crybaby, a constant complainer, and the other
60-70 percent of time, either laughing with her friends or sleeping...

because she was not born and raised in america, i assumed her problems were cultural.....

whatever, she treats me, the one who lives with her, like a servant, slave, criminal or cheater, doing horrific things behind her back, secretively, which she can never ever prove, because of course, they only happened in her paranoid twisted self serving imagination....

realizing she would lie at any moment to anyone took some time to discover. now, i know as long as she is not busted or thrown in jail, she will keep lying to people, and making up conspiracies plotted against her, because she is the living saint of womanhood....

pathological liars do it to overcome their fear of the truth, and because it has worked for them in advancing their interests, and because they have had a traumatizing life experience somewhere in their past that justifies using other people as they see fit to advance their goals as they define them.....

not to fear a pathological liar is typical because they usually distance themselves from most people who have no use for their games, and hence never see their entire life pattern.....

but the few that get to know them eventually learn the dark truth of how shallow and self absorbed they are......

i have tried to warn her of the dangers lurking for her if she continues being a dishonest person......i will be far away when she finally hits rock bottom. sadly, i will no longer care what happens to her. i have already become numb to her nihilistic posture.....

i will say this: she is lucky she is good looking.......and has a great smile......it fools lots of people most of the time.....

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IS THIS A SARCASTIC JOKE, O... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2011 12:32 AM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

IS THIS A SARCASTIC JOKE, OR ARE YOU SERIOUS?

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Pathos should be shot or sh... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 6:45 PM | Posted by Gina: | Reply

Pathos should be shot or shoot themselves. I know it sounds mean, but I have dealt with two and I can take no more. They will ruin your life just for loving them (no good deed goes unpunished). I don't so much have a problem with them lying, but they suck on other people like leeches. The will rather pull you down to their sewer than let you go. They will keep feeding and sucking you dry. When you wake up you need a blood transfusion. Gosh

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Totally understand the Path... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2011 10:56 PM | Posted, in reply to LoriE's comment, by mara: | Reply

Totally understand the Pathologial child situation, my son is 27 now, he lies where the true would serve better. He lied about going to college, said he was graduating and all the family gathered to watch him graduate. The day of graduation we finally found out he did even go and had dropped out a long time ago. He would even tell us about the class, let us know he was taking mid=terms etc etc, teachers names, talked about class mates I was destroyed, he had soaked me for thousands of dollars. And he had lied before about other things but this was over the top and so detailed that now I know he is just crazy and cruel. I kept thinking there was some good there and wanted to help him, but after these years and all of his lie, I have finally grown numb to him and have to protect myself from his sick world of lies. The said thing is he's charming and good looking, so he is just going to destroy some nice young girls life. He never wants me to meet his girl friends, because I think he is scared that putting two people together will out him and his lies. He's gone through a few nice girls and I think he tells them lies and uses them for money. If I do ever have the opportunity, I will warn the girls he's with. He can barely hold on to his drivers liscenses and has had them suspended more than once. He was diagniosed as ADD/ADHD in the 3rd grade and I have really tried to help him with medication and therapy through out the years. There is no drug or alcohol abuse....I sometimes with there were so at least there would be some reason for this sad behavior. I want to blame something else for his action, but it is just who he has chosen to be. I feel like I have wasted so much time and love for him and have nothing in return. Who is he? Writing on this web site is my committment to myself to move on and let him go. Like a few of the other writers, they say you have to decide the way you will let the pathological liar be involved in your life. I don't choose to have hard feelings for him because that would take to much energy. I just don't feel anything for him anymore. It's just so very very sad. I don't even know who he really is. I just know him as a liar and a destroyer of relationships.

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I could use some advice on ... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2011 2:18 AM | Posted, in reply to MissLynne's comment, by Jessica: | Reply

I could use some advice on this. My son's father is a pathalogical lier. It's hard to prove anything...cause they will just lie about it!

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Years ago, I became good fr... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2011 10:27 AM | Posted by Jackie: | Reply

Years ago, I became good friends with a group of young people in our large office. One of the women was a pathological liar, although it took us ages to figure it out.

She once took months off work -- she had very serious gyno. problems that resulted in a hysterectomy at the age of 21, and she was so ill that she didn't want visitors. Or so she said. We were all so sorry for her -- what a tragedy. Except it wasn't true, and she had kids later.

One time she had a party at her house, and her pocketbook went missing, or so she said. She actually accused one of us of stealing this item, and called the cops on to press charges, when the "missing" item, was really in her closet.
That was when we bailed on this liar.

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the common theme:"wh... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2011 3:21 AM | Posted by NameUndisclosed: | Reply

the common theme:
"what will make me worth something? money, a house, a car, fame, a record deal, talents? if i don't have these things, i look bad."
for each individual liar, there is typically a common theme among their lies and what they lie about.

liars lie to people who either are already close to them [like family] or people they want close to them [like potential friends and love interests] and/or people in positions of authority over them [legal, medical, or academic authorities, employers, parents, etc. -- sometimes even their peers. in any case this authority can come out like the concerned mother or the my-way-mister father, but both are asking for appeasement.]

liars lie about themselves, their past, present, or expected future situation and/or people in their situation as they see it.

liars lie for gain. gain can be anything from attention, sympathy, or other things all the way to material wealth and real power in the greater world. it can be to impress or to make things easier for themselves. [there may be other reasons as well, but these are the most common.]

how to respond:
first thing--if you suspect or have even confirmed that someone is lying or has a habit of lying, DO NOT SEEK ANY FURTHER INFORMATION FROM THEM. this means don't ask them questions. this may seem logical and obvious, but it can be quite hard to keep in mind in practice. or at least do your best to avoid asking them questions as doing so only affords them yet another opportunity to feed you another lie.

don't confront them. typically, all you want or need to know is if they are, in fact, lying so that you might disregard whatever they are saying.

keep a small journal to help you sus out the liar's common theme. assuming there is one, this will help you find what it is and may even give you some insight as to why they are lying and why to you.

consider whether their lies, any of them, have any real effect on you [other than annoyance].
if they do, tell them to put up or shut up [i.e. prove what they are claiming and if they can't, then they have no right to be a nuissance to you]

bait them--see if you can get them to make outrageous claims and then have yourself a nice belly-laugh. this is particularly good when you exploit their lack of knowledge about the subject they are talking about.

and if they really insist on making you the person they want to tell lies to, then send them a bill for use of your time--they'll get the message even if you don't get the money

if you can, just cut off from them completely [some people cannot i.e. family ties, business ties, etc.]. you basically gain nothing from having people who lie among the people you associate with in your life.

both liars and their victims attribute a kind of power to lying--that it can do "real damage". this is no doubt true in cases where for instance people go to jail because of it, but that is not what i'm talking about here.
there is this drama-queen aspect to it. it's like the liar is saying "i am cursed to wield this great destructive power. please save me and others from ME!"
sometimes they lie out of sheer boredom; it creates the drama. my advice here is for "victims" to not play the victim; if no real damage has been done other than hard feelings and just a sense of indignation. instead, refer back to the "baiting them" section and make them a joke. you will feel much better and more empowered this way and not a hurt and angry victim.

sometimes they lie because they would rather not discuss their private matters or just things they otherwise don't feel comfortable saying or are ashamed to say but are asked to and not seeing the option to just say that, they lie instead. if there are people who are genuinely sincere in that they don't really want to be liars but they feel like sometimes they just have no other choice, they can be made aware of their right to keep their private matters private and that there is a thousand ways to tell the truth.

and lastly, lying done about a person to a third-party can be a serious offense, but i would categorize that myself under gossip and so haven't included it in the response except to say only that slander is a legally punishable offense; pursue it if you feel justly entitled.

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At what age is lying a prob... (Below threshold)

May 10, 2011 2:56 PM | Posted by childrenourfuture: | Reply

At what age is lying a problem? I have just found out that my relative who is about 3.5 years old lies to everybody about being physically abused. It is so bad that any time his Mom, Dad, Granny or anybody do or say something he does not like (for example, "go to bed"; "enough treats") he threatens to tell that they abuse him. In public place, he responds with loud "you are hurting me!" and he told "My Mommy hurt me!" to a policewoman at the mall. "Granny beat me!" - to his Dad. He also lies that he feels sick when it's time to go to the kindergarten if he does not feel like it. Is it just a phase, or are we growing the future sociopath here? What should we do?

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If I worked at that kinderg... (Below threshold)

May 11, 2011 9:34 AM | Posted, in reply to childrenourfuture's comment, by Jackie: | Reply

If I worked at that kindergarten, I would not want that kid in my charge -- people have spent years in jail because of accusations that turned out to be false later on.

If this were my child, I would ask his pediatrician for the name of a good child psychologist as soon as possible. And I would look at how the family responds when he acts out. Does he get the treats? Did mom take him to McDonald's at the mall after the policewoman got involved? Are there any negative consequences for him when he acts this way?

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"Alone's response: yes. Dec... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2011 12:49 PM | Posted by DG: | Reply

"Alone's response: yes. Decide to stop. Pathological liars fill the void of their identity with words. If the words stop, then the identity is uncovered and subjected to scrutiny. You have to be brave enough to withstand that scrutiny.

It's like a teenager, who hides in plain sight; who talks, dresses, acts in a manner he believes to be unique and independent, but which is so obviously common to everyone else in his group. It's all made up, but he feels it as genuine. What matters is that others see and judge the clothes, the words-- so they don't think to judge the person underneath.
"


This is probably one of the most insightful things I've read on here. Would have sucked if I missed it.

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i am divorcing my pathologi... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2011 5:55 PM | Posted by linlin: | Reply

i am divorcing my pathological alcoholic liar husband. i cannot tell you the outrageous ridiculous lies he expects us to believe. the most recent one being my daughter calling him asking why he didn't call her on mothers day. he told her that he did call and offered to buy her a new phone.
another one was when he asked if i had fun on a getaway to SF while we were still on good terms, I said no because of his drinking. I don't drink at all, but he told me "you had a bloody mary it's on the room service bill" my jaw dropped because we didn't order room service and i haven't drank one drop of alcohol for two years because i don't want to be a hipocrite. i wonder, if they really believe their own lies and are delusional?

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I am a pathological liar. ... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2011 10:45 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am a pathological liar. It has never caused me any real problems until the last year. I have lost all of my closest friends who now want nothing to do with me. I really am doing my best to stop sitting around all day and thinking of BS to tell people to help my pitiful ego. I never want to hurt anyone and I don't feel I have any control over the crap that comes out of my mouth. I now have to start my life over and do my best to be honest, but i dont know how im going to stop lying. I have a therapy appointment as i finally have hit rock bottom and know that i need help. Doing my research i think that my pathological lying is linked to BPO borderline personality disorder. There is a lot of conflicting information out there so any advice is greatly appreciated.

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WOW, Im on here because I j... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2011 4:09 PM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

WOW, Im on here because I just came to the conclusion that the guy I was completely in love with is a pathological liar and just doing some research. Everyone listens to everything he says and seems like the best guy around. and I dont know if confronting him will make him flip out. Who knows, you could be him!! LOL.

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how very sad for that woman... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2011 12:02 PM | Posted, in reply to JOHN HENRY SOULES's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

how very sad for that woman who loves you but has no idea who or what you really are. I hope she finds out and dumps your butt.

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RUN in the opposite directi... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2011 12:04 PM | Posted, in reply to latoya's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

RUN in the opposite direction!!!!!!!!! For your own sanity, get out of that painful relationship NOW

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I had a personal experience... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2011 9:23 PM | Posted by JR: | Reply

I had a personal experience with a PATHOLOGICAL liar. An ex-wife. It took me almost 5 months to finally realize...that nearly everything she SAID was a LIE! She told me she had a double-degree from a Texas University (I later learned she only "attended" that university). When we had financial problems and could no longer afford our $500k home, she alone went to the mortgage company and "talked them into taking it back" to sell it themselves - we were never foreclosed on...UNBELIEVEABLE. I think sometimes, she really BELIEVED her own LIES! I think you could wire here up to a dozen lie detector machines and ask her if she was BORN ON THE PLANET MARS? And she'd answer YES and I guarantee she'd pass every one of those tests! She wouldn't know the TRUTH if it ran over he like a BUS! A few months after our divorce, I lay in bed one night (going over as many conversations I had with her) asking myself...was ANYTHING she said, the TRUTH??? I realized more than 90% was NOT! I'm curious though...in watching the CASEY ANTHONY trial, some medical experts mentioned that a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR is NOT "mentally ill".....REALLY??? Could have fooled ME!

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I had a personal experience... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2011 9:23 PM | Posted by JR: | Reply

I had a personal experience with a PATHOLOGICAL liar. An ex-wife. It took me almost 5 months to finally realize...that nearly everything she SAID was a LIE! She told me she had a double-degree from a Texas University (I later learned she only "attended" that university). When we had financial problems and could no longer afford our $500k home, she alone went to the mortgage company and "talked them into taking it back" to sell it themselves - we were never foreclosed on...UNBELIEVEABLE. I think sometimes, she really BELIEVED her own LIES! I think you could wire here up to a dozen lie detector machines and ask her if she was BORN ON THE PLANET MARS? And she'd answer YES and I guarantee she'd pass every one of those tests! She wouldn't know the TRUTH if it ran over he like a BUS! A few months after our divorce, I lay in bed one night (going over as many conversations I had with her) asking myself...was ANYTHING she said, the TRUTH??? I realized more than 90% was NOT! I'm curious though...in watching the CASEY ANTHONY trial, some medical experts mentioned that a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR is NOT "mentally ill".....REALLY??? Could have fooled ME!

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did you say you were in hig... (Below threshold)

July 30, 2011 3:01 PM | Posted, in reply to SHANE's comment, by jasmine: | Reply

did you say you were in high school. i you seem pretty smart for a teenager. maybe you are lying about that? so have you ever met a liar such as yourself. do you think you could spot one? if so, would you be able to have a relationship of any sort with a liar? are you capable of feeling for another person? were you ever neglected or abused as a child. i ask these questions because of my own experiences with a pathological liar, and the excuses i have given him. i do believe that if someone truly wants to be normal, they can. but are you unhappy, or is this just a habit and you just don't feel any guilt, remorse or loneliness from the breakup of friendships?

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The question is, how do we ... (Below threshold)

August 12, 2011 6:04 AM | Posted by Kay: | Reply

The question is, how do we stop them? The study about the increase of white matter in the brain, is it for pathological liars or people who lie frequently? Does that mean if we lie frequently, the white matter in our prefrontal cortex will increase greatly? Or are people born with this condition?

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RUN! RUN! I am not kidding.... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2011 11:01 PM | Posted, in reply to latoya's comment, by lalalafreeeee: | Reply

RUN! RUN! I am not kidding. You will regret staying. You will be put through sheer hell. There is no having a relationship with a liar. It will nearly destroy you from the inside out. There is no excuse for his lies and you will NEVER get the truth from him. Let go and make room for somebody good in your life.

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i think i may be a patholog... (Below threshold)

August 31, 2011 7:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

i think i may be a pathological liar. i don't know why i do it, i guess for the attention. i told very gruesome lies to my best friend years ago; spewing out garbage about illnesses and deaths. i didn't realize i was even lying until after the words came out of my mouth. ever since i was little i've made up stories. i always exaggerate things, and sometimes till little anecdotes just to sound interesting. but it got out of hand when i was younger and now that i'm almost 20 i feel trapped.

i've become so guilty that i've become unable to sleep. i lay awake and hyperventilate, scared that those closest to me will leave. i've taken to cutting myself and have become very suicidal. i don't know what to do. i wish that i could take everything back; wish i could start over.

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Hey my sister is a patholog... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2011 5:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by bystander: | Reply

Hey my sister is a pathological liar. She lies about going to work, what she's doing, who she is with. Everything and anything. She has been doing this for years! Last year, her lies got really bad and she started fabricating stories and involving so many people into her web. We had to call the police because she started going to this cult-like church. We thought she was brainwashed, but after a while (although they too were crazy) it was her crazzineess that was too much! We dealt with lies on a dialy basis and that time felt like pure torture. It's been almost a year, and she still continues to lie. Although, we went through that big episode. She still hasn't changed. Is there anything we can do as a family???? When it's so easy! to tell the truth she still would rather lie. And she still makes up these fake random sensless stories to tell us (stories that relate to nothing, just mundane stories about so and so..)

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My story is like so many of... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2011 8:08 PM | Posted by At the end of my rope: | Reply

My story is like so many of the ones posted here. My GF of 4 years is a borderline-pathological liar. I can't say how many times I have caught her in lies and she just manipulates her way out of the entire situation and then proceeds to act like nothing happened. Its frustrating, stressful, I can't even count the ways in which it affects me, and her....well its no big deal. The ironic thing is that she seems get off scott free all the time. No one else will rat her out or question her. At first she is so charming, but no one ever realizes that she is lying to them. I could go on and on and on about her deceitfulness, but I would be writing the biography of our relationship. The BIG lies come in bouts like every 6 months or 12 months, but not at any point does she ever take responsibility for her actions, words, lies anything. And on top of it all she turns every situation around and blames it on me. Good thing I know not to let it make me feel like the inadequate one. I still have my self esteem. The only things I am guilty of is having too big of a heart to want to help her (which is impossible) and for staying with her as long as I have. She will never change or face her demons. I can't help, I've tried, believe me I have tried and there is nothing I can do. What I have to accept is that I can't help her and its been very hard for me to do. This last time she has been lying is probably gonna be the last time it happens, its the last straw for me. She is txting and hanging out with someone whom according to her doesn't even exist for her and is lying to that person not telling them that she is in a relationship and lives with me. On the other hand she tells me that she loves me and wants to be with me and yada yada yada thats what I hear coming out of her mouth these days. Well that poor person doesn't know what is in store for them if they continue with her. And the reason I know all of this is going on is that my GF works with one of my good friends and they hang out all the time after work. My GF seems to trust my friend enough to tell HER the truth but lie to me. Well my friend is loyal to me and she has been telling me everything that is going on. Not only that, but I see the signs the behavior, everything that happens when she is lying, especially about someone whom she is interested in fooling around with. She can dig her own hole and fall into it. This time I won't be following her nor will I be there to pick her up when she falls, because she will fall. At some point her lies will come out and be staring at her right in her face and she will have no place to go. Its very sad and depressing, but I can no longer live my life with someone who so easily lies to me, disrespects me and manipulates me to get what she wants. I hope the best for her, but I will be taking myself out of this situation as soon as possible. Love does not oonquer all...
Wheew that was cathartic.

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Where was this? Do you reme... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2011 7:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Morgan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Where was this? Do you remember his name? I know someone that has done that before...

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There is not one single per... (Below threshold)

November 14, 2011 1:18 PM | Posted by Nena: | Reply

There is not one single person who has to deal with PL. You deserve way better. No PL has the right to complain, because the way they feel every now and than (yes emotions are just shut off) is nothing compared to how used and abused others feel.
To PL who want to stop; just stop. if you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it. When it comes to manipulating someone, nothing stops you; why? Because that is what you want. Same goes for stopping this childish behavior. Adults confront their demons, children run away.It is such annoying behavior it makes people sick, and the lying to cover other lies. I imagine those annoying loudmouth kids in the supermarkets. You just want to slap them, but you can't cause they are not yours. So make the decision to grow up.Just grow up PLEEEAAAASSSSSEEEE. Don't one up others, but ask how they got it and work just as hard to get yours than when you talk about yours it will be the truth.

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I feel for you. You could ... (Below threshold)

November 17, 2011 3:17 PM | Posted, in reply to At the end of my rope's comment, by i'm done too: | Reply

I feel for you. You could be me. I have been living with my BF for 4 years. He has "big lies" about every 6 months or so, and "little" ones so much I can't even count. He has moved off the "trying to have affairs with other people" to lying about work. 2 times, he has been "going to work" when he actually didn't have a job. I pay for everything, including when his children are over. Hell, I pay for him to pick them up from the ex-wife!

My issue has always been that it seems to me that I can see the "real" person in there. He is always very apologetic when he gets caught. Very sad, like he has hit rock bottom. But then, within 6 months, something else will have happened.

A actually kicked him out in May, asked him back in June. Without him was my worst month ever. I have lost about 50% of my hair from stress. Problem is, there are certain things that are fine...like, when he is in the house, doing stuff, like cleaning or making dinner or whatever, that is all fine. It seems like anything "outside" in the "real world" he is incapable of doing. Making routine phone calls, dropping movies back at the rental center....he will tell me he did it (he says this is because he feels bad that I am working and he is just sitting home with plenty of time to do it). Then, when I see the charge of $12 on my bank account for the overdue charges, I ask....did you "just" return that movie? Why didn't you just tell me 2 weeks ago about it, I would have stopped home and grabbed it. NO BIG WOOP! Right? Just stupid stuff.

I have appreciated both sides to the stories presented here....what I would LOVE TO FIND, is an equally useful site with the "HOW TO ADDRESS" or "WHAT TO DO".....part. I don't believe that my boyfriend actually WANTS to be this PL. He has had his share of obstacles (or so he's said) with his upbringing...which I now question, like everything else he says. But.....I love him. He has said he wants to get better, to stop lying. I would love to see that. He has never intentionally hurt me (I don't think)...but his lack of respect for the relationship and me personally is getting really hard. It's like he is a little kid, he opens his mouth, crap comes out, and he can't admit that it's crap. This last straw, he has been unemployed for awhile after being in a MASS layoff. (I know this to be true, it was covered in the news). HE has never really recovered from this....he is interviewing (so I am told) all over the place. And he thought he had a job....but, it ended up they gave it to someone else, so he "went to work" for 2 weeks because (he says) he was too ashamed to tell me he didn't get that job. I would not have CARED one BIT! I mean, it's frustrating, but....I'll get over it. Give me a little credit!

Holy cow....I can't believe I am hitting submit. I have hid these things from my family for years....I recently told them when I was kicking him out....of all the bad things....now of course they hate him. UG. What a mess.

I reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Marge and Homer go to the marriage retreat, and Homer goes out fishing for the big fish (when he told Marge he wouldn't)...and she is left sitting alone at the session, telling of all the things Homer has done that either hurt her or annoyed her...and she is going on and on well into the dark of night.

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please i need help, my son ... (Below threshold)

November 19, 2011 2:20 PM | Posted by Belinda: | Reply

please i need help, my son lies so much, who's his with. what he is doing. i've found drugs in his room he makes drugs. he lies about his friends and about going to work. about school and i have noticed he believes his lies. i'm going on 52 years old. i've taken him for help i dont know what to do any more. sometimes i get so scared i lock my bed room door when i go to sleep. what kind of lier is this? please help.

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It’s amazing! I could have ... (Below threshold)

November 23, 2011 4:06 AM | Posted, in reply to At the end of my rope's comment, by Steffi: | Reply

It’s amazing! I could have written every word in “At the end of my rope” and in the reply! I know EXACTLY how you feel. The difference is that my 78-yr old mother is the Pathological Liar (PL), but I don’t have the option to disassociate myself from her, like you can with a friend. She also exhibits all the signs of Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder (“PAPD” – Wikipedia or Google it). She also has a big “issue” with ANY form of authority. When my long-suffering father (who was the target of her abuse all their married life) couldn’t take it any longer, he moved out (divorced and remarried). My mom is the last of her family still alive, and she has alienated everyone who befriended her over the years. As I’m an only-child (no husband/partner or kids) I have no one to turn to for help (aunts, uncles, siblings, etc). My dad won’t help, as he has washed his hands of her (and me). As I supported her during their divorce, he maintains that I’ve made my own bed – I must now sleep in it. My mom has NO income, so I’m her sole support, and so I’m forced to live with her (I can’t support 2 separate households on my income). All my life she has exaggerated, but we always accepted “that’s just how she is”. I now realize that it wasn’t exaggeration – it was outright PL! When dad moved out, he told me “She’ll start on you next”. I didn’t believe him. One of the signs of PAPD is a resistance to authority. Dad was the authority in the household – that’s why he was the target of her abuse. Now he’s gone, I’m the target. Dad was right – I WAS “next”. She lies about the stupidest of things. Never anything important or consequential. She NEVER goes out of our house voluntarily, but (on the odd occasion when she has to) and she meets someone, she brags to them of all the things she’s done/achieved in her life (when she’s actually done nothing!), and what she’s still planning to do (“but there’s only 24 hours in a day”). And they are SO impressed. And I stand there, cringing with embarrassment, because she then calls on me to “verify” her lies. Recently, I got home from work. She was livid, claiming that “those rotten neighbors stole the water bowl [for the wild birds in the garden] just 5 minutes ago – I saw them do it. They walked right past me!” Suspecting just another lie, I went straight outside to see for myself. And there was the bowl, untouched! I told her “It's still there”. With a poker face, she replied “They brought it back before you came home!” HIGHLY UNLIKELY – they would have to scale our 6’ boundary wall with a ladder, and climb over an electric fence – 4 times! She hides keys and then says dad took them – but he moved on with his life 14 yrs ago, and never came back. Or she blames her (dead) elder brother and sister for taking her (and my) things – yet SHE takes and hides them. I suspect she blames them because these 3 people (my dad and her elder siblings) were “figures of authority” in her life. She never blames her younger (dead) siblings, who were no threat to her. As she has PAPD, she won’t take decisions. So I have to. And now I've become the “figure of authority” in her life. And I’m now the target – she hits me, slams doors in my face, blames me for everything (even incidents that SHE has invented – like claiming that I “threw the puppy outside in the cold” when we don’t even own a puppy), she throws temper tantrums that would make a 6-yr old look childish (how I wish I could give her a good tanning on her bare bottom!), she gives me the “silent treatment” when I don’t give her her own way, threatens to call the police to arrest me (like for the “puppy in the cold” incident), etc, etc, etc. Last year she actually did call the police to arrest my dad (claiming that he was threatening her with a gun – which he doesn’t even own!). When the police came, she said he had “got scared and run away” and she “didn’t know where he had gone” (convenient!). I could go on and on giving examples of her craziness – but they look so pathetic. I look pathetic. I’ve tried to get help for her. But my friends don’t believe me, as she is so manipulative and puts on her “such a sweet-innocent-little-old-lady-with-big-eyes” act, and they tell me how NICE she is, and how LUCKY I am to have such a WONDERFUL mother, and they wish their mothers were like that. Yeah – right! If only they listened to me! I’ve told doctors (plural – she’s been through 10 doctors in 8 years. I think she dumps them when they become aware of her mental problem), but none are prepared to help (1 told me in 1999 that she has “mental problems” but until she approached him for help, he could do nothing. And, of course, there's NOTHING wrong with her!!!). My own doctor advised me to see a psychiatrist to get advice on how to handle her. Big waste of money! The psychiatrist said SHE must come in for therapy. Ha! Ha! There’s more chance of my walking on water! So I just live every moment of every day on tenterhooks and on the verge of bursting into tears. My job is my sanctuary – I just wish I could spend 24/7, 356 days/year there – I DREAD going home every night, to face the woman. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that she will probably die before I do, and then I’ll be free to live my life normally. I’m SO desperately unhappy, knowing that I can NEVER get away from her, and knowing that I have wasted my 50-odd years of life with her. Sorry that this comment is so long, but there’s just so much to say.

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I hate every psychiatrist, ... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 2:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by George Arnold: | Reply

I hate every psychiatrist, and I find that there is absolutely nothing wrong with people who will fire bomb mental institutions that are run by the State government!

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OMG! I'm glad to know that ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2012 5:21 AM | Posted by Freddy pratt: | Reply

OMG! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only 1 suffering with this. myx ex boyfriend lies so much that it cramps my stomach. and he tells lies that can't possibly be true. like he just bought a brand new truck, how in the world is he going to produce that? he tells lies that he knows he will get what in. and then he argues when I call him on them. and when I said that I would leave him he said that he was going to kill me. he pretended to have brain cancer. pretended that his son died. pretended that he was picking his mother up from virginia on thanksgiving from virginia while I waited in baltimore when is the whole time he was sitting in front of his house. I didn't believe that story and I went to his house( he didn't know that I knew where he lives) that's when I found out that that s o b had a wife... or at least she thought she was his wife turns out that when he married her he was already married! I talk to her, I feel very sorry for her she said spent 8 years with this loser and she doesn't even know that she's not married to him! he lies to everybody about everything. he told me he had a bmw,a a nice house and a boat. turns out he doesn't even have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of which didn't really matter to me because I own my own home and 2 cars. even the car that I always saw him driving didn't belong to him it belong to the woman who thinks she is his wife. I just hope that she realizes that she's not married to him soon. lies so much that he told me that he is 6 foot 1 inch tall when he is clearly 5 foot 10 inches tall... he fake being in a motorcycle club, fakes being a mason, and fake being a gang member,...

so many of the stories sound just like him. he is such a big liar that he told me that he is 6 ft call when he is clearly

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hi, i and my girlfriend liv... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 11:51 PM | Posted by mykundecided: | Reply

hi, i and my girlfriend living together for 1 yr. i discovered that my gf always lie even on small things. its very hard for her to admit all her lies. at the end of our argument, she admits all her lies. she told me that lies just came up w/o any reason. i love my gf, but her lies breaks us apart. what should i do? right now im really confuse to continue my relationship w/ her. she told me before she will be honest to me at the first time i discovered that she lied to much. and still she does not change. pls give me advice....

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When someone lies about eve... (Below threshold)

March 7, 2012 11:05 PM | Posted by compulsive liar: | Reply

When someone lies about even the smallest things then this is the trait of a pathological liar and should seek help. Take everything they say with a grain of salt. Not too upset or patronise them, just don't take all that they say as gospel.

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Trust me, her death will no... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 5:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Steffi's comment, by Katy: | Reply

Trust me, her death will not magically free you. After she dies, you will never again have the opportunity to set the tone of your relationship with her. She will have the last word, and you will resent this until the end of your own life.

Leave now, while you still have the chance to do it on your own terms. Otherwise, life will continue to be something that just happens to you rather than something you actively control.

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Maybe you could talk to Adu... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 9:38 AM | Posted, in reply to Steffi's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Maybe you could talk to Adult Protective Services, tell them you are unhappy, ask if they have any ideas. I hate nursing homes, but it is at least possible there might be a decent one around, (I've seen a few nice ones on the news) and it is also possible she might find some more happiness on her own, she'd be around people her own age...nursing homes usually have what is called an ombudsman, they are advocates for the elderly that live there, you could also speak with an ombudsman or a social worker, it would be the right thing to not just mention her behavior, but how stressed you are feeling. Another thing, it sounds as if she does not get Medicare (?) but if she was married, not everyone knows she get get more Medicare based on that, or state Medicaid to pay for an alternative living arrangement, nursing homes and even group homes if there are any, can get paid that way. Nursing homes have financial advisors who work with this all the time. Sometimes there are Senior Centers to get her out of the house, where she can socialize and eat lunch and play cards, etc. Often there are pretty high quality and they would get her out of your hair for a bit. AARP is always a perfect resource as well.

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"I'm a trainee psychiatrist... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 10:21 AM | Posted, in reply to pen's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"I'm a trainee psychiatrist..."
Really. How far along?

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Someone wrote in talking ab... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 10:41 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Someone wrote in talking about her male friend and how he lies about his height.
Every man who has ever mentioned his height to me was lying. In some cases it was super obvious too. The only exception I can think of is for guys who are super tall.
The same is true of penis size---and I don't lead them into having to lie by talking about it first, even.
I have observed that if I find a way of mentioning that I prefer guys around my own height or prefer guys who do not have a huge dick size, they cut it out. It is kind of tricky to mention of course---this is not an easy, classy comment to drop---but a drink helps.
Maybe the question isn't who lies and who does not, but rather that we all lie sometimes, and what it is one lies about, then what it is one does not lie about.
Incidentally, I really do prefer guys close to my height with an average dick.

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Are you kidding me? This is... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 9:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous. The author sounds like a moron and everyone who commented afterwards sounds like a moron! Well in my eyes, anyway. You're making a big deal out of the fact that pathological liars are despicable and pathetic and retarded and annoying and evil people and immoral and just not right but if you would open your eyes WAY past your shallow perspective and realized what is right in front of you, all this suddenly wouldn't matter to you anymore! Everything is immoral and not right! You're government isn't right, your society isn't right, the system that raised you for 13 years in school isn't right, why concentrate on the OBVIOUS, it's obvious that lying is immoral but its HUMAN and EVERY single one of you has something just as bad. You are all conformist and fascists and you're criticizing a pathological liar who clearly has no control of what comes out of their god damn mouths?? You guys are the ones who are immoral, feeding off of them. What? Are you going to complain about how your schizophrenic girlfriend swears she's always seeing something??!! Damn. I understand the honesty is a number one must for some people and if there is a dishonest pathological liar then avoid them, but don't talk so much crap about them.

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"What? Are you going to com... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 9:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"What? Are you going to complain about how your schizophrenic girlfriend swears she's always seeing something??!!"

That is a pretty good line.

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Sweet heart, she isn't a pa... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 9:47 PM | Posted, in reply to MissLynne's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Sweet heart, she isn't a pathological liar, she's delusional. There is a difference.

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and being delusional comes ... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2012 9:48 PM | Posted, in reply to MissLynne's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

and being delusional comes directly with schizophrenia so maybe you're right about that observation

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Oh dear. And what if said b... (Below threshold)

March 10, 2012 10:14 PM | Posted by Theodora: | Reply

Oh dear. And what if said boyfriend IS a pathological liar and not just a jerk?

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Yes, on the family court qu... (Below threshold)

May 11, 2012 9:04 AM | Posted, in reply to MissLynne's comment, by Beth: | Reply

Yes, on the family court question. I now have permanent legal custody of my cousin's son. The child had been placed in emergency custody due to exposure to Meth. We requested a psychiatric evaluation be done and it was court ordered. She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and some form of antisocial disorder. Pathological lying and narcisistic thoughts and behaviors were mentioned in the evaluation. In court, she agreed to the permanent placement ....in my opinion, because it made her "look like" she cared about the child...Now, remember, she had him in a meth cooking house and the drug was found in his hair. Does this sound like someone who truly cares about their child?
The problem with a child that has been raised by a borderline person is they learn manipulation from birth....everything is conditional. They use feelings as a weapon against others. It has been an exhausting ordeal. I immediately took the child to mental health to make sure he uses correct social patterns now and unlearn everything she has taught him.
Good luck!
You might try to get some court ordered evaluations on her and the children. If you can prove by diagnosis that she is causing the children harm, you might have a chance to get them to a more appropriate environment.

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After being with a man for ... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2012 2:29 AM | Posted by lee: | Reply

After being with a man for 12 years I finally married him knowing he was a pathological liar. I knew he lied about stupid stuff but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would take it to this level. I have dealt with his lies for years, tried everything under the sun to get him to stop but nothing changes ever. Its so insane he lies when the truth would do him better. I'll catch him red handed, paper in hand, his signature etc. He will look me dead in the eye and say it wasnt him. He will deny deny deny. I love the guy but he's like a 16 year old kid most of the time. He holds high stress job and makes great money, to know him at work is one thing. He is not the same person at home. He never picks up after himself, he makes a salad with this certain kind of dressing and when left out and not put down the disposal, the next morning the smell makes me gag. Ive probably ask him 30 times at least to please just clean the bowl out so I dont have to deal with that smell in the morning. He leaves it out every freaking time. He has yet to buy me a birthday present, he doesnt show he cares like men do for their wives. But he will swear up and down how he has my back and he puts me before anything. When in reality Im at the bottom of the list. It hurts but Im so use to it I just dont care anymore, or havent anyway until lately. He was in business with his father for many years and his father taught him everything he knows like being dishonest. His father is probably the meanest person Ive ever met. None of his brothers and sisters but one even associates with his father, they cant stand him. Johnny has stood by him his entire life but always gets treated like he was never good enough. His father would talk bad about him to his own employees with him in the office. One year his father gave the guy my husband had hired to pose as President (on paper) a 10k christmas bonus and gave my husband nothing. I felt so bad for him I couldnt even imagine. Everytime my husband would do something great, his father would poke holes in it finding something wrong to discredit him. He has always searched for his fathers approval but to this day has never gotten it. I think he needs counceling of some type, it has to be dealt with. Its gonna make me crazy or I will end up having a stroke. Something has to give. I think he wants to be good but doesnt have a clue how. I dont think he gets it. Common sense stuff that normal people would in certain situations, he doesnt. He tends to fly by the seat of his pants every freaking day, he's 54. I honesty feel that due to his working so closely with this man (a true con) and my husband having to do as his father said for all those years right or wrong it just stuck. My problem today is I cant balance the checkbook I dont know what to expect when I look at the account. I confront him about not sharing anything that he does with me and when I ask him about different charges or deposits into our bank account its like Ive started war world 3. Everytime I ask him about something he's done and he knows he's caught, he immediately says; Ive had the worse day, can we just take a day off, I dont wanna argue etc. Or his best line is Its Sunday and I dont discuss this crap on Sunday. Thing is anymore its Sunday everyday and it never gets discussed therefore nothing gets resolved. It makes me crazy, Ive literally gotten sick over his consistant BS every freaking day. I cant get him to sit down with me so that we can figure out how many title loans he has taken out on our car. He gambles playing poker online a couple hundred or finds his way to the local casino where the slots suck him in. The thing is he use to win massive amounts of money, so much you would never believe me if I told you how much, he got so use to winning that he stopped leaving when he won, he would give his winnings right back and come home broke and start thinking of what he had to do to get himself out of yet another mess. This has gone on for years and years, Im done with it. I have proven myself but he hasnt, just when I think he hasnt been gambling these small deposits start showing up and an unknown autmatic debit is being taken out from some bs company every two freaking weeks. He makes $5400 bucks a month and we dont have crap to show for it. Our car payment is 550 rent is under 1k cable, insurance, plasma TV payment. Even with all that crap we should have at least 2-3 grand left over. We are now negative bouncing checks left and right, I cant figure where the freaking money is going. WTF. Its what he does, in his mind he wont have enough money to get his medical weed or his pills he needs from the doc so he goes and gets a freaking title loan at 200% interest. I just went through this with him 3 months ago. I wasnt paying attention to the checking account too much at that time and during this time he went crazy taking out over 8 different loans from 800-1000 each,I had no idea. You would think if your making 5400 bucks a month and youve also takin out over 8 title loans for 1k each you would have alot of freaking money. We struggle every freaking week after the first week, the second week until payday is hell. We had to cash out 6k of his 401k to pay these stupid things off. It took me 2-3 days to figure out who they were and how to contact them because he never gets the paperwork, he never reads the stupid contracts he is an idiot. I tell him he has lost his mind, and if he doesnt stop Im freaking leaving him. So, then he gets down on himself and swears he will never do it again and the second I let my guard down he has done it again. Not even 3 months later we are back in the same exact situation we were with the loans. Ive gotten so depressed I just shut down,I dont get out of bed for days, shower... why I dont care. Why, I have no say in this marriage, he says he will not do it again but he will he does. We were both heavy gamblers. but I have stopped for sometime now. Right before he went on this title loan frenzy we had agreed that we were tired of living paycheck to paycheck. We are not kids anymore and for the amount of money we have thrown away we should have a home paid for and anything else our hearts desire. The difference between us is that Im a giver I enjoy buying things for him and others and giving to others rather than myself. He is a taker, he's very selfish and stingy. He will never admit it but he lies to himself constantly. Ive been with him for all these years and just this last christmas after demanding he buy a gift and wrap it for the tree, telling him what to get me I got a christmas present. He even lied about how much he paid for that. He refuses to share information about our finances. His own father says if his lips are moving he's lying. Its true. Sadly. He says he doesnt lie and says all he does is work to make me happy. That is the most rediculous thing in the world. He went to the store one morning before work and saw my girlfriend and her son walking to his school. He stopped and gave them a ride up to the school, its about 2 blocks away. He mentions that he saw them walking but didnt give them a ride. I knew better and told him so. I said why are you lying, its no big deal, he stuck to his story and never changed it. I ask my friend and she said he gave them a ride. No biggie. Why did he lie. I honestly dont think he would actually cheat on me but I do think he would chat or talk on the phone with girls he knew from school etc. Ive found comments to girls he knew in school, phone numbers etc. When confronted he acts like Im crazy, saying oh yeah Im just out doing all of them. Oh yea. That sounds just like me. But he does lie about talking to females and there is no reason for it other than in his own mind he he's doing wrong. Im so sick and tired of the disrespect he has for me, the constant denial about everything he says or does that Ive considered divorcing him. He lies about where he goes for lunch when he doesnt come home, He rarely goes out for lunch but when he does,I will be told a lie about with hom.. He calls me from work saying he's going out to lunch with all the guys (he never does) I dont think much about it. Then when he gets home I over hear him on the phone with his sister saying something about how he waited for her but she didnt show so, he ate at the bar by himself, oh yeah the guys ate at the table.. plz. I know when he's lying before he does. I saw the debit on the statement with about 20 bucks or something, more than it should of been for him alone. I knew he was lying but when it all said and done, he sticks to his story come hell or high water. He denies until Im just down right worn out. doing absolutely nothing. Through his poor decisions and lies he has managed to lose 2 of my cars that were paid off due to him getting loans and lying about making the payments. We lost a small pickup truck because the same day I made him go down and pay off the loan, he turned around that same day and took out the exact loan he had just paid off. I had no clue. He had missed some payments which I wasnt aware of at all, the payments and just a sec and within 4 minutes they were towing our truck down the street. I never knew he took out another loan. This is what he does, he is deceptive about everything, even when he's caught he will throw a fit and either go in the bedroom and shut the door or when I really get pissed he just jumps in the car and leaves. I dont think he ever grew up, he always worked for the family business having a company truck, always had dad to bail him out of crap. He's already been divorced and lost a company due to not making the right decisions. Always looking for the quick fix or wanting to push that damn envelope over the edge. Until 3 years ago his dad had always came to the rescue when he messed up but about 5 years ago pops shut the company down, took everything from him gave him nothing and said cya. Ive tried to show him how to humble himself and showing him how hard it is for normal folk to find work, to have to go and ask for jobs. He never had to do that in his life until he was 50 yrs old. Lucky me... After 3 years he finally got a job and making good money, we had gotten back on our feet paid off the state for some back taxes at over 700 bucks a month, but we made it and we were just about out of the woods, got a nice ride then he found out about title loans, payday loans etc. and since then we have had to move from our house to an apt, I havent lived in an apt for over 20 years. I cant get him to tell the truth about the loans, I cant find the paperwork for the loans. Im so tired of going without while he does what the hell ever he wants and thinks he can lie to me about it and Im just gonna continue to take it. He is a compulsive liar, Ive only listed some of the lies, but the lies that are affecting our life and my freaking sanity have got to stop or I have got to leave before he puts me in a nut house. What can I do to get through to him when he thinks he's doing nothing wrong? please help

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The beauty in pathological ... (Below threshold)

June 12, 2012 1:35 AM | Posted by Boo: | Reply

The beauty in pathological liars is that they aren't jerks. I agree it's an identity problem and an issue with intrapersonal knowledge but they're not evil. I have dated now two pathological liars, one of whom I am still with: they are completely different than total scumbags. Total scumbags lie to keep you with them, lie to get their way etc. The lies from pathological liars do not accomplish anything(usually) or allow them to gain anything, they just vomit lies, manipulations of the truth, use ambiguous lexicon, etc but they do believe what they say to certain extent. I discovered my boyfriend's...habit...because I've dated someone like him before and consciously pay attention to his numbers. Yes, numbers, there's a delightful little system that accompanies that...but give them a few months if you do realize it. My boyfriend just randomly came clean to me one night and thought it so amazing that the things he was telling me I had categorized already, had written down. He doesn't fully understand that the fact that he lies about insignificant things matter but currently he'll immediately tell me, within a few seconds, if he's just lied about something or "exaggerated." There are things to be afraid of, like cheating, but anyone can cheat. Be weary but don't shame them, they'll likely not see the error anyway because yes, the "essence" or "spirit" is true. Don't get sucked in either and believe they'll change. Ultimately, they won't fully change.

The people here concerned with world hunger or whatever crap, this is important in the lives of the people affected. No matter how "small" a thing.

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I have been married to a se... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2012 1:04 PM | Posted by Sharron: | Reply

I have been married to a sex addict for two years, and have known him for three years.
He has been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder and Avoidant personality disorder, as well.
He has lied to me since the day I discovered his addiction, and has continued to do so up until the day I left him 2 mo. ago.
He also passed a lie detector test before we were married two years ago-later admitting to sexually acting out during the time he denied them on the polygraph.
He will admit part of a lie, and then later totally deny the truthful part of the story by telling me I am making up what he told me. For a long time, I thought I was the one who was crazy until I started writing down the exact words he told me so that there was no way he could deny it. However, he will just say I must be confused and he never said that.
I sometimes think he believes his lies, and othertimes feel he knows exactly what he is doing-never quite able to discern which.
He came from a childhood background of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. He has had periods of dissociation while acting out his sexual fantasies.
I am a Psychiatric Nurse, but quite honestly have never dealt with a patient that is so good at lieing and deceit. I do not think there is a chance in hell he will ever change, so am now feeling I will have to file for divorce.
It is very traumatic to live with not only a sex addict, but a patholocial lier. I never know when the next ball will drop, the next lie, minimization or omission will occur.
My h always says, "I can't help what happened in the past, but am working on it." "If you don't believe me, I can't help that-it is your issue." Talk about projection.I contstantly challenge him that he is not in active recovery as long as he continues to lie and put himself into situations where he will be tempted to act out. He denies this, and told me his Therapist told him he is in early recovery. I don't think so.


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just from your descriptions... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2012 12:43 PM | Posted, in reply to lee's comment, by tim: | Reply

just from your descriptions of his behaviour, your husband doesn't sound like a pathological liar, he sounds like a narcissist. there's a difference, and (without going back and re-reading TLP's post here again, if I remember right, this was part of TLP's point -- that there is a difference between being a pathological liar (lying when there isn't really anything to gain at all) versus a narcissist (lying when there is something to gain, or an image/ideal to maintain, even if it seems insignificant to you).

and if that's true, there probably isn't much you can do to fix it, or him. it's hard to do, but moving on might be the best thing to do. it seems to me like it would save you what looks to be inevitable heartache.

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I have had a 1 year relatio... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2012 6:25 PM | Posted by Vidara01: | Reply

I have had a 1 year relationship with my PL. All these incredible stories this past year that I could never prove nor disprove till last month when he said he was out of town and I bumped into him. Since then I have uncovered his true identity along with multiple other facts. Some of this 'false identity" is an effort to be well hidden to avoid legal issues. Others are not. From simple lies to grand stories about his previous homes, people he's known, jobs he's had, vacations, friends dying etc...
At first I was so angry that I was on a mission to turn him into the parties seeking him. I continued to play dumb while I obtained additional information. Since then, I found your site and I am no longer angry. I read with great interest the posts from other PL's who shared their stories. Thank you for helping to explain. I understand now this is a defense mechanism. At least in his case, his lies have not been intended to cause me any harm. I see that he is only hurting himself.

This weekend, I am going to tell him that I know, that I have known for a while, nothing has changed (I haven't left) and I would like to continue to have a relationship with him if he would "try" practicing being honest with me. I know he will make mistakes and it won't be easy. He can choose to stay or go. I will not scold nor ask any questions. I will only ask him to say NOTHING and give me NO RESPONSE as I reveal this information to him. I anticipate (from what I have learned on this site) that he may be angry or try to cover with new lies. I am going to offer acceptance for the past but I am requesting a new future. My goal is to bring the issue to the forefront in a gentle way. I have no idea how it will received. I am open to input and all well wishes.

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Are you sure he was a docto... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2012 11:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Tony: | Reply

Are you sure he was a doctor? :-)
If so, that's worrying...

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good one! my wimpy ex and s... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2012 12:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

good one! my wimpy ex and saw him i think it was he always lol denys what a turd. it did with mine,well quicker insults to my high intelligence;to try more**often changes weekly. idiot.to Guess maybe? he does feel.... something..lol embarrassment;cause id say no and why again.... but... was naive then',his exploits like.."cant come" leaving me THANKFULLY it IS* possible believe me,youll be fine! so later,no longer shocked,and i was already like bye to him just waiting.. I began to be'ready with alternative plans. idiot thinks we dont see. Hes sadly boring not interesting,few interests etc.

* Mine was uhhh boring yes wow! it WAS! true!like his ex said.[WELL!he SAID she SAID..]lol

Anyhow his exploits of changes,lies..leaving me waiting no shows thankfully wow to God prayer a confirmation occurred! from HIS aol password once i guessed correctly God was good! and saw much evidence subtle no dates' but offers and where else he was when supposed to be with me, dance lesson bars. See duh deprived he realized after seeing me influenced as time went by by divorcee [group] friends dysfunctional sleep with others gross no one there corrects in love bible says but ohh well. get a desiese then maybe sheesh. i gave that kind of searching for the right one up yrss ago..

lol sad really even though divorced for awhile and christians even at mppc menlo park presb.church[his third lol odd divorce groupweekly]
ps, is- his only'[his choice,no longer at church thinksa he should lead people follow HIS beliefs.. his only contact weekly to meet date? sex i bet some women and have people compliment him he feels like a god giving advice moron! treated me badly smirked and turned around like! they do at my pain over a yr ago then god gave peace and boy!* things changed.

Geez what else is new with them i learned..sigh..- his ego' couldnt take that sorry i made other plans in case you change again and was un emotional[disgusted doi thats partially why i no longer felt pain] plus i came from healthy! loving and shocked! family not him so he was jealous like its a choice! mad man child. -so,- the divorcees' convince him and forget about his word with me etc got worse more often in a week. so i thank God due to God just finally felt only disgust his loss, so it will feel ok then good one day,people*

I know plenty who have healthy fun, dance without it being at a bar.. oh duhh lol but,- he never did that for 27 yrs marriage guess trying to make up for it.but slime to me, his treatment meanwhile,fine then you ll loose anyone...not needy. guess see they would take being a dog....its dancing not a bar!! He finally gave that one up with me, because i wont believe nor see him no matter how hed try the same things,...on and boring on...to say to me excuses for all things..[lame,absurd excuses even others say sick sick sick. i was naive. [I learned though why i saw him finally]couldnt believe he could keep'this up.and!!an ex elder of a dumb small church too. liked punishment?

I'd tell facts to him,duh- his own,[confront and finally non emotional like he expected[ liked my-emotional pain]] I'm in control of me now buddy!and**i get it stupid! lol ha ha...sorrrry! laughed at him.

No violence,not all are,hes wimpy gross.cold.hang up on you guy,yawn--as he'd then go to a divorcees home group dinner.[etcs] geez>freak.[waited for nothing..] this verses respect call say no to OTHERSD doi when made commitment to me. its WHAT people do in my life its been true.
That verses- normal mature world>>yet he would call anyway[alwys to suit him lonelyness or some lie..][no! call try ha! rarely,as though on purpose what used to get to me didn't so hed try its all he knows...] like indignant. saying whys my baby upset with me." repeatedly saying for a yr more is plenty, ITS an ACT! duh...He did this,in case like used to be that even-fuming i might'call back at least.wow [masochist?][hear voice someone to play like i don't matter sorry,make it 'on me'.
'ohhh my phones dying' line..wow!

Stopped anything any contact. he hardly tried anyway fool. no one that loved me ever! was like this.

So unlike it was then,now solid and Gods especially main reason answered prayer and facts help to ha ha about oneself family love friends and facts about his exploits.i only feel pity for the next victim.> needy i suppose only. ** lovefraud.com a few story's established that!...

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hi, its same person oops go... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2012 12:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

hi, its same person oops goofed in the blog..comment i meant! i saw him in his car with orange blond hair[odd] woman needy he picks one like wife etc that were or are, i was fooled never agin signs i ve turned any awy.. you can too. next to him, his car i sat up in seat going gross and sad person wo, mamas baby wont do for himself selfish they are indeed hes a different sort and sociopathic anyhow that's what i first meant thanks!!

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Interesting posts, I made f... (Below threshold)

August 14, 2012 4:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Interesting posts, I made friends wa PL, a fun, outgoing guy, I'm divorced and he is great at being up-for-anything, grabbing a beer, chatting about stuff.
However, his lies are very exhausting and at times sinister and disturb me.
I agree w other posts here,; I don't think he realizes nor can control himself.

Sad part is he is married, cheats all the time, brings girls to bars his wife could easily walk into, totally weird and crazy behavior, all his "friends" think he is a PL as he has lied to everyone at some point.

He is vulnerable, childlike and also a bit sinister and calculating, a bad mix.

I can see how ppl date PLs, bc they are entertaining, and you almost want to ignore/believe
Their lies, but at some point its all too tiring and I have so many stories of downright lies and fantacies its incredible,
Some ppl call him a bullshitter to his face, but he doesn't stop,
I worry that one day he will end up dead bc he will lie to and piss off the wrong person,
He works construction and has already pisses off a lot of contractors trying to steal jobs,
Say he can do this or that(which he can't), mis pricing jobs, back stabbing etc

I want to sometimes tell his wife "get him help, he will destroy you", I think she knows but is embarassed and in denial to a point, he alsi selected her as she is weak and a bit naive,
Shame one her family, but he's slippery

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For 2 hours on a Saturday m... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2012 9:08 PM | Posted by Caroline: | Reply

For 2 hours on a Saturday morning a local city centre church serves free tea/coffee and biscuits to anyone who comes through the doors and there are several people who are regulars there, including me. I sit with a group of people who all have different backgrounds and most of us are either unemployed for various reasons or in badly paid jobs (I'm now retired after being unemployed for almost a year). There's one member of our group who is a pathological liar. He should be a novelist because he tells us the most far-fetched stories I've ever heard. This morning he was telling us that he has a doctorate in astrophysics! He's also told us in the past that he was in both the Royal and Merchant Navy (that I think is true) and that because of that he'd landed a job in the Foreign Office at £100,000 a year at the rank of Vice Admiral! Now those stories are obviously total falsehoods, but the problem is that it's impossible to tell whether anything else he says is true or not so we believe nothing at all that he tells us. Sometimes it really annoys us and I turned round to him this morning when he was spinning one of his many yarns and told him so - very strongly. The problem is that it makes no difference to confront him. He just mumbled some excuse and changed the subject. Beneath it all he's a nice bloke, witty and quite intelligent, but this compulsive lying is getting on all our nerves. Although he's got a job as a hospital kitchen porter he's also a sponger and keeps on trying to get us to lend him money - even though he knows that none of us has much to spare. In the past some of us have, but we've never seen it again. We don't want to cut him out of our group but someone has to do something. What CAN we do about him?

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I have this friend who tell... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2012 12:49 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I have this friend who tells overly crazy stories that sound too unreal to be true. However, I have no evidence that she is lying because every story she tells, revolves around either people dying, sick with terminal illness, suicide and whatnot, and I have no means of ever meeting these people that she's mentioned. Every time a dramatic story starts, I have no idea whether or not to believe her. I can't prove her wrong, and I can't confront her on the off chance that her tales are all true (that would be extremely WTF, but I'd feel like an ass). Everything that she says is a sensitive matter, so I can't just freely ask her close friends or relatives about the events, as they seem to be private matters. In her life, apparently, at least seven people that she knows, have died (at least, she says so), and only one of which I know is true. According to her, ALL of her family members have dramatic stuff happening (such as brain tumours, affairs, miscarriages, long-lost siblings that never met until roughly three decades later, etc), and some other person that she knows had amnesia from some other dramatic freak accident. Everything sounds like what you'd see in dramas and TV shows.
How in the world can I uncover if she's lying about all that stuff or not?! I can't just ask her, "Can I talk to one of those people that you've mentioned?"- That would be too confrontational.
Every event she talks about is depressing and full of oddly timed happenings, like it's scripted for TV. Yet, she can look me intensely in the eyes, while telling me these stories, and she gets very emotional telling them. She does not make any nervous gestures or any obvious signs that liars usually make.
Does pausing in the middle of a story, having horizontal saccades, and then continuing the story give any indication of whether or not she's lying? Very often, during her story-telling, she has saccades, though that could just mean that she feels troubled... Not sure what to believe.

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Hi Anonymous,While I... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2012 8:44 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hi Anonymous,
While I don't know the person you describe, a lot of things sound familiar from a pathological liar I knew. The sheer number of important and tragic events occurring, the intense emotional telling of the stories, but most of all your feeling that just asking a polite question about all this would be 'too confrontational'. And the fact that you are already suspecting her stories are not all they might seem. In my experience, my suspicions were mounting for over a year, until I happened to bump into a friend of hers, who said 'Ah she's always making things up to get attention!'. Pathological liars, especially if they are close to you, can always make their stories seem plausible. Because they lie almost continuously, and make no real distinction between truth and fantasy, they often give no obvious signs of lying. Also, there is probably little point in confronting her- she will just make up more stories, and make you feel guilty for asking in the first place. You will need to find another way of confirming or discrediting the stories, either by talking to other people who know her, or checking the details some other way. Hope that helps!

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Unfortunately, the events t... (Below threshold)

September 18, 2012 2:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Unfortunately, the events that my friend talks about seem to mostly revolve around either her colleagues (her work place is full of drama, according to her recounts), or family members- Neither of which I could just randomly bump into, or randomly ask, "Hey, did this ever happen?" ...Oh, she will most definitely get pissed off and say crap that would make me feel guilty for asking in the first place. Her details in her stories seem so flawless and every question that I ask would be answered almost too readily... Thanks for your reply! It's a little comforting to know that maybe I'm not too off mark in thinking that she may be a pathological liar. Even though I have no proof at all, that she could be lying, she's the only person that I know, who seems to have such a 'crazy' life. I mean, not even all the Asian dramas in the world would have as much drama and well-timed tragic events as what she's depicted her life to be.

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Hi, my name is Mina and I w... (Below threshold)

October 11, 2012 5:51 PM | Posted by Mina: | Reply

Hi, my name is Mina and I was going thru some things in life prior to this, it is because of this post and a few other forums in which I have recently found out that I am a pathological liar, I remember as far back as a kid when I used to lie to get out of trouble but now I will lie to random strangers, for ansalourly no giving reason, take for example last week I was waitin for a bus to take me to work, I struck conversation with a lovely elder lady, and she askedr me where I was going , so I told her I worked at an animal shelter and that I was visiting a friend, without any reason or even thinking about what I was saying, I really wish I could understand why I do it, it's hard to maintain a social life or keep friends around because of this but it's as I I do it subconsciously as I kid I wasn't abused I just always had problems with my dad, tolerance, communication, and I've come to know that he is a bigger liar than I am, I belie this is heridotarry even tho I can't get him to admit it, I wish I could find out how to regain my ability to make conversation without thinking up a horrible lie to disguise myself

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This past summer 2012, I me... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2012 2:35 PM | Posted by Precious: | Reply

This past summer 2012, I met a pathological liar. I really didn't understand the goal of all his lying until I got to this forum. He's sick. He started off the relationship as an only child, single parent to his daughter, and his mother was supposedly sick with cancer. I never had the opportunity to meet his mother. He claimed to send her to Canada for cancer treatment because a doctor from chicago recommended this private facility that would cost 30k. Ok...so he sent her in August and she randomly dies in the middle of the night in October. I felt terrible that I couldn't meet her, although I spoke to her on the phone twice. Actually, I think it was him disguising his voice as a female.

He told me he was not in a relationship with his child's mother. She started calling my house in the middle of the night ranting about how he is a big liar and doesn't really have a job and she is his wife of 8 years. We were going out on dates and he paid by credit every time. No cash. My simple question to him was where did she get my phone number from? He hollered at me and kept repeating that I just don't get it. I told him, you're right I don't. Where did she get my number? He admitted that she had a key to get into the apartment to get their daughter, but randomly showed up. She got ahold of his phone that night and saw my number. I was an idiot for believing this.

Then I got off work one night and he called me to let me know that he had been arrested at his job. His child's mother's sister filed a police report that he blacked her eye. He claimed to have his aunt pick up 10k to pay his entire bail. This money was located in his apartment. This was supposedly retaliation for him pressing charges against his child's mother for using his information and social security number to get his phone line switched to her phone line. What?!?! Wow.....then he claimed that he was going to shut the phone off. I called the phone the other day and it was a random man disguising his voice.

I tried to help him with what I thought were the funeral arrangements for his mom. He claimed he didn't know what facility she was at in Canada. Then he didn't attend the funeral because he said that his family argued too much. I couldn't believe that someone who loves their mom enough to pay 30k for treatment wouldn't go to the funeral.

This man claims to be a drafter for a company in Chicago. I met him at "work" because he made it seem like if I went to his apartment his "crazy" child's mom would beat my car up with a bat. His work address is the same address for a catholic charity for homeless people. There are no other office buildings around at area when googled. And, his apartment address is an address for subsidized low income housing/projects. He lied about his daughter going to school at this really nice magnet school which is 30 minutes from his apartment. I checked my iPad one day which he had used. The history showed where he had typed in a school address close to his home. This address had the extracurricular activities that he claimed his daughter participated. The other school did not have those activities. I never met his daughter but he did show me pictures.

When I confronted him about something not being right about his situation, he started yelling at me, cussed me out and called me out of my name. Oh yea, and he hung up on me not before calling me crazy. I never raised my voice, I just ask a couple of reasonable questions. He told me we didn't need to continue our relationship because I don't have my life together. I told him that he was being judgmental for someone who was supposedly going through all that drama. Sometimes he would display giant mood swings from one extreme to the next.

Now I feel hurt and like I don't have the closure I need, but I'm happy to move on. I know that it will take time, and I'm glad it was only a couple of months and not years. It's devastating when someone wrecks your world with lies. Why would someone wake up and just make up stories all day. Everything is a lie! Who does it benefit? In retrospect everything is a little more clear when I look back, I was just ignoring the warning signs. He sent me about 9 texts the other day talking about how he got "promoted" at "work" and he got a new car and he would like to hang out. He said he felt he was immature on the phone and impatient. He didn't apologize. I didn't reply, because there's no winning with a liar. I need to move on. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

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Wow this is quite informati... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2012 2:41 AM | Posted by D Cr: | Reply

Wow this is quite informative. I've have lied all my life even the stupidest lie. I'm seeking help in order to curve this behaviour. The best way to actually explain this is from someone who has lied as much as I have. I lie to get out of trouble, I lie to make myself look cool or for any reason at all. Most commonly is when your backed into a corner you lie to end whatever is happening. I am so done with lieing I can see how much it hurts the people I lie to and I don't want to anymore. Besides if you listen to a old saying then you'll know the truth does set you free, free from falsification.

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this explains my Girlfriend... (Below threshold)

December 31, 2012 9:08 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

this explains my Girlfriend to the "T", the other day she explained her day, as going to the restaurant with her kids, then since they were across street she went to the mall for shopping, then later on her story changed from that, to being at her moms because she was gonna drive her across town to another store, but they had no gas, and they werent gonna go until kids said the store is at the mall too, so then they went to Wendys and then the mall, both "stories" had her kids explaining about the mall having the store, and her thinking the only one was across town, but once i found out through something that was said she went to her moms too, the story changed dramatically, and this isnt the first time she's done this

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Hmmmm. I always thought my ... (Below threshold)

April 25, 2013 9:32 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hmmmm. I always thought my brother is a pathological liar. When we were kids, you couldn't even ask my brother what time it was, because he would straight out lie. (We used to say that he lies so much, someone else has to call his own dog for him.)

He carried this nonsensical lying all the way into adulthood. I was working with him once and another brother called him. "What are you doing?" "Just finished a job, on our way to lunch." But we only had one job that day, which we hadn't done yet, and we were on our way too do the job, not have lunch. Over the weekend, if he went to the racetrack, he'll tell you he went to the drive-in. If he took his kids out to eat, he'll say they had pizza delivered or he made dinner.

It's not often he lies to make himself look better, or fill in unlikely details of his past. He simply seems to have a problem being honest about minor, every day details, things that don't matter.

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I am not sure if I should b... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2013 2:17 AM | Posted by LyingJaneDoe: | Reply

I am not sure if I should believe anybody that has a story about how someone lied to them and how hurt they were because of it, blah blah blah. Liars lie about being victims of lying because it makes for great attention getting. Hence why most pathological liars lie in the first place. The most damaging, manipulative kinds of lying are usually sad lies about death, disease, betrayal, loss, anything that can warrant sympathy to the liar.

The people who admit to being liars are telling the truth. I myself will admit to being a pathological liar. I did not grow up in a very loving home and I was bullied and I would create lies so that people would want to be my friend instead of hurting me.

It became a sort of an addiction and a cry for help. I had abandonment issues and I was unloved.

As I got older, I tried to grow out of it. The way I did it was a descent from outright lying to omitting information. I slightly exaggerated truths until I eventually learned how to describe truths in honest detail, sometimes using metaphors. I lessened the need to talk too much. I became an interviewer, instead of the interviewed and asked people questions, deflecting any of their questions they had about me. In conversations, I talked less about myself and more about "topics" like current events and art. I gradually used one word answers and kept myself at a safe distance from people. I started writing fiction as a way to vent my frustrations and loneliness instead of seeking out validation from others by lying about myself. Instead of having a steady boyfriend, I just have "friends with benefits" so that there is no permanent relationship that can be affected by my shady past.

When I leave for a new place, far away from the damage I created in my former social circles, I can start over fresh and truthfully. People who call out liars will always be distrusting and will also spread that around so it's better to get as far away as possible in order to start over. It is a much harder and lonelier world we pathological liars live in and we envy those honest people. But to suggest that we "stop lying" is not easy to do and is like telling a long time drug addict to "stop using."

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Short comment. I b... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2013 3:02 PM | Posted, in reply to LyingJaneDoe's comment, by aDifferentKindOfLiar: | Reply

Short comment.

I believe it's easier for the average drug addict to stop, than someone used to lying, but you are spot on saying it stupid to tell someone merely to "stop using."

Sometimes I forget how vulnerable pathological liars feel at times. According to my experience, it seems like being exposed is the end of it all. It's probably because of bad experiences with selfish people without humility. Some people forget their own flaws if they catch someone lying.

I did it once, and it destroyed a beautiful relationship. In hindsight it became very clear to me that I didn't really care that much about the lying, and that this individual was more worthy of being trusted than anyone I knew.

Ha! A couple of months later (after confronting my friend with the lies) I jumped on a plane and went to see someone I've known since childhood. I poured out my heart and told everything. My childhood friend understood perfectly what I was talking about, simply because he too was a pathological liar.

Even though I've known him since childhood, I'd never guessed him to be a pathological liar. He said that he had wished to share it with someone for a long time, but he feared that no-one would understand, or worse that they would think they understand if you know what I mean.

Now I believe that pathological liars probably has more options than they realize. If you got a friend who loves you, than it can be shared. Still, it's a tricky one.

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I think three was on notici... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2013 4:31 PM | Posted by lusia: | Reply

I think three was on noticing your man is cheating is....if his daily routine changes, he starts going out when he usually doesn't and if he says he s going to the store to get something and it takes if along time to come back. This link going to help you out about CALL and TEXT http://bit.ly/spy-cell or http://1cellphonespyware.weebly.com/

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I am a parent with joint cu... (Below threshold)

May 25, 2013 7:32 PM | Posted by cbj: | Reply

I am a parent with joint custody of a child. Is it possible to get a court to demand a diagnose of both parents for being a pathological liar? The reason to my question is that I know and have paperwork I found 3 mths before leaving that they had conned plenty of people out of money(500k) and put 4 people lives in danger. 1. Years ago a brother in-law almost drowned because they tampered with the scuba gear. (this was told to me and their friend since high school). 2. Sheriff recorded he bumped a person with his car. The sheriff recorded he examined the scratches(made by victim) on the front of the perpetrators car. Victim did not follow through to get criminal charges filed. 3. A Life was threatened when they had life insurance of 400k. 4. Burnt down the house next door. (Paperwork to back up most of this)
Hid from bankruptcy 800k 30 credit cards and loans(not including the 500k above.)

Lastly a doctor interacted with both of us when our son was in dire need for signatures for surgery. The other parent would not and refused to sign. The doctor endured the combatting with the other parent and was compiled to write a letter to recommending the court to give me full custody. - DCFS saw no problem that the other parent refused to sign as our child lied on the hospital bed needing the help. However after the other parents long 40 minute banter with the doctor....I stood up and demanded they only needed my signature to process the surgery which they did 3 hours later.

On the deposition there are to many lies to show there are plenty of lies. They are controlling and dangerous. Is there a way to get a court to request a diagnosis and then use this to get full custody?

I am beside myself what to do?

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I think three was on notici... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2013 10:03 AM | Posted by lusia: | Reply

I think three was on noticing your man is cheating is....if his daily routine changes, he starts going out when he usually doesn't and if he says he s going to the store to get something and it takes if along time to come back. This website going to help you out about CALL and TEXT http://bit.ly/spy-cell or http://1cellphonespyware.weebly.com/

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Ummm, Lori..!? Your daught... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2013 10:28 PM | Posted, in reply to LoriE's comment, by Katherine: | Reply

Ummm, Lori..!? Your daughter sounds more like someone with a drug addiction rather than someone who's a pathological OR compulsive liar.

I can't get over how many people clearly didn't read the article before just posting (randomly) about the liar[s] in their lives...Seriously, was it ONLY the admitted pathological liars and proclaimed psychologist/psychiatrists who read the points the author made about what TYPES of lies PLs tell and why?!

Sheesh people, buck up on your reading comprehension skills before sharing your own babbling inner monologue with the rest of us!

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I don't want to be rude, bu... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2013 11:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't want to be rude, but you're misunderstanding the meaning of 'information cannot be created or destroyed'. Its essentially a rewording of the concept of the laws of thermodynamics in order to better describe the interaction of quantum mechanics and general relativity.

That is, we're really just saying energy/mass cannot be created or destroyed in a way that adequately covers the difficulties created by the creation and annihilation of matter/antimatter subatomic particle pairs. However, this interpretation of quantum physics leads to the black hole information paradox, which does not currently have a satisfying answer.

Uh, also. The second of the links you posted earlier should not be taken especially seriously. Unfortunately it seems that most of the information is out of date, and the sources are somewhat shaky.

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Oh poop, Ignore me! I was r... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2013 11:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh poop, Ignore me! I was reading two articles at once and responded to the wrong one accidentally.

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The only way you will ever ... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2013 2:04 PM | Posted by lusia: | Reply

The only way you will ever know for sure if your man is cheating on you is if you catch him in the act or if he tells you straight up. I would really think about if this is the kind of relationship you want to be in and if not, get out of it. Nobody deserves to be treated like that,one of my best friend give this link 1cellphonespyware.weebly.com also I think three was on noticing your man is cheating is....if his daily routine changes, he starts going out when he usually doesn't and if he says he s going to the store to get something and it takes if along time to come back. Also you can send a question if you made. :u

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A work acquaintance of mine... (Below threshold)

July 26, 2013 6:09 PM | Posted by johnc: | Reply

A work acquaintance of mine, from a former contract, would lie habitually about his credentials and life in general. The lies became noticeable after they became grander. Paul also drank a lot, more than the average person could drink without dying. He could have 8 or 9 double whiskey shots in a sitting yet still function at work the next morning. The problem would occur after he had more than his limit. He would confabulate stories about being a general in the special services, being a war hero in the Gulf War, and being a double agent with the Chinese and CIA. He said that he could walk onto the floor of Congress and be recognized by them. He felt that he had special powers and abilities. He could speak 9 languages, according to him. These confabulations were at least consistent over time as he would tell the same stories to other people. My assumption is that the alcohol has damaged his brain to the point where dementia has set in. The strange thing is that he is a highly functional individual when not drunk. Even when not drunk, he would weave stories to embellish his background or to minimalize the impact of losing a job. It would always be the other person's fault or would be a conspiracy against him. The truth is, is that he is an average individual with average abilities. Being average is certainly not good enough for him, so his mind would weave stories to make others see his elevated status. I also realized that he has self image problems and was frequently insecure about his lot in life. In summary, Paul's pathological lying served a purpose, one of making him look greater in life than he really is. The outcome of his lying is obvious. He managed to alienate any friends. His stories were too outlandish and implausible to be considered true. He also has managed to be released from numerous jobs because he would overstate his background and abilities. The managers would quickly catch on about him and release him.

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My brother started lying wh... (Below threshold)

October 1, 2013 5:38 AM | Posted by Darryl: | Reply

My brother started lying when we were young, we were both molested by our father, we are 17 mos. apart in age. It's odd because even though we had the same life experiences as children, we are so completely different as adults, he has always lied, & it had such an effect on me that I became a extremely blunt honest person, my brother is pathological , when you confront his lies( grandiose or fibs) he will become defective like I'm trying to hurt him emotionally. He has been married & divorced 4 times, as where I've been with the same person for 21 yrs. (monogamous) he cheated on each wife, but as we neared our 40's his lies became extreme, he is always saying he has a terminal cancer, once he came to town & we went to dinner after visiting our mother in hospice, at the dinner he told me he had a brain tumor & doctors said he would only live a few months, now 2 yrs. later healthy, everyone in my family refused to speak with him for the last 20 yrs. because not only does he lie, but he will lie & cause complete chaos, while being deflective, blaming it all on the other person(s) involved. I would like to just cut him out of my life for the numerous things he's done to me, but I always remember when we were little and what we went through together that I feel compelled to always be there for him....FYI I'm the younger of us two.......my advice to anyone who knows a pathological liar, GET OUT !!!!! Whether it's friendship, partner, spouse, you can never have a authentic relationship with such a person !

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My exhusband was a patholog... (Below threshold)

October 2, 2013 5:31 PM | Posted by JenJoD: | Reply

My exhusband was a pathological liar.. Of Course when we met I was young and dumb and fell for it all but soon started learning the truths of it all. He cld not hold down a job, had no real friends, the things he wld tell me about his family he wld tell me were not allowed to be talked about with his family etc. However his family was always very open and kind. He was very different from his family. I found that he wld often tell ppl one thing yet do another, made tons of excuses, and it came to the point I cld not depend on anything he said nor back up anything he ever told me. he had told me he was a Marine and that he had followed in the footsteps of a dead uncle that we were not ever allowed to mention etc. After we had our daughter we started having several problems and his mother came to visit one day and I started asking questions. Low and behold none of it was true. She did confirm he had went to bootcamp but was kicked out due to seizures afters only a few days and it was Army boot camp. Anyone that is a Marine or Knows Marines Knows this is a disgrace not just to the Marines but to any form of Military. I started doing research and found that MUCH of what I thought I had known about him was a lie. I was ripped apart! Long story short I divorced him swiftly! He took NO accountability for any of it, admitted no fault, acted as if I were somehow making it all up when I had proof! I validated my claims he cld not.I was able to get him limited visitation with our daughter which is best as he is homeless a lot of the time and leads a very unhealthy life. With that said I now have a question, Our daughter see's him maybe once a year and she is supervised when she see's him, she is now 10. I do my best to instill in her honest and moral values etc. I am very upfront with her and her siblings as is my current husband etc, however I find she has issues with telling lies and I am scared. She is only 10 and I realize they go through that faze maybe but it scares me that somehow she will end up like him. I realize she is young but it seems the more I try to discipline her the worse she gets and she shows no accountability for them. I am scared.. What do I do.. Any suggestions?

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I can't believed how prejud... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 1:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I can't believed how prejudiced and loaded with negative associations this article (or whatever you might classify this as) is. I didn't bother reading past the 10 first comments which are all raging with hate and fear. Write "truth is he's just an idiot" and it tells me what kind of person you are.

I am a compulsive liar. Most of the times when it happens it is about petty things, and not always for personal gain. And when it is, it's usually ridiculous stuff like a friend is coming to pick me up somewhere and I tell that person "I'm leaving now" when I know that I'll at least have to take a shower first. That way, if I know a person is not always on time I make sure that I won't reach the destination only to wait for 10 minutes - I made up for that by giving him a queue to leave in due time without him realizing it.

You people make it sound like I am the spawn of Satan. Everyone lies ok, (yeah reader, you too, but don't take offense) some people are just better at controlling it than others. And hey, maybe I don't want a cure. I was born this way, and it's actually great for my ambition to become a method actor one day (I actually already master the skills of one, which while sounding like an exaggeration coming from someone likely to bend the truth is something you can believe).

If anything "drives" me to lie, I'd say it's to entertain. So the next time someone at work lies to you, how about instead of confronting him or thinking "fucking douchebag" you accept that he is how he is. You're not FORCED to befriend him/her.

My three real friends know fully well how I am, and because they can accept me I know that these are the friendships that last.

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And on an unrelated note it... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 1:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

And on an unrelated note it looks like half the guys know nothing of what it's like actually being in the position I'm in.

No, I don't believe my own lies. I don't even lie about stuff like being abducted by Aliens/Canadians/whatever, that's just ridiculous.

No it is not in the SLIGHTEST insightful. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudologia_fantastica - take a look at the definition (and yes Wikipedia IS trustworthy contrary to popular belief, because authors are OBLIGATED to remove stuff that cannot be documented hence the billion footnotes, damn!)

Yes, it is indeed co-related to psychological disorders, but in my case it's Aspergers, so no I'm not a schizofrenic maniac, in spite of what most of you seem to believe

You might as well have written an "insightful blog" about blacks where you claim that they all steal bikes. Take your frustrations in a forum that's not publicly accesible, because it really pisses me off that all you've managed to do is to start an uproar of people sharing bad experiences about guys like me.

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Hey anonymous, why post if ... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 2:44 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

Hey anonymous, why post if you don't have the courage to put your name.......when people write here it's to get their story off their mind, cathartic perhaps, most people don't come here &apostles hate, they're just hurt from someone who "lies" "fibs"etc......I always say if a pathological liar could meet someone like themselves, & go through half of what most of us have been through, it would be like shock therapy, the liars couldn't deal with someone lying so profusely to them yet you "liars" don't understand how much the lies hurt & why no person will be around a liar for very long without becoming disgusted, have no further contact with a liar !!!! Get a great psychiatrist !

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If you could see how your 3... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 2:52 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

If you could see how your 3 friends spoke of you in your absence you would be shocked, you can't have a authentic relationship/friendship if you're a compulsive liar, your non lying friends know this, you sound as if you think it's cool to lie, it's not it just shows how low your self esteem is, get professional help, you need it.........later liar !

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I didn't post my name mainl... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 3:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I didn't post my name mainly because of dumb-dumbs like yourself. I know for a fact that my 3 friends are 100 % authentic, so I don't care that you blindly believe it's not possible. I know it is. I never said I thought it was cool by the way. I said that it's a skill just like everything else. Actors lie to you too, and you couldn't know for a second if they do it in real life as well.

How is it that my example, case in point, the 10 minute delay could hurt your feelings?

And hey, I have had one already. And I couldn't tell him anything because all "normal" people are exactly as prejudgmental as yourself! He's a damn shrink and I don't care if he's under oath. My private life is none of his business. Nor is it any of your business.

But hey, before I bid you farewell thanks for confirming MY prejudices. I was hoping for a decent response because I led myself to believe that it isn't all idiots out there. Guess that's too much to ask. You didn't even click the link I sent with actual confirmed information (confirmed, I.E. not random GUESSING that you can't have an authentic relationship)

You act what you know, and clearly you know nothing and is unwilling to learn at the same time. Good luck in life, I'm fairly certain I'll have more than you.

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Last comment; You are in ab... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 3:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Last comment; You are in absolutely no position to question my friend's loyalty. You don't know jack shit about them, or about anything about my life other than that I am subject to your hatred because I try to inform people that we're not all lunatics.

And if you really think that I AM based on what you just read on this insightful blog (for instance the co-relation with psychopathy and schizophrenia) you got balls to post YOUR name Kin Phung Soi.

Luckily for you I'm not the maniac you want me to be, or at least claim that I am.

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You say it's none of my bus... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 6:09 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

You say it's none of my business about you or your LYING ! Then why post here you pathological liar, your friends do talk about you & your lying, if you believe not, then you're a liar & a idiot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These post are to help people not for you to come here & justify your bullshit !!!!! There is no justification bozo !

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@ least I have self esteem ... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 6:11 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

@ least I have self esteem to post my name, unlike you &BTW my last name is tsoi, liar

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Go see a therapist, please ... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 6:15 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

Go see a therapist, please for everyone involved in your life ! Good luck !

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Bye you Dolt ! &&&&&&&&&&&&... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2013 8:08 PM | Posted by Kim phung tsoi : | Reply

Bye you Dolt ! &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& by the way I lied on here, my name isn't kim phung tsoi, that name is from a golden girls episode, look that up idiot, it's the episode where rose nyland goes into cardiac arrest @ a reunion........... How does it feel to be lied to you idiot, smarts doesn't it.........your grammar & punctuation need help to loser ! Now leave the healthy people on here alone so we can vent our anger!!!!!

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i feel and act like i've be... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2013 12:34 AM | Posted by matt: | Reply

i feel and act like i've been caught lying when i tell a story (a true story) but then people ask me questions and i don't have the answer right away. any suggestions?

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I am a 28 year-old man and,... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2014 10:29 AM | Posted by JoeyK42085: | Reply

I am a 28 year-old man and, I believe, a pathological liar. The article speaks to how I am. I lie to everyone about everything. The interesting thing to me is that I have analyzed the "whys" and can only come up with a couple of reasons: One is fear. Fear of not being liked, fear of the unknown, fear of the future. This can also be labeled as deep insecurity as to who I am and what I am. The other "why" I came up with is selfishness. My lies are self-serving. The "purposelessness" that the article describes (no external benefit) is true for me. However, there are other considerations. I will lie, get caught, and lie more to cover it up. It damages my reputation and my relationships. One aspect that hasn't been touched on, yet I feel is important, is ego. My ego tells me that I am clever enough/good enough to withstand any potential backlash from my lying. However, this is not a sociopathic/narcissistic ego, because I DO feel guilt over the lies. I feel guilty that I hurt my family. This guilt has led me to be suicidal at times, going so far as to attempt a drug overdose and wrist-slitting when I was younger. I am also a recovering alcoholic and gambling addict, sober from alcohol and drugs since 2009, gambling since early 2013. I know the dishonesty and ego problems fed my addictions and I can't help but think that the same problems I see in my analysis of addiction are also inherent in my lying. I pray that the lying goes away, I ask for help with it, yet it comes across as if it were natural. I truly do it without thinking, much like I drank. I want help, not sure where to go. I've considered psychiatry, does that help, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

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I'M SO HAPPY FOR WHAT THE P... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2014 12:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Need A Fix's comment, by Alex: | Reply

I'M SO HAPPY FOR WHAT THE POWERFUL DR, ALULU DID FOR ME.
Hi'' my name is Alex am from Australia with this tears joy and happiness in my heart i want to say thanks to this great man DR ALULU of alulukataspelltemple@outlook.com for what him has done for me , This is my story i was 24 years old when i married my husband and we were both living together happily no fighting . but i was not comfortable with this married because after 4 years of our married i have not be able to give my husband a child doctors reveal we are capable of bearing children but we have no child to call ourchild so i was worry thinking of what to do so i can be able to give birth. inside all my thinking for a solution for my problems my husbands families came and they accuse me for been a barring women so i have to leave their son alone so i was been push out of my husband house so i went crying looking for a solution to my problems because i love my husband very much and don’t want to loose to another woman so all my mind think is him so i cry all nite to get back with him . one Friday evening when browsing i came across a testimony shared by miss Viviana how this DR ABULU helped her solved a similar problems so i decided to contact this man about my own problems and to my best surprise he also help me out and to day am happy not only because am with the man i loved but still because of i now have a child of my own .so for all this help from you DR ALULU of alulukataspelltempleQoutlook.com i want to say thank you once again so friends if you know you are into such or any kind of problem contact this man and i KNOW he will alsO

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I have a question that I ca... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2014 12:02 AM | Posted by Meredith: | Reply

I have a question that I can't seem to find the answer to and thought this might be a good place to look. I find lots of information online about liars but not a lot of information about people who receive lies frequently. What are the characteristics of those that receive lies more frequently than others? Are they extra vulnerable or the opposite, abusive and scary so that people lie to avoid angering them, or are there different types? I'm sure people lie to me on occasion (though I don't usually catch anyone) because everyone tells a white lie now and then, but I don't think people lie to me more frequently than to others. I don't lie often, but do tell a little lie here and there, though I lie more to my mother (who can be verbally abusive at times) than to other people. That said, I don't still don't lie all that much even to her; and the worst of my lying was in high school and college, which is probably pretty normal (depending on the extent), I'd assume.

Anyhow, it just occurred to me that if one is lied to more frequently than others as a general pattern in one's life (not by just one abusive partner, for instance), then the problem might be with the recipient more than it is with the liar, especially if the person or people telling the lies are generally honest otherwise (though I'm sure the closeness of the relationship is probably a factor too). Also, I'm not saying that the abused partner doesn't play a role that perpetuates abuse (which, to me, does not necessarily conflate to causing the abuse); that's just not the situation I'm questioning here.

A fight, well, not really a fight, getting yelled at by my mother, was what brought this thought to mind. During this tirade, she called my dad and I liars - he was not present and had nothing to do with the situation - and said she ALWAYS told the truth (eyeroll). The trigger was that I snapped at her and accused her of accidentally logging into my Facebook profile, which she misread (partly due to not understanding technology) to mean both that I was accusing her of doing it on purpose and of lying about it regardless of whether or not I was implying intent), in other words accusing her of lying. (If anything, I was accusing her of ignorance, not lies, but whatever.)

All this said, as I mentioned, though I lie fairly infrequently, I lie to my mom more often than I lie to other people; and I don't think it is because of the closeness of the relationship. I'm wondering if people with intimidating personalities (such as my mom) and perhaps other people with more vulnerable, please-like-me type of personalities are more likely to receive lies from others.

And, yes, living here is kind of like prison for me right now. There's no physical abuse, and some people experience verbal abuse that is much worse than she dishes out. It goes in cycles. Anyhow, seeing a therapist and searching for a better job so I can get out and either set proper boundaries or sever ties.

I have a question that I can't seem to find the answer to and thought this might be a good place to look. I find lots of information online about liars but not a lot of information about people who receive lies frequently. What are the characteristics of those that receive lies more frequently than others? Are they extra vulnerable or the opposite, abusive and scary so that people lie to avoid angering them, or are there different types? I'm sure people lie to me on occasion (though I don't usually catch anyone doing so) because everyone tells a white lie now and then, but I don't think I'm lied to more that other people. I don't lie often, but do tell a little lie here and there, though I lie more to my mother (who can be verbally abusive at times) than to other people. That said, I don't still don't lie even to her all that much either; and the worst of my lying was in high school and college, which is probably pretty normal (depending on the extent), I'd assume.

Anyhow, it just occurred to me that if one is lied to more frequently than others as a general pattern in one's life (not by just one abusive partner, for instance), then the problem might be with the recipient more than it is with the liar, especially if the person or people telling the lies are generally honest to others (though I'm sure the closeness of the relationship is probably a factor too). Also, I'm not saying that the abused partner doesn't play a role that perpetuates abuse (which, to me, does not necessarily conflate to causing the abuse); that's just not the situation I'm questioning here.

A fight, well, not really a fight, getting yelled at by my mother, was what brought this thought to mind. During this tirade, she called my dad and I liars - he was not present and had nothing to do with the situation - and said she ALWAYS told the truth (eyeroll). The trigger was that I accused her of accidentally logging into my Facebook profile, which she misread (partly due to not understanding technology) to mean both that I was accusing her of doing it on purpose and of lying about it whether or not it was on purpose, in other words accusing her of lying. (If anything, I was accusing her of ignorance, not lies, but whatever.)

All this said, as I mentioned, though I lie fairly infrequently, I lie to my mom more often than I lie to other people; and I don't think it is because of the closeness of the relationship. I'm wondering if people with intimidating personalities (such as my mom) and perhaps other people with more vulnerable, please-like-me type of personalities are more likely to receive lies from others.

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To be rhetorical here-- are... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2014 6:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Meredith's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

To be rhetorical here-- are you honest (as much as consciously possible) with yourself? THAT is what matters most. I had a similar sitch a few years ago. I got in the habit--which, for me, was hard--of asking myself how I felt about xyz and exercising that strength as much as possible.

Dr. Gabor Maté puts it like this:
1- read between the lines (get it)
2- what
::then::
3- how

There's a couple of Dr. Maté's excellent talks about attachment (as it relates to ADD, but bear with me here) on Youtube that I think are a good starting point.

I recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's books on mindfulness. Eckhart Tolle's are good too. Female authors aren't coming to mind currently, but there are plenty of those as well.

No one here is going to be able to provide you with a how-to. Always remember to exercise caution, for which the perspective of a Psy D that you feel comfortable with/around never hurts either, if finances permit.

I wish you best in health and well-being, Meredith.

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Wow, thank you so much for ... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2014 1:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Meredith: | Reply

Wow, thank you so much for your reply. Interestingly enough, I am ADD primary inattentive type (plus I'm adopted and highly sensitive and atopic etc.) So, yeah, those talks should be extremely helpful. I'm not sure I agree with everything Maté says about that stuff being the main cause of ADD, but I see how it can contribute, especially since people who are abused also suffer executive function deficits. I think it's probably likely that a good number of people diagnosed with ADD don't have it or that there's more than one disorder at work here that we're missing or both. Anyway, though I think Barkley has the scientific evidence on his side, something really, really bothers me about him, almost like he has a certain distain for his patients. Maté on the other hand seems much more compassionate, and I'm inclined to agree with him emotionally, if not intellectually just yet, both because of this and because the (admittedly very little) I've read of his work matches my experience (confirmation bias, I know). I have trouble getting through books, and I have some things on my list right now. I started reading Scattered a few years ago but stopped not just because if attention problems in this case but because it was hitting a little too close to home at times, and I wasn't ready to admit to the abuse yet (even though I was living on my own at the time. I always felt like because my situation isn't as bad as many have it and because my mom has shown me love, cares about me, and isn't crazy all the time (she cycles), that maybe it wasn't abuse and my perception was just off and even felt guilty for feeling that way.

Anyhow, that brings me to my answer to your question about whether I'm being honest with myself, and the answer is that it's complicated; but I really do TRY to be honest with myself now even if I'm not always successful and if I haven't always been in the past. I'm seeing a master's degree level counselor who is interning right now to make it affordable (can't afford a psych D but see a psychiatrist for med management). It's really helping a lot, and we really connect well. Finally, after all these years and different therapists somebody has finally verbalized that what I'm experiencing actually us abuse. (A psychiatrist who I saw for only one visit when I couldn't get to the other doc hinted that it might be something like that when he told me dysthymia is often caused by childhood abuse. Not sure how he picked up on that in one session or if it was just a general statement; but it's still rather insightful.) Seeing the counselor is also helping with telling myself the truth even if it's a slow process, but I'm better able to express what I'm feeling now. Part of the difficulty in telling my peeled the truth right now is that my reality is, quite frankly, a little warped from all the crazy making. I'm just starting to figure out what things are reasonable and which things aren't without taking all the blame personally now, though it's a process. And I can step back and laugh in my head about the unreasonableness of the threats to kick me out if I commit x minor infraction again (such as this stupid FB thing) that has so truly and deeply hurt her. (Should I have snapped at her? No. Did I apologize? Yes. Is threatening to kick me out the next time I do it reasonable? Hahaha, nope! The very low rent I pay living with my parents $100 a month is probably less than my expenses to them living here. Is it barely one tenth of the expenses I create in groceries, hot water, etc.? Well, having lived on my own before and paid my own utilities and groceries, etc. I'd say those expenses were no where close to a thousand a month on top of my rent. )

Thank you for your kind words and the book recommendations. I'll certainly consider reading them and have a female author suggestion for you, Pema Chodron. :-) I am using caution and the therapist is really helping. Sending warm wishing of health and wellness right back to you, Meredith

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Joey,To oversimplify... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2014 4:44 PM | Posted, in reply to JoeyK42085's comment, by Rachael Daws: | Reply

Joey,
To oversimplify, you are what you choose to do, and [to a lesser extent] why you choose to do it, and what you learn from it all.

"Deep down, you may still be that same great kid you used to be, but it's not who you are underneath.
It's what you do that defines you."

Do good, for good reasons.
Do better, for better reasons.
The rest is learning from experience, and luck.
Good Luck.

… if you're somewhere drunk and passed out on the floor … I'm not angry, anymore …

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I have come to the... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2014 4:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Need A Fix's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I have come to the conculsion that my lieing is to help me feel better about myself but how to curb it is another thing. I have a good job lots of friends who care about me and family that loves me but they dont deserve this from me does anyone know where I should start? Because I am mentally tapped out and about at the end of my rope..

Someone is making you feel bad about yourself.
Someone is making you feel you don't deserve them.
Friends care about you (need you).
Family loves you (needs you).
Friends and family need you to feel bad or you won't need them.

"The secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you. Depend on no one. Only when you reject all HELP are you freed." - the Buddha

Cut them all loose. You need to be alone. Your confidence level will soar. With no one making you feel obligated or shitty or inferior for not doing more, you can focus on being yourself again and regaining control of your eroded Self-perception. Humans don't lie to themselves unless they need to. Depend on no one and you'll never need to.

Reject all HELP to be freed.

"We alone must walk the path." - the Buddha
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My ex-boyfriend Brett Gylle... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2014 7:55 AM | Posted by Stacy W: | Reply

My ex-boyfriend Brett Gyllenskog is a pathological liar. I never knew what to believe. He verbally abused me, cheated on me and separated me from my family but his lying was the worst. I'm glad he's gone.

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I lived with a pathological... (Below threshold)

May 3, 2014 3:37 PM | Posted by Editor13: | Reply

I lived with a pathological liar for 6 years. He worked hard, helped me financially and was, at least in the beginning, kind to me.

Looking back now, I can't believe how gullible I was. His lies ranged from mundane things----where he bought a pair of jeans----to big things like telling me he served in the Marine Corps. I think I always doubted a lot of what he said but there were many, many lies I totally accepted as truth and never thought to question.

He said he was estranged from his family due to an issue with some property he inherited from his mother. I only met his uncle, his brother and one of his sisters. I never met any of his kids. The relatives I did meet never mentioned his kids or anything about his past. Until I found them on Facebook, I wasn't even sure he really had children.

More examples of his lies: He said his son was a forensic anthropologist with the University of Oklahoma. The truth is his son is an ex-convict who sometimes works as a roofer.
He said his wife died in 2001. I found out she's still alive.
He said his daughter lives in Maryland and works for the Defense Department. His daughter works in a medical clinic in Oklahoma.

He said he played baseball in college. I assume this is a lie.
He said his son-in-law is a doctor. Facebook says the guy is actually a nurse and is now married to another woman.
He said his grandson is a law student in Maryland. Grandson actually attended community college in a small Oklahoma town.

He said he wanted to leave me some cash and help me buy a home so I'll be ok when he dies. The truth is all the money he has is money he earns as contractor. He works seven days a week and keeps his money hidden in a bank bag under his dresser. He actually has no land, no savings, no investment funds, and neither of us could qualify for a mortgage. No idea why he said that!
Said he had a brother who died in Vietnam. I can find no evidence this "brother" ever existed.
Said his son was married to a smart, accomplished woman from upstate New York. She earned a sociology degree and was an admissions director at a college. I found out his son has spent several years in a state correctional facility, has two grown kids but never married and was never associated with any woman from New York.

I feel ashamed for believing such ridiculous stories. Just writing this down makes me feel ashamed. How could I believe any of this? Why didn't I check online sources? It took a few hours of research for me to realize I'd been lied to for years.

I was always proud of my boyfriend and I used to tell people what a decent, honorable man he was. I think I'm most angry about his claim of having served in Vietnam after the death of his "brother."
He even told convincing stories of the horrible things that happened during his tours of duty. He cried and said his guilt never ended. It kept him from being able to sleep and made him have flashbacks, he said.

In addition to big lies, he also told small, silly lies. He lied every day. Sometimes a new lie comes to light and the feelings of betrayal and hurt begin again.
I am 47 years old and he was 67. You'd think someone that old would've learned by now that lies ruin everything but I guess not.

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Why did you date him?... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2014 7:44 PM | Posted, in reply to JessicaLynn's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Why did you date him?

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My daughter was like this f... (Below threshold)

August 4, 2014 12:48 AM | Posted, in reply to childrenourfuture's comment, by Lyn: | Reply

My daughter was like this from a very young age too, it didn't stop. My other children are nothing like her, I don't know what happened to make her do this. It didn't matter how she got a bruise or scrape, she would always say "mum hit me!" or something similar. I was seemed funny on occasions when she might fall and hurt herself but blame me even if I wasn't there. We even joked that it might be a problem if she said that once she started school... but it stopped being funny :-( She started lying to her teachers, saying that I beat her up after she discovered a small bruise on her hand on the way to school. At 12 she was texting her friends saying "please help, mum has gone crazy and is beating me and my brother and sister up for no reason!"... she told her friends I was trying to starve her and wouldn't let her eat most days, she stole money, food, anything from friends and family. she is now 19 and frequently tells people she thinks she is pregnant, her most recent was that she had an abortion last year... complete with a photo of an ultrasound picture that she took from a friends facebook post. Even when I told her I knew she was lying and pointed out the wholes in her story she still kept lying about it. She was in a relationship with a wonderful guy that she loved, but she destroyed the relationship with her lies and stealing even though he gave her chance after chance. I don't know what went wrong she has lied from the day she could talk. Nothing we did has helped, she seems set on self destructing, even loosing the love of her life hasn't stopped her.

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I'm no Sherlock Holmes but ... (Below threshold)

August 22, 2014 1:24 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I'm no Sherlock Holmes but this is not especially complex.

He worked hard, helped me financially and was, at least in the beginning, kind to me.

But she doesn't perceive herself as a whore because her mother told her whores sell sex for money. That's a prostitute. Whores sell their exclusive (ahem) favours for love. Poor men love poorly.

I am 47 years old and he was 67. You'd think someone that old would've learned by now that lies ruin everything but I guess not.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? On the other hand, maybe he got tired of sleeping alone after offending whores with rude honesty.

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I don't know what ... (Below threshold)

August 22, 2014 1:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Lyn's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I don't know what went wrong she has lied from the day she could talk.

One of those evil babies, I guess.

Alternatively, her mother doesn't even know when she's lying. When you put clothes on her to objectify her for sale, for example; you taught her to conceal her shameful skin. When you taught her to be polite, for another example; you taught her to misrepresent her true feelings. When you told her that Santa was real, was that honest? When you told her she was Special, was that true? Are children Special by virtue of being related to you or are they just Special to you? When you wear makeup to conceal your blemished face, is that honesty or is that deceit?

You don't know what went wrong but I do. Your mother lied too.

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