Compulsive Liars

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A chronic liar is a person who lies out of habit.  They lie about everything,  important matters and minor matters; they are suffering from a mental disorder.  They feel uncomfortable when telling the truth, but lying feels right and natural. They are sometimes referred to as compulsive liars, or pathological liars.

They may not even realize they are lying, and are not consistent in their stories. They often forget what they said on a previous occasion and come up with an entirely different story about the same matter a few days later. If discovered in a blatant falsehood, they will concoct an even more elaborate lie in an attempt to cover up the previous one.

Some chronic liars are so skillful  that it's hard  to catch them , but here are a few signs to watch for:

* The lies are designed to make them appear smart, or brave or important. Whatever you can do, they can do better. Chronic liars are usually fearful and insecure individuals at heart.

* They have shifty eyes; they will glance all around and are reluctant to make eye contact. Their minds are always busy as they try not to contradict themselves. At the same time, they are inventing the next falsehood and  planning how to make it sound believable.

* They will exhibit a defensive behavior and may cross their arms in front of their chest. They may blink frequently, and make exaggerated hand and arm gestures.

* They may fake a smile when speaking and go into too much detail, in an effort to make you swallow their story.

* They sweat, even when the surroundings are cool.

* They have a history of ruined relationships, broken promises and very few, if any, close friendships.

* They may suffer from other addictions: alcohol, drugs or gambling.  They lie to hide the truth both from themselves and others.

* Those who suffer from bipolar disorder may be compulsive liars during the manic phase of their illness.

* People suffering from Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often exhibit compulsive behaviors.  If not corrected early, compulsive lying may become an ingrained habit by the time they become adults.

* The chronic liar will react belligerently if the victim shows the slightest sign of not believing him. He will rage, shout and launch into a heated verbal attack designed to make the victim feel guilty for doubting his story. If this tactic doesn't work, he will bring out his strongest weapon, he will cry. For a chronic liar, this ruse usually works, especially if he is a male.

Compulsive liars can be clever, accomplished actors. It is very hard to catch them especially if you're emotionally involved. It takes a trained, dispassionate therapist to  correctly interpret the clues, pinpoint and treat the problem.

If there is a compulsive liar in your life, learn to spot the signs and get them into therapy if possible.  If not, you may have to walk away to save your own sanity. Chronic liars  very seldom recover without treatment and no one can be expected to be a willing victim indefinitely.        

More about this author: Carolyn Tytler

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