A compulsive liar is an individual who lies naturally and feels right about it. For individuals suffering from this condition, lying is the most normal and reflexive way to responding to any question or query poised to them. Compulsive liars have a habit of bending the truth, big or small, without any apparent reason and telling the truth is often uncomfortable and awkward.
The condition develops in early childhood, especially due to exposure to an environment where lying is necessary for survival. It should be remembered that compulsive liars are not cunning or manipulative, but lie out of an automated response which is hard to break.
What Are The Signs Of A Compulsive Lying Disorder?
For compulsive liars, lying is a second nature and they not only feel comfortable about lying, but often become uncomfortable in the presence of truth. Like any other behavior like abuse of alcohol, consumption of drug, etc. which is used to escape discomfort and provide comfort, lying is also addictive as it creates a safe environment for the liar.
- Don’t take everything on face value. Especially when you find something suspicious, try to research about the topic.
- On conforming that it was a lie, try to confront the compulsive liar. Often when confronted, compulsive liars will try to provide justification and explanation of why they are right. Try to negate their justification with some rational facts.
- Try to see how frequently the person lies. If the person continues to lie repeatedly, it is often an indication that the person a compulsive liar.
- By frequently exposing the lie, the liar often tends to realize that he is going nowhere with the lying and would try to change his behavior. However, don’t expect this change in behavior too soon. It may take several years to change a habit that has been with the individual since childhood.
Dealing With A Compulsive Liar
Though there is no specific strategy to deal with a compulsive liar, there are several experiences and viewpoints that have been suggested,
- Some believe that by repeated exposing the lie and not accepting information provided on face value, a compulsive liar may eventually be able to change his habit or be able to cope with the condition. This however is a lengthy exercise and may take several years to show results.
- Some believe that the best way to deal with compulsive liars is to leave them alone. By putting in a constant effort to expose them, an individual tends to engage in a co-dependent relationship, where the individual spends a lot of time and energy to try to change the liar. It is best that rather than making an effort to change the behavior, it is best to make it explicit that “you are not trustable, but I still care for you”. This can help improve the individual.
However many have argued that compulsive liars don’t change their behavior and it is often very taxing for the partner or friends. Eventually ending the relationship or interaction with the compulsive liar is the best alternative.