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6 Subtle Characteristics of The Pathological Liar


Brian Lary

Have you ever communicated with a person who seemed to live in a fantasy world where everything said felt false or exaggerated? Have you ever had an experience with a person who always seems mysterious and nothing they say ever comes to fusion? Well…if so, you might have been dealing with a sociopath, narcissist, or even a pathological liar. This article will discuss 6 important characteristics we should all be aware of with the pathological liar.

274 Comments to
6 Subtle Characteristics of The Pathological Liar

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  1. I have the peace learning and studying the complicated, confused, contradictory behaviors of my mom..a pathetical liar and Narcissist personality…I am a woman of faith, and I have honored my mom as one of the ten commandments..love your parents all of the days of their lives…there is nothing that I haven’t tried, to love her and obey her..now that I know I haven’t any successes with her I can step back and let her be…she slams the phone down, before demanding an apology..with long periods of time between her next phone call.I am at peace with all of the women, mentors, teacher, friends in my life who have nurtured and loved me…my mom is the mother I needed not the woman I wanted to teach me how not to be a mom…thank you, Tamara..this article gives me much needed healing.

    • What a strong girl. Beautiful words. This is such a short paragraph of what I can’t imagine this was like to experience, hope your life is much more now. Respect Samantha Betts

    • The most destruction happens by parents who lie whether they know that they are lying or not

    • Hi Vicky- I am a woman of faith too and I am dealing with the same thing in regards to my daughter….so much so that she has created an entire situation and then once she has a “new family” on her side, publicly slapped me in the face on social media and announced she was changing her name to their last name and calling this new woman ‘mom’. Refused to reply to any of the situation until I finally received a message from her where she addressed my by my first name (instead of mom- or simply nothing) and created this whole situation where she is now the victim and I am the bad person (when in reality I have done nothing at all). I have prayed and given it to the Lord and am moving on. Praying your situation has or will get better or that you have found peace in whatever the result was.

      Praying for you!
      KA

  2. Argh. I’m dealing with this with our real estate agent. I feel so foolish having signed an exclusivity agreement with her, and I’m afraid it’s going to come back to bite us. We contacted her broker to try to get out of the contract but they’re no help. First time buying a house, and lesson learned – always get references! This agent lies about the dumbest things. She lies about things that happened at meetings that WE ATTENDED. I’m like, we were there! We know that’s not true! When she’s called out on a lie, she moves immediately into another false account of whatever just happened, as if the original lie never happened. Worst part is, she has several other problematic traits, too – she’s a compulsive talker and once trapped me on the phone, unable to break into the conversation, for half an hour before I finally had to just cut her off and hung up on her. I don’t accept calls from her anymore – it’s all email now. Weirdest thing, though – she has trouble with timelines. We had a meeting with the tenants occupying the hope we are buying, where she privately promised the tenants that we would help them with the down-payment on their new home (WHAT???). We of course immediately confronted her, and she changed the story of why she did that about a half dozen times. Later that same day she called to apologize for what she’d said the previous day – apparently thinking that the confrontation happened the day before instead of that same day. She then said that she met with the tenants that morning to explain that we would not, in fact, be paying their down-payment. No you didn’t, lady, everything just happened a few hours ago! Oh – she also encouraged us to commit mortgage fraud. Obviously we’re not working with her anymore. It’s just so frustrating – there’s no reason for someone to lie about the things she lies about and it’s going to cost her a home sale, exclusivity agreement or not. GRRRR.

    • I’m unfortunately married to one that does that all the time lies about things he doesnt have too he is an entrepreneur and makes millions that hes always lying about never told his parents we got married told me they didn’t like me his mom loves me doesn’t want anybody on f/B to know he’s married to me and he had one green card taken away for all the lying and deceiving the first time yes I left 2 yrs got sucked into coming back cause I was the only one that he could get his green card back immigration even asked me YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS I LIED AND SAID I FORGIVE HIM HE USES ME FOR WHAT HE NEEDS TOO HES HIRED PEOPLE TO STALK ME AS THE INVESTIGATOR TOLD ME IN 2005 I BELIEVE HE V OULD EVEN BE WORKING FOR ISIS HES FROM EUROPE AND HATES PEOPLE HES DANGEROUS AND THE FBI DOESNT WANT TO DEAL WITH HIM HE NEEDS JESUS HE HAS ME VIDEO EDITING IN MY OWN HOME HES CHEATING ON ME. I KNOW U ASK ME WHY I’M STILL HERE ….ALL MY CHRISTIAN FRIENDS FEAR HE WILL DO EVIL AGAINST ME I DONT FEAR CAUSE I HAVE JESUS BLOOD PROTECTING ME

      • My wife is the same way . I also know if I leave her, she’ll retaliate for as long as she’s alive. I tried to bribe her $ 100,000 but she prefers suck my blood and since she gets everything she wants there’s no reason for her to negotiate

  3. Words cant express how thankful I am for all the info provided in this article. I have been fighting several criminal charges for 4 years now in court all because of one person that made up a story about events that NEVER took place and are just flat out ridiculous. So far I have lost 2 trials and am currently going through an appeal, all because of this persons lies. Ive been searching for words or info that can help describe this women and help expose her illness and your info hit it DEAD ON. THANKS.

    • Thank you Meko for your kind comments. Appreciated. Glad you found the article helpful.

      • Hello,
        I’d like some advice. My 18 yr old stepson came to live with us a yr ago. He lies constantly. He’s very emotionally manipulative to my husband & pretty much everyone he can get something from. He steals. He’s stolen from his grandmother, his step sister, his brothers, his mother, his father, his cousin, his friends,his friend’s family, stores, & breaks into people’s cars. He sells weed. He smokes weed, was taking various pills (xanax seemed to be the pill of choice), & we’ve recently discovered he has tried coke. He has alienated all his friends with his stealing. He is not welcome to live with his mom & stepdad. He also is not welcome to live with his maternal grandmother. My husband & I set ground rules for him living with us…no stealing, no drugs, no minors in the house, no girls stay the night, you will go to college, & work at least a part time job. He doesn’t go to school & has worked a total of a month & a half in the time he’s been here. He has brought home brass knuckles & a gun. Our home flooded in hurricane mathew. After wading through the flood to the park at the front of the neighborhood we were trapped there for about 14 hours. While we were trapped, he waded back to the house to break in & steal from his cousin. Most recently he stole his friend’s Grandma’s entire paycheck. Most of these things were going on BEFORE he started with drugs. My husband is afraid if he kicks him out he’ll wind up dead & he has no where to go. We’ve had repeated discussions with him & it hasn’t mattered. He’s already been to counseling. His other family & friends have tried talking to him. NOTHING! I’m so completely done with him! What am I supposed to do? I’m seriously considering leaving. I have a minor daughter here that I cannot allow these things to continue around her.

      • Hi Justoverit,
        I’m sorry to hear about this. This is certainly a challenging situation and there are no easy answers. The only way he is going to get help is if he agrees that he has a problem and is willing to put in the effort to change. At this point, I would strongly consider leaving and saving yourself and your young daughter. There is nothing you can make him do and as painful as that is to acknowledge, you have to embrace that reality. I would consider the best way to get out and put up firm boundaries with him. You have to consider the safety challenges all around you from his unsafe, risky, and impulsive decisions and behaviors.
        All the best to you

  4. I have had very bad experiences with a pathological lier and it is very very helpful to hear about the maze of confusion.

    Being lied to about yourself is the oddest most meta aspect of the maze and more generally, the aheer enormity and uselessness of the lies is quite impressive really. Also impressive is the way people believe him – the ‘charm’ technique is obviously successful, though maybe those of us who have lived through it recognise it more easily.

    A very damaging issue is that you don’t always find out about the lies. For example,I only found out years later that i’d apparently married an ex boyriend I’d not even lived with, and so got the reputation of being a cheat when I was seen in my old haunts with my permanent partner. That is just one of many, many examples and a farely minot one.

    The trigger for this lier appears to be a need to please and when they feel they have been found out doing the wrong thing, or should have known something, or taken action that a normal person would have known or done.

    Strangely enough, this makes them very vulnerable to manipulators and I think the possibility of someone quietly manipulating in the background should always be looked for, especially if this behaviour reasserts itself after seeing someone they haven’t seen for a long time.

    Unfortunately, the hatred they express, the further lies and sometimes physical aggression that is the consequence of them being found out repeatedly deadens any compassion initially felt.

    • Thank you Orson for your comment. You mentioned a lot of great points and I’m sure many of us can agree with how you feel about pathological liars. No one can live with them and for many of us, comprehending the severity of their mental and emotional disturbance is very difficult. Trying to understand where the lying comes from can take many years of therapy and evaluation. Right now, we have some clues but not many. It’s a very complex mystery of this life.

    • I work with a young lady with this problem lies all the time and lie about you to your face and will try to convince you that she is telling the truth try to keep the other workers away from you isolate them controling always want to be right if you contradict what she said she will get attitude and argue trying to convince you that it is the truth she emblish stories enjoys belittling people for her entertainment seems to think she is smarter than everyone else if she is caught in a lie she just make up another lie has no guilt about it she makes up stories about things even when you can prove she is lying even when you prove she is lying she will keep attacking try to get you to believe the lie manipulative

    • I married one as well, and have now lost custody of my daughter because of the lies. My ex-husband is now lying to my little girl about me, him, and unbelievably, herself. She now thinks her memories are flawed; she previously had said she watches him lie to everyone else, but never thought he’d do it to her.

      I can’t explain this to her. He’ll convince her I’m bad-mouthing him, even though I don’t. I hope her therapist will help her, even though he is still lying to her – about the dumbest things, sometimes. Sometimes they’re damaging lies, like “your mom didn’t hold you when you were a baby”.

      I feel as though there isn’t a fix for this situation. It’s terrible from every view.

  5. I wish I had had this information 4 years ago. I made the mistake of falling in love with, and committing the direction of my life to a pathological liar. I didn’t (or didn’t want to) see it in the beginning. I knew something was off, but he was so good at manipulating my fears and suspicions. After a little over four years, I am finally away from him, but the pain still lingers. The hardest part for me to understand is his total lack of empathy. I would spend countless hours trying to get him to understand the pain and destruction his lies were causing, only to have him manipulate the situation and turn it around on me. I truly felt like I was going insane. It has taken a year of counseling and physical separation from him for me to try to get back on track. The worst part is, I, my heart actually, still wants to believe that it wasn’t an illusion, that he’ll come around, but my head knows better this time.

    • Hi Deb,
      Thank you for sharing.
      Trying to live a life with someone who chronically lies and doesn’t have any guilt or remorse as a result of the lies, is very difficult if not completely impossible! It is important to keep in mind that pathological lies are a symptom of a bigger problem such as narcissism or sociopathy. The lying is instrumental in some cases and in other cases, very ill directed. In other words, there is no REAL reason for the lie. This is what makes pathological lying very difficult for even mental health professionals to understand.

      • Any advise on how to handle this situation with an 18 year old son?? He is good for telling me is sorry and wont do it again but then does it minutes /hours later. I am trying to remember that any attention being negative/positive is still attention.

      • Hi Sharon,
        Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, without knowing the details and what could be influencing his behaviors, I would be unable to give you an exact suggestion. But I would say that some parents find it useful to either dish out the same thing (by “fibbing” about something and then later reporting it was a lie. Basically mimicking the behaviors you very much dislike in order to teach the person a lesson) or push the “adult/child” to become more responsible and independent in the world. In other words, so as to avoid enabling the behavior by providing for the adult/child’s every need, you push the person to provide for themselves and experience “a wake up call” until the behavior ceases. I have never suggested this to parents, and don’t believe these things will actually help for long periods of time, but some of my client’s parents report these two things have been helpful to them.
        I wish you well

      • This article brings to mind the nightmare I have been living with my daughter, a chronic, pathological liar. She has been a liar all of her life, and even when called on her lies, she becomes indignant and angry and denies her responsibility in the lie! I have become adept in recognizing when she is lying, which is practically whenever she is speaking, and the strain of the whole experience and the reasons she lies are so silly that I just had to remove myself from being around her. You see, her father, my ex, had the same problem and that was the reason for us divorcing, so to see her exhibit the very same behavior is heartbreaking. I have begged her to get help to no avail. All my pleas have gotten me is being cut off from my grandsons. I doubt that she cares for anyone in this world and I believe she lives in a pretend, fantasy existence starring her as the empathetic mom that spins yarns with her being the wonderful, caring person. She is studying to be (of all things) a social worker, and I cringe for her prospective clients of the future. She is a cold person, and I should know.

      • Hi Mish,
        Thank you for your comment. I am sorry you are experiencing this. I believe many of us experience people like your daughter. You are certainly not alone. There are people who tend to engage in pathological lying more than others such as the narcissist (who strives to gain attention and come across as better than others which causes them to tell compulsive lies to others), the sociopath (a person who tells lies with the intent of hurting someone or manipulating them), and the attention-seeker (a person who feels comfortable with telling lies in order to gain the attention of others for the purposes of self-esteem). The topic is convoluted.
        I wish you well

      • A person who constantly lies for no apparent gain or reason or to protect someone is evil. There is something evil going on inside this person.
        “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

      • Important scripture to point out, especially to those of us who walk by faith and follow God.

        Thanks for sharing

      • What if they are remorseful? What if they look like they are sorry for what they did? Is there such thing as “getting better”? Can they truly change? Please help!!!

      • This is difficult. You would have to tease apart “remorseful” from “appearing remorseful.” These are two different things, as you know, and could truly confuse you. You would have to determine if the person is genuine or only appears genuine to get what they want. Can someone with narcissistic traits change, yes. I personally believe someone with “traits” (only aspects of their personality are narccisistic) can change. Someone with full-blown personality characteristics will have a much harder time changing.
        Take care

      • My name is Venficus Infinitum. That’s a lie, but I chose to call myself that, because my real name is….common and boring to me. I found this page because I’ve heard the term Pathological liar many times, and something about that has resonated within me for quite a while. I don’t know if I am or not, but I find myself lying about the silliest things. Be it a dream I had, what I did today, what I think at my job, etc.

        When I was younger, I created “personas”. I created their life story, and I’d behave as they would. From the simmering, moody ball of hate to the one sad, shy person who simply wanted everyone to be happy.

        If I had to say, Venficus is my fourth persona, and probably the most truthful. If I am indeed a PL, I’d like to share my particular thoughts on this matter. If not, disregard my two cents as a dumb kid seeking attention.

        If you’re wondering about my motives, I’ll tell you as straight as I can: I want it to stop. I lie with no reason, for no reason other than -I can-.

        Silly, yes. Wrong? Probably. As a person raised to be a christian, I’m sure many of you are screaming that I’m going to hell.

        That was rude, I’m…..not really sorry, but….well, I’m not actually sure if I’m sorry. I’m going to turn the truth on for a moment. I’m….mostly indifferent, I think. Which brings me to why I think I may have a problem.

        No one wants to be friends with someone they can’t trust. I’ve tried to mitigate my fantastical thoughts to story writing. It works in theory, but unfortunately, it’s not a perfect cure. I’m rambling..

        Look, I’m on the fence right now on if I’m a pathological liar or a freaking sociopath, but I can say this much:

        I don’t set out to hurt people. Not usually. In fact, I’d rather study someone so I can make them feel better. But I do study them. I want to know, you see. I’m curious, and it fascinates me to see how people would react. I don’t know how to feel, most of the time, and sometimes, I just want to know what an emotion in one person looks like so I can understand it. But I’ve gotten off track.

        If you want to know how I feel when I lie, I’ll describe it best I can. It’s not hard, really…It’s not much of a process for me, personally. I find my life boring, and that’s usually when impulse sets in. When ask how my day at work went, it’s not interesting to say “same old, same old.” So I’ll weave a story instead. Nothing fancy, like attempted theft. Just a little something to bring the night to a more exciting conclusion. Maybe some idiot decided to streak through the store. Maybe some drunk person came in at 3 in the morning, stumbling over himself and yelling nonsense. It’s not farfetched, it doesn’t hurt anyone, but it’s interesting, and make me seem just a little less boring.

        And there lies the crux, for me, I think. I don’t want to be boring. I’m a lonely little idiot with too much imagination, and really bad impulse control. I’ll lie all day if it’ll put a smile on your face, because to see someone smile, makes me feel like maybe I could catch a little of that happiness and study it, so maybe I can feel it a bit more than as a simple reflection. But when you catch that lie? I feel wretched. Is it because I was caught? I’m not sure. Because I wasn’t careful enough? I don’t always put much thought into it beyond “it could happen, so why didn’t it?”

        So the question is…Am I a Pathological Liar? Or just crazy? Cause at this point, I’m genuinely curious.

      • This is my husband olaf vos 2 28 76 from Europe lives in collins ny

    • Deb..I know how you feel. I was married to one for about a year. It was a year of torture. And recently I feel for for the son of a friend of mine. All the things he told me he is denying now just to make him feel innocent..all those lies. Now iam accused of lying and supposedly hurting everyone when in fact it was his actions.Iam deeply hurt and angry and so is his mom. She was trying to hook us up coz we would make such a great pair. If you want to talk..my email is heavenlyhome9096@yahoo.com

  6. This article just validated what I have been going through with a friend of many years. It was not until recently that I was awaken, I cannot believe I have been believing all her lies, feeling bad and covering up for her. I have been there for her like you wouldn’t believe. She never showed any empathy for things that were happening to me. When I confronted her about the lies I have caught her she responded very aggressive making me feel guilty. She really enjoyed that and the next day was like nothing happened and here we go again with more lies. Everybody believes what she says, manipulates friends , family even her boss I don’t know how she does it. Very hard and painful to deal with her I really think she is bipolar as she also engages in very risky sexual behavior. Very hyper and sneaky. I was at the point to see a psychologist myself as she had me believing I was the one with the problem. The positive it came out of all of this is that I found help in meditation and yoga. I wonder how people like this would end. Thank you this was great.

  7. Hi, thank you for this article. I have a teenage daughter who is 17 / a few months away from being 18. She has ADHD and was diagnosed with it in 2nd grade. She takes medication, which has helped her succeed, when she chooses, at school. However, she constantly lies and your article describes her well. She doesn’t feel bad when she lies, she tends to be more angry that we badger her about lying. She doesn’t realize she is chipping away at our relationship. I love her but she’s destroying our relationship – not sure if she sees it but she doesn’t appear to care. I think she may have a personality disorder to go with this behavior. She can do so many things when she puts her mind to it, but it is becoming more and more difficult to support her. I just found out that the job she claimed she had for the last three weeks, she doesn’t have. College is around the corner.. I don’t think I can pay for her to go to college knowing I cannot trust her to tell me the truth about the most simple things. We’ve been to therapists with her over the years – she’s too manipulative for that – she will even tell you the same. I am so hurt, frustrated, confused and tired.

    • Hi “Tired Mom,”
      I just thought that I would write you a quick response. I was reading this article because of a friend that I have, and I happened to read your post… Your situation with your daughter may be improved if you send her to a long-term mental health facility, or even short-term. I don’t know what your finances or health insurance looks like, but your daughter’s lies would be “found out” pretty quickly at such a place. Thus, I highly recommend an in-patient health facility for your daughter. Just thought that this might help… Good luck and I hope everything improves for you in the future!

      • Hi Ayms184,
        Thanks for your encouragement. I always like to see readers support each other. I agree. Mental health care is important for such kids, but it is also good to keep in mind that pathological lying is often difficult (if not impossible) to “cure.” The only thing therapy can do is teach individuals about the consequences of lying and attempt to use CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) with a client. In many cases, therapy alone is not effective. Medication management, therapy, etc. are often needed to work with those who engage in pathological lying. A correct diagnosis that can help you understand the person is often useful. The person who lies may never stop lying. The best approach is to learn as much as you can about the person’s “illness” and attempt to place them in psychiatric care.

        It is indeed tough.

    • I know exactly what you’re going through. My 16 year old daughter who I raised by myself, she was born with a painful disease but has gotten a lot better, but what she has been doing to me. Her dad and I divorced when she was 8, he is an alcoholic & never worked. I did everything with her, she was my whole life. I never remarried and barely dated. I homeschooled her until she was in the 4th grade. I was self employed and took her to school everyday. When she turned 11 things started changing, she wouldn’t accept consequences and turned everything around on me & literally changed the way everything went. I gave up my life literally to make sure she knew she was loved, I know I over compensated for her dad not being there.

      It was when she was 11 that she didn’t like what I told her to do, she went and called her dad (which I didn’t discourage) but she always talked real bad about him and I took her took a counselor he remarried & the women had kids. I’m sure she felt hurt, I know I would. But the first time was 11 she called him & made me out to be an abusive mom. I wasn’t going to stop her from going though I figured she would learn. It went from her literally being over controlling of my time, & very demanding of me to when she was gone (3 hours away) to her not calling in 4 days. I called her she said she had no reception. I found out 3 days later she was lying about a lot of things but I didn’t know everything.

      Fast forward to today and over the past years, I got sick with Rheumatoid Arthritis & could no longer do the job I loved or any job for that matter, I felt pretty worthless. She always had a way of bringing me down, making me feel inferior, I was still driving her to school & she was in 2 different sports that I did a lot for when I barely had the energy to get out of bed. I kept catching lies, she would have me thinking I’m crazy, and over sensitive. She had a way of isolating people out of my life early on. I literally
      Felt so alone but all she cared about was her looks, & her appearance. The need to be noticed by every man out there. She took pictures of herself constantly.
      The last 4 months I have been keeping notes & she has a boyfriend & her respect has became unacceptable.

      Last year she said there was an end of the year bonfire for the football players & cheerleaders, it was just down the road. She was 15 and was going to be with her cheerleader friends. She came home about an hour later, and I knew something was up. She woke me up at 1:30 with a note saying she couldn’t breathe. She went to the hospital & she was in horrible pain, but was acting like she didn’t know what happened. I thought she got bit by a bad spider cuz her face was swollen. She had 2 collapsed lungs, and 20 hours into ICU they had to emergency operate because she had a hole in her Esphogus. She finally said one of the football players hugged her from behind & lifted her off the ground. 7 days after ICU and she comes home, I find out from someone texting me it was something else. She had sex with a 19 year, he admitted it to me, and she still tried to lie. I slept in a chair by her hospital bed every night. I brought her up her favorite rest. Food the night before she could come home. She could lie while literally being on her death bed, and the pain I was in through the whole experience, again she didn’t want to face the consequences. She went to her dads for 3 days, all while lying to all them about me, and her lying about them to me.
      I forgave her again but it was no doubt the relationship was so severely damaged.

      For years my own family (I thought it was only my ex, but found out it was my daughter too) has accused me of horrible things, being a horrible mom, this really hurt me. I couldn’t get over it, it brought me way down & my daughter knew it, she would just say sorry mom. She never asked about my health unless she was wanting something. I recently caught her lying, but I didn’t let her know I knew, and when she went to school I had the principal take her phone and I went & got it.

      I have never in my life, and will never recover from seeing with my own eyes my daughters actions. What she was saying to her friends about me, so she could play victim. She told huge lies about me. She never acknowledged one thing I did for her. Then what I found out how she is sexually, is enough to permently scar a normal person for life especially knowing she is only 16. She has been with so many different guys, I can’t even stomach it. She had been smoking marijuana with her boyfriend very often. The way she talked like so ghetto & trashy, and acted like she was a powerful thug type. But still wanted to be sexually noticed.

      Well I told her if she ever lied again, and she had been lying, but she chose to abruptly leave and she was suppose to be at school Monday morning, this was 14 days ago. She called her dad he came & got her, she is now a high school drop out, she was a junior. She threw it ALL away, everything. All because she will not face consequences. I txt him the proof from her phone & told him she needs help which I had lined up. He only cares about trying to hurt me, he could care less about her well being. She has since been saying the most unbelievable things about me that I’am not only broken hearted, but it’s too much to even comprehend. She tweets horrible, mean things directed at me. She literally has no feeling, no remorse, no love, nothing. She left me, her few girlfriemds (that she only used) the only home she has ever had, school, cheerleading. But, she is busy playing the victim making me out to be this wicked person. I’m trying to go on day by day, and it hurts so incredibly bad and trying to understand is nearly impossible. My only daughter, is a stranger & has been an unknown hidden enemy. I loved her with every ounce of me, and I will love her to the day I die, but I know what she is capable of and she wanted me hurt or killed, her own words.

      I have researched and find know other explanation than her being a sociopath. She is now 4 hours away from this boyfriend that she thinks she is going to marry soon. I wonder will she learn a lesson from this ever? I know she does not want to be where she is living and is unhappy. I know I have to have no contact, and try to heal, the pain I feel is undescribeable.

      Please if any other experiences or if anyone can help me understand please reply.

      • Been a while since you posted and I have no personal experience that can help but wanted to say your story really touched me and im so sorry all this is happening. I couldn’t imagine. Sending love and light and prayers.

      • I am so sorry for what you have been through, I know exactly how it feels, Someone who wanted to help me suggested I read a book “Stop Walking on Eggshells”. After the first page, I realized this was exactly my life. And I have seen therapists, that has helped me a lot, understanding why I was in this relationship to start with. It takes a long time to understand all of it, and a lot of work, but it is worth it. Now I am trying to figure out how to communicate with a manipulative liar, I have decided to stay with him for financial reasons, I am 68, as long as we stay together, we can have a decent life, but if we separate, and this people get so irate when presented with divorce (average 5 to 7 years!) that nothing would be left….So I learn how to deal with it, I am making a lot of progress, hang in there, there is hope and you will understand, they did not want to be that way, they just are.

      • I have lived so much of everyone’s story here with my adopted 25 year old son. He was affected by many many factors prebirth, so his brain is affected though we have no definitive adult diagnosis. He has three siblings all doing well, all birth children of mine incidentally. He lies, and steals, loses jobs, with no remorse whatsoever. He doesn’t realize that none of us believe a word he says anymore. At this point, finance companies in the small town we live in are calling me and his siblings and father (we’re divorced) calling regularly driving us crazy. One lady at a finance company actually told me what I needed to convince him of ……. I have a very responsible good job in this small community, and I feel they must all think I’m crazy or a bad mother at least. I’m not paying his bills, because it will never end. I’d go broke. It’s to the point that two companies are going to get a private investigator to find him and serve the court judgments to him, and one is ready to repossess his truck. So if he has a job, and we’re not sure about that, he won’t be able to get there. And we have no idea where he lives. He has told different people different things, apartments in varying nearby communities, but no proof of that. Just bouncing around to friends, I believe. He shows up at my office for gas money; smelly, pretending he needs it to get to work because he spent his last pay getting his radiator fixed (or some such story.) He’s had more stories to get money from us. Pretty sure his story to his friends is that his family doesn’t love him or treat him like the others, because he’s adopted, which is as far from the truth as it can get. I’m so tired of the whole thing. None of us want him living with us because he is so destructive of the house, relationships, peace, lying, stealing. I’m totally at the end of my rope with him. Of course, he doesn’t think he needs a doctor. I don’t want him homeless or on the streets, but I have lost all hope of helping him. How do you help someone who doesn’t want help, and doesn’t know the truth from delusions. I feel being a struggler as a child, as well as the brain-affected pre-birth situation, he just accommodated himself with lies to create a world he could stand living in more and more. I just can’t live in that world. I’m so sad, I can’t stand it. As they say, a mother is only as happy as her saddest child. I am only 54, and should be looking forward to retirement and grandchildren within 10 years or so, but I’m so tired. I don’t want to feel anymore.

  8. So much of the article describes my daughter. She is adopted. She often lies for no reason, steals, and can be explosive. In the past she invented a fantasy family, a lie that continued for years. It included uncles that were abusive and locked her in a closet. It was very hurtful to the person she told all the lies to. She is an attractive, bright young woman. She has a five year old son. She is in the process of divorce and her son will be living with his dad. I am afraid how her lies and explosive behavior will affect him. I’m not sure how to handle information I find questionable.

    • Hi Lyn,
      I empathize with you. It’s difficult to determine when the truth is being told and when it is not. It is also difficult to live with the frequent thought that perhaps you are being lied to. It’s one of those situations where therapy for yourself (to help you cope and learn about your daughter) might be helpful to you. Please let me know if this is something you are interested in and I would be happy to refer you.
      Take care

      • Ms. Hill – we are going through an experience like this with our 19 year old son. Could you refer us to a local support therapist/psychologist, etc. that my wife and I could talk with about coping and helping strategies? We live in Westlake, Ohio 44145. Thank you!

      • Hi Dennis,
        Thank you for your email and thanks for reaching out. You sound like many of the parents I see on a daily basis with youngsters and young adults struggling with behavioral and mental health challenges. It’s tough, especially on the family. Because I don’t know ALL of the details, I can offer a few suggestions that are general and might point you in the right direction.

        Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Behavioral Health

        Listing of therapists through Psychologytoday.com who deal with “entitlement issues”

        Affiliates in Behavioral Health – click on “contact us” at the top.

        While I do not know these therapists personally and am not referring you to them, these are services that most likely work with the type of issue you email about.

        I wish you the best. Email with further questions!

      • What is the best way to manage pathololical liars? My husband’s mother has been a liar all her life even going as far as taking out a credit card in her ex-husband’s name, lying to me about how I almost died giving birth to my first child and so many to count through our 25 years of marriage. After 8 years of cutting ties with her, I was telling my husband that maybe we should try and talk again. We found out nothing has changed. Is it cruel to keep a wall between us or do we try to spend time with her, ignore the lies or should we call her out on it?
        I so bad want us to have a good relationship with her but how is that possible?

      • Hi Sandra,
        Thank you for your comment.
        The best way, I have learned and taught my clients, to manage a pathological liar is not to challenge them or try to show them that you know they are lying. The moment you do this the person is likely to “shield themselves” by lying again or becoming argumentative and defensive. That will get you nowhere. So perhaps you could try shutting it down by changing topics, in a less obvious way, or being neutral (not condoning it and not challenging it). You also would want to avoid entrusting that person with serious things in your life such as making decisions, learning a lot about you personally, or simply getting too close to your life. Pathological liars, because they cannot be trusted and see life through skewed lenses, you need to put space between you.
        All the best

  9. I have 4 sisters. Of those 2 fit the bill of Pathological liars. One even twist what has happened to me into another circumstance-telling me I was fired from a job that I quit…or accusing me of behaviors they indulge in. The other thinks she knows as an expert knowledge about subjects hse is clearly ignorant of. They both look you in the ey and tell tales…getting angry if you challenge what they say or ask how they know something, or where they read or studied something. They can dish it out but can’t ake it when you call them on halftruths or outright lies.
    For half my life I really thought I was the screwed up one because I was not believed and what I said was turned around and flippedon me as though I WAS LNG, when I wasn’t. Also, a big thing with both sisters is “tone of voice.” They say the cruelest things in such a friendly tone. If I say somehting, and use the “wrong” tone according to them, I am accused of bein rude or harsh. As Jack Nickleson once said: “They can’ handle the truth.”
    I have stopped comunciating completely with them and wonder what took me so long to wise up?
    ANy feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Well…there isn’t much you can do about a pathological liar, which is what I have told many who email me about this topic. You did what probably is the best thing to do (distance yourself). Think of pathological lying as a symptom of something greater. Why the person frequently lies is a million dollar question. The lying behavior may be a symptom of a severe mental illness or personality disorder such as sociopathy. It’s difficult to live with, difficult to examine, and difficult to study. sadly, there are very few studies and research on pathological lying which makes it even more difficult for all of us to understand.

      I’m glad you found a way to cope with such a complicated “symptom.”

  10. I, too have been going through the same thing with a husband for the past 2 years. We were together for 5 and the last 2 years have been the worse. I’ve noticed that the more lies I’ve caught him in the worse our relationship has gotten. I rarely believe what comes out of his mouth anyway, but when I find out that it’s not true it hurts so bad. All that I have gone through has left me sad and insecure. I often feel paranoid because I fear that he is talking to other women or cheating on me. I’ve lost my self-worth. The two of us went into Marriage Counseling. Not to resolve the marriage but so that I can learn that it is not me who has the problem it is in fact him. He’s torn me down and I’ve lost focus as to what is important. My Daughter and my job. This is tough but I feel better seeing that it is not me it is him.

    • I appreciate your article and the replies to those who have shared their situations.
      I came under the control of a pathological liar seven years ago. I have been involved with many calculating, using men, but this time, I did not have the means to leave.
      The point you make about liars “studying” their targets is so apt.
      I am naive in many ways. My own problem is inability to set boundaries, and clinging to people who have proven they do not care about my best interests.
      I also have what I think an opposite problem, that causes me even more trouble. I am pathologically honest. Is it not a fact that in daily life, people lie just to avoid problems, or in response to others who are lying as a way to protect themselves and avoid confrontation?
      I can’t do that. Honesty means so much to me, having been in so many harmful, dishonest situations, going right back to my fractured family of origin.
      When I say anything about my experiences with them, they use money, status and social power to insist I am making it all up. Of course this makes me angry. My responses are then used to stigmatize me.
      This latest liar, whose narcissism and total lack of empathy, plays the control game with my lack of ability to leave. He has used my angry responses to insinuate I am mentally ill.
      For a long while, I agreed with that, and sought help for the way I feel. I ended up misdiagnosed, a label the current liar, as well as my estranged family, and others, have gladly seized as a way to discredit me, and solidify their deceit and manipulation.
      The 7 yr liar claims regret and has said he wants to change and is sorry more times than I can count. For a long time, I believed him. When he told police I punched him and have a mental illness-personality disorder, they bought his story, as has anyone else he gets his lying hands on.
      I know the answer is to disengage completely.
      For more complex reasons, I continue to have to be connected to this man.
      He now uses lies to taunt me. He does things he knows will upset me, then sits back and waits for me to blow up. Then he says sorry, sorry, sorry. he even admits to having no respect for me and being deliberately deceitful. He mocks my powerlessness. My only option is a homeless shelter.
      Look around us…the world is full of liars. And people who don’t care about anything but themselves. A woman on her own, with no money, is terribly vulnerable.
      It is hard to stay optimistic.

    • For those married to a pathological liar: Walk away is the solution if you ever want to have peace in your life again! After twenty-five years of manipulation and lies I finally realized the huge toll it has taken on me. This person was diagnosed as a sociopath. I now understand all my emotional pleas for him to understand my hurt and confusion and feelings of betrayal fell on deaf ears. He SAYS he understands, but I think that, too, is just another lie. I feel like I’ve allowed this person to nearly ruin my life. I sought therapy for myself, but could not afford it for long. I did learn from my few sessions that I need to establish boundries and stick to them because even after divorce, he still won’t leave me alone. I still am manipulated into getting wrapped up in his problems and trying to help. I am often depressed and long for what could/should have been, but I’m getting ready to relocate where he won’t find me since I’ve not mastered the art of establishing my boundries. You HAVE to get away from a person like this! The charming side of him is what kept me so long in this relationship, but I came to realize that charm is all fake and manipulation. My heart goes out to those with children with this huge issue, and I’m sure removing yourself completely is not an option. But for those stuck in a miserable relationship with a pathological liar: You will never be happy if you don’t get out. Don’t let the years march by like I did until you find yourself old, depressed, and worn out.

    • I am married to a wonderful man I thought well he still is but I have found out that he lies, he had a bad childhood and learned to lie to stay our of trouble and he has continue this lie. He has problems with needing to talk to other woman and then lying about it, he never says anything out of place he just needs to talk to them. idk, but I am a very jealous person and I am going to therapy for that but I am so miserable and insecure now. I don’t know when he is lying and not lying, he has even gone so far as to go to farmeronly.com just to look. because I had an issue with being jealous about something. I don’t know what to do anymore, I am afraid to trust him, I might get hurt again. I want to go home, just to find security.

  11. Thank you for your response and your assistance, Tamara! We will contact the referrals you passed along.
    All the best,
    Dennis

    • Absolutely! No problem. If you are still looking for resources to help support you and your family, please feel free to check out my book on Barnes and noble, Books a million, Amazon, etc titled: Mental Health in A Failed American System: What Every Parent, Family, & Caregiver Should Know.

      Take care

      • Hi I am 41 years old and have 10 children living at home with me. Uncle tony who really is not a biological uncle moved in with us in December. His ex wife was my best friend and we considered ourselves as sisters hence uncle tony. My older kids have really started to give me attitude when I try to have them do what they should (homework., chores, go yo bed on time etc) tony lets them do whatever when I sm gone. Ok I will get to the point. In April tony came home late from work and his car was wrecked in the front . He said that a semi truck backed into him then drove away. I believed him at first but then thought that isn’t possible? The car was still drivable because he drive it home . I asked him why he didn’t follow the truck and get the license Info to file a police report . He said he didn’t think about it at tHT time cause he was in shock. Ok so the other day I found a police report from the date tony claimed his car was hit. It stated that tony ran into the back of a vehicle and took off down the freeway!! There was even a witness who stopped snd gave Tony’s license plate number to the police.!
        Tony is still denying it! The police report describes the damage that would have been done to Tony’s car based on crash scene etc. so I am so upset because now he has been driving my vehicles! I called an attorney who said that this will eventually catch up with him. He will be cited for a hit and run and no insurance and he will loose his license and be required to pay the damages to the other car. I am upset that he still won’t admit to doing this!! How can someone still lie about something they did? But also even worse how could someone leave an accident scene aftr hitting someone? What if ther was a baby in the back seat hurt or dead? He wouldn’t know cause he drove away! There was 5,000 dollars worth of damage yo vehicle. Now I wondr what else has he been lying about ? I have caught him lying about stupid little things but to me they are huge!
        After reading this article I think he best solution is to evict him! He even lies yo his boss at work saying he has to come in late or leave early and uses the kids as an excuse! I have taken care of my kids for 20 years now without much help! I drive them to school everyday And pick them up ! Now I tealize why tony insists on doing it! He also leaves for work at 0900 and gets home around 640 but never has a full 40 hours on his paychecks! I haven’t questioned him and I don’t care except he is driving my vehicle so kind of concerned where he may be driving to. One niht I woke up at 0230 am and my car was gone! He didn’t ask to take it just left!
        Does tony fit the description of a pathological liar?

  12. I have a 17 year old niece who lives with my parents, and she is a pathological liar. Just recently I caught her in a lie that nearly sent her father, my brother, to jail. When I confronted her about it, she got extremely angry and aggressive. To make the situation worse, whenever some catches her in a lie, my mother punishes the person who caught her, demanding they apologize. This kid has no real friends, she drove them all away with her lies. As with all pathological liars, she doesn’t care about the damage her lies are doing. She shows no remorse, and actually seems to enjoy the pain her lies inflict. She gets angry when she’s caught, but instead of telling the truth, she lies even more. My mother enables the behaviour mainly because she is a pathological liar herself, albeit not as bad. I really don’t have much choice but to keep my distance from that powder keg because when it does blow, it will be devastating.

    • Hi Pam,
      Thank you for your comment. I do believe that you are approaching the situation correctly because anyone who lies can totally destroy your life. It is unhealthy for the mother of the child to allow her to continue to lie. But it is even more unhealthy for them to, what we call, triangulate you with all the lies. what I mean by triangulate is that the mother’s support of the lies make anyone who comes against them the problem instead of addressing the real problem. Anytime that happens you get stuck in the middle of the triangle or you become the problem, especially when you point out that there’s a lie being told. In future articles I will talk about triangulation just so that readers can see exactly how the triangle work. It’s a sick cycle. Usually there’s a victim, a troublemaker, and an innocent person in that triangle. The TRUE problematic person keeps that triangle going. You can find this article during the final week of February when I talk about problematic families.

      You are possibly doing the best thing right now, staying away.

      Take care

      • After I confronted my niece with her lie, I was made to feel as though I was the problem. I realize this is all part of the game a pathological liar plays with their victims. I’m not the problem.

  13. I have been dealing with a pathological liar for ten years. Unfortunately I have a SON with this person and I am so afraid of this behavior affecting him. My ex husband lies about EVERYTHING, things I CANNOT even believe he would lie about. Your article was wonderful for me to read because I have felt to helpless and alone and now know that I’m not. It has recently come to light that he not ONLY is a pathological liar but I’m afraid I’ve been informed he has had inappropriate relationships with teenage girls as well. It does NOT surprise me as I absolutely have felt he suffered from perversions I just have had it verified. I don’t know if there has been Abby relation between the two but I do believe my ex husband is a sexual predator which makes it very difficult having a child together. Another concern of mine is what the chances are of my son becoming a pathological liar. He’s a great kid but I know his dad does have an influence on him. Everyone LOVES my ex husband, it’s as though he’s running for mayor when he’s in public so to say. There ARE people that know who and what he is, but he’s VERY good. It is impressive his ability. He is a bowling coach at the high school and is always trying to be the center of attention by throwing big events as I believe he’s EXTREMELY narcissistic. Do you think that the truth will eventually come out as it is extremely disheartening. Thank you!

    • Hi “hands are tied,”
      thanks for your feedback and comment. You are certainly not alone in this. I have had my own experiences with a narcissistic and pathologically lying individual. They are very calculating and manipulative. These people are often the type who seem to excel in social arenas because they live double lives – separate personalities, moods, mindsets, behaviors, etc. It can be very difficult if not impossible to catch some of these individuals in lies. Some pathological liars also excel at keeping social relationships because they often engage at the surface level (i.e., they are shallow).I have learned that these type of individuals “hide” from society and even close loved ones and tend to have three different facades (the work facade, the family and friends facade, and the stranger facade).

      Nevertheless, I’m a firm believer that such individuals will eventually be found out by someone who is keen, smart, and intuitive. Most of us, as humans, do not like shallow liars. Most of us can sniff out a phony in a matter of seconds. People who are not easily influenced by superficial charm will find him out. Your ex is probably so skilled at playing a false role that it will take a skilled person to find him out.

      So sorry you had to deal with him! But I’m sure you learned quite a bit.
      Take care

  14. Sorry for some of the misspelling, darn predict a text.

  15. Great article, lots of info. My question is how do you deal with this type of person? Erasing yourself from their lives is the only solution? Thanks,

    Lucy

  16. Hello,
    Your article was right on. My son’s father is a pathological liar. The lack of empathy scares me. He had lied so much that it literally caused us harm. His lies led to serious circumstances that I was left to deal with. I wonder if the studies done are hard to do because of their mental conditions. Maybe because they lie so much. I’ve always wondered how a psychotherapy could work with a person like this. My son’s father is a professional liar. A Con artist. I left him over a year ago thank God. I just feel so sorry for the woman after me he will destroy. Definitely one evil human being. Sociopaths are dangerous.

  17. My personal feeling is that the origins of pathological lying might be discovered in the long-term habituation of self-preservation behaviors, including (but not limited to) telling lies.

  18. your article helped me to know about this otherwise i was in utter confusion. my husband is pathological lier. he has all the symptoms you have mentioned. i have tried my best to understand but all was in vain. and i was at completely lost. now i know. Thanks for the article.

  19. Thank you for your information on the 6 signs of a pathological liar. I have been a relationship for 5 years with someone who is a compulsive liar. My own fault as from the first time I met him he said he wasn’t married. One month later I found out he was.But he was already weaving his webb. He made me fell needed, loved, admired. He honed in on my weaknesses and knew how to manipulate me. I felt sadness for his life growing up and had empathy for him. He said his life at home was just a business.But then I would find all these sexual photos of him and his wife on his phone. He kept promising that just one more thing had to be done and he would leave her. Year after year. The one point i really felt relieved in readying was the sexual energy or pull he had over me. I couldn’t understand it. No one could. But it was web that we would weave over me, when I was questioning or sensing things were not right. I kept thinking that if he knew how bad it made me feel he would change. From you article I could tell I had this all wrong. He would continue to lie to me about being with or sleeping with other women. He would make me feel guilty that I didn’t believe him. I would catch him in the lie, lay it out and explain what I knew. It didn’t phase him. Just ignored anything I had said and talked all around it. As if he never heard it. For five years I put up with this. but the last time he chose not to come home but stay out over night somewhere, where I knew he wasn’t. He felt no remorse. Never denied what I said. Just never acknowledged that I had even said anything. Would just say, why are you doing this again. Meaning the questioning as if it were my fault. Even at end I was still trying to make him see how I felt. He answered in saying was I mean or trying to get back with him. He told me loved my twice. Which as I look back now it was when he knew I was moving away. I’m like that one girl who said even though i know its better he is gone and that he would continue to keep lying to me. I still feel that I love him and would want to give him another chance. I’m not going too. Thank you for the information you have shared. I am trying to learn to have compassion for him as he is sick. That has helped a little bit in letting go. Otherwise I was always trying to figure out what I did, to drive him into someone else s arms. All my friends could see what I could not. Love is blind. It almost destroyed me. Thank again for your information.

    • I have just discovered I have been in a relationship with a pathological liar, who has destroyed me as a person. I met him when my car broke down and he was a recovery driver who rescued me. At the time of first meeting him I didn’t know he was a Jehovah’s Witness too. He was ok at first but after being with him a few weeks he went off and then said he couldn’t see me because of his job. I was a bit surprised by this, and so went to see his boss. It turned out he had lied about his job. When I tried to confront him he kept running away. We did get back together and things were ok for a while.Then he text me and said he had been diagnosed with Bowel Cancer and needed sometime to get his head round it.I just said I would support him through what will be a very challenging time for him. I gave him some space, and then he text me and said that he hadn’t long to live. He wouldn’t answer my calls or texts. So I again went to see his boss who told me he had been laughing and joking with him only a couple of hours before. I knew where he lived, so I went to his address where an older lady opened the door, I introduced myself as his partner, she was gob smacked. Being a Jehovah’s Witness he was not aloud to have a partner outside of his faith his AUNT told me.He had previously said he lived in a bedsit and an old lady lived in the one below him. That was a lie. I could also see that this AUNT totally controlled every aspect of his life, treating him like a 5 year old. She told me she believed my story more than she would beleive his, as he constantly lied. The job he had not long started had given him a bit more freedom which he obviously was taking advantage of. This morning I finally caught up with him in our local supermarket carpark where he was chatting to another women, I warned her he was a liar and continued that he had told me his dad had died when he hadn’t,and that he had got Bowel Cancer and was dying, which he hadn’t. In front of this women he blatantly denied this, making me look a complete idiot. He didn’t look at all guilty. He just got into his work truck and drove off as he has done before.

      • Hi “Hurt and Confused,”
        Thanks for sharing your story. Your story is representative of so many people living life with someone who is a pathological liar. These individuals typically are not JUST pathological liars. They have a host of other mental health and personality problems that makes their behavior “checkered” or complicated. It is difficult for many people to understand which is why I believe most people end up “hurt and confused.” You have a heart. You have a conscience. Pathological liars do not.

        I encourage you to do a simple Google search of this topic and keep educating yourself to it. I do advise to be careful with what information you are getting online. Many people have posted articles and have spread incorrect information about pathological lying. But you want to look for sites that can offer an educated perspective.
        Take good care

  20. I’ve been scouring the Internet to understand my boyfriend. We’ve been together for 3 years and I’m slowly connecting the dots. Let me give you a background. He grew up with a single mom who’s boufriend got her pregnant and left as soon as he found out. Growing up his mom spoiled him to death with her inheritance. She’s not mentally sane as well with severe manic depression and bipolar along with other similar to his I’m sure. I think he just hasn’t told me all of his mom’s disorders out of fear I might discover his. Idk. His mom was thrown in prison for dealing cocaine because she was running out of inheritance so needed a quick and easy income to maintain three lifestyle. He was put into the foster care system for 4-5 years starting at age 13. I think that’s where things really went south. I speak with him about those times and he shows no emotion. He explained to me that he developed coping mechanisms to deal with his emotions. He learned to pretend they don’t exist. He said I’m the first person to ever love him and feels a deep connection with me. He said I help him remember who he was when he was a young child and hopes to rediscover himself again. I cry thinking about how lonely and sad it must have been for him having no one. Idk how he’s always so upbeat, friendly, and entertaining. I suppose that’s how he learned to forget about all the pain. That being said. Here’s what I fhink. PLEASE offer me some feedback at to whether there is hope. I love him to death and I don’t want to just leave him knowing if I do, it’ll just get worse. I’m willing to help him through this if he’s open to extensive therapy which I think he is because I think he wants to get better. He just doesn’t know how. Here is what I have gathered from problems in our relationship:

    He’s a pathological liar as well as narssicistic, borderline personality, and with antisocial tendencies that he’s developed over the years. I’m finding much of our relationship is a lie. One day I asked him how much of our relationship is even true. He said 60%. I was shocked! We’ve been to couples therapy with two different psychologists to no avail. He needs to seek help on his own I know now. The reason why it’s taken me so long to discover this is because I’ve never known anyone like this and he’s extraordinary cunning, extremely smart, and shows no emotion even when I catch him in a lie. Don’t get me wrong. He’s very sweet, passionate, fun, outgoing, and loving. I don’t think he does these things purposefully. I can get him to admit a lie sometimes when it’s obvious but he’ll often just cover it up with another lie. It’s driving me crazy! I’m trying to move on but we’ve become so emotionally involved in each other’s lives it’s difficult. Plus, I’m not the type to just give up but only when all the resources have been exhausted. I think he might be open to therapy as he knows he has a problem but I’m not sure he understands how severe it is. Let’s suppose he does get therapy and he’s opeun to changing, how long should I expect to see major improvements? And what can I do to help him? I feel so powerless. He needs someone to love him and I know I can do that for him. But when should I just throw in the towel and just say, I give up? Because I’m not going to give up on him. He’s wonderful person who is sweet, compassionate for animals, loving when it’s just us two, and a fun personality. I love him deeply. It’s just so hard deciding how to best help him. Any advice? I would be grateful.

    • Hi Charles,
      Thanks for your comment.

      I’d like to challenge you on something. You mentioned that you paramour is “cunning, extremely smart, and shows no emotion even when I catch him in a life.” Then you say “don’t get me wrong. He’s very sweet, passionate, fun, outgoing, and loving.” I’d like to challenge you to take a close look at this statement and attempt to point out what might be wrong with it. I see contradictions! While I can appreciate that someone can possess all of these things at once, I find it difficult to believe that a person who shows no emotion (has no emotional intelligence, shame, or guilt), especially when caught in a lie, can be “very sweet and passionate.” I would challenge you to consider how much of your relationship is based on your own incorrect perceptions or deep wishes. If he says “60%” of your relationship is real, then what’s the other 40%? How can you even believe “60%” is even true? I encourage you to do some deep inspection of your own feelings, thoughts, and intuition. I think there are times in life where we know what we need to do, but aren’t truly willing to at that time.

      I think the tough part about men like your spouse is that they are smart, cunning, and appear to be in control (“showing no emotion”). This can be attractive during the early stages of the relationship, but once you get to know each other better, that no longer is appealing because the longer you are together, the more you want an authentic and equal relationship. I don’t see that you have that. But only you truly know.
      Dealing with a pathological liar who is smart and cunning, is tricky. They know when to turn on the charm to keep you confused and coming back to them. It’s control. On the other hand, some people do need to be loved and for some reason, their needs pull on us to want to give something to them. But we must be careful that we are not co-dependent or attached because of our own internal needs. If your emotional needs are being met in a relationship, that’s wonderful. But if the relationship is unhealthy, you are in bondage.

      Your only way to come out on top is to find a firm foundation, make a decision to move on, and stand strong.

      I wish you all the best

      • It is amazing to read so many examples of lying that I’ve heard from someone I know. As many have said, it is disheartening to come to the realization that this person you’ve opened yourself to and did your best for is really taking advantage of you. I think that is the biggest issue that I’ve encountered. A neighbor introduced herself and we began spending time together. She seemed so open happy and supportive. However, once she found a group of friends she suddenly distanced herself unless she wanted something. For months after that I tried to be nice and see her point of view. But it became obvious that she was only interested in scamming time and effort out of people. I found everything she had said was suspect due to contradictions which were apparent in later discussions. I was at a total loss until I realized it was all about lying and control. Whether she is a narcissist or someone with extreme low self esteem, she seems to need to manipulate others in order to make herself happy.

        I feel so bad that I was stupid enough to waste my time with that person.

    • Charles, your relationship could be a facade. If he’s lying 60% of the time, how much of the fun, loving person is in the remaining 40%? Your boyfriend may not be the same person you think he is.

  21. I have been dealing with a pathological liar. More like the term Gaslighter, when someone lies, and all manner of games to make you go crazy. I am no saint and I do have post traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression with suicidal ideation and this woman almost drove me off the cliff with her games. First was the lies about her dogs in the initial interview, they were well behaved. They poppied in two locations, and she picked their gifts up every few days. Truth was- not well behaved, barking all day, jumping up on everyone, digging, fighting, getting into the trash, one dogs goes up to the trail and barks and growls at people. ( I actually love the dogs, its not their fault.) First time she picked up the poo was 4 months later, all over the place, stepping in it, smelling it. I have given her 8 warnings. Three dogs. Then came the pesticide. She wanted to spray for ticks, we live in the middle of the woods, and useless to spray, and I do not believe in it, her father was coming with the poison. He did it, I confront. She tells me she did not realize he was going to do it. Either he defied me, risking eviction within one month into the lease and suing for spraying without my consent. I think she just wanted the place sprayed. Then came the call. She works way up in Apple, very rich woman, she tells me, oh I meet this person at Apple, I am at Apple right now, I meet him at Apple he has a good job, its a good business decision for the vacant studio. Mentioning Apple many times. Later I realized the mentioning of Apple was like a hypnotic trance, you are getting tired…. repetition, repetition, Apple, Apple, Apple- she anchored that word in my mind. I was lead to believe he was at Apple or doing business with them. I met the guy, and he tells me, Do not tell her, but I do not know her, we just met on a dating site. I confront. She says oh you misunderstood I meant I was Texting from Apple. I tell her HOW you met. She emails me one of the emails she had sent to me about how she did not know him that well, but seems a good prospect. She mentions on facebook, “For all of the curious ones… I am dating my neighbor… Sometimes things happen for a reason..” As if it was divine or mystical. No she plotted from the moment she saw his handsome face and body of a wrestler and professional football player all tatted out. Had to have him. It happened because she lied him into my rental. She sidetracked the question of the dating site. Do you see my mind was getting more and more quicksanded by her, and she got into my rental just with the word Apple, cause my brain went out the window. I became so paranoid that I actually looked to see if she worked there. Then there was the chopping down the Wisteria, she tells me she just want to cut the dead stuff off. Ok, 1 hour later I still hear her chopping away and I look out the window and she has the pile of green, not dead vines, but mostly green half the size of a small car. I shout out the window, that is enough. But I am only cutting the dead stuff. Mind boggling as you could see with your own eyes a huge green mound. I photography it! Then I heard her on the phone and then to her boyfriend say over a few times, I only cut the dead twigs. Then I hear her tell the Fed ex driver that all the drivers feed her dogs because they are loved so much. I was like laughing in my bed listening. I used to be a shipper and dealt with UPS, fed ex, and yes they feed the aggressive dogs a few treats in the beginning to survive delivering packages, but they cannot possibly feed every dog on the route. But her dogs were different in her mind. She went on a long list of who feeds her brood of dogs, the ups, the fed ex, the mailman. Mailman? We have never had a mail-person here. Ever. We are too far up the mountain. So I thought maybe in her mind she sees herself walk down to the mailbox where the mail is delivered. No. I have never seen her walk with the dogs. Or maybe she sees them being feed at the post office. No, no dogs allowed in for treats. I was getting dizzy just thinking what is up with this woman, and I said sleep, you are just upsetting yourself over a nobody. As I am forcing myself to escape this reality she has put upon me, in that reverie time; I see in my minds eye, I see her say that Santa Clause come down with treats for my dogs, and then I see a UFO come down. I almost piss in my pants laughing so hard. God feeds them. Then I go into the house my mother built with her own hands at age 50. I see the sink is cracked. I cry imagining all the lasagna dinners she cooked and cleaning up. By the way all this was going on one month after my mom died, I have no family that matters, I have no friends as I have been bedridden with plutonium poisoning for 24 years and I had no one to help me clear out my mother belongs, I had not money to hire, I injured my arm, then my leg pushing her furniture, arm in sling, leg dragging behind, in the rain crying over mom. Then this fool comes to dance on my head. I say hey what is up with the sink. She says, what crack? Now I saw the crack within two seconds, two long three inch cracks and rust. I swear she says, I did not see it. Comes back a few minutes later. Oh I did not see it because I had my plastic mat over it. I used to be a house cleaner for 5 years to put myself thru college to become a photojournalist. If she had not lifted the mat in 3 months, which would have been the time element to fill those two cracks with black scum, she would have had maggots, and all types of nasty stuff. She actually comes back a third time to tell me oh, yes I did actually see it. I thought it was my dogs fur. Yeah like it got stuck in two places, somehow grew that long and was there for a few months at the bottom of a white cast iron sink. Later on she tells me why can’t all three versions be true. You mean with one eye you saw it, and with the other eye you did not, or you saw it, had amnesia, and then saw it again? Was I going nuts? I became catatonic, rocking, crying curled up in bed, I felt like my mind was slitting, I felt like I should kill myself as I saw no way out. I must have cried for two hours, I just could not stop, I thought I had found a friend. The other day I solved her riddle, yes they all can be true, if the common denominator is that they are all lies. Truth be told she had me so confused in these last two years, that I felt I was about to have a nervous breakdown, I actually Googled it to see if I was coming apart at the seams. I felt mind raped, heart raped and I am a survivor of 18 sexual assaults, I live alone, I try not to meet people and this is what this person did to me. My mom bleed out and I witnessed it. I have suffered greatly in life and I was completely crushed by this woman, but she says I am just mental, paranoid. The other day between getting around the dog droppings, holes, trash they get into, (I am sure if she could she would like to hypnotize me into thinking its my imagination regarding holes, poops, barking.) she was home, and her dog barked for 8 hours on and off. She would get him in, and few minutes later out again barking. 8 hours. I shouted out the window finally after 8 long hours, shut the f….up. Did she come get him. Nope. But she sure rushes out when her boyfriend is home to get the barker. Who loves a sharp loud barking dog, all day long. Who? And I am the landlady listening from bed. Wow, that is some ovaries on her. I feel I am getting the middle finger. She took advantage of me. My other female tenant and her guests if they come at night -steps in the doo. There is so much you can smell it wafering into the houses. Up to my second story window where I am. I think because she works high up in Apple that she feel entitled, privileged, superior, royalty. I read with great interest, glee and hope about the Judge you mentioned; those high up in power have a long decent down. And they must come down if corrupt. Defy the strong, if they are in the wrong, said Edgar Cayce. The funny thing is, I worked for convicts for 40 years, and gang members for 5 years, but this is something I have never witnessed; this level of deception. And she knows I am suicidal. Yesterday I got out of bed to get a loan to get her out. I do not want her next to me. She was so cheerful, glee almost all the time and I was so lonely, so I drunk it in as if I was dehydrated, dying on a desert. I am so distraught right now. I fear the boyfriend, although I like him, I fear him; he turned out to be aggressive. He used the N word for blacks once. Used to get into fights bosses, coworker and just for the fun of it. Huge dude. Drinks. Has guns. But still I find him easy to relate to, this is what I have done most my life, change men who want counsel, but he is quick tempered and I will see in a few days if he has a melt down when I terminate the lease. He could break me like a toothpick. As a Christian I should forgive, but she is working me over, sucker punching me to a pulp. (Avalanche of more lies, but hey this is not a book and long enough letter.) I almost fell off the wagon after 35 years of sobriety. Me against a rich Apple person. I stand no chance. But I am my mothers daughter. I survived my father sadism, rapists, child molesters, a serial killer, finding my best friend with her head blown off I surely hope she does not help me self destruct. Your article was very helpful. She has no remorse. She even tried to cry on me, big crocodile tears; saying why are you doing this to me, all you have in your life is to sit up there and plot against me! I was a bad person when I was young, I hurt animals, I stole, I was a drug addict, alcoholic, a liar; I had become corrupted. I was evil, lost, a sinner. But I never galighted anyone, and I always felt bad, guilty, I just could not stop. But I finally put a period on that part of my life. I felt if I wanted to help convicts, youth- I had to be as clean and pure as I could. I had to present something worthy to emulate and if I was mentoring….I concluded when you lie and hurt people you only add to the darkness in the world. I wanted to be a light, for I had no light when I was being done over by men in Mexico as a 8 year old gavacha (white girl, although I am filipina). I refuse to be part of the problem.
    Have I misunderstood her as she claims, or have I been gaslighted?
    The mouse that roars.

  22. I finally feel like I am not alone. My husband of three years is what much of these comments and the article has described. He does have emotions and they are real, but just aren’t shown often. He lies or hides everything. Even the tiniest thing, he lies about. A lot of the time I really, truly believe he doesn’t remember lying about some things. His first reaction is to always lie. If he actually wanted to tell the truth, he would have to think about it. We are separated now due to the lying and hiding everything. I think I do love him and we have a son together, but I just don’t think this type of behavior is curable. I’m afraid to continue to waste my life if my life with him will always be a lie. Is there any hope? Could it be depression or some kind of chemical embalance that an antidepressant might assist with? Maybe he’s bipolar? I’m stuck and confused.

  23. I once married a Pathological Liar.
    He lied about his work experiences, his family, his job, his friends. I spent a year with him and eventually moved out of States, we had long distance relationship for 4 years and eventually got married. We had numerous fights about his lying which eventually i always find out through our friends, like he is sleeping, he’s in the shower, blah blah blah! Anyhow, after we got married and lived in one roof, it all came clear to me that he is lying to every single thing even without any good reason to lie, he lies! I tried to understand and listen to him all the time and let go of simple lies he made since he didnt have job for 2 years. I was giving him the understanding and consideration because maybe he was stress about not having a job. I literally build the marriage for us, the house, i bought 2 cars, i give him money every month so he has something to spend and not feel empty!

    In the end he is telling his family and friends that he bought the 2 cars and spent the house expenses for us and that he was too tired of me. Also, i caught him many times with another facebook account (knowing he will lie) i still asked him who’s facebook account was that, he pointed the blame to our neighbor that our neighbor wanted to cheat on his wife. Of course we are very close to them, scared of me confronting our neighbor’s wife, he admitted that its his facebook account and that he is sorry for doing it. Really not a big deal for me.

    What i am more concern of is him lying and that he lies about every single thing he does, and that it would cost him his friends off if him once they found out about him being a compulsive liar.

    He started going on vacation without me and i felt instantly that something worse is happening. I confronted him many many times and all i get are lies.
    Until i found out that he married a second wife. (he was a Muslim).

    That’s the end of it.
    I divorced him!
    He promised me that he will divorce his second wife and he will marry me again! (i know it’s a lie, she is his cousin and he is a chicken shit to go against all his family).
    Now he lied to his boss that he is going for vacation to get married. (he was married 1 year before this vacation already).
    But he told me he will divorce her on this trip.
    Well at this time i already know he is lying to his boss and he is lying to me. But today he called me saying that they are already divorced, and once he got back from Egypt he will bring me to the court and get married.

    Well, my ex husband is really clueless that everyone already knows about all his lies.

    Why such people are still alive?

  24. Thank you for this article. It clarifies a very problematic situation I had been dealing with. I had a friend from college for some 30 years, who always had some sort of drama,claiming she had been abused, etc. I have been there for her,only to find how she had been lying to me and telling lies about me. She had not only lied, but stolen some $350,000.00 from her elderly parents, and lost it gambling.Her siblings chose against prosecuting her yet she kept badmouthing them. She lost her house so I had her live in my house until she got back on her feet. My good wishes towards her were wasted as I discovered an email she wrote to another friend. (She had used my computer but forgot to log out). The lies she told about me were horrible, accusing me of ‘verbal abuse’, and other slanders. When I confronted her–she kept lying. I told her that I was giving her 30 days notice–to find another place to stay. I wasn’t going to wait for her to make accusations to the police–as she is a very convincing liar. She left the next day–and then blogged that she was kicked out that day. I am still reeling from the broken trust. I had always been there for her even though other friends had tried to get me to see her real side. I can’t believe how gullible I was. The sad thing is–even though she had access to counseling–she quit. She thinks that everyone else is the problem. She has never taken responsibility for anything and frequently claimed that any problems she experienced were someone else’s fault. Thank you for this article–it has helped me see where I was naive, gullible and blind.

  25. I’m glad I found this page. I don’t think it taught me anything I didn’t know, but it’s been really helpful as a validation of what I see happening to my daughter. (My degree is also in Psych, but I gave up working on my PhD to go back to my first love – Ballet.)

    This is a long story, but I’ll make it as brief as possible. I also have a question for you at the end.

    Our kids were adopted from Kazakhstan a little over 11 yrs ago. That certainly does NOT make them any less “our kids” – we simply say we found our kids, but they happened to be on the other side of the planet, & we had to go get them. If we’d have found them in Boise, we’d have gone there to get them, too. 🙂 The only bearing their adoption has on this is that my daughter was almost 9 yrs old when they come home w/ us. She only spoke Russian, & had never been to school before at all, even in her home country. We bonded immediately w/ both of them (our son was 5 at the time), & although everyone cautioned us about adopting older kids, we had no problems adjusting – the orphanage system in Kazakhstan is very good, & the kids were very happy, & had very little “baggage” that might have made it rough on all of us. They were just normal kids.

    However, due to that, our daughter was behind everyone in her age group, & had to do a lot of hard work to catch up. She was doing really well, & at age 19, was to be a senior in high school this yr. Any problems she had seemed to be typical teenage dramas, but she was doing well in school, played tennis, & was involved in other extracurricular activities. She was very much a home-body, not going out & partying. She was active in our church, as well. She was also exceptionally beautiful (I can say that – I wasn’t genetically responsible!), & was in the contestant pool for an upcoming season of “America’s Next Top Model” w/ Tyra Banks. All in all, she was a loving, honest, delightful girl, & everyone thought so, not just us. Her only downfall was that she was a bit more naive than most of the kids her age….but considering her background, that wasn’t surprising.

    While working a summer job (at a very large area amusement park, where she lived in employee housing), she met a boy….& that’s where the trouble started. When she told us about him the first time, there were a LOT of red flags – “He has a history of mental problems, but he’s not on any medication anymore, cos he doesn’t need it”, & “He has a lot of rules for dating him”. We stopped her right there & told her of our concerns – what were these rules (she couldn’t seem to tell us), & what was the nature of his “mental problems” (she didn’t seem to know that, either). She acknowledged that yes, it sounded scary, but he was a good person, really, & that if she got any weird vibes from him, she’d break it off. We ended up meeting him shortly thereafter, & while he seemed to be somewhat loose w/ the truth occasionally, it wasn’t about big things, & he seemed to treat her well.

    That didn’t last long. Towards the end of the summer, I emailed her to tell her when tennis practices started for the school yr, so she’d know when to put in her 2 wks notice & come home. She wrote back that she was *quitting school* so that she could work until the end of the season – & she refused to discuss it w/ us. She said she was going to finish school online, & gave us the name of an online school that has a *horrible* reputation – about a 30% graduation rate, & of those few graduates, about 0.5% of them were prepared for *any* further education, even trade schools. It ranks below the *worst* public school system in our state (Ohio). Then, she began abusing her cell phone, raking up way too many additional charges, which we were paying for. We asked her to stop – she refused – we cut off her data – she threw a tantrum – so we turned it off completely (“You have a job, you pay for it.”). A few days later, I got a call from her “boyfriend”, telling me to turn her phone back on. I told him this was a family matter, & none of his business. He said we were just mad about her decision to quit school, & again, I told him, none of your business. He said he took it personally, since *he* had been in special ed for 8 yrs, then graduated from an online school….& later went on to get his GED (which makes no sense). All of this was ridiculous, as we already KNEW where he graduated from high school from, & what yr (& which I confirmed by looking it up online). Later that night, I got a text from him – “Have a nice life, cos you’ll never see your daughter again.” The following day, I called the police dept at the amusement park & told them about it. They called both of them in: they told my daughter to call us & arrange to meet w/ us personally & get this straightened out, because they didn’t want it affecting her job performance; they told the boy that his behavior was completely out of line, that they would not tolerate employees harassing park patrons (we had season passes), & that he was to have no further contact w/ us.

    Our daughter didn’t call us – THE BOYFRIEND’S MOTHER CALLED US! And she screamed, hollered, wouldn’t let us get a word in edgewise, & I suspect she was drunk, as half of what she said didn’t make sense, & the other half was indecipherable. We hung up. Then the text messages started – “I have your daughter now, I was your last chance & you blew it, she’s got a strong backbone & will make us proud someday, if you want to know how she’s doing, call me & maybe I’ll tell you, if I feel like it, LMAO. You’d better start PRAYING, Sweet Pea!!” I showed both sets of texts to our local police, who said there was nothing they could do about it.

    As time has gone on (the last 10 painful months), things have gotten worse. The boy got fired eventually from the park where they were working, & our daughter quit her job w/ a fake excuse & followed him (the only way I knew this was when the park detective called me & told me).

    • Sorry! I accidentally hit “submit” – I wasn’t finished!

      Anyway – the boy got fired, my daughter followed him, & they moved in w/ his mother, which is where he was living when not at the amusement park. He also didn’t have a job during the “off season”. My daughter immediately started working – 2 jobs, then tried to add a third one. There are 3 other adults living in the house, & my daughter is the ONLY ONE WORKING & PAYING THE BILLS FOR THEM! I sincerely doubt she is doing anything in regard to online school – she can’t possibly have the time. She’s only sporadically contacted us via email, & each time she does, she changes her story about things – she has one job, no, three, no, two, & she’s always *had* two…..she’s broke, she’s buying a car, she got her drivers permit (which she can’t do, cos she has epilepsy & has been medically non-compliant, as those people won’t let her see her doctors), etc etc etc. The boy’s mother texted me 3 further times before I had her blocked, & her texts were full of contradictions (your daughter doesn’t have her health insurance info…..she has it…..why won’t you give us her health insurance info?) After having mentioned once that her son was adopted from Puerto Rico, she then referred to him as “my adopted inner-city Cleveland son”. She called my daughter “your expensive daughter”, then turned around & said “You paid more for her than she’s worth.” I finally said to her, “All of your lies & contradictions I’ve caught you spewing…..aren’t you getting nervous that you’ve been caught so many times?” Her response was chilling – “Nervous? No….because I got what u want – HA!”

      These people are *obviously* pathological liars – & not very good ones, at that. Their contradictions are so transparent as to be laughable. However, now my daughter is trying to lie to us, as well….& she has a history of also being a really bad liar (as in, not good at it). The problem? SHE’S 19 – MEANING LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL NOT HELP US. I’ve shown the texts, & my daughter’s sporadic emails to many experts, & they all agree 100% – brainwashing, manipulation, Stockholm Syndrome, & possible human trafficking by labor. “But she’s 19, so she must *want* to live like that, sorry.”

      So, since she’s 19, they could theoretically be keeping her tied to a chair when they don’t have her working, they could be beating her w/ chains or something, but UNLESS SHE FINDS A WAY TO TELL SOMEONE SHE NEEDS HELP, IT’S ALL 100% LEGAL!!! Which she won’t *do* if she’s brainwashed & under the affects of Stockholm Syndrome. But, should they give her a *beer*, they’d be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a MINOR, & she’d get nailed for underage drinking!! WHY IS THE LAW SET UP SO THAT A 19 YR OLD IS BOTH AN “ADULT* AS WELL AS A “MINOR”???? Nobody can answer that. Our local police chief even told me that, if I bothered him about this one more time, the police wouldn’t respond to *any* calls for help from our house, for any reason (which he can’t do, but that explains the mindset of our police).

      I’ve tried to talk sense to my daughter in emails to her. She is completely oblivious to what’s happening to her, & completely unaware of how her *own* remarks now contradict one another, even when I point them out to her.

      My question (finally!!) is this: Besides the effects of the Stockholm Syndrome, could her lying be because she *needs* to lie to convince herself that what she’s believed this whole time is true? Is there some part of her subconscious that KNOWS the truth, but her conscious mind will not allow her to see that, cos it will invalidate everything she believes to be “true” about her life, if she *is* forced to see it? Or is it a simple matter of being too stubborn & embarrassed to be willing to admit that she’s been wrong about these people the whole time?

      If either of those scenarios are correct, how does one convince her that it’s ok to be wrong, that everyone makes mistakes, & that it’s ok to start over? I’ve used every approach I can think of – I’ve told her that I love her & nothing will ever change that, I’ve talked about actions & consequences, I’ve even sent her the texts that woman has sent me, so that she could see for *herself* what these people are doing – to no avail. I am completely out of ideas for how to help my daughter see what is being done to her, & help her take her life back.

      I know that she’ll most likely require extensive psychiatric help if she *does* come home, even if just to overcome the Stockholm Syndrome, not to mention everything else that’s been done to her mind. But, do you have any ideas to offer us? Will we ever truly get our daughter back in one piece again? Is it possible, or has she been damaged permanently by these horrible people?

  26. Thank you so much for this. I had been starting to suspect I’ve been dating a patholigcal liar for the last few months so I googled it, and this article sent chills down my spine. I found myself nodding along with everything. Especially “studying the victim” and “piercing gaze”. So creepy.

    • Thank you for letting me know it was helpful to you. Inspires me to write more. 🙂

      All the best in your dating life. Very scary once you see all the signs.

  27. I have a pathological liar that I work for. She looks me in the face and straight out lie. She is constanting lying about everything. Numerous of times I have caught her lying. The problem with her is that she thinks that I do not know that she is lying. She will lie and state that she did not received an email when it was sent to her and I was cc in on the email. She would like and stated that she called someone when I know that she did not. She just make up stuff along the way. She even lied about someone who died and was asked about the person she stated that the person was still alive even though the person was dead. She calls everyone that she come in contact with either crazy or drunks or on drugs.

  28. Hi i need your help i just employed someone and found out that he lies about everything even his job application he stated he was 27 but he was really 45 he lied about eveything in his liife and now i want to fire him but i feel sorry for him as he is broke and losing this job would make him homeless but what should i do he been telling over people he so rich but his landlords rang me up and ask why i havent paid him because they he was behind his rent but he told them i didnt pay him please i need help on this

    • Hi Nick,
      Sorry for the delay in my response.
      You are in a tough position. I would consider weighing the pros and the cons of keeping or losing this employee. Second, I would hold him accountable with some “disciplinary action” such as reduced pay or terminating his position. If he has lied to you, out of intention to harm you or deceive you, you should take actions now that will protect you in the future. However, if this employee feels that he had to lie to have food on his table, clothing, and shelter, I’m sure we can relate as we have all been in situations that were desperate. I think what you should do, once you weigh everything, will come easily to you.

      It’s tough.
      Take care

  29. I’m glad I found the article but what do I do when I’m in a relationship with someone like this? He has PTSD from being in the war (I’ve seen pics of him in uniform so I know that he’s been to war…but most of what comes out of his mouth other than that is a lie.,I don’t know if it’s from being injured in the war or another disorder (I met him after he got back from the war) I really do care about him but I can’t take the lying. I don’t know how to bring it up. I don’t know if it would make him angry. He says he’s not going to get help for the PTSD, so I doubt he will for this either. Im so torn. He deserves to be cared about just like everyone else but I wish he could just be honest with me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Kristen, this is a very tough situation so I absolutely understand your frustration. It’s difficult trying to love and care for someone who is basically telling you they don’t need your help, they don’t need your love, or your concern. Even if he is not verbalizing this his behavior is saying this. Pathological lying is very complicated and it’s difficult to figure out why he’s doing what he’s doing. Is the lying a part of the PTSD? Or is the pathological lying a part of some other illness that we are not aware of such as a sociopathic traits or something similar? I would encourage you, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all of this, to seek your own therapy so that you can have someone to talk to and process your emotions with. Perhaps this person will also offer couples therapy and you guys can go in together as a team and talk. Sometimes a resistant individual will go to therapy if their spouse is going or if the therapist invites a spouse to a conjoined session. For some people, having a joint session takes the pressure off of one individual and reduces embarrassment. If you are able to find a really good therapist they can actually work with your spouse while also working with you. The “identified patient” is not your significant other but the two of you. This might be better for him and can possibly change his perception about therapy. You can find therapists in your area by putting your zip code into: therapytribe.com or psychologytoday.com.

      I wish you well

  30. Just dealt with a friend who turns out to be a liar and would flip the table and throw you under the bus as soon as the truth starts revealing itself. Liars love to deny everything when they’re confronted so the point about them lacking empathy is totally true. I noticed what they would do in order to get themselves out or basically bury themselves further into the lies they’ve told:

    1. they’ll never answer or at least hesitate, or just give ambiguity answers when confronted
    2. they’re angry people, of course they are, they’re exposed!
    3. they’re unbelievable. – and you can’t help thinking why would awful people exist on earth
    4. their stories differ each and every time, and most of the time it would be discounted bit by bit till it’s eventually denied
    5. they’ll throw the vulnerable under the bus first, who are those whom they feel is the easiest to put all the bullshit on
    6. nothing, nothing sums up
    7. everything contradict everything

    but ultimately i believe they would be dealt with by someone or something. it’s impossible for them to carry on with their life with all the lies (burdens) they’ve carried. or at least all those lies would eventually overspill. 10 lies are needed to cover 1 lie, and 100 lies are needed to cover the 10 lies told. i wish for people with integrity and honesty never to meet with liars in life. and i wish those liars would simply fight it out among themselves, don’t destroy humanity. and to those who met liars, don’t give in don’t give up, because that’s what’s keeping the good in people around 🙂

  31. Just when you thought you were out of the woods. I left my husband of 23 years two years ago, because he was a sex addict and a pathological liar. He was a gaslighter, and needless to say when I left I was pretty wrung out. It took me, well I’ll let you decide if I have recovered or at least have some degree of sanity. I moved into an apartment complex and I moved in quickly, because if I didn’t get away from him, I don’t know what I was going to do. I am sure I wouldn’t harm me or him but my mind and body was totally exhausted. Anyhow, I settle into my apartment and see my physical and he puts me on anti-depression meds and monitors me ( wants me to come in once a month) and everything is going fine. During this time I am getting to know new neighbors and unfornately my property manager. Well, the neighbors (which I will call the tenants from now on) don’t like him. I pretty much make up my own mind about people, always have, in this case though I should have listened. This guy is pretty much a blow hard at first, seems just a braggart and a gossip. I just write him off as a guy with some sort of problem with self esteem maybe??? It just keeps getting worse, he’s a former attorney with the US Attorneys office!!! This man doesn’t have a clue that we have a constitution in this country, let alone constitutional rights. I am a disabled woman, mine neck was broken in a car accident serveral years ago. He always going on about how he can throw people out of here and eviction them just at his slightest wish. He uses derogatory terms for people of color and says he is not going to renew the lease of a disabled woman (not me another woman here) because she’s a liability. These are just a couple of examples of his bragging, egomania and BS. The thing is, I have tried to avoid him everytime I leave the apartment. I am successful about 50% of the time but two days ago I wasn’t so lucky. I was talking to a tenant I liked very much and I hadn’t seen her in a long time. We were enjoying a nice conversation, when here he comes. He starts up about things (as usual) that he shouldn’t be talking to the tenants about in the first place. Rent hikes and who got them and how much, the thing of it is, he was lying about it. And I asked him, which I shouldn’t have, if everyone got the same rent hike. Of course he says yes and in two minutes makes a liar out of himself. Needless to say, I am getting a little steamed. Then he goes into his ” I am very smart, I am smarter than anyone” and then “I have five college degrees”. I must have looked incredulous or something, cause he noticed my look and it made him mad. So, he says you think you are so smart because you know the computer! I just keep looking and getting a little madder. He tells the other lady that he only gets a free apartment for being the property manager here. Then I lowered the hammer, I reminded him that he had told me he got a free apartment and a percentage of the rents. HE TOLD ME THIS and when he told me that he said the landlord was coming over to renew his contract with her in a couple of days. Well, that did it with him, he denied ever saying that, accusing me of being crazy or just making it up. Then the comment about knowing the computer again. He’s in a rage now, and I am mad and I tell him I am not a liar or crazy and he can kiss my butt and go to hell. OOPS, I had just let this build up for so long it slipped out. He proceeded to grab the watering hose and the lady I was talking to ran into her apartment and I was trying to apologize to her and he’s laughing this crazy laugh and yelling horrible things. He starts watering the lawn and the walks and stands outside my door yelling obcenities and the whole neighborhood can hear him. In April of 2013, I started writing letters to the owner of the apartments I begged her to call me. We had no way to contact her except to write a letter in our rent. I sent her eight letters, from April to October (2 in Oct) requesting that she get in contact with me. She never did and now things have come to this. He made “incident report” about me and I got on the internet and GUESS what? She had joined the Apartment Association and they had a membeship directory and her phone and email were there. So, I email her and telling her what’s happening. I asked that she hear me out before talking to him, citing his past behavior and threats to other tenants. She likes him alot because, she calls him and tells him to tell me she wants to chat with me. So he comes up and knocks on my door, I thought I am in trouble now. STRESS!!! She comes in and I tell her what a bigoted, unprofessional, liar he is, I tell her everything that comes to my mind that he has said or done. She’s pretty calm about it, don’t get me wrong, so am I. I ask her if she had gotten my letters and she said, YES!!! I felt like I had been slapped and she said she had been so busy and just didn’t get around to it. WHAT??? I explain to her that when she didn’t respond to me I just figured she was part of his game. That’s why I had quit trying to get in touch with her, now I am really getting nervous now. Does she think I am lying? Does she think I am a mental case? I explain to her that he’s is going to get her some very bad lawsuits if she doesn’t crack down on him, but I tell her, he’s her problem. I don’t want him to come near me again, ever. When she left nothing was resolved and now that I what I have written it sounds like I am asking advice about my landlord/manager apartment problem. I am not, sorry I have been trying to explain the events and who what and where of it all. I cannot deal with this man anymore and if you had seen him after I called him out you would know he’s MAD. I don’t know if I have to worry about my safety as I say my ex’s lying was entirely different, calm, quiet and he gaslighted me. Do you think that I may have something to worry about, should I contact someone? I haven’t slept and I am not eating, I feel like I am the one who’s in trouble and I don’t know what to do. Some tenants are aware of this and know what the circumstances are, but you know how people can be. They want this guy taken care of but they don’t want to get involved. Do you have any suggestions or comments for me?

  32. Thank you Ms. Hill for your rather fascinating article and also thanks to your contributors revealing their situations. To keep it simple my father is a pathological liar. He is, was and always will be. I am near 60 and he is in his mid 80s. He is highly manipulative, controlling, and deceptive. Your 6 signs are very interesting and he exhibits most of them. He has always directed an explosive temper towards me when he didn’t get his way. He will lie to your face without blinking. He absolutely has OCD which combined with being a liar helped him to be a successful salesman which was the perfect profession for him. When confronted and called a liar he moves on without skipping a beat. His memory always supports his lies and he seems to forget everything that doesn’t. I call it a liars memory. He finds fault with everything and everybody, especially me but never ever himself. He will then deny he’s a complainer or a critic even when given example after example. I grew up thinking I was the one that was screwed up when all along it was him. The killer is when he has lies to me about me which often includes conversations or occurrences that either never happened or are so twisted as to be a fabrication. Over the past few years I have had occasion to confront him about it however he will deny it each and every time. He is the perfect person in the imperfect world.

    As a result of all of this I have gone through life without a shred of self-confidence however in the last few years I’ve been able to accept that and understand where it came from. My mother is deceased but when she was alive she used to beg him to see a psychiatrist (for other reasons which I realize are related) however he refused. She would say that all of his blood relatives were liars and it was genetic (mother, sister, aunts, etc.) but never owned up to the fact that he was as well. I finally confronted my mother by asking her since they were all genetic liars how did it somehow skip him. In reality she was an enabler. I have put a great distance between my dad and myself. It is the only way I could cope with him at all. I love him but there is a part of me that will always hate him as well and I cannot help that. When I look in the mirror I see my soul. When he looks in the mirror he sees a pimple. Lucky for me I now realize that. Thanks again for your article.

    • Well, here I was just ranting ( and I was upset) when your relationship with your father has completely died. I am so sorry, I can at least say that the man I wrote of means nothing to me. When I leave, it’s over. I know when they lie to you there’s something in you screaming for them to shutup. In your case it’s your dad and those feelings make you feel wrong and wronged. Everything from the memory to the denial is so on point, if it wasn’t for the age, I would swear you are talking about the same man I am. Please realize that this is not who or what you are, that’s why it bothers you so. I wish you the best and if it means anything coming from me, I would be proud to call you my son.

      • Thank you tiredofhearingit. I read your post and feel for you as well as others who have dealt with similar situations as ours. The funny/sad thing is that I was a “daddy’s boy” and had to look at myself to see the truth in that. I finally came to realize that I was still being the little boy seeking my father’s approval from a man who was NEVER, EVER going to give it. In some ways I was still his whipping boy. I know full well that I am a highly flawed and imperfect man which puts me one up.

        My dad is old and has a bad heart. He is not going to live much longer in all probability. I love him, I truly do however I finally figured out that he is far more flawed than I ever was or ever will be. As much as it goes against my nature I’ve learned to tell him what he wants to hear and not the truth. Any time I have confided in him by being honest I’m giving him a loaded weapon which will be used against me sooner or later.

        Your situation is far more of a threat to your physical and mental health than mine. You posted in the “Pathological Liar” column however if only half of what you’re saying is true your ex is a sociopath. I know that this is easy for me to say but leave and don’t look back. Get up and go, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Put a 1,000 miles between you and your nemesis. Legally change your name. Leave no forwarding address. Don’t tell anybody what you are doing unless you can fully trust that they will never breach your confidence in them and if that means you cannot trust anybody then go. Just go. It beats killing or being killed and that includes getting a stroke from all of this. Life should be a pleasure. Go for it and as the kids like to say in text language “WTF.” You have my prayers and sympathies.

    • Thank you WMK for your kind words and contribution.
      What really caught my eye in your story is your statement “I have gone through life without a shred of self-confidence…” I just want you to know that you are not alone in this. So many of us feel this way everyday of our lives. Much of life entails battling with our ideas of ourselves and our level of confidence. I believe this is a human thing, a very normal thing. You say the only way to cope is to put distance between your father and you. I agree that sometimes we must make this “drastic” move to protect ourselves, primarily our self-esteem.
      I wish you well.

      • Thank you as well Ms. Hill. I’m an old man and I’ve always tried to be introspective. It took me forever to realize the very truths that we are discussing. I don’t have all the answers and mind you that I have glaring faults of my own however I firmly believe that for the most part people are the masters of their own destinies. We allow ourselves to be abused at least to some extent. I read a lot of comments that basically say that “I cannot get out” for one reason or another. To them I’d advise to listen to Paul Simon’s song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and apply the lyrics to themselves. There is wisdom there.

        I also want to remind everybody that when I was 16 years old it was all my parents’ fault. After I turned 21 the fault was all my own.

  33. These types of behavior describe my brother to a T! and now his 23 year old son is doing this stuff. It’s so heartbreaking. My brother has divided my family, my Mom is blackmailed by him all the time. If she doesn’t do things his way he threatens to keep his kids away from her. He needed psychiatric help over 30 years ago but never got it. Now his son has his own family and he’ll lie about things to paint his father in a better light. Then 6 months later he hates him again and he’s on your side. I’m sick of all of them, I’ve decided I am not going to have anything more to do with them I’ll keep in touch with my parents and my nephew’s wife ocaissonally. You have to cut Toxic people out of your life.

  34. It’s crazy how much my boyfriend exhibits all these traits! he lies all the time and about even the smallest and most useless things, then when i catch him in a lie he laughs it off and claims its the last time and he’ll never do it again. he doesn’t even mind telling our social circle that i’m mad a him because i caught him in yet another lie. he once told me he was off campus and my friend saw him in the cafeteria, he still continued lying about it the next day. when i ask why he lies he genuinely has no answer to the question. I know better now and have to constantly ask him if what he says is a lie but he once said something about studying me before he approached me and now i’m worried if i can deal with it or not? can i change him? maybe using positive reinforcement? Or is there absolutely no way of changing a PL???

  35. A friend of ours fits this description to a “t.” I’m saddened to learn there is no cure. And, of course, this person has other issues… drug addiction, ADHD to name a few. We attempted to help him and he did, for a while, maintain a job and worked his way up to supervisor. However, that may be a lie too…and probably is. He’s now a homeless guy, without a job, stealing and shoplifting….and in jail. The lies just continue. He recently convinced someone to go his bail swearing he would pay them back and give them a job. This from a homeless weasel living out of his car on unemployment. The lies he tells are believable because he has the ability to be charming, friendly and almost child-like. But, sadly, he can look you right in the face and tell you the biggest lie… He’s an “I swear,” “I promise you,” “I can show you the receipts,” “you can call and verify,” “I have the messages right here on my phone” kind of guy. The strange thing is that he will accuse other people of lying… he actually said, “Now, you’re going to believe so-and-so over me?” Duh!!! He was in a band, he’s a Karate expert, he has a degree in this and that…he’s a lawyer… the lies never stop. When confronted he reacts aggressively… and tries to turn the the conversation by accusing you… High drama follows him wherever he goes… he’s more entertaining than TV. It’s amazing how many people fall for the most outrageous of lies…. Some idiot lady out there believes he was in the astronaut training program even though she knows he’s living in his car. When all is said and done…. My advice would be to walk away immediately when someone lies to you more than normal. It may hurt for a while, but a liar will eventually hurt you even worse. Accept that you are never going to “change” this person, this person is never going to get any better (just better at his lying), and accept that this person doesn’t love you and is incapable of love. These people are the greatest actors in the world. Their whole lives are about acting to deceive you and getting you to believe them, they get pleasure from having “conned” you into believing their lies. No matter how they wail, cry, bawl, promise, swear or threaten… It’s just theater and you should just exit stage right.

  36. Hi:

    I posted back on 5 April, about my daughter getting involved w/ a family that has taken control over her, is manipulating her, using her, & has managed to cause my daughter to cut off all contact w/ her.

    I never received any feedback on my post. I realize it was quite lengthy.

    Since writing back in April, a few things have happened. My daughter has been driving w/out a license (which she can’t get, as she has epilepsy, & this family will not allow her to see her doctors…..therefore not on her meds, & can’t get clearance from her neuro for being non-compliant, even if she *could* see him). I contacted the sheriff’s dept in the county where she lives, & informed them of this. I asked that they simply keep an eye out for her, & if she was seen on the road, to pull her over. I also wrote in the letter who she was living w/, where, & the description of the car she would most likely be seen driving.

    The sheriff’s dept received my letter, & upon seeing WHO my daughter was living w/, felt it was urgent to check on her safety *immediately*. The deputy who went to the house called me immediately after doing so, & we talked for about 20-25 min. They are extremely familiar w/ this family; in fact, the deputy told me, “When we saw who she was living w/, we realized it was important to check on her safety immediately, because if they have another girl living in that house again, she’s probably *also* in danger.” They have a history of using people, then discarding them when a better prospect comes along.

    As I was on the phone w/ the deputy, the “boyfriend’s” mother texted my husband (we had her blocked, but she’s since gotten yet *another* phone number). She stated that my attempts to “control” my daughter wouldn’t work. (God forbid *I* should be allowed to have any control over *MY* daughter, right?) We didn’t respond to her – we just had the new phone number blocked, as well.

    Long story short: The deputy was willing to stay on top of my daughter – pull her out of work to interview her when nobody from that family was present, have the local human trafficking task force do the same, etc…..but, of course, my daughter & this boy suddenly managed to get jobs out of town, & they left the county…& that deputy’s official reach.

    The mother’s house has gone up for sheriff’s sale (2 wks from now), since she no longer has my daughter there to pay her bills. This is the 4th time the house has been up for sheriff’s sale, & the other 3 times, she managed to pull it out at the last minute.

    Two days before Mother’s Day, I got an email from my daughter – telling me she wished I was dead.

    My daughter has since turned 20 yrs old. She’s been totally taken over by these people, & I’m quite positive I’ll never see her, ever again. They have killed the person that used to be my daughter, & replaced her w/ someone who’s now just like them – a liar, a law breaker, a person w/out a conscience, & a person filled w/ hate, placed there by her being convinced these people – the only ones she’s been allowed to listen to for almost a full yr now – that it’s what “she” wants.

    The girl who used to be my daughter is dead. If there’s any shred of her left inside what’s physically left, it’s too buried under layers & layers of what they’ve done to her, to find it’s way out.

    I am angry at a system that does not believe anyone over the age of 18 could *possibly* be a “victim”. After all, she’s an adult, so she must *want* to be there, right? Yet, if anyone’s seen handing her a BEER, they’ll *all* be arrested….them, for contributing to a MINOR, & her, for UNDERAGE consumption. HOW CAN SHE BE AN ADULT & A MINOR AT THE SAME TIME? The law makes no sense. Everyone agrees that these people have fed my daughter non-stop lies to take control of her, & that it’s a terrible, horrible situation – but nobody can DO anything about it. And, as a result, a loving, innocent girl who was building a bright future for herself, has basically been allowed to *die*.

    Your feedback, please.

    • hi Ktnil,
      You are right, your post is rather lengthy but I understand. I did have a hard time weeding out what your question is, but I will say that I am very much in agreement with your frustration with the system. The system is very one-sided most of the time and doesn’t support families quite like it should. Age 14 and age 18 in the United States is what I call the “powerful ages” because young individuals can make their own decisions and often end up making the wrong decisions. Even more, age 14 and 18 makes the system not want to help this age group when it is truly needed. You are correct when you say “how can she be an adult and a minor at the same time?” You are not the only parent who feels this way. I also ask the same questions.

      I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

      I wish there were more I could give you but doing so, online, is not only inappropriate (because I don’t know your case) but also impossible. But I do…..wish you the best. Hang in there.

  37. If ever you want a fertile research environment, try living in Thailand for awhile. The country is full of pathological liars. Google it (Thailand + liars).

    My (step) daughter is one of them. She lies for absolutely no reason or gain. For example, we both share a chair at a desk we have for the computer. We are the only two who use that chair. She has a fidgeting problem. The tip of the foam chair arm on the right side was picked away. I confronted her about it and she blamed it on my 4 year old son who would NEVER do such a thing; but even if he did, he would just say so as he always does. He and she knows there is no punishment for telling the truth – ever – but there is (at a minimum) a stern tongue lashing as punishment for telling a lie. Also, he never touches that chair.

    Ok, so I let it go, warned her, and then patched over the damage with colored duct tape. I also warned my son, for good measure. Both understood.

    A couple of months later, same thing on the left arm of the chair. I never observed my son ever touching that chair in the interim as it is totally out of the way. She sits there daily, as do I. I confronted her. Same lie.

    My wife never uses that chair. Besides, she would simply admit it and we would simply get a new chair for her.

    My daughter needlessly lies about so many other things where the truth is OBVIOUS, yet still she lies. I could write a series of novels…

    Don’t get me started about the overwhelming majority of ordinary people I encounter daily here. Same thing where the truth is conspicuous, yet still they lie. Often for no obvious benefit. They just do it.

  38. Thank you for the article, I was saddened and a little relieved to read “lack of empathy”. Maybe I can stop trying now, and finally let him go.

    • Thank you Melissa.
      As sad as it is to say, I do believe you are correct. A lack of empathy makes attempting to remedy anything almost impossible in some situations.
      Take care

    • My ex and I divorced August 2016. He remarried a PL Thanksgiving Day, 2016. She told him she was a rich attorney, waiting on an inheritance. She told him that her people would be paying all o his bills, including the house for me and they money to buy me out He had rental property that was his income to do all of this. Had I not sued him for show cause, on why he wasn’t following the separation agreement, he would not have learned that he was in foreclosure on EVERYTHING he owned. All of his o=income going down the drain. He finally wrenched himself away from her and together we were blessed by God to be able to pull everything out of bankruptcy and foreclosure. What was she to gain if he lost everything? She had him talking to her people, they were always explaining what was happening to the money, blaming banks for misappropriating, payments made. It was tough. But I’m just not sure she is finished with us. (I am back to being partner in business because of lack of trust for him for awhile. I’m CFO.) I tried t get to him, but he threatened me with a restraining order, she was with him constantly alienating him from friends and family and him only speaking to her family and “legal consultants.” She blocked us from being to contact him on his phone. But he is away from her, now. I pray that we will completely recover financially ….Not a fun way to spend first year of retirement. If you are with this kind of person. RUN, for God’s sake RUN from this person. Good luck and God bless.

      • Hi Jiggy,
        Thank you for your input and personal experience. It’s always helpful to other readers to hear what others have been through. I agree, if you find someone who possesses these traits or tends to engage in pathological lying, it’s better to run than walk and protect yourself (i.e., your finances, your career or job, etc). Trying to live a life with someone who will continue to be dishonest is going to be difficult, if not impossible.

  39. Hello Ms. Hill, your article was spot on . My son, who is incarcerated at the moment, has had this problem all his life. He also has been treated for ADD and I took him to several doctors at 7 and 16. We tried changing schools too and nothing seemed to help. His lying included stealing,physical abuse and anger, but many people can’t believe this side of his personality because he is so charming! When he was in Elementary school, I told him he should run for mayor because he knew so many people!
    As he got older, his stories would not add up and this made him so mad when we didn’t believe him. It also seemed that he was drawn to dangerous situations. He was not actually involved, but he was good friends with a couple that were murdered by their own son. He told us that he was “working with the police to solve the crime.” He let the son live in his house with his own children after the murder! We chose to remove ourselves from his life, but we are concerned about what will happen when he is released. This will be in another year. Our other children and very worried and stay on edge. He blames his troubles on us and has never said the words” I’m sorry” in his life. We tried to help him but he always considered us “jerks” for spending money on doctors. Once, while we were returning home from a session he said to me,” I hope you got something out of this because it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever be a part of.” I told him I did get something out of it. I felt that I had at least tired to help him and if he would not except the help, that was his choice.

    • Thank you “Sad Mom” for your comment.
      It appears that your son has struggled most of his life with pathological lying. The sad part, for many of us, is that the clinical field has very little to no research on this topic and rarely educates families about this “symptom.” Pathological lying behaviors often accompany many disorders such as personality disorders (narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personality disorder, etc), conduct disorder (which includes antisocial behaviors and can eventually lead to sociopathy), and oppositional defiant disorder.

      The most difficult reality for many families of a pathological liar is that many liars do not believe they are the problem, but that everyone else is.

  40. What does a parent of a 39 year old pathological liar do? His behavior is ruining his life and affecting the whole family dynamic. His sister want nothing to do with him. Blames us for enabling him. We have bailed him out of more than one situation. Right now we are paying for a motel room for him as he was homeless after screwing up a relationship. He has sought therapy, but I am sure everything he said to the therapist was a lie. To him these lies are truths. We have no more money to help him with and really don’t know what we can do to help. He lives on the West Coast, we are on the East Coast.

  41. I’ve been seeing a Pathological Liar for almost 4 yrs now & have him down to a Science. He has all he character traits of a Sociopath & Pathological Liar but was never diagnosed as a child, as he refuses to get any help. He seduces women with his words & attracts them physically. He feels very uncomfortable around others says, he doesn’t fit in, all the while he’s unwilling to try & mostly stays inside, watches tv or on the Computer & talks constantly. He likes me to be alone with him, and when there are others involved gets extremely jealous or annoyed, but says I’m the jealous one. He never admits to doing anything wrong and feels he’s always right. He can get aggressive & extremely impulsive especially when he drinks. He loves to talk, all the time & if told to do something with authority gets annoyed, he likes to get his own way, when that doesn’t happen, tries to make you feel guilty & acts out like a child to get his own way. I find him very impatient, not as impatient as he use to be, I’v found ways to, not by him knowing, help out. It’s exhausting & a daily struggle. I’ve caught him in so many lies, when he gets caught, it’s always the other persons fault, and then he puts them down, trying to get out of the lie. Every body is the reason he is the way he is, he says, and can’t seem to let go of the past, always complaining about someone or something. When driving I’ve learned that by saying, No ones a good a driver then you, when he gets mad, seems to help. By complimenting him and encouraging him he seems to be more responsive. I’ve learned to keep reminding him that he has to let go of the past or it will consume him. I’ve notice when he goes off it usually last about 10 minutes, and if I don’t interfere and change the subject that works. He like to be told everyone likes him and usually when he does something I often say, how would you feel if it were done to you, and have several times done what he’s done to me. I’ve pushed him away as a way to shake him up. He seems to get scared like child being abandoned, but if I stay away to long, he starts to lie about me, making me look bad, or go off, away for a couple of days drinking with his brothers, so he says. I know different, but he’ll never admit to doing what I already know, tries to convince me otherwise. He can be very selfish wants everyone to hand things over to him on a silver platter, and if that doesn’t happen, threatens to get whatever he wants by whatever means it takes, tries to make a person feel guilty & manipulates them into believing that maybe he’ll change. I could go on and on, it’s sad really, cause he’s can be very sweet and giving. It takes a really strong person with a whole lot of patience and rethinking in order to change their way of thinking 24/7 around the clock pushing and pulling, re-guiding, almost like realigning a car, making adjustments. There are days when every things great, then there are those days you just know, he’s in one of those moods, restless wanted to get out, as long as he has a companion, other wise he’ll stray…..

    • Thank you more than I could tell you. You’ve described my husband to a science. I am too exhausted after 7 years to even pinpoint everything.My parents are living with us now because he claimed to have bought a house that he has yet to get keys to and someone has moved in and now he claims to be in the process of eviction. This is just a example. I have to eventually explain to my parents that he has a problem. I feel so bad. But I am always covering up. He even lied about having cancer. I am so concern about the aggression. Once my parents leave back out of state I have no family here and he will beg and stalk me. If that doesn’t work he will try to ruin my career, etc. I am just fed up and not willing to stay unhappy. Tired of being blamed and walking on egg shells. Tired of living a lie. I will have to pretend all is well and get a restraining order and move. We don’t have kids together which I think God protected me in that aspect. We have had good times but it is rare and often forced on my end. He is affectionate and can be sweet but talks uncontrollably. He always talks about his past and is a histrionic. I just need peace. I may lose my career and material things but I can’t take much more. I’m exhausted

      • Hi KiKi,
        Thank you for your comments. I am glad you found the article helpful.
        Trying to cope with someone who is a pathological liar is exhausting. We, those of us who are trying to cope with the liar, must get to a point where we are so tired that we either walk away, tell the person to get help, or completely distance ourselves and our lives from the person. You have to save yourself and sadly, the pathological liar has no compassion for you.

        Take good care

  42. This is the edited commit:
    I would like to take this conversation a step further. After being married for over 12 years, I discovered some old papers hidden away in the garage that totally changed everything I knew about my husband. His story to me: he had a brother that died of Hodgkin’s Disease (untrue), he was a corpsman in the Navy and served in Viet Nam (untrue), he graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder (untrue). Places he had gone, things he had accomplished, experiences that defined his life: ALL UNTRUE………When his past began to unravel, he was willing to seek help. I was willing to work with him. We went to our family doctor and then a psychiatrist. He was given a DSM-III diagnosis. However, as the weeks and months went by, his personality began to change. He became violent. He did horrible, weird things to our children and me. I ended up in the emergency room twice. He chopped up all of my daughter’s Barbie dolls in a fit of rage. He grabbed our 9-year-old son and strangled him. In short, he came totally unglued as his past was revealed. He didn’t tell the simple white lies — he had created a complete persona that didn’t exist. Thanks to the help of family and friends, I was able to walk away with my children and al least part of my sanity. That was 20 years ago. We are relatively cordial – but he still lives a life of fabrication – and I don’t ever want to have to confront him with that…..

  43. This is one of the most precise descriptive articles coloring the behaviors and tendencies of a(sociopath) pathological liar. From first hand account (a victim of 4+ years) this is true to the T of what I experienced.

  44. My older brother is a habitual liar.

    We are in our late 30s now.

    He tells pointless lies. Tells stories about events. Peppered with little bits of the truth, but indulged with heaps of false narratives. He often attempts to draw in others by saying, “you remember” or “we both were there” and other such comments to illicit an affirmative response. Only, no one agrees. People don’t remember because these things never actually happened.

    I’ve learned to ignore his stories. I give them little thought.

    A decade ago when I got married my wife began to notice the inconsistencies in my brother’s fabricated stories. She asked me if these fantastical events were true. I laughed and told her no. I explained that he often exaggerated or embellished. That’s not it. She seemed concerned. “That’s not normal” she said. She was right.

    I started paying closer attention.
    The story about the summer he spent as a life guard and rescued that little girl from drowning.
    Not true.
    The time he broke his jaw and had to eat through a straw because his mouth was wired shut.
    Never happened.
    The bad shoulder he has from the rotator cuff surgery. Old sports injury.
    Totally false. Not true. Never happened.

    On and on. Not exaggerations. Flat out fabrications. Pointless in my mind. No clear intention or goal to achieve by telling these stories.

    Then mom died. Dad was in poor health. A few years later dad passed away too.

    My brother has lived with his girlfriend for over 15 years. At dad’s funeral she was introduced by him to grieving strangers as his wife. They are not married?
    He now refers to her as his fiance. I’ve never seen a ring.

    Things are getting worse.

    The stories are getting more grandiose.

    The lies are seemingly more elaborate.

    My brother is also not working. Has not worked for most of his adult life. He had an industrial accident at 19 and has been on disability ever since. He’s endured several real surgeries. He walks with a cane. He is literally disabled due to no fault of his own.

    Yet, recently when I introduced him to someone, he told this person he was a hydraulic engineer. In front of me. He lied. To a stranger. For no apparent reason.

    He’s not an engineer. During the short time that he was working, it was not with hydraulics.

    Creative I guess?

    Lately he’s been just plain unreliable. Making plans to get together for lunch and cancelling hours before. Setting up a time to get together, only to call the night before and say he’s out of state on a mini vacation.

    He seems to be spiraling into larger fantasies. Lies are more elaborate and seemingly pointless. Severely unreliable for months and then over bearing with involvement and expressing a desire to be closer and more involved with my children and our family. In short order he’s suddenly not to be seen or heard from for months.

    I’m sure there’s an underlying condition. Dad was rapid cycling bipolar and a highly functioning alcoholic. Brother doesn’t seem to be a drinker, but I do see glimmers of mania in his eyes when he swings to a phase where he decides to be in touch.

    The over arching consistency is and always had been the lies. This facet never waivers. Tall tails of events that never occurred. Stories about things that he’s going to do. Promises that are always broken.

    My wife and I know he’s a liar. The stories, that normally almost always involve only my brother himself, seem harmless.

    The false promises are different. Not showing up when plans have been made. Not doing things after long stretches of time while giving little status updates over a period of time to the progress of some fabricated endeavor. Us funding out later that all along nothing had actually taken place and the things that were being done never really happened at all.

    I’ve decided to win the game. If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘War Games’ from the mid 80s this will make sense. At a pivotal juncture of this movie, the computer, learning, makes the following statement in regards to global thermo nuclear war, “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

    I’ve discussed it with my wife. We are not comfortable with the chaos of my brother’s personality and his random comings and goings. For the sake of our sanity and in the best interest of our children, my brother is not going to be a part of our lives any longer.

    I haven’t come to this conclusion lightly.

    There is more to the story. My brother’s sometime financial issues. His unpredictable outbursts that range from episodes of extreme anger to bouts of crying over long past tragedies or the death of a stray cat.

    Chaos. Lies. Unreliability. Manipulation.

    I’m going to win the game though. By choosing not to play any longer.

    It’s been difficult. The hardest part had been to explain why, clearly and honestly. Then to attempt to convince him that I’m serious. That his behavior has negatively affected our relationship.

    I’m not saying no contact. I’m not saying no Christmas cards or not inviting him to family functions.

    I’m saying I have removed myself and my family from any scenario that involves relying on him to follow through, tell the truth, or be reliable and responsible.

    It’s the right decision for me.

    I do not entertain his lies. I shut him out the moment things take a turn towards insanity. I do not present an opportunity to him to draw me into an uncomfortable situation where I’m put in a position where I must either nod along with one of his lies or contradict him openly and embarrass him. This is one of the most frustrating kind of situations. To be hostage to a liar where the only options are to condone the lie or lend it credence by not challenging it, or confronting it head on and calling it out risking the anger and vengeance of the liar.

    I suspect in many cases this option is easier said than done.

    Especially when the liar is a child.

    As an adult, I have decided to be selfish and to put my own needs first.

    I’m not playing the liar’s game anymore.

    He doesn’t empathize with how his lies may affect me. When I tell him, he doesn’t care anyway.

    Not sure if he actually believes his own stories, but I suspect he doesn’t.

    The worst of the lies are the vicious ones that are aimed at emotional manipulation. This is the dark side of my brother the liar. For when he is called out for lying, he turns on me. He lashes out with verbal onslaughts of visceral lies and insinuation.

    When his manipulation is failing, in desperation he expresses concern for me. Concern in regards to my mental well being. Not genuine concern mind you. Just a form of manipulation by insinuating that I may be in fact the crazy one who needs help for my unwillingness to get lost down the rabbit hole of his fabrications.

    He’s gone so far as to express concern for the well being of my wife and family based on his observation of my personality. These manipulative remarks are reserved for the big lies. For those situations where his lies are so absurd and I have confronted him head on about them that he’s left with only one card to play. Misdirection. Change the argument or focus of the conversation. To be not about the lie of the liar. Change it to be in context of his deep concern for someone so fundamentally flawed to even suggest he’s being anything less than truthful with intentions beyond reproach.

    No longer.

    Christmas card. He’ll get one. That’s about it.

    The chaos is not welcome. Neither is the manipulation nor the lies.

  45. Just realized that my sons girlfriend is a pathological liar to the extreme. I just found out she has lied about a friend dying?? Her friend has been ill with Sarcoma she told us she passed away 2wks ago when in fact she is still with us! She has been caught out by my son but doesn’t know I know she is lying. She has taken this lie to the extreme, her mother even flew back from an overseas holiday and she still said nothing!? She told my son she did this to get out of going to work experience and she was sick of waiting for her friend to pass. I think she is seeking attention. She has stopped eating also. While I am extremely astounded I am also worried. She is just 18 and has no friends, I couldn’t understand why as she comes across as lovely. I’m not positive she is a sociopath but maybe she is the ultimate SP? How can I help her? So worried about her lies harming my son who has episodes of severe ocd, can’t be a good combination!

  46. I’m so glad I found this! I have been with a pathological liar for 14 years, married to him for 7. We have a 3 year old son together. I’ve been cheated on a few times(that I know about), and lied to for 14 years about everything under the sun. I have always blamed it on his bad childhood and his parents failed marriage where he was asked to lie to his parents by the other one frequently. Recently, I was trying to get him to tell me why he does it. At first he told me it was “to get back at people for not doing what he wants” and when I disproved that theory, he said “well then, I don’t know why. You tell me why I do it.”—Like I am supposed to know. I’ve asked him to go counseling many times and to go to marriage counseling and he refuses. Even tells me that if I think WE need counseling, that I should go BY MYSELF. I stick around because I love him and for our son. But after this last fight(over lies), I said I was leaving and he promised he was done lying. I don’t think he knows how to quit, but I am giving him one final chance. I don’t think there is a question of IF, but rather WHEN he lies again. You said pathological liars often say things in a way that they know people will believe them. Anytime he says “I swear to God” or “Gods honest truth”, I know it’s a lie. He knows those words mean something to most people. Even swore on our sons life on a lie. It’s so hard devoting your life to someone when you can’t believe a single word that comes out of their mouth.

  47. Hi, thanks for the article, I’ve been reading a lot on this topic today, because I’m coming to the very sad realisation that my friend may be a compulsive liar. Ever since I have known her, some traumatic event has occurred in her life (according to her) every few years. Ever since realising the first one (a story that someone had died) was a complete lie (and it took yearrrrs for me to discover this…and was stangely heartbreaking and extremely confusing when I did), I am unsure whether or not to believe the other ones. Plus, these stories are always BIG/dramatic ones… and she always told them like she was writing a story, and she loved to keep that air of mysticism/suspense/drama about it. Obviously, as a friend, I wanted to support her and believe what she is telling me… but, at the time, so many other friends were skeptical of her stories, and now I am too.
    Also, more recently, she has often avoided contacting me – I feel like she’s trying to distance herself from the lies she has told.
    I don’t know what to do – I’ve given up contacting her, but at the same time I just really want to confront her about it and try and get some explanation as to how a person could tell their friend that someone had died, and live with that lie for years? It eats at me all the time.
    Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree that it is a very sad realization when you recognize that someone you trusted or cared for is perhaps a liar. Lying behaviors can, as you basically state, destroy your entire life.

      The avoidance that your friend may be showing is probably attached to the fact that she is aware that you see her. She is possibly aware that you don’t trust her. Or perhaps….she is feeling guilty about her behaviors. We are wonderful barometers of other human beings. We know when something just isn’t right.

      I think that you would really have to do some introspection (deep thinking and reflection) on the pros and cons of confronting your friend or not confronting your friend. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it to confront someone who has a history of lying. In fact, some people stay away from confronting liars because they typically lack empathy and will probably lie to you again! You must keep in mind that you have a conscience, you have empathy, you have the ability to feel uneasy about the things you may say. But your friend does not.

      The sooner you accept that your friend lacks the social skills and emotional skills necessary to be a good friend, the easier this will be for you.
      I wish you well

      • Thank you so much for responding. It’s really great to hear a second opinion, it truly helps. Your point about confrontation makes total sense, perhaps it is time just to let it go and move on. Again, thanks for your advice Tamara, I really appreciate it.

  48. Hi. I have just split up from an on and off 2 year relationship with a man whom I believe is a pathological liar. We met online and he told me what kind of car he had. He was to come over for the weekend to meet and see how we went. He turned up with two hiking packs and said he flew by plane.
    He had I believe hitch hiked across country
    he had no vehicle as he said he had
    he hitch hiked not plane flight
    he said he was in tegular contact with his daughter although I never heard him call her
    he said he organised plan trips and ex would cancel
    she says he has had no contact with his daughter for 8 years
    he had no licence
    he said he had a brain tumor which was removed …. he did have a scar on his head
    he changed jobs every couple of months and he alway blamed people at work for being unreasonable
    he would quit a job and then pretend to go to work for a week or more
    he had me confused and would blame me if I was suspicious
    i doubted and blamed myself and am in therapy …. yes I have baggage but I am honest. … I am so upset by this experience.
    close to worst relationship ever

  49. …poignant. Thank you for sharing.

  50. I had a friend named caylen who stole from me took a box cutter to my house the walls and etc…
    Long scratches on the tiles in the kitchen and bath.holes in between tiles and fire place.i don’t know if she harmed my dog?she lied about me all over the small town we live in.she has made herself sound like the victim and she can cry on command when she needs to.she thinks herself to be a great actress.i can’t believe a person like this exists in this world,but she does.how does a person deal with such injustice and the evil hateful behavior as well that she has done to me and steal doing?

    • Tamara maybe you can help me How do you deal with a compulsive liar that you have children with?

      • That’s a really tough question! But what I will say is that if the lying behavior is affecting your children’s life, leave that person. No child should have to deal with a manipulating father or mother, untrustworthy parent, or someone who does not care about them because they lack empathy. Your best bet is to either walk away or encourage the person to seek therapy, which they probably will not. So you will have to make the best decision for you and your children. I wish you well.

  51. Tamara –
    I really enjoyed reading your article. I was married for 9 years to a man that I am convinced is a pathological liar with narcissistic behaviors. I filed for divorce 3 years ago, when it became apparent that he did not want to get any help. The last few years of our marriage, I was in shock of all the lies I caught him in and at that point I did not have a label for his behavior. I actually thought he had a problem with sexual addiction. After 3 years we are financially divorced, but our parenting plan is STILL not complete. We have 3 children together. Much of his double life and lies did not become apparent, until after our three children were born. It’s quite a lengthy story and too much to share all the details of our nine year marriage. He most recently, dated a woman for for over a year, became engaged, moved in with her in December. They were married in May and after 5 days of marriage, he beat her and she called the police and filed charges. She is getting divorced from him. I approached him about her last year (2014) and he lied and denied their relationship. I wanted to meet her, because I knew she had been spending time with our children. Needless to say, after he beat her and she filed charges and now is getting divorced, I have finally met her, spoken with her a number of times. Of course he had told her complete lies about me. After we began talking, it became apparent to her, that he had been feeding her a pack of lies during their entire relationship. She has now realized that he was doing the same things to her, as he did with me (compulsive lying, double life, cheating, sexual addictions, no remorse, etc). I could go into so much detail and on and on, but basically are my questions (I hope you can help). 1) Is their any help for pathological liars? Can they ever be cured? 2) How does this develop – childhood – upbringing – parents – society? 3) I am concerned for our three children. What are the effects of this behavior on their children and are the children more prone to becoming pathological liars? 4) Co-parenting is incredibly difficult with him. I basically do not trust him or believe anything he tells me with regard to the children. How do I co-parent with a pathologically liar? 5) His battery charges are not final and he has been ordered to go to counseling. We are also ordered to go to a co-parent counselor too. We had gone to a male co-parent counselor for a few months this spring. This guy did not see my ex as being a pathological liar, because we were there for co-parent counseling. I have just found out that his NEW individual counselor (that he’s being forced to see) is the same man who is our NEW co-parent counselor. I will be meeting with this man for the first time next week. A Guardian Ad Litem has been appointed to our case on behalf of the children. Is is a good idea for my ex-husband to be seeing the same counselor for different but related issues? My fear is that NONE of these people see him as a pathological liar. He has now on his second marriage with the same repeated behavior, but that seems to mean nothing to the counselors, courts, etc. 6) Since my Parenting Plan is not completely signed off, I am not seriously considering limiting his parenting time. He beat a woman. At present, he is limited to only supervised visits with the children. Do you think I stand a chance in limiting his parenting time? It seems like these people can just go about leading their lives as they want, with no regard to the disruption they cause others, including their children. 7) Things have really escalated within the last month and a half, but I don’t think he’s hit “rock bottom” yet. Do pathological liars hit “rock bottom”?

    Sorry for the length and all the questions, but I feel like I have been searching for answers to his behavior or how to deal with it for quite some time. It can be exhausting and very discouraging dealing with these people. If I could, I would walk away and never want to be a part of his life, but I am tied to him forever with our three children. Thanks in advance for your comments.

    • Hi RBC and thanks so much for your comment. It sounds as if you are going through a lot at this present time. That’s enough to truly stress you out and keep you up a couple nights. I will try to address some of your questions in this response but please feel free to write back if you have further questions. You ask a good question which was “do pathological liars hit rock bottom?” The reality is that they do not. The key feature of a pathological liar is that the person lacks empathy, personal insight, and a sense of reality. Pathological liars get a kick out of keeping everybody else in the dark to their secrets. They never hit rock bottom because they don’t have the emotional makeup to hit a rock bottom. Some pathological liars lose everything from the house, kids, relationships, their job, their finances, etc. and still not hit rock bottom. The only people that will hit rock bottom will be those people trying to hold on to the pathological liar.

      I always encourage my readers to run for their life, seek therapy for themselves, and keep in mind that their own mental and emotional health is important health is important. It’s sad to think that there are it’s sad to think that there are adults in this world acting this way to lead children. Unfortunately these type of adults are “grown up children.” Some of my colleagues call these type of adults “faked adults.” Unfortunately pathological liars have a problem and that problem affects everyone including the children.

      I’m sorry that you’re going through this tough time. It’s not easy for anyone. I wish you all the best

      • Tamara –
        Thanks for answering the “Rock Bottom” question. I am assuming he can’t be cured, since he has not conscious. If I did not have children with this man, I would turn around and run and never look back. In my situation that’s not possible, because I have three children under 8 years of age with this man. So do I try and get sole custody of my children (which I think is incredibly hard to do)? He has everyone fooled. I am trying for limited parenting time. He has them less than 50% of the time. My kids love their dad and are too young to understand. I do not drag them into any of this. I am trying to keep their lives as normal as possible. My only interaction with him is with regard to our children. Are my children at risk of becoming pathological liars, since their father is? Is it a disorder that is developed or passed on? Thank you again for your feedback/comments.
        RBC

      • Hi RBC,
        Unfortunately, the research on pathological lying is quite grim. We lack a lot of knowledge about pathological lying – why it occurs, how to treat it, who it is inherited from (if anyone at all), etc. It’s sad to say that our research is sorely lacking in depth. Some research has found brain abnormalities in individuals who engage in pathological lying. You might also find this article interesting: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/pathological-lying-symptom-or-disease.

        In my experience working in the field with children and adolescents, a high number of kids who present with disruptive behaviors, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder often have a history of repeated lying and manipulative behaviors. These kids tend to have parents who engage in the same behaviors. Whether this is learned or in-born remains to be seen.

  52. I am so glad I came across this article especially the comment from the person stating that she tried to obey the commandment to honor her mother. I have always known my mom lied about anything and everything. She especially lied when it came to telling stories about how bad her brothers and sisters treated her. She has caused me much grief by lying to the point I have had arguments with my aunts and uncles trying to defend my mom. She would then throw me under the bus and tell relatives that I was crazy and just trying to start trouble with them. She had a stroke and I moved her in with me thinking that was the right thing to do. My life has become a living hell since. She has told doctors, nurses, home care people, family members, an attorney and even strangers that I am stealing from her, won’t take her to the doctor, won’t pickup her medicine and the list goes on and on. I live in fear that one day the police will show up at my door and arrest me for elderly abuse. I have told her I can’t take it anymore and she has one month to find somewhere else to live or I will take her to a nursing home. I feel guilty but I don’t have a clue how to deal with her anymore.

    • Hi bac,
      Thanks for your comment and thoughts. It is very stressful, as I’ve stated in previous comments, trying to live with and cope with someone who is a pathological liar. Everyone’s life is affected including the liar.

      I wish you well

  53. I have been first in a relationship, then married to my still husband for 37 years, in 2008 I started (only then) to realized something was amiss, I had no experience (I thought) with mental illness, it was horrible painful, we went trhough 8 marital counsellors, of course he was manipulating everything and I would get so very angry, we would get absolutely nowhere.
    In the end one counsellor suggested to me “Stop Walking on Eggshells” at first I did not want to read it since my husband (2009) had been diagnosed with Dysthymia. He is so manipulative that he managed to manipulate his psychiatrist! Which is apparently not uncommon with Borderline who are High Functioning-Invisible, and believe me he is! At first I wanted to leave, saw 3 financial adviser and a lawyer, the financial situation is not rosy, he would invest money if a woman would smile at him, you can imagine how well that works. So as long as I stay here, I have a roof over my head, a car, I can go dancing, see my children. He has tried to isolate me from his family and succeed, my children and I am working on that now, one (who is Bipolar barely talks to me) the elder one did not talk to me for 3 years, the other will support her father against me on many occasions, but things are improving, I have now read about 14 books on mental illness, I have learned a lot. I am 100% sure he has BPD. I read your article, and it really resonates with what I live. Your advice is precious. I am now at the point where I need advice on how to communicate with someone who is a manipulative liar, we still need to take decisions, and do things, for instance renovate the kitchen, go and visit the children et. Your help is very valuable, thank you.

    • Hi Biline,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am always appreciative for kind commenters.
      Someone who manages to manipulate their psychiatrist either has an overlying trusting or naive psychiatrist, or the person is a very skilled sociopath.
      Either way, that says something is wrong! If he does have BPD traits, which some research states is rare for males, I would suggest reading up on BPD specifically for males. The presentation of symptoms are much different than with women. You may find this article a good place to start: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201409/the-faces-male-borderline-personality-disorder. I would start here and then research some of the things discussed in the article and consider reading the book Hard to Love.

      While you do this, it’s also good to be reminded that you need time for yourself. You need self-care. Step back and give yourself a break. This can all be so overwhelming, which I’m sure you are aware of.
      I wish you all the best

  54. I have a friend who sounds like this, the only difference is she came up to me and said she didn’t want to lie. I don’t know what to do. She was sobbing about how her implosions had ruined her life. She wanted help but doesnt know where to turn. She has a history of depression as well. She just turned 16 and when she tried to tell her parents they just ignored it, figuring she was lying or wanted attention. i was wondering, is there anyway she can get help? I’ve known her my whole life we grew up together, I know all the lies she’s told, some even included me. When she gets caught in a lie she will either get very angry or cry.

    • Hi Concerned Friend,
      Thanks for writing in as you are in quite a dilemma with this person. Have you considered giving your friend some space? It’s so difficult to “put space” between you and your friend, especially if she is emotionally needy and considers herself close to you. You might also struggle with guilt for moving away from your friend due to her lies. Many of us have been there. But I think it’s important to keep in mind that a person who lies on you is not a friend. Someone who lies almost all of the time and “breaks down in tears” when caught, is not a friend. I encourage you to consider whether this “friend” is someone you can trust and ultimately help. On the other hand, “curing” someone who lies pathologically is likely to NOT occur. This is because pathological lying involves a lack of empathy and a host of other personality traits that makes others trustworthy and sensitive to others. It is possible that she can work with a good therapist to explore why she lies and why she is depressed. But there is no way that she will “overcome” the pathological lying behaviors. I have yet to see this as a possibility in our current research.

      I wish you all the best

  55. One of my “best friends” in high school was a pathological liar. When I finally put it together and confronted her, she became angry and, of course, denied it. We’ve had very little contact in the past 21 years. Now one of my stepdaughters is doing the same thing. She makes up bizarre stories about being in the hospital etc. she knows her parents and siblings will check, and throws tantrums that everyone hates her when they do. It got to the point where her father and I drove three hours to ensure the house fire she was telling us all about really happened (surprisingly, it did and they lost everything). My husband and his ex wife just play along with her, but I feel they need to confront her every time and insist she get help. I don’t know which is the right answer, though.

  56. Such an excellent and well-considered article, Tamara. I hope that if people recognize the signs and symptoms listed here within a close relationship, that they can.

    When you’re involved with a pathological liar, sometimes it’s hard to know how deep you’re in which is why the article is an excellent tool. Even though a non PL has a set point towards truth, we can become very swept up and habituated to this type of behavior especially when co-mingled with extreme charm. I’m speaking from my own experience and finally freeing myself very recently from a relationship with a PL/likely sociopath. There is a toxicity present that comes with this type of person and the constant mental gymnastics you have to do to look the other way, live with the discomfort and the ensuing gradual degrading of your self-esteem over time for tolerating it.

    One thing I’d like to caution over is piercing the veil of the lies. Be very careful here. I made this mistake and underestimated how fragile the whole undercarriage of this man was. There was no responsibility taken. I was skinned alive verbally, gaslighted and even physically threatened. This is how untolerable exposure can be for these people. Their very existence depends on it. It is potentially quite dangerous and other readers have weighed in on how poorly it can go. Sometimes the PL may cop to some of the lighter lies, express ‘remorse’ and try to appear normal. This kind of dynamic is a total mind f***. It’s these moments which may keep you in the relationship for a long time. Note how little ever changes however. The article is spot on that PL is typically co-mingled with other personality disorders or significant behavioral issues. It’s a symptom.

    What I can offer is the relief you will hopefully feel once that toxicity is gone. When you begin to disconnect from it, you’ll discover all the mental and emotional energy you exerted to be in it. It’s a process and a difficult one – especially to leave a person like this because they have limited to no empathy. YOU may be the one who ends up feeling discarded. Get help and support and have a lot of compassion for yourself in the process. My heart goes out deeply to those who recognize their own children in the article – I can’t begin to imagine the pain of those parents.

    • Hi Chris Andra
      Thank you so much for your objective and inspiring comment.

      Your insight is helpful for this very complex subject. Sadly a lot of people do not recognize That pathological lying is a symptom of a bigger picture. I get a lot of email responses from people who say “I think I have that disorder.” There’s a lot of misinformation and lack of information around about pathological lying. We certainly need more information in the field of fclinical psychotherapy and psychiatry.

      Thanks again and take care

  57. I think fall into the description of a pathological liar, I certainly have one of the conditions that is listed. I discovered at a young age that I could ‘get away with murder’, so to speak, and pretty much convince anyone of anything. I don’t like doing it, and I feel horrible if I do, but I have also at times needed to do it to get out of bad situations, where there was a threat to my or others safety. I have also used it to get help with something that I’m struggling with when I’m too embarrassed to give the real reason. I didn’t think I was a bad person, I wasn’t trying to get someone to do something they didn’t want to or trying to manipulate them, but now, I’m not sure if I am a good person. I don’t want to lie, and I don’t like doing it, but I know I can be completely convincing if I have to be.

    • Hi FTL,
      I think the simple fact that you seem to feel guilty about telling lies and you seem to have a certain level of insight and empathy, basically says that you are not a pathological liar. The way that I conceptualize a pathological liar is someone who has no empathy, no guilt, and lies just because they enjoy it. It’s like an addiction. Pathological liars are often manipulative, uncaring, hurtful to others, vindictive, careless, untrustworthy, and seeking to retain some sort of power. The simple fact that you tell “lies” to get out of bad situations or get something, tells me that you’re lying behavior is instrumental. This means that you tell stories to get something. Pathological liars just lie because they can.

      However, feeling that lying behaviors are interesting because you can get over on people is also a problem. Imagine if you were the person being lied to and being manipulated? I’m sure you wouldn’t like it. Interesting comment.

      Take care

  58. This article is really on point and has helped me to understand what I have been going through with my husband. When I first met my husband he lied to me about who his mother was he showed me a picture of a Hispanic woman with long hair and said that was her I asked him if I could see the picture again because I saw no resemblance he showed it to me on two different occasions and repeated the same lie he said he had a daughter named Cynthia and that the child and her mother lived in Germany, a lie he also told me his mother was his sister and that they lived together he was driving his mother’s car he said was his and when we got married and he moved in with me he lied and said he gave his mother the car when I asked him about it he told two girls he was involved with that his grandmother died and left him a house I can’t understand for the life of me why he would lie like this I wish my grandmother was still alive he even left me when I was five months pregnant with my youngest son got into another relationship with another girl they had pictures all on Instagram like they were a couple then to top things off he lies when I questioned him about the pictures said he was never with the girl even called the girl out of her name got mad at me and said why do I believe her over him he told this girl that our son wasn’t his he told another girl that I tricked him into getting pregnant he even lied about getting our oldest son Christmas gifts my son never got any gifts from him on payday when he didn’t want to give me any money he would say he was out buying our son stuff and come back empty handed he can’t keep a job it is always someone else’s fault why he loses his job his mother lies and covers for him as well she enables him to do what he does they play games together my husband has had leukemia, diabetes, bruised kidneys and needed a transplant all lies he also claims to have been in the military and that is still a mystery he would actually dress up in uniform and say he was going to drills now I know he was going to see other women when I asked if he was ever in the military he refused to answer my questions and then told me in an angry voice that he got kicked out I asked him about his Facebook page he lied said he took it down because the police were going through peoples page because of something someone in his bike club did a lie I found the page he has over forty women on his page and doesn’t want his wife on his page that is a problem for me there are many more lies he has told for nearly three years of our marriage it is sickening to think I have two sons with him and I am afraid for my children I can’t trust him with them because he lies about everything he is currently in jail for a crime he said he did not commit

  59. This article really opened my eyes to what I have been dealing with my husband I am so heartbroken over everything I have been through but I have decided to let him go he lacks empathy and always turns everything around on me like it is my fault When I first met my husband he lied about who his mother was he said she was his sister but then showed me a picture of a Hispanic woman and said that was his mom he has had leukemia diabetes bruised kidneys and needed a transplant all lies he told two girls he was involved with that his grandmother died and left him a house I can’t understand for the life of me why he would say this I miss my grandmother so much he lied about having a Facebook page claimed he took it down I found the page he has over forty women on the page and he doesn’t want me up there he claims he was in the military yet I can’t find one single record to prove that when I asked him about being in the military he tells me he got kicked out in an angry voice the crazy part is that he would actually put on a uniform and say he was going to drills now I know he went to see other women he claims he has been overseas four times he lied about getting our son Christmas gifts my son never seen his toy motorcycle and building blocks he would often lie about buying our son stuff and come back empty handed he lied about a stolen motorcycle he had and has been to court several times for the same thing he lied and said he had a child named Cynthia and that the child lived in Germany with her mother and he sent her 3000 dollars for child support I know that is a complete lie he barely takes care of the two boys we have now he is currently in jail for a crime he says he did not commit and he is not telling the whole story about that situation

    • Hi Star
      Thanks for your comments. I can see exactly why you are heartbroken. Anybody who causes us to trust in them and then totally disregard our feelings, is not a person to look up to. Again as I stated in previous comments, someone who engages in repeated lying does not have empathy, care, concern, or compassion for other people. They are untrustworthy.

      I often encourage people to walk away from repeated liars, people who don’t have empathy, and manipulators. You are just going to be hurt. Thanks again.

  60. This article was so helpful. I did a search for pathological liars because of dealing with a person who I have never met in person, but who had become an interesting friend online, has many things in common with me…we had a mutual friend in the dog world and then realized we were both martial artists and a friendship started. Many wonderful conversations on the phone…very witty and intelligent. This guy owns a lot of commercial property, and is a CEO of a Surgical Group, passing himself off as very well to do, but never in a bragging way. Anyway, over the months, this fellow started offering to buy things for our mutual friend (an expensive camera that he needed in Romania for his business) as a gift. He had it on order for him. At the same time he offered to go into a business with me (German Shepherd breeding, as we both have dogs and I raise and train police dogs), help set me up in a medical coding business because I was looking for something to do after my retirement, and several other things. He has lied about it all. He is so sincere when talking to him on the phone, hurt that I eve question is word…and passes off everything as a misunderstanding, but he has offered so many great things to me and my family…. and these are absolutely life changing things that he discovered we needed after a few months of just talking, not anything I would ever ask him or anyone else for, but things that would completely change our lives for the better…just things we really needed. It’s like he wants to be a hero, makes incredibly detailed and specific plans to do something for me (and our mutual friend, whose camera never materialized)and then just doesn’t follow through. The first thing he did that had me going insane was asking me to buy some dogs from different breeders for our kennels which he would pay for (and I would do the work as managing partner)…, but he was too busy to ask all the questions and choose the pups. I would spend months finding the right breeders, hours and hours communicating (and ultimately wasting their time) about the right pups coming, get right down to the time for him to send the deposit…and then silence from him. No word. I cut off ties. He’s at it again, he saw that I was possibly selling a police dog not long ago and emailed me and said, “I want him, it’s done”. Now I really needed the money and gave him another chance, thinking everything else was a misunderstanding because he is SO sincere… and haven’t heard from him in days. LOL What a fool I am! In the year that I’ve known him, he not only lied to me and a friend over and over, but he had me lying to others (the dog breeders) because I trusted what he told me he was going to do. It’s infuriating. It’s like he wants to be a hero, so he lies. Maybe that’s a different kind of lying, some sort of specific condition like almost killing someone and then bringing them back to life to be the hero. I don’t know. Confused. Anyway, thanks for the great article, I know what I’m dealing with now.

  61. Fabulous article! Your descriptions are my husbamd to a T. From the partial, misleading truths to the outright lies, your article so describes him. He thinks of himself as kind, charming, and likable; yet he has no friends and people generally don’t like being around him. But of course it’s my fault and has nothing to do with him.
    His sister has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his brother seems to be (according to his brother’s wife) bipolar. Depression also seems to be rampant with his other siblings. His father was a narcissist.
    My question is whether or not personality/mental disorders are genetic. Our young adult children show no signs of anything, but as a parent I just worry about them.

    • Thank you DT for your comments. So glad you found the article helpful.
      The problem with some charming and likeable people is that they are often the most dangerous among us. Their charm, likeability, style, and sometimes confidence and intelligence makes them almost “perfect.”

      In regards to genetics, children are likely to take after one or both of their parents. It’s difficult for any of us to predict who a child will take after genetically and if they will at all. That’s a thing we just have no control over. Kids can change at the blink of an eye. Some kids don’t show signs until age 12, 14, 18, 21, and sometimes beyond age 21. It’s a reality that many of us find difficult to accept.

  62. “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”

    An easy way to break a relationship is to start telling lies. You need to lie once and the pattern continues, even before you know it – your lies would have self multiplied like the virus eating into a dedicated target of choice.

    Soon things start to look REAL, lies seem to be the REALITY and you start to BELIEVE what you choose to BELIEVE.

    Today most people lie in their relationships all the time, the sincerity in lies seem to be the rule of the day.

    This is widely seen when couples are constantly hooked on to digital channels seeking discreet meetings and friendships. The success of Ashley Madison is a key example of how the business of Lies can be a profitable venture in today’s time.

    My personal experience has led me to believe that there is nothing called as a simple lie. Because when we start something at a small scale, we hesitate about it, debate constantly on its success rate and the impact it will have on the statement we are making. Soon the hesitation goes away, we get more confident and we understand how our subject (our partner) will react to certain lies. We soon get confident and start living our lies like a REALITY SHOW “seen by million viewers”. Soon our acceptance is based on how many people were convinced by our lies and how easily we were able to fool the world that stood around us watching us striding confidently through their consciousness.

    Thus the day has begun when your conscious starts to degrade bit by bit, you no longer believe in ethics, justice nor follow what could have been the righteous path. Your life follows a path that you have started to crave for yourself, your mouth spits out words that match your ideas. You have switched off a part of your life which was earlier capable of reasoning based on what you did or what you said?

    You have found a strong excuse why you have become this way and who was responsible to have changed you from an innocent being to a wild and confident liar.

    “She said: it was living with him for all these years that made me a habitual liar”.

    We can find a million excuses for the wrongs we did, we cant find one single convincing excuse on why we chose to stick to the righteous path. Most times we fail because sticking to the righteous path seems boring and less interesting to others – when they hear stories of what happened between 2 people, “especially stories of couples who were earlier in love”.

    My partner started to lie some time back, it spiralled into a J K Rowling fantasy and seemed to have a never ending chapter. The story woven by my partner was interesting, my life was redefined in this story, I was the ultimate villain the man who was chosen for destructing all forms of life around me.

    After our breakup I had started to connect the dots, now the lies seemed to take shape of a dark humanly figure. I was starting to understand the whole story created by my partner now. The plan seemed devious, I couldn’t imagine why the script had to be so dark.

    Sometimes I felt that she was helpless at this stage, especially at one stage when things became open. When we both started to realize that each of us understood the fall of faith in our lives. I saw her huddled up in a corner she was upset and felt torn. Once she came back home at 3 AM, she was weeping and crying, she apologized for all the lies she had created, she promised to change and asked me to forgive her and start a new life with her the very next day.

    “I was happy, finally the story seemed to have a final ending chapter” I got back my princess who was caught in an evil plan. She was finally coming back into my life.

    Morning came and the evil force returned, she had woken up with doubts. It was like she was debating if she needed to change or if the present life was more interesting. By afternoon she had packed her bags again said a simple lie and walked out of the door again. It was 3 days after that I heard from her again.

    “Maybe what happened in the night was just a dream”. She was there but she wasn’t there!

    Days passed to months and my hope slowly receded into dust that could be wiped of from the shelves. I was looking for answers in her life, I was keen to get her back and to shake some sense into her. She seemed to be growing stronger but at the same time she was looking weak.

    I didn’t understand why she was in a constant self-doubting stage. That’s when I realized: she was torturing her self to doom. She was having fun for a while lying about anything and everything. Soon she realized that the fun in lying and getting away was not giving her the needed rush. She needed to improvise just like a addict, she needed her HIT.

    She started to hang out more with me, not because she was feeling sorry for me. She was treating me like a reality show, she wanted to see what I would do – when faced with circumstances beyond my control. She was there when my life was falling apart, she knew she had started the domino effect taking my life apart in a systematic pattern of fall.

    I was breaking emotionally – she sat there and watched me. Like a psychopath watching her victim pace helplessly across the room. It was indeed like watching a reality show, a show “SHE CREATED HERSELF”.

    Now that I have time I sit and look back at the horror show she created for me. I sometimes think she had taken movies like “GONE GIRL” to heart. Was she trying to play out a character?

    • Hi Methink464,
      Perhaps she was trying to play out a “character.” It’s hard for me to say not knowing the details or hearing all the information. But there are stories of sociopathic or narcissistic individuals “playing roles” because that’s their own world. Sadly, there are people who play out characters. You are more likely to see these kind of behaviors with some pathological liars who are also psychotic.

  63. I think that i may be a compulsive liar… i found this article by chance and at first thought nothing of it. Later, i started to catch myself lying for no reason and only realizing after i had already said it. i cant help it, i dont know if its because i have been doing it so long that it is habit, or somthing else. i have tried to stop myself from lying completely, but then i would do it anyway. After reading the comments i am afraid that it will effect my life. what can i do?

  64. i have a questions, do the compulsive liars know that they are compulsive liars? if so then can they not control it or just dont want to?

    • Hi there “nameless”,
      I have always encouraged my client’s to think of pathological liars as people who do not have the ability to empathize with others. When you cannot put yourself in the shoes of others and consider how they feel about your lies or being hurt, essentially you don’t care. I believe that there are pathological liars who simply don’t care who they hurt and many are intelligent individuals who know that they are lying. These individuals are more narcissistic and sociopathic than others. However, there are also those individuals who are “lower functioning” (some individuals with autism or an intellectual disability – mental retardation) who lie and are truly uninformed about how their lies affect others.

      I would consider pathological lying behaviors to be on a spectrum. Some people, at the lower end, are not always fully aware of their lies and may even believe them. While others on the higher end of the spectrum know exactly what they are doing.

  65. CONFABULATION!!!

    Since posting (see above), I’d been racking my brain to recall the word which most succinctly describes my daughter’s behavior and perhaps that of many other frustrated and distressed posters here. Today, it popped into my head and then I looked it up to confirm the definition.

    Confabulation is when someone replaces gaps in their memory with false memories. It is not a deliberate behavior like that of a pathological liar. However, the two conditions are often conflated.

    Perhaps the author could elaborate and distinguish much better than I. Please add as a note or update to your original post. I suspect it would be very helpful to others. Thank you!!! 🙂

  66. I have had a friend that has been lying to me for 15 years. I just found out about most of his lies. How do you go about getting someone help for this? Please help me

  67. Thank you for your article. I am a PL and have all the characteristics you mentioned. I am bipolar as well. I never maintained a job, a friend or a gf. I’ve been lying for as long as I can remember and always got away with it. Your article gives me a relief to finally pinpointing my real problem in life. I even believe my lies as my true history. I lost everything dear to me and i am desperate to change. I guess there is no hope for me.
    Your stories made me understand the pain we inflect. I am deeply sorry for my kind…

  68. I am not a compulsive liar, but I’m scared my girlfriend/ex-girlfriend of four years is. We have a child, and recently split up. Actually, she’s ended our relationship numerous times, throughout our relationship. It’s as if she used it to manipulate me whenever we’d have a big argument. The last 6 months have been hard, though, and I had sort of gotten to terms with our relationship coming to an end. Unfortunately, we’ll be living together until we sell our apartment (approx. 5-6 months). This has gotten increasingly difficult.

    We split up after a fight, and she slept at a friend’s house for a few days. We share a car, and she came by our apartment in the morning, so that we could carpool and take the kid to kindergarten. One day I noticed that the automatic tripmeter on the car only said 14km, the one that tells you the length of the current trip. I have a 13km commute to work, and both the kindergarten and her workplace is on route, but her friend lives about 11km away. I thus seemed strange that the tripmeter only said 14km. It does not reset if you turn off the ignition, it takes about an hour or so for it to reset. I didn’t think much more of it, until the following weekend.

    In the weekend she said she was going out drinking with a friend, while I was at home with our child. She was supposedly coming home later that night. When I woke up the following morning, she wasn’t at home. Due to this, and what’s previously mentioned, I got jealous and suspicious. I did something I’ve never done before. I checked where she was with FindMyPhone-thingy, as I knew her login. Sure enough, her phone was located in a house about 300 meters from our apartment. The time was about 10:00. I quickly found out who was living there. It’s this guy from her work, which she had told me about some months earlier. She’d told me that he was recently divorced, and had been flirting with her. Supposedly, she found this to be inappropriate, according to her own words at the time.

    I quickly put two and two together. It all added up with the low mileage on the tripmeter. If I was correct, she slept at this guy’s house literally two days after we split up. Who knows how long that’s been going on behind my back. Losing my temper, I sent her a message asking if her friend would drive her home, or if she needed me to come get her. A few hours later she said her friend would drive her. I responded by calling her out. Why would she need her friend to drive her home when she was only 300 meters away, I asked her.

    She didn’t exactly come clean, is my belief. First, she said “what are you talking about?” I told her everything I knew, and asked her how long it’d been going on. She said in two separate messages: “two times”; “two days”. I responded by sending her a barrage of messages, telling her how disrespectful she was. We were still living under the same roof, and would be for many months. Four years of relationship, and I have loved her very dearly for the entire relationship, and she’s in someone else’s bed two days after ending our relationship. She didn’t respond for two hours.

    She was suddenly on the offensive. I was very rude and bad-mouthed, and yes, I said some pretty bad stuff. Her story was that she had not had sex with him, nor had she slept at his house. She had not drunk alcohol the previous night after all, as she didn’t feel like it. Instead, she and her friend had slept over at the party, and her friend had driven her to this guy in the morning. She didn’t really have a good explanation for the tripmeter, but suggested that she had been to the store before she picked up me and the kid, and that it could have reset. She had been to visit him two times, on two different days, to talk. He had recently gone through a divorce or separation, and she needed to talk to someone in a similar situation to ours.

    The gullible fool that I am, I desperately wanted to believe her, and I did, I think. I wanted to continue our relationship, as I still love her. Problem is, her explanation, after taking some precious time to think, is pretty well fitted to everything I had evidence for. I was a fool for revealing my hand too soon. I got hot-headed, and didn’t think straight.

    Fast forward a few weeks. Three days ago, she was going out at about 20:30 to workout with a girl friend from work. She took a shower _before_ going out for a workout, and I casually questioned her about it. She was so hot, as the day had been hot and humid. Okay. Later that night I received a text message, saying she went home with her girl friend for a little while. Her friend would drive her home. Later, as I was going to bed, she called me and said her friend’s car had broke down about a km from our apartment, asked if we had jumper cables and that she was walking to our house. I said, “sure, I’ll come at once”, to which she quickly responded “oh, I just got a text message. She got it started again”.

    Okay, so what am I thinking? Did she just make up this whole story as an explanation for why she would be walking, from the same direction as where that guy lives? I sent her a text pleading for honesty, and that I was more hurt by her lying, than if she was seeing this guy, or had been unfaithful. She responded asking if I was going crazy. When she got home I asked if I could see the text that her friend with the car sent, saying she had gotten it fixed. That wasn’t possible, as she’d had to delete all her messages, in this 15-20 minute interval, as her phone had asked her to, because it was filling up. Note: This girl does send a shitload of text messages. However, I have never experienced having to delete messages since the advent of modern phones. She has a galaxy S5…

    Last night again, she took a shower, and said she was going to a friend who had a birthday. She also said she would drop by this guy afterwards, for a quick smoke and a talk. I checked FindMyPhone all night, at 15-20 minute intervals. She was at that guy’s house all night, until about 01:00. I went into the bathroom, and it smelled of perfume. Am I going crazy, or am I being lied to, all the time? When she got home I asked her a casual question about the friend with the birthday. She lied. I asked her why she’s lying to me. I pressed and I pressed. She said her friend was with her boyfriend, and didn’t want a visit. I asked to see the text message. She said it was a phone call. I asked to see the call log. She refused. I had it in text at 21:20. Her friend must have called somewhere between that time, and 21:42, when I know she was at the guy’s house. She refused, and didn’t want to show me. I pressed further, and eventually she conceded that it was a lie, and that she had said it to spare my emotions.

    However, she claimed she had never slept with this guy, and never would. It is as if she admits what I’ve already uncovered as a lie, and works her story around what I know. How much is a lie? How much of my life, and of our relationship, is a lie?

    I’m starting to think there’s a lot. She’d been cheated on by her previous boyfriend, and right from the start of our relationship she’s been very adamant that trust and honesty are the most important things. I agree, of course. She’s been having trust-issues since being cheated on, and I’ve always been intent on never hurting her like that. Through this whole thing she’s been giving me a bad consciousness about how I don’t trust her, and how I’ve been invading her privacy with jealousy and suspicions. I’ve never been the jealous type. I’ve always tried to give her room to be with friends and whatnot. I fact, it’s been her who has been jealous.

    She was unfaithful once, near the beginning of our relationship, with a close friend of mine, who was also her friend. She came clean the next day. It happened after a party, and was not something she wanted. She blamed it on excessive amounts of liquor, which she admittedly does not respond well to. She further claimed she was completely out of it, and claimed our friend had taken advantage of her, almost rape. I later killed him with my bare hands, and buried him in the yard. Joking, but I really wanted to. However, she did not want to press charges. I forgave her, and I estranged myself from all my friends. I didn’t really want to be a part of that group of friends, as I found out I wouldn’t trust any one of them. My decision. A few months later she said, during a fight, that she was hoping she could patch things up with this friend of ours, after I had cooled down, as she was having a hard time excluding a good friend from her life. This is the friend who raped her? I told her in no uncertain terms that it would mean the end of our relationship, and that I never wanted to see him again. I had forgiven her, perhaps out of gullibility (love), but to this day I would not save his life if he was dying in front of my eyes. I would much rather take my sentence for failing to help a person in need of medical assistance. I would love to see the light go out of his eyes. But that’s my demons.

    One of the primary reasons for my forgiving her unfaithfulness was that she told me right away. I know she was deeply regretful. She had always told me that she simply couldn’t lie to me, and I believed her. That’s how I felt towards her too. I recovered rather quickly from being cheated on and losing all my friends. I’ve always been _very_ emotionally stable, practical in some sense, emotionally adaptable.

    …Except when it comes to love. I’ve always been a fool for love. I mean, when I’m reading this, who believes all of this? Am I crazy? I guess I’m a reasonably intelligent guy. I’m top of my class in graduate college. According to myself, I’m a very good critical thinker, I always think things through. I’m very reasonable, sensible, and diplomatic. Very rarely do I lose my temper or my posture. I’m loyal to a fault. Furthermore, I regard myself as a good judge of character (Hah! Can you believe that?). I’m introverted, and a bit judgmental. Plus a whole lot of different vices, of course. I’m not a guy who’s fooled by anyone, really (self-proclaimed). Except when it comes to love, I’m afraid. Nothing gets my emotions running rampage like love.

    Now, to the subject. I’m starting to think my ex-girlfriend is a compulsive liar. It’s really eating my up inside. Whenever I get jealous and investigate, another lie. What does this mean for my relationship? I’ve given this girl four years of my life. I’ve given her my everything. I’ve loved her so much, and I still do. Has she been lying to me all this time, and about what? We have a child together. I therefore will not get rid of this girl for the rest of my life. We’ll always have some kind of relationship, for the kid. The best thing for my son would be if we could have a good relationship, but how can I even relate to her, when I’m thinking she’s been playing me for a fool for all this time?

    I’m starting to think back to things she’s said years ago. Was she really (practically) raped, or was she cheating on me voluntarily? Our whole relationship was built on me believing her… Was she really cheated on by her previous boyfriend? She has a child from that relationship, my step-son. He lives with us as well. Was she really abused by her father, and raped as a teenager by the father of a friend of hers? Is it, perhaps, all lies, to make for an “interesting” life/person? I feel like she’s always been using her past to make me feel guilty. Even now, when I’m busting her lies, she’s pleading for sympathy. Is it manipulation? I’m really lost, and it’s hurting. It’s affecting my education, my work, everything. I can’t focus. I’m at home, taken a sick-day off work. I hate people who take paid sick-days off work for stuff like this. I’m not sick, I’m just hurting, and can’t focus.

    If you’ve actually read this far, thanks for letting me vent! I know it’s a wall of text, but it felt good to put it in words.

  69. For those of you who get the feeling they are being lied to but can’t figure out how, here’s a passage that I found on my 17-year-old daughter’s phone while she was in-patient.

    “Science of lies
    It’s all about how observant people are at certain aspects and different people notice different things. We have to notice everything and see every angle, that way we can fill in all the blanks. You can tell a lie and if it’s believable, people will believe it, but if they look at it from a different angle, you’re totally screwed because they’re going to see the truth and you’ll have to make up more lies in order to explain that.
    Picture a wire frame of a pyramid:
    It has 4 sides in total. If you tell someone a lie, you might only be covering one side and they can look at it from a different angle and see right through it through the other sides because you left them wide open. The more aspects (sides) that it HAS, the more believable it is. A pyramid has 4 aspects (sides) to it, to support it. A cube has 6 aspects (sides) so there are more aspects and details to back up what you are saying, so it is less questionable. The bigger the lie, the more faceted and detailed it needs to be in order for it to be believable. A figure such as the Epcot ball has a lot of sides and with that many aspects, if all aspects are clearly defined, people don’t even bother to question it because it doesn’t seem like there is anything to question.”

  70. A concise and illuminating post on pathological lying- I came across it on the whim of a google search because I feel traumatized [although it is not that serious given bad things that can happen]. 6 months on the issue is about understanding what went on.

    It ended in a prison cell- and during my stay on the accusation of assault I was reminded of the old movie ‘sunset boulevard’ which has the lead male actor floating face down in a swimming pool. In the movie there is no happy ending, no resolution, no karma that corrects the wrong doing- the woman who shoots him is so deluded she believes the news t.v. cameras are filming her next comeback film.

    The assault accusation was dismissed but a few weeks before hand and on the promise of settling down together I had sold my property leaving me homeless. even when packing up my stuff in the family home I had the police visit because she was fearful.

    We met as people do on a dating site 7 years earlier- the relationship was never smooth but in middle-age one tends to be more tolerant, we had separation on a few occasions but I would be pursued and go back and eventually i was trusting enough to commit. a big thing for a 50 man who loves his shed.

    So I’m a educated person but I’ve ended up working in construction and landscaping- I was a single parent [but he’s grown up 19] and she was a surgeon – my mother was pleased. She also did victim identification with the 2011 tsunami being a major task.

    I like quirky but there were elements such as the lack of empathy early on in the relationship that worried me. I made excuses, she was busy and did the kind of things surgeons do and her work meant that she ended up dealing with tragic circumstances [and criminal forensics].

    she had a bad back that was chronic and painful on occasion and she was epileptic although hadn’t had a major fit in some undetermined years- but had been granted a driving license which dated from 2001 or so. And importantly she lost her father when she was 8.

    The bad back is key- first it was supposedly a horse riding accident- but quickly it was an assault by her previous boyfriend who in a rage pushed her over a cliff. I expressed concern and asked if it went to court- it didn’t. Her ex was painted as pretty bad who had ran off with another woman.

    I met one friend of hers from before we met- she didn’t like me- or so I was told, I met her sister once, and she didn’t like me, and her mother twice and she didn’t like me. She had a best friend who I never met in 7 years – In fact she had no real friends except those I introduced her to.

    In retrospect it was important that I could never compare notes with her family-.
    One of the little things I never challenged was her saying she had been offered an OBE [a british honor] for her work leading the UK tsunami body recovery, which she refused because she didn’t believe one should be honored for doing your job. 7 years later when the relationship was falling apart I discovered that someone else had lead the UK team and written in their memoirs how they declined their OBE.

    Her injured back- for which I spent time helping her through an operation and looking after her on numerous occasions when she could move- turned out to be caused by something else- her ex never attacked her.

    There were plenty of other petty lies and antidotes but I will never be able to separate fact from fiction – an obvious lie which came out towards the end of relationship was ‘kids who had been lynched for taking sweets from NATO soldiers in Bosnia’- 5 years earlier we both spoke to an ex army nurse who retold her experience [and myth] of the story but in Basra during the invasion.

    The worst lies were supposedly the put downs my friends made of me but said in confidence to her. It was these that convinced me towards the end of the relationship that there was no hope- that and the fact that i sold up my home to pay for a new build on ‘our’ land except as soon as the sale went through she refused to have my name on the property deeds. I loved my home and it was a real commitment to give it up.

    No amount of proof would ever get her to admit her lies. There was a point I would have worked with her on it but the response was a theatrical disbelief that I was assassinating her character.

    and eventually when I was looking to find a new home and move out she kicked off- screamed that I should just disappear, pretended to overdose on epilepsy medication, then phoned the police and lied. It got me out of the house/property [I converted a barn to be a temporary home prior to the new build]. I lost my dogs, I left a lot of stuff because I had move into a little flat. and I was forced to move away from my friends and community of the last 20 years.

    A couple of friends who became mutual refused to talk to me- I’ve tried talking but to no avail – and given how bad she painted her ex I would understand but I don’t understand why these friends won’t even ask me to find out what happened.

    A think the loss of her father at 8 is lined to traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder- her job was so important it trumped every other conversation. Power was used, she would use the earnings differential, and insistent I spent time in her property – often to be able to tell me to leave. She was also on long term medication for epilepsy – it did stablise her moods however I later discovered that not regularly taking them was causing mild epilepsy- or minors. She was having them whilst driving but told me she knew better. It seems likely the extreme mood swings were post fit psychosis caused by her own belief she knew better about brain medication.

    The lies, the deception and the narcissistic behavior [which made loving this person difficult] are all obvious now, but I wonder why I was so self deluded not to notice, not to have ended it the first time round when things were not working out. Am I a fool? Perhaps and perhaps I’m like the male lead in Sunset Boulevard, he acquiesces to the attention of a has been Hollywood star because he wants something out of it. I liked it that she was a professional, I liked the potential security and would have been happy building our dream home and gardens.

    I’m trusting and that was exploited- i wasn’t suspicious, I try to see the best [although in retrospect I know now she went through my texts and emails] and I wanted to believe in something better.

    I console the fact I wasted too many years and gave up my home on the notion I did the human trusting thing, the good bits and she exploited and abused them- and I know that she feels no remorse, no guilt and there is no conclusion.

    Perhaps without a pet fool at home the challenge to manipulate others and lie will become so great that she may do it at work.

    I will rebuild my life- I’m in the process of building my own house, and building new friendships, and new social life and I’m sure time will heal- it has in the past [it is not the first time I have chosen poor lovers!]

    Writing is good so I’m glad I’ve found a site to make my contribution and the advice- if its you – get out now!

  71. I read this because I’m preparing myself to visit my sister. This article was very informative!
    My sister has always told lies. Even about the most minuscule things. Recently however she has decided that she is Australian. Even has an accent. She is adopted and has recreated a new family and history to go with this story. I understand her wanting to make up a history in which she doesn’t feel like she was given up, but she knows her biological mom and her bio dad passed away many years ago. Their history is anything but glamorous (drug and alcohol addictions and violence) however her adopted life was pretty darn good (biased I know hah).

    She has been in and out of relationships so many times I can’t keep up. She has austriaized the rest of our family and I feel obligated to let her lie to me so she has some family in her life. It is sad because I know everything she says will be a lie, even about her children. I know they are living with their fathers but she still talks like they are living with her even when it contradicts any stories about her life now.

  72. Can a person ever stop being a compulsive liar?

  73. I have been with my fiancé for 3 years now and we have a beautiful son together. I was head over heels in love with him when we first met and thought he was the perfect man! Things progressed really fast for us. We moved in together only a couple of months after meeting and I got pregnant not long after. The first year was amazing! Although looking back there were red flags back then too but I chose to ignore them because “nobody’s perfect right?”. It wasn’t until after we had our son that things started to escalate with his lies. When he proposed to me, he told me that he had bought the ring from zales, that it was $1,700, and that he bought with money that he was originally saving to buy a motorcycle. Come to find out he bought the ring from walmart for $300. I found out when I was packing for us to move because I found the receipt and warranty for the ring. I looked the ring up on their website and sure enough they had my exact ring. When I asked him about it, he denied it, saying that the receipt was for something else he bought. He got angry & turned it around on me. Even when presented with all of the evidence I had he continued to lie about it!! I didn’t understand why he would even feel the need to lie because I am far from a materialistic girl! I never wear jewelry, I don’t wear designer clothes & I try to bargain shop as much as I can. So the price of the ring meant NOTHING to me! He finally admitted it to me after begging, pleading, and nagging for the truth!
    Some of the other lies he’s told has been I’ll give him money asking him to pay a bill for me. He’ll pocket it (or do God knows what with it), tell me he’s paid it, then I won’t find out until we get a disconnection letter in the mail that it was never paid. when I confront him about it he’ll continue to lie! He’s even went as far as calling the company trying to dispute it!! Or he’ll exaggerate and manipulate the truth. He goes to people about our problems and make me out to be this horrible monster and leave out what he did, making himself look like a victim. I admit that I’m not perfect and I’ve done my fair share of wrongs in the relationship. So he would use that against me to “justify” what he would do or even to manipulate me into forgiving him! So I would give him another chance thinking we can work it out, he’ll get help and be better. We’ll have a few months of good times, trying to build up trust again & then BOOM he hits me with another lie!
    I don’t know how much more I can take! I love him with all of my heart! He says he’s going to get help but from reading the testimonies here it doesn’t sound like there is any hope for a pathological liar to change 🙁 Is it there any hope or should I just get out asap!??

  74. hi,

    This was my lightbulb moment! I’ve been in a 5 year relationship with a woman. It felt everyday that my ‘radar’ would go off. I ignored it and tried to see the good in her, I tried to excuse her, I tried to help her, I tried I tired but nothing ever changed. The lies would come, often for no rhyme or reason, if there wasnt a dramatic incident there soon would be, if I wasn’t paying attention there would be a mysterious incident involving another man or she had been approached by another man, the there were the claims of rape and abuse in her past, physical abuse by ex partners, or even rape by her brother… She was adopted and played on that, she would concoct simple lies many around men some mystery some known to me, she would make up stories around ladies we knew abusing her in public, random road rage incidents, random people swearing at her in public, being attacked on a date while we were on a break the list is endless, the claims were endless I was exhausted… I thought I was loosing my mind.. Friends and family were aware of it and warned me from the beginning but I ignored it as she would always deflect it or “treat me” reward me I now know it was deflect me with copious amounts of claims of love and devotion and lots and lots of sex…. She would stalk me when I wasn’t around and get angry if I didn’t focus my attention on her 100% and treat her like a “princess” she would turn if my daughter got more attention than her likewise if I had family over to visit or lady friends were involved. She’d make up all sorts of lies seemingly to get the attention she wanted.. She’d usually accuse those close to her or make up stories about her past… It was horrendous… In the end after years of trying to help her, suggested counselling and numerous heated conversations where I was always to blame or her lies outed and excused as my madness and I wasn’t forging or understanding enough I said goodbye. On doing so she has now jumped into another a intense relationship and claiming she is escaping me! I’m currently being supported through this by a counsellor and amazing friends who help but the impact of releasing what has actually gone on in the last 5 years has sent me downward and it’s incredibly hard to deal with. Your article though has given me some strength to understand that there really was nothing I could do and I was clearly with someone who had deep seated issues..

  75. To/living with the unknown/ reply
    I have been dealing with a daughter with borderline
    personality for20 years ,she also lies and deceives.
    I have been through similar things you have. Please
    Believe me and trust my advice. CUT OFF ALL CONTACT
    WITH YOUR DAUGHTER and stop feeling bad. You were a good mother to her. She will never change. She may end up in jail one day. There is nothing you can do to make her life better. I’ve lived it and still am living it because she has a child which I hated to see her raise. All who know me and my husband (she caused the break up) wanted and want me to break away for my
    Own good. Here are a few factual events. Both my husband and I tried every thing under the sun to help
    Her but nothing has worked. She got involved with bad
    Company,threatened to kill us, burn the house down, flirted with a gun to kill us, got herself in jail 3
    Times. Was beaten by her boyfriend but stood up for him. We were able to have the guy in jailthough. Ruined our reputation I’m a teacher.Have been paying for her total housing costs for 20 years and ongoing.
    Calls us every name in the book,took her 500 miles away for Neuro test at the tune of $10,000,took care of her son for 16 years . First 10 with my husband. For good reason 5 years ago my husband who had a heart
    attack said enough. CUT ties with them or you go too.Stupid me here I am her son lives with me but she still wants to be the boss. He is developing problems too. So here I am stuck with all the problems and putting up big money. And all for what. Still call me names, swears at me, blames me for all her problems. I had more that I can take. She won’t take her son back because he doesn’t behave well and wants him in foster home. All talk doesn’t do one thing sleeps all day up all night. Torments me with unreasonable demands. Last year reached the end of my rope. Soon I hope to walk out of this situation in spite of what happens to both. One good thing my husband and I are friend. So remember It only gets worse.

  76. I belong to a large international hobby group run by volunteers. For a number of years now, one of the members has become quite distructive in trying to ruin certain members reputations. This person is very smart, creative and a hard worker. Even though she has a reputation for telling fantastic tales that involve her being involved in some very strange situations, she was somewhat captivating and fun to be around. Many just figured she made up a lot of the stories she told. I considered her a friend and was happy for her when she became presdient of our state chapter. But, immediatly after her presidency began she started making changes that hurt other members. She took jobs away from people who had been doing them for years. Before becoming president she had been our states membership chair. She was very proud of all the new members she added to our group. But when the new treasure of the group asked for the membership list, she ignored her repeated request. In October 2012 she came to visit the hotel where the annual convention was to be held, which is the town where I live, along with the treasurer and past president. During that visit she agreed to have the members dues go directly to the treasurer, which is how our Bylaws are written. She didn’t follow through on this. Not long after her visit to my city she called me to say that one of our older and most admired members had been to her home and stole items from her. I found this unbelievable and called the person immediately, who was shocked and mortified that anyone would say something like this about her. (This nice lady is also one of the people removed from a job she had done for years.) She also called another good friend of the older woman and told him the same story. He, in turn, called our friend to let her kow what was going on. To shorten this up, in January 2013 she asked me why my email responses to her had become short and to the point (I wasn’t being unfriendly, but was tired of how she was being so controling. lying about a good woamn and not following through on things.) When she asked me what was wrong….I told her. I mean, I really told her. It took 10 detailed emails, explaining each of the points I need to make. She became very upset, called me names, said I was a liar and in two day she resigned from the presidency. It took us months to finally get a membership list from her and when we did, we found she had added 30-40 fake members, which explained why she wouldn’t send the list to begin with. Since then she has continued to make up stories about myself, the treasurer and past president. Example and the most absurb: When she was in our town to visit the hotel, the three of us took her into the city, got lost and when she got out of the car to get directions, we left her there, in a seedy part of town (like the red light district) with prostitutes walking around and drunks and homeless people laying on the sidewalks. She finally found a policeman who took her back to the hotel. This never happened. We were never all in a car together. It’s crazy – and yet, when she tell people the story, which is full of amazing and fantastic details, some believe her. I’m not personally worried about my reputation with this organization. People know me, know I am a hard worker and have never had problems with other members….but I do worry that she is trying to divide out state society. The weird thing is, when she tells all these fantastic stories about things that have happened in her life, I think she really believes them. And there are some doozies….alwys involving foreign travel – having to bring a lover’s body back from Mexico or going to cemetaries so she can recored the voices of dead people. She told a friend to try this after the friends mother had passed away and when the friend told her there was no response on the tape, …her answer was..’she must not have wanted to talk to you’. ???? What kind of person would make up these bizarre stories, that involve herself…and often are told to hurt others??? (She works for a company that does business with the government on a military base…and she’s even told people she invented some sort of air conditioning unit that was installed on a vehicle and was publicized on the cover of a magazine. I looked it up and she had nothing to do with it.) I could give many, many more examples – but have already taken up more space than I should…it’s just hard to describe her strange behavior and I’m hoping you can give me some insight. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your comment. It’s difficult to determine exactly what is going on with this person as we don’t have the full picture (childhood history, genetic composition or inheritance, etc.). There is just so much to the picture that we just don’t have. But I will say that this person sounds like a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies. We must keep in mind that anyone who fits the description you provide is looking at a person who has no empathy, insight into how they affect other’s, and quite simply, just doesn’t care. It’s hard for us to believe that anyone could be this way because many people aren’t. However, there are people who only exist to gain and never give to others. This “weird” behavior that you mention is “weird,” is not weird to the person exhibiting the behavior. There is no insight and there never will be.

      It’s also possible that some pathological liars, who are often narcissists and sociopaths, also show symptoms of psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, strange thinking patterns, etc.). For your safety and sanity, it’s best to keep a distance if you can and only deal with this person when you have to. Keep everything factual and distance your emotions.

      I wish you well

  77. Gosh, thank you so much for this. I stumbled across your blog while trying to find answers.

    A colleague came to work at the same place as myself 5 years ago. I’m overtly confident but am an over thinker and hide my lack of confidence well. I don’t trust people straight off and would prefer to get to know a person before I let them in. Anyway, held this person at arms length like I do but unfortunately I discovered my husband had had an affair and was devastated. This colleague I will call Kay, told me she knew exactly how I was feeling as her husband had had an affair and was destroyed by it. At a low and not sure what to do I opened up and totally trusted Kay. Well 5 years on and some of the various things she has disclosed was, she was subjected to sexual molestation as a very young child, she went into foster care when her parents split up. Her sister was raped by her father.

    She even told me she was in love with me. She told me no one but me knew about her past. She said she tried to tell her husband about the child abuse but he grabbed her by the throat. She sent me a long text message as though it was from different person, declaring her love for me. I didn’t recognise the number and when I told her she got really angry and said her mother must have sent it. (There is no way she could have got my number) There are so many things looking back I can see!! I had another colleague who was off sick when Kay started, she was a truly fantastic person and we lost her three years ago to a blood disease. The biggest lie Kay has made over the last two years about 6 months after I lost S, is that Kay had developed CML which had lead to Leukaemia (never told anyone, even her husband) and no treatment was working, it was looking grim. I finally started seeing the lies about 3 months ago and since then I started to distance myself and she has had a miracle recovery.

    I feel so absolutely ridiculous. Whenever I had doubts she would make me feel I was going mad and imagining thing, she constantly made me feel guilty, saying things like ‘I needed you, I phoned and you didn’t answer, I collapsed and needed help, you said you would always be there’ I was asleep and didn’t hear my phone. Gosh, there are so very many more examples of her lies and I bloody hate that I opened up and let her know my innermost thoughts and fears etc.

    Trust, that’s the worst thing. I totally trusted her and can see she absolutely manipulated me.

    I feel so absolute stupid, and was looking for something that would make me understand why she used me like this and your blog has answered all my questions. Not stopped the humiliation I feel but I hope I can move on now. Thank you lovely 🙂 x

    • Hi Harvey,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am always grateful for comments like yours.

      One of the most powerful tools of a pathological liar is their ability to manipulate and overpower you with their intellect and their thoughts of you. In other words, some pathological liars are good at causing you to second guess yourself. When you second guess yourself, you end up giving the liar power and they end up winning. The pathological liar also wants to make you feel stupid, again, as a way to overpower you and manipulate you. When you feel “stupid” or begin to second guess yourself, you aren’t as confident as you should be which makes you “weaker” in some ways. You also back down and don’t challenge things when you feel this way.

      The thing to remember is that pathological liars are not stupid individuals. Many of them have high IQ’s and are socially astute. Most know exactly what buttons to push and what egos to massage in order to get ahead. But lets not forget that they aren’t all as smart as they would like to be 😉

      I wish you well

  78. Thank you for your very interesting article . It certainly makes a lot of worries I have been experiencing a great deal clearer.
    My problem is with my 25yr old daughter who I believe has been a compulsive liar for many years. I used to brush it off by convincing myself that she was being a teenage diva and just over exaggerating everything. However now things have become immensely problematic . 2 years ago she was diagnosed with MS. She has moved back home and the “umbilical cord ” has been re-attached. She has had several relapses and has taken to hiding away in her room. Because she has cried wolf so often I just never know what is real or not. I know that I want to support her and be there for her but things are just getting worse. We tread on egg shells not to upset her because stress makes all her symptoms worse but I feel that I am just going to have a nervous breakdown some time soon.

    She is having counselling (via the phone ) as she won’t go out. She constantly makes appointments and then cancels! I am at my wits end. Everyone tells me that I have to remain strong and look after myself but feel so guilty when I don’t believe her!
    As a child she often lied to avoid going to school – but. I would imagine most kids do that ! As she grew older it escalated. It almost seemed that for her it was easier to lie than to tell the truth.
    I have got to the point of not even being able to go out without being bombarded with texts and if I come back later than expected she tells me that she has fallen several times etc. The strange thing is she never seems to fall when I am at home!
    Don’t get me wrong I know that she has this devastating condition and understand that her anxiety and stress is high and I want to do all I can . However i question if I am making this whole situation worse that she feels she has to lie to get my attention.

    Sorry about the long post but I am at my wits end!

    • Hi Worried Mum,
      I am so sorry you are dealing with this. This has to be very emotionally and psychologically draining. I empathize with you.
      Firstly, have you sought out your own counseling? It might be helpful to consider seeing a therapist 1x a week (outpatient therapy – typically costs no more than $80 a session, but will also depend on your area). You can certainly learn skills for coping with your daughter, learn how to develop a self-care plan for yourself, and even have someone to vent to.

      It also sounds as if your daughter has triangulated you. You can read more about that in my previous article. When a person is triangulated, they are made the victim, persecutor, and rescuer at opportune times, by the manipulating individual. It sounds as if you become the “persecutor” to your daughter when you don’t believe her lies, but then you become the “rescuer” when you respond to her many text messages and needs. You also become the “victim” when you begin to feel manipulated and used. It’s a never ending cycle.

      You are a prime example of why I am starting an online extension of my practice to include online psycho-education counseling sessions for parents, families, and caregivers at anchoredinknowledge.com in spring of 2016. Parents need more support.

      I do hope you reach out for therapeutic support for yourself to avoid being run down by your daughter. You are certainly trying to be a good mom but it appears your daughter isn’t grateful for you. Take care of yourself first!

      I wish you well

  79. My question is…Can Pathological Lying/Sociopathic behavior be hereditary?
    I was married to and had a wonderful son with the biggest/worst liar of all time, I believe. We divorced when my son was 2 1/2 and have had zero contact with him since. He would lie over the biggest to the smallest most inconsequential things, made me crazy! He would lie even when I knew…and he knew I knew…he was lying. As my son grew up his lying tendencies became more frequent and more consequential. Now he is 18, a Senior in HS and lies constantly, exactly the same as his sperm donor. He has been diagnosed w/ Anxiety/Depression and mild ADHD and being treated for all of it. He was seeing a therapist and one day he came out and said “can’t wait til next week, were working on figuring out why I lie” Then, next thing I know, the therapist “graduates” him and no more therapy. He admits to his lies & When I ask him why he lies he says ‘I really don’t know, I can’t stop myself”, Is this pretty much across the board normal for them? I’ve tried every approach I can think of to get him to stop, to no avail. His longtime GF gets lied to as well; worries me for their future. Any input is greatly appreciated since I can’t very well distance myself from him, nor would I want to. Thanks So Much for the arrticle, it was very insightful.

    • Hi “DesperatelySeekingTheTruth”
      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you found the article helpful.

      You ask some really important questions. I’m not sure I have the answer necessarily, but I will offer some information I know of due to my experience with children and adolescents. Pathological lying can indeed be genetic. Our understanding in the field of psychiatry is that pathological lying is influenced by both genes and environment. Genes (heredity) and environment (upbringing, social experience, peers, ext) all merge to create what you are seeing now. It appears that your son lacks a great deal of insight into his behaviors or is simply telling you he doesn’t know why he lies as a way to avoid unaccountability or responsibility.It’s difficult to tell sometimes.
      Have you considered requesting a male therapist who works with conduct disorders or antisocial personality traits such as lying? This might be beneficial for him as most males respond better to male therapists who can hold them accountable. Sadly, there are some therapists who aren’t a great fit for some clients and they will “graduate them” in order to push them out the door or “free” them up to do therapy elsewhere. OR there are some therapists who have nothing else to work on with the client and feels therapy should be ended.

      Whatever the cause for a pre-mature discharge, your son wasn’t making progress. I encourage you to search for a male therapist. Try therapytribe.com or http://www.psychologytoday.com and put in your zipcode for a listing.

      All the best

  80. Hey! I read your article because I know my “friend” is a pathological liar.
    He displays many behaviors of a sociopath as well.

    The problem is that I don’t know what to do with him.
    I am currently attending highschool with him. I am 17 years old and am a Senior and he is a 16 year old Junior. We are in the “homeroom” class so we are basically stuck together for about an hour and a half each day. During this time he constantly messes with me and makes threatening physical movements in order to test me. I know that he is testing me because of the look in his eyes. It isnt an aggressive look… its more of an empty curious look. For a while I just let it go. (I am a very passive and calm person. I do not like high energy individuals, especially if they are doing energetic things around me.) (I find that a lot of people enjoy testing me. for some strange reason. I am a quiet person who keeps to themselves and am peaceful and calm. I think they just like testing to see what makes me tic) I will continue on this later…

    Like your article said about the piercing eyes and the spotting weaknesses. I know when he lies because he is trying to look into my eyes and they move around and search for some type of indication that I might be bewildered by his stories. He knows that I don’t buy his stories for a second and looks at me with those empty curious eyes but he still tells me all of his bullshit stories. I call him out but he still tells them.

    He points out my flaws as well but I know this is because he has low self-esteem. Low enough to the point where I think he boosts himself by telling these false stories. I have observed him. For a very long time. I know that he is a shallow individual. Yes, I know that’s a little mean but I believe it’s true.

    On to my point… How I have been dealing with his physically aggressive “expeditions” is by actually proceeding to carry out a physically aggressive action. For example; If he makes a lunge at me,I immediately react with a swift but non-harmful punch to his ribcage. (He always explains to other people that he has a bruised ribcage from some epic victory in one of his sports games.) He is so used to telling that lie that he acts it out. He says “Ow dude that was my bruised ribcage” in which I reply “I know” He then realizes that I am aware of his manipulative behavior and sees that he is exposed and then does not do that for the rest of the day. He does not like pain although he claims to “2nd in world boxing” and is afraid of me.

    This is wrong… yes. I know. I don’t like doing it. However, I have come to a breaking point in which I have decided that enough is enough.

    Is this appropriate? Teaching him not to test me by physically hitting him? Teaching him not to lie by exposing him?

    I silently watch this kid. He is not aware that I don’t want him as a friend but am simply tolerating him. I don’t think he can comprehend this. As said before, I silently observe him… I see him and I almost feel bad for him. Yes. I look down on him like a kid looks at a little bug in a glass jar. Being the kid… I see him as the little bug looking in through the glass at the world… a bug that thinks it can run free but is unaware of an invisible force field blocking his way. He sees the jar as the world he makes for himself… but I see the jar as the thing I hold him in so that I can observe him.

    Yes… I am manipulating the manipulator that I know has hurt many people.

    Am I wrong for doing this? Part of me feels bad for him and wants to help him out. Another part of me wants to keep him in the glass jar.

    I am torn between staying because I know that he hurts inside due to lack of self-esteem and leaving and having to deal with his shitty little temper tantrums.

    Is there anything I can do for him??? Is what I am doing wrong??? What do I do?
    Yeah all of this is crazy… but we’re both crazy people I guess. 🙁
    ANY help from ANYONE will be appreciated!

    • I am also doing the same. In a different way, of course. You are probably in college now; I hope he hasn’t continued to bother you.

      Always remember your “bug in the bottle” analogy. You are the decision maker.

  81. Oh my GOD!!
    I have learned so much from this article and it is allll new informarion for me. And sadly it all applies to my brother, he is acting sooo strange and weird and changed so much in the last few years after getting married to an abusive wife. Omg I didn’t know such a thing existed. Now I feel sympathetic with him although his lies are affecting all our lives
    I honestly don’t know what to do with the info I have to keep reading.
    Thank you

    • Hi Jessy,
      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found the article useful!
      I think we all have a pathological liar somewhere in our lives. None of us escape them. We are bound to run into 1 or 2 people of this nature. I encourage you to continue to research this topic. There is tons more to learn. Believe me!
      All the best

  82. I have been married to a master manipulator & psychologically controlling pathological liar for 17 years now. Mercifully we have no children. You can imagine what kind of toll this has taken on my personal psyche. He is an actual genius in his workfield & socially very charming, yet he is a ruthless pathological liar. Now I have ended up financially dependent, career controlled, with low self-esteem and weighed down with credit-related issues. Thank you for your article, it reminds me of what I need to see. Is there an anonymous support group that you could recommend?

  83. My daughter is 19 and for the last two years, became quick close friends with a high school classmate. This young girl is an athlete like my daughter and is on an athletic scholarship at a different college than my daughter. My gut instinct when I first met this girl and talking to her for awhile, was that she liked to bullshit people the way an “Eddie Haskell” does. Soon after my daughter and she started hanging out more and more. I was a little concerned but thought the friendship would die out as it seemed transparent behavior. I was aware if their overly touchy behavior as it appeared they held onto each other as in a romantic way. We are very accepting parents and asked our daughter if she was gay several times, to which she replied she was not. Our daughter had pushed aside all her friends, some of whom she was close with from early childhood, to be with this friend I will call J, almost exclusively. I know this because those texted me asking what was going on. I pushed my daughter for answers but she is adept at avoiding questions. However it came to a point where it was just too much, she was even pushing her family away, that I put my foot down and demanded to know what the hold J had on her, was. My daughter broke down crying saying J told her that 4 months previous, she went to the ER because she was throwing up blood and that the doctors there told her she had stage 4 stomach cancer and to please not tell anyone, especially her parents as she wanted to continue to play her sport. I knew it was a lie and explained to my daughter all the logical facts as to how it couldn’t be true but she continued to believe it until J finally admitted to lying. She said she did it because she was having suicidal thoughts. I’m still not sure what kind of logic that was but my daughter said she believed that also. J has told her she was raped when she was 13, her father was verbally abusive, etc… I do not believe a word of it but my daughter does and says she feels horrible for her friends terrible life so far and has decided to remain friends with her. J knows how I feel about her now, as I have made it no secret that while I cannot tell my daughter who her friends can be but I do NOT want them to be friends. I think it’s terribly dangerous to my daughter’s well being on SO many levels…physically and mentally. My daughter is 19 years old so I cannot tell her what to do. My husband is slightly concerned but feels I should butt out and let things happen and for our daughter to learn her lessons the hard way. I am scared for my daughter and do not know what to do. What would you do?

    • Hi DMarie,
      I am so sorry for what you have had to experience. It is very frightening to have a daughter, that you have raised, loved, and cared for, turn on you and refuse to be open minded about what you are seeing. I must admit, even as an adult, that there are many, many times my own mother is correct about something I sware I already know.

      You are being a loving, caring, and protective mother. I’ve always known father’s to take on a different role with parenting. Mother’s stew over facts and psychoanalyzes everything that comes into their child’s life. Father’s, on the other hand, may be worried but only to a certain degree. Men struggle with reality sometimes and struggle even more with feelings of uncertainty so they intellectualize and minimize things. Perhaps that’s their nature. Can we fault them for that completely? Probably not.

      But for you, as a woman and mother, things need to change because you see the writing on the wall. Sadly, your daughter does not. It’s difficult to let your child “learn her lesson the hard way” because you want to protect her, as you always have. But I think your intuition and your heart will guide you. There are certain instances in which parents should let their children “fall” and learn from the scrapes and wounds they will acquire in this life. Yet, there are some mother’s who will fight for their children until they see the truth. It’s ultimately up to you and how much you can continue to take.

      I wish you all the best

  84. There are a lot of comments here so I apologize if this has already been addressed. I’m curious if there is any research about pathological lying running in families? It seems many of the males (and 1 female) in the family I married into were pathological liars. They were quite accomplished, it took me a long time to realize it was going on. Once I recognized it, there was a definite pattern.

    • Hi BB,
      Thank you for your comment. You are right, I addressed this issue in some of the other comments as well. But your suspicion is correct that pathological lying does indeed seem to run in families. There are two components to pathological lying such as genetics/heritage and the environment. Both genetics and environment (where the individual was raised, social influences, etc.) come together to create the behaviors you are seeing. Unfortunately, research is limited on the topic but there are some mental health professionals who are trying to provide knowledge to the public and understand this issue themselves as well. I encourage you to go to Amazon.com and purchase or rent a book about this topic. You can also find resources online.

      All the best

  85. I’m seeing these traits in my son, who is 14. I don’t know what to do! Should I try confronting him or is it possible to get him help for this if he is a pathological liar? I don’t want him to hurt others and I want him to have a happy life. Please help.

  86. Thank you so much for posting this. Is there a standard of a way to approach these people . . . particularly youths?

  87. After this reading couple more articles/blogs about sociopath,pathalogical liars,i can finally expose my ex-girlfriend,about her lies,because she always kept saying stories that didn’t made any sense,at first it was hard,but now i easily exposed her.

  88. After reading couple of blogs/articles about pathalogical liars,and i can say that my ex-girlfriend is this kind of person with low self-esteem,and no emotions towards honest things i’ve said to her and all i got in return was lies,thank you for writting this article. 🙂

  89. Hi there .
    Im coming to the realisation that my partner or trying to be my ex partner is either just a pathalogical liar or a psycopath. He completely had me convinced we were soul mates we had damaged childhoods and he would love me like no other man and would be the best role model for my children specially my son with adhd dyspraxia to name a few . Well it didn’t stay very sweet for long. I have a lung disease and told him this I couldn’t go near smoke or kiss him if smoking so the lies started here . If he had said Iv smoked today i would not kiss him but he would scream at me that I was imagining things he hasn’t smoked I was crazy paranoid .. Once when I found cigarettes on him he threw my make up everywhere threw my gym bag and other things smashed things int house up .. Because he had lied and told me he didn’t smoke and was caught I had chest infection for nearly 8! Months he knew he was causing , coughing up blood. I had to go and have an mri scan because my lungs got so bad. My lung volume yet came back from the lungs I had before of a 20 year old they were not of a 50 year old. Im a fitness instructor and am so healthy . My lungs will never be the same he doesn’t care at all , he says I knew really he smoked and that’s that. But I was gullible he bullied me when I confronted his smoking . I gave all my dreams up of becoming a head trainer for my company . He bullied me again even threatening to jump out the car when I had mentioned going ahead with it. How could I do that to him . We loved each other we were going to have a family and just be us together. .. More things happened he was driving around in his exs car and when I went to say isn’t that your exs car? he went don’t even say it that’s my mums car .. Why not be honest it got so extreme I thought I was going insane Id drive past his exs house and check the car was at her house to prove it was her car . He even took me to his mums house when he knew his ex was there crying like see that’s my mums car .. For months he had me just doubting everything with aggressive out burst checking my phone everyday every message . Causing horrible arguments if I discussed him or the way he was saying I wasn’t loyal and making it hard for us .. Then he would be lovely to me .. Which i now think maybe is love bombing . He convinced me to have a baby which my gut told me no. But he knew the times I was ovulating and tried is hardest to get me pregnant which he succeeded . Now he barely even cares o have finished with him because he has called me the worst names had me so stressed Iv been at my drs thinking am going insane and am I the abusive one, because im hormonal and my reactions are out of control im so worn down and sick .. He doesn’t come here anymore to my house .. Before he would stalk me hide iny garden follow me if I was at friends house threaten to beat ppl up of I talked to them he has a very violent past because of his childhood . But with men only . Now even tho he says he doesn’t care if we’re back together as im the crazy one he phones constantly that Iv blocked him from everything on my mobile .. And Iv had to disconnect my home phone number .. I feel so lost so confused to alone I cry every night this man can be so lovely and love the movies I love the music and love songs be so kind and gentle yet lie and lie and be so aggressive .. I don’t know what to do . Im
    Pregnant with my forth child . I have a great job a lovely house but feel so empty . That im now alone and what is his next plan.. Is he really done with me or will he stalk me .. How do I stay strong from him , am I crazy ?? Is he crazy I mean there is so much more that I can’t even write about his lies and deciept and anger issues . But how can he be so loving and be all for woman’s rights and against abuse but then be emotionally abusive or is it not . And im creating it all with my hormones . Please I feel so lost .

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Firstly, I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. This is certainly not easy, especially with a baby on the way. I think for us women we know exactly what we need to do when we are in an inappropriate or hurtful relationship but struggle with the reality so much that we allow ourselves to get more and more confused. When you discuss this man, I hear you grappling with two sides of him (the good and the bad) and that’s what makes making a final decision on your relationship status difficult. The most important thing for you to consider is how many bad days outweigh the good and how many days and nights have you felt insecure, unsafe, unloved, mistreated, and confused? I’m sure you have felt this way so much more than you have felt positive about him. This is a sign you need to make a change. Another sign that you need to make a change is in the inconsistency of his behavior, mood, and thought patterns. No one can have a stable relationship (or be a stable parent) if their behavior, moods, and thinking patterns consistently change. The other thing to consider is how much this man’s behavior affects your children. It’s important that once you find the strength, courage, and stamina to get out, get out! Don’t stay in a relationship where you are suffering every single day of your life. You deserve so much more and so does your children.

      Do you have someone to talk to about this? Have you ever considered a therapist? I encourage you to search for someone who is experienced in this area of life. You can go to http://www.psychologytoday.com or therapytribe.com and type in your zip code to find someone local.

      If therapy is not for you at this time, do you have someone who can support you such as a mentor, pastor, or someone who can provide you with encouragement and inspiration? A good place to start might be here: Family Life Live. The therapists here are faith-believing and will typically take calls about relationships. I encourage you to weigh their opinions if you get through.
      You can even request an online mentor here: http://www.familylife.com/ementoring/request-an-ementor.

      I understand where you are. It’s tough to decide what you need to do when your heart keeps you holding on. It’s also difficult to determine what to do when someone is so inconsistent that you begin to feel confused about your own feelings and ultimately about what you should do.

      Please take good care of yourself and your children,
      I wish you the best

  90. I’m a compulsive liar to my family. I feel like it was developed when I realized as a young child that telling the truth resulted in severe anger from a controlling mom. I lied about so many things it makes me sick. Hell, I even lied about being married. But if I can take one thing from this life-long habit, it’s that sometimes your environment pushes you to act a certain way to protect yourself.

  91. This article describes one of my brothers. He is now in his mid fifties and the issue gets worse and worse. He owes me a ton of money that I can ill afford to be without but I will never see again. After my mother died, he squandered nearly half a million dollars in inheritance money. I used to defend him but now I want nothing more to do with him. I have been trying to get him to at least make some attempt to start paying me back the 6k he owes me for nearly 3 years now. He becomes verbally abusive when you try to tell him what REALITY is. Not a single word that EVER comes out of his mouth is even remotely true. He BELIEVES every single one of his own lies even when it is EASILY verifiable that he is lying. He plays the victim and says everyone has been so horrible to him. He has destroyed any feeling of love I have for him. I used to be hurt by it and now I am just angry and bitter about it. It is sickening to feel this way about my own brother. I know he is mentally ill so I feel like a total jerk for wanting nothing more to do with him. I tried to help him many times. I tried to get him to seek help but just more lies came from that. What else can I do? I would be willing to forgive the debt IF he sincerely apologized and agreed to get some help. But, he won’t but he will surely lie to me and tell me he is. I am taking him to small claims court for what he owes me. I know I probably won’t see a dime of that money. Once that is done, I never want to see or hear from him again! I am a horrible person……………

  92. My ex girlfriend who is a pathalogical liar.I had trouble at first,but after a while of finding articles/blogs like this,it helped me expose her.
    Here is the example of her lyings.

    • Everytime she pretends to talk with her dad and ask to give 100 € to her bank account and that happened like every 5 minutes.
    • Second she said she was raped last summer,but she says that with smile while people of Sexual Assault suffer from PTSD or they really don’t want to talk about it,because they do so out of fear.
    •Then she said she was already married,which quite didn’t seem right,because if she was married she would not look for relationship so soon after. Also both of these things marriage and so proclaimed rape happened last summer.
    • She also pretends she had BWM X6 which she sold for 10000 €,she had her personal house.
    When i asked her uncle to whom she’s living about car and house he said he didn’t knew about it.
    Once she said someone tried to steal her purse she had pepper spray and used on the “thief” and when i asked her to show it,her tone quited down and she said very qieutly she deosn’t have it,also about a month ago,she waited for me in a bus station with her there was 6 people,once i showed up she said that someone wanted to kidnap her,but i thought there were 6 people in the bus station they would’ve commed to her aid.
    So after exposing her she became really nervous and broke up with me,i warned her by saying “If you lie to someone close to me you’re going to regret it.” I am very apperciated for this blog so you have my kudos. 🙂

    • Hi Armis,
      Thank you for your comment. I am glad you found this article helpful. Sometimes all we need is an article to confirm what we already know but are afraid to admit or are unsure about.
      I wish you all the best

  93. After reading your article, I feel upset and slightly offended.

    I’m pretty sure someone who has a clinical issue isn’t a monster, and just because someone has this disorder doesn’t make the, a sociopath. For me, it was an addiction, and it was because I didn’t receive attention from my parents. I wasn’t manipulating people, and I generally felt sorry for them after I had done it if it hurt their feelings, but I wasn’t doing it for malicious reasons, I wasn’t manipulating people because I didn’t have any hobbies. Just because someone has a problem with lying doesn’t make them a horrible person. Just saying.

    • Hi “An Aquintance,”
      I’m sorry you felt offended by this article. The goal of the article was to discuss the pathological aspects of lying. Some individuals lie to “protect” their substance addiction or to accomplish some goal. But depending on how far the lying has gone will determine whether it will be classified as pathological. And…you are correct. You are not a horrible person for lying but it is important that we call consider the impact we have had on others.

      Take care

  94. I have a daughter in law who constantly lies or exaggerates the truth. She talks about my daughter especially and makes things up about her. My son won’t believe us. He has children and I don’t want to lose them but my sanity will not hold out if I have to keep pretending to like her. She even lied about my grandson to his father to prove a point. My grandson who is only 10 was found washing cars at the local shop. His father scolded him so he ran away to my house. He was picked up by a stranger and driven to the police station. The police rang me because he was afraid to go home. He was washing the cars because his parents are always broke and he was trying to earn money for them to be able to buy food. I took him home and led him to his room and asked his dad not to yell at him. The next day she tried to tell me that he had left again and rang his father and told him the same thing. I questioned my grandson and he did not know what I was talking about, he had not left. She was not chosen as my daughters maid of honour only bridesmaid so she tried to sabotage the wedding…her own sister told us….she is evil and manipulative and has constantly lied about the family to turn new comers against us…other sons girlfriends etc…what do I do?

  95. I have been married to a pathological liar,borderline, narcissistic man for 19 yrs been together almost 21. I am wondering is it best when you know they have lied, to let them know you know or not let them know because they either get angry as you mentioned or they place blame upon you somehow. It’s not until more recently I have been completely aware if what’s been happening in our relatiinship.I knew it was abusive,physically for years then mentally so many more but I didn’t realize what was causing the issues so bad. He actually had me believing it was all my fault but the LORD opened my eyes to see his issues for how they are and how it’s not just me but everybody and he manipulates everybody and then blames then when they figure it out. He’s really severe in his behavior. He still gets violent by kicking things or throwing things. How can I help him quit this behavior,cause obviously I can’t tell him you are a pathological liar,cause he’d really blow up. He lies about things with absolutely no apparent reason and I’m honeslty tired of this hurtful and hard life. I love him but enough is enough. I’d rather be alone. Thank you for any advice you can give me.His last lie I know about was dreaming up a good idea nobody has ever done b4 then I found out his cousin just posted it the other day on facebook. I’m sure he lied about that for 2 reasons,one to set me up to say it was a bad idea,which I didn’t do and shortly later he picked a huge fight ,almost right after or also to get recognition for his intelligence, that he’s making up. I know he’s smart,but he may been trying also to get me to feel like he has wonderful new inventions. Some lies however don’t have any possible reasons. He tties and put me down to get me not to realize what he’s doing cause then I feel like less a person,but I haven’t been letting this tactic work as much (it takes practice to realize what he’s doing. He’s really good at it and I’m a very feeling kind of person.He does study everybody and looks for their weakness and even brags about it ) Me not letting it get to me as much seems to have caused him to step up his game more but the LORD has really been helping me and I am grateful for that.

  96. Thanks for your insightful article.

    My wife’s brother seems to fit perfectly the definitions of pathologic liar. Our problem is that he is posting misinformation on his blog and Facebook, disparaging and outright lying about myself and both my wife and his other brother, and has filed several lawsuits against them for totally frivolous reasons.

    We have spoken to an attorney familiar with internet law, who is reluctant to take on the case as harassment. And the judge in the present case clearly disbelieves him but will not throw out the case, wanting to give him his “day in court” — despite the cost in money and sanity to the sibs who are being sued!

    Any advice on how we can survive?

  97. Tamara, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on pathological liars and found your insights helpful as I am struggling with a family member who demonstrates behaviours of concern. I feel compelled to point out a mistake in your first paragraph. You used the word “fusion” where the word “fruition” would be correct. I hope you are not offended by me pointing this out to you, but hopefully you will be thankful to correct it and not have that mistake in your writing.

  98. I disagree with the idea that pathological liars lie in order to harm others, especially considering the fact that some cannot even help it. I am a pathological liar and when i find myself lying there is no reason behind it. I do it for attentiom and for people to think i’m interesting. i tell stories that are almost unbelievable (because they didnt happen) and i have since i can remember just for attention. I never do it with the intention to hurt anyone, or really any intention at all besides attention.

  99. Hi…

    I had an 8 mos relationship via phone, text, email with a man whom i believed, though there were inconsistencies. It was very complicated. He died before Christmas. And then, i discovered the truth. I’d love to be able to discuss this with you via email. This man was not some anonymous person. Turned out he was internationally known as a con artist. It has been very painful and I’m recovering slowly, but surely. But, i could use a learned person’s insight. My brother is veey alert to BS and intuited something wasn’t right, but even he didn’t expect what turned out to be the truth.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi and thank you for your comment.
      Your story is certainly a frightening one and many people have experienced such relationships. It’s can be very difficult to “spot” a person who is a pathological liar and narcissist. These individuals are often emotionally distant from others and see others as beneath them or not worth their time unless they will benefit in some way. These individuals will often pull you along until they decide to end things, primarily in romantic relationships or family situations. The most frightening piece of this puzzle is that a con artist, narcissist, and pathological liar are often characterized by charm, astuteness, and physical attractiveness. Even if physical attractiveness is not present, style, charisma, money, or personality are often present. The best way to unravel yourself from these kind of people is to watch them very closely, get input from others who know you well, and move slowly with this person. I don’t want to sound callous but the fact that he is no longer in your life is a blessing for you.

      I wish you well

  100. Brother, thank you. My sister is a liar. She and I are the only remaining members of my family of origin. We are In our late 60s. It seems lately that her lies and behavior have become meaner. I have thought of confronting her, but know from experience that would only lead to more abuse. I have thought of totally cutting off contact, but that would affect her children, my children, and other nieces and nephews. And also me; there is some connection that I still value. You have defined a middle way. I will limit contact. I will “remove myself from any scenario that involves relying on her to follow through, tell the truth, or be reliable and responsible.” So well said. It won’t be easy, but having my path so clearly articulated will help. Thank you!

  101. Hi

    It’s a sad world of mental health out there. I was married to a diagnosed Bi Polar – Narcarcist with Abandonment issues for 23 years. I’m two years out of the marriage and I’m still standing. I have two children to him both grown up. He is now in jail for a crime I never thought he would commit. The problem with these types of people with this disorder is that they actually have no empathy whatsoever and will turn it back on you. I tried to leave him in 2009 and as he came from a wealthy chinese ffamily he threatened me with the kids. I stayed because I felt it was safer for the kids to be with me. There was a lot of mental abuse by him to the kids and I. As a consequence all three of us are in counciling, on medication and suffering PTSD. I feel we have been trapped in someone’s very elaborate scam which makes us feel even more abused it’s hard to come to terms with but as we work through it with counseling it gets better. I have not been able to work, I had a very high profile job and when he went to jail I had a total meltdown. Took me a few months to pick myself up I had to for my children’s sake. We had lost everything and had been homeless all due to my husband of 23 years. On the bright side. I know have a roof over our heads and just started a part time job back in my profession and am now able to start to breathe a little.
    My focus is my kids even though they are grown up but the consequences of staying with this person for so long has destroyed the hearts and minds of 3 beautiful people. We will make it through we have to – we’ve come to far to turn back. I could go on and on about the horrific things he has done but everyone has their circumstances – the result is the same – you’ve just got to pick yourself up and it will get better with time

    Layla

  102. Thanks for your article. I was married to a pathological (narcissist) for 12 years. The pattern was very similar – grandiose fanasies, fake illnesses, unobtainable pension. I am still 3 years on having to deal with the lies as I am trying to extract him from the deeds of a property we own as he left me with huge debts. He is now spinning my lawyer round so she doesn’t know which way she is facing. One of the things I find very distressing is that his elderly mother is defending him and telling everyone I was careless with money, after his fortune and confirming his lies. She is an upstanding church member. I understand that she is protecting her son but this is allows him to get away with it. I guess I hoped she would be sorry for the pain he caused. I really appreciate the wisdom of your replies and also of others on here. It helps to try to understand them although in a sense one has to just accept that they play by very different rules and celebrate life free of the emotional bullying.

  103. I found this site as I am desperately searching for direction. My 37 yr old son is no doubt a PL. I will be brief because the stories & details from yrs & yrs aren’t as important as what happens from this point forward. I have been abused & manipulated as a single parent by my son. I recognize what an easy target I have always been, probably boring to the PL parenting from a position of much love and later from fear of what might happen if I challenged him after gut feelings would kick in…would I isolate him, be rejected to the point I wouldn’t know what was happening in his life. The not so funny truth is that I NEVER actually knew anyway, I knew only what he told me which always turned out to be lies. My question, how do I protect myself without completely cutting ties with my only child? To further complicate the situation, he has a new “tool” to use to manipulate & keep me “hooked” and off kilter-my 3 yr old Grandson. I find it more & more difficult to function as my life is an emotional roller coaster, completely controlled by my adult child. He seems to take great pleasure in keeping me frazzled, it is a game to him. The thoughts of walking away forever seems impossible but I feel I am at a major crossroad…have him remain in my life and recognize he is killing me one day at a time, greatly reduced quality of life OR try and forget I have a son and grandson. He is too bright and has honed his skills to the point that I am no match for his manipulation and he uses my incredible level of love for him as a tool to hurt me. What is a parent to do??? Any guidance or advice may just set me on a path that will save my life. At the very least it may help me find periods of peace which I have not experienced in years. Many thanks in advance!

  104. Thank you for this article as it really did explain things in a simple and easy to understand way.

    So much of what I read here describes the woman I just ended a long distance relationship with. The plan was for her to move here but despite her 2 visits I still felt I was being played for a fool.
    The fake illness. The great offers of employment here where I live. The ability to justify every lie through new information(lies).

    With her being a psychologist(yes I verified this) she knew all the moves.
    She’s an expert in playing the sympathy card. An expert in always turning everything back onto me. I was just being suspicious. I was always being hyper vigilant. Everything was somehow my wrong doing.

    I gave her every benefit of every doubt until I finally tripped her up by asking which hospital in New Zealand she was in. Her story changed and suddenly she was going home instead of being admitted and given a bed.

    I gave her the ultimatum, either come clean and tell the truth or it’s over and we are through. Of course she tried to turn it onto me so I ended the relationship.
    This was 3 days ago and she still rings me. Today I didn’t answer her call. She is now on my ignore list.

    My advice to others is that at the first feeling that your being lied to just get out. Don’t do which I did which was to give her the benefit of every doubt. Go with your gut feeling.
    In any relationship trust and honesty is everything. If you have doubts then just get out and run far, far away.

  105. I’ve found out 2 weeks ago that the man I had dated for over 2 yrs had concealed to me the existence of his daughters and his wife, living in Ireland. It’s a shock. I would never have dealt with him if I had known his wife has just had her second daughter when he started dating me!! Moreover he took me $50000!! I got to know him via internet, I live in Europe and he lives in GA and works as a pharmacy manager. We visited each other a few times. He made me believe he would shift to Europe and also adopt my child… He always complained how tough he had to work to pay his student’s loan back and that he had bought a $500000 for his ex-fiancee in Ireland, etc… so when he asked me to pay his student’s loan back I agreed. After the he asked me to organize a trip in Europe for him, and I did! Then I wanted to surprise him for Xmas as a present, but when we (my son and me) called from the transit, he said he was in Florida and his friend told me at the phone that his wife was there with the kids, I shouldn’t come, etc. Still as he denied it, I thought his friend would just invent some stories for me not to come… but it was the truth!! I only believed it when I saw the pictures on internet. He’s such a charismatic an manipulative person… I’m totally traumatized and cannot trust my actual boyfriend anymore. It’s just horrible to have been betrayed from day one and abused. What can I do against him? It’s really not fair that he continues playing games with the next victims and keeps the $50000 while i’m struggling as a single mother to make a decent living!

    • So sorry madinah to hear you have been the victim of a Romance scam.

      If you have any real information that you have independently verified through google searches and such then report him to his local police.
      If he lives in the USA then report him to his local FBI office as well. The chance of recovering your money is unfortunately virtually zero.

      Also best to wary of anyone contacting you offering to help you recover your money by claiming to have connections with law enforcement or similar BS as they are also scammers if not the same person.

      You may also find this site of help. scamwarners.com
      There is much information there and a forum where you post of your experience and get some further advice of what options are available to you.

      • Thanks a lot for your reply and your wise advice, dear Aussie. I think this man is kind of a sociopath… The father of my son has a paranoia personality disorder, and I have already gone through hell for years… I just attract these kind of people… A friend of mine told me I’m just too nice and trust too easily. And this man in US had told me he is as he is, it’s my fault if I believed him…What a world indeed…
        Kind regards

    • Hi madinah,
      I’m sorry to hear this is happening to you. Believe it or not, you are not alone. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are dishonest (some for very good reasons such as to protect someone or protect themselves) and others for very bad reasons (such as to deceive and harm others). There are clearly red flag as his entire relationship with you seemed to be based on deceiving you and in turn, harming you. Sadly, there are typically no real ways to ensure that he does not harm anyone else other than to call the police and make a police report. If you have some proof such as emails, voicemail’s, letters, text messages, etc. to prove that he has harmed you in some way, you can give copies to the police.

      My suggestion for you is to stay away from him as much as you can and to find ways to protect yourself while you can such as changing your number, blocking any access to your social media accounts that you may have, etc.
      I wish you well

      • Thanks a lot, dear Tamara, for your comment and advice. As I live abroad, his local police cannot enter me in the system….so I would need to go to my local police for them to lead the case to US…That’s why such dishonest people date internationally… I’m aware that there a way worse stories… Now I know how it feels to have been deceived so badly. There should be a list on internet with all these people so after a certain while they couldn’t harm anymore, because everyone would know.
        Kind regards,

  106. A few years ago, things I knew to be true about my father started to become curious. More and more of his history started to be in question. We knew our father had fought in the war – but which one? My father was from Holland and his family had been in a concentration camp in WW2, Dad and brother as children, spent 11 months in one, near death when they were released, his Father dying shortly after being released. Dad was in the Olympics – Sailing. He was the 6th with his name, my brother the 7th. His father rejected him, and on and on. When asked for details he may or may not divulge. Often he would say he was “done talking about it.” Then, as adults, he would say something that we would question because it just didn’t add up. The final blow was reading a newspaper article that had been written about him that included even more information that we had never known and was obviously untrue. He’d even cut out with an exacto knife a few keys words from the article that he said the reported got wrong and he didn’t like. I don’t think he even considered that we could find the article in whole on the Internet. Dad died two years ago and I have so many questions but more so, I don’t want to discount everything I know about my father. I want to know what was a lie or exaggeration and what I can believe. I have recently gone to Holland and had many questions answered. Many, except the big one… Why? Thanks for your article. I don’t think there is an answer for why and I need to accept that. I learned more about my father in a couple of days than I had in over 50 years, things that were good and interesting stories about him and his family and his history, that apparently weren’t exciting enough for Dad. It’s sad, but I think I’ve accepted it. Unfortunately, my distress has now been transferred to wondering why and how my mother didn’t protect us kids from the lies. It didn’t make sense that she couldn’t have known what he was doing and I’ve been learning that she did and even today she finds it “interesting” but doesn’t seem to comprehend the wrongness of it. Thanks for your blog – it helps me to attempt to understand… At least my father.

  107. Thank you for the informative article. I was searching on line for ideas on how to better understand and deal with a life-long friend who I feel has been lying to me – and probably everyone else for a very long time.
    As I was considering all the points you made and how many of them seem to fit my friend I had to admit that I, too spent many years lying a LOT. I believe it started around age 10. There were strong reasons for my initial lying: fear, and mostly shame. My lying mainly consisted of not letting anyone know about my family life, which was extremely strict- I was not allowed to participate in any school functions or sports due to my parents religious beliefs/lifestyle and I felt extremely embarrassed by this as I wanted so badly to participate. So instead I would make up reasons why I didn’t go to a school function, attend a dance or try out for sports, cheerleading, etc. I would act like I knew about tv programs other kids were talking about (we didn’t have a tv & weren’t allowed to go to movies). So I believe this is when it started. But the problem grew to bigger lies due to problems within our family – I was told not to tell anyone, and then in high school & beyond (having to do with alcohol, drugs, among other things) as I got older & got to be that I created excuses for non-important things like being late, or not wanting to meet up with someone, not going to work from time to time.
    In my late 20’s, out of the house since 17 and now married, I decided to quit lying to my parents, with the thought that if it was so bad that I felt the need to lie, then perhaps I shouldn’t be doing it. And if it really wasn’t that bad then my parents were going to have to just deal with my truth. That realization helped me but not 100%. Probably more like 40%.
    Throughout the years I have had to work so so hard at telling the truth. There were 5-6 years in my late 30’s/40’s that I lived a lie to almost everyone and again I justified my actions. Except it was just to make myself feel okay to live such a lie to so many people. For me, quitting lying and only speaking and thinking truth has been a lot of work & a huge part of my journey to living an authentic life. I view it sort of like cleaning a house full of junk and garbage. For me, I started with the easiest – like being completely honest about small stuff – why I’m running late, why I’m not hungry because I just finished a bag of potato chips – things like that. From there, it’s been a progression to what I consider more difficult areas. Luckily I now have an amazing husband of almost 4 years who accepts me and loves me as I am. And he has been like the most nourishing salve for me. We discuss everything and he makes it so easy for me to be honest, which is how I try to be 100% no excuses ever. A scary point is, I didn’t feel bad for the people I lied to with only one exception.
    I needed to say this about myself so as not to paint this picture of perfect me & terrible friend. She fits your profile above and is charismatic, funny & engaging (for a while). Unfortunately she can’t keep stories straight, doesn’t appear to have any remorse for the vicious lies she’s said about people in her family, her other “close” friends, and many others. And I’ve heard about some awful and untrue things she’s said about me but I’ve never confronted her about them. She stretches the truth, embellishes, and rewrites history and wants anyone who is listening to agree with her or she becomes quite mean. It has been difficult to back off from her and not get wrapped up in her drama. But I’m wondering how to maintain a friendship without saying something about her behavior…or just walk away from this friend?? My husband views her as a narcissist & a sloppy manipulator.

  108. I don’t want to give out too much info about myself but, I am 23 years old and I admit that I have some sort of issues. I lie about lots of things (mainly about myself). I don’t feel bad when I lie but, after I do it, I feel really guilty about what I’ve done and I do empathize with the people I lie too. I feel horrible that they have to deal with me. 🙁 What can I do to not do this anymore? I need help really bad.

  109. Thank you so much for writing this article, it help me so much understand what I went through with both my ex-husband and my ex fiancé. These two men tried so hard to destroy me after I refuse to be bullied and controlEd by both of them. Psychologically they’re not normal and they have no sympathy or conscious to any person whatsoever !
    I was in arranged marriage for more than 12 years with a narcissist, I was very young and he was so old. I thought so hard for my divorce. I’m divorced now, then after 2 years I met this man who treated me in the beginning like a gentleman , most of the things he said to me and promised were to good to be true. He lied about his age and his marital status, Its my falt not having enough experience in this world especially with men.
    The constant lying and cheating, emotionally both were very abusive and controlling behavior, I lost more than 20 years of my life because of them. Strugglin now to fight and trying to rebuild the damages both have left inside me. And I’m still struggling until today and having hard time trusting people again and making new friends. I can’t allow any man to come close to me or my heart again. Because of them both I lost my family and all my friends and more, I have no energy anymore. Both left so much pain in my heart, they scarred me for life. i’m still young and I know the world is offering me so much out there, I believe in God, he’s my only savior and I refuse to give up, but i’m too tired of fighting all alone to Bring my old self back again, It’s painful having no one to trust and to Comfort me through this hard time I’m facing! I was always there for my friends and my family but right now I’m looking around me and I can’t believe I have no one around anymore, I think my ex fiancé was psychopath From what I’m reading on the Internet and learning from others life stories. I broke up with him but He made sure before he left that he damaged me completely in every possible way. but again I have faith and I know God loves me so much and I know he won’t give up on me.

    • Hi Lady S,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad you found the article helpful.
      It is amazing how, we as humans, fall for the men who (at first glance, is very appealing in every sense of the word) end up becoming a nightmare for our lives. Unfortunately, there are the kind of men who draw in the women who are hoping for and seeking the “love of their lives.” They do a great job at manipulating, lying, cheating, and feeding into that woman’s fantasy of what love and companionship is. This is what is so scary about these kind of people (men and women). They know the buttons to push, they do it, and then we’re sorry we let them in. Sadly, this isn’t just the behavioral pattern in romantic relationships but also in friendships, work-relationships with co-workers, etc.

      It is difficult indeed. Stay tuned for my article next week on men with borderline personality disorder and how their symptoms negatively affect those who are connected to them.

      I wish you well

  110. Being lied to and manipulated for that lie is very unnerving and disappointing. A lady friend and I reconnected after a several month absence. I knew that she had a boyfriend that she was having difficulty with. I strongly encouraged her to work on the relationship. She called me recently and told me that she was finished with him, in no uncertain terms. I drove to town a little later. Her home is along the road that I use. He was back less than an hour after we hung up. On my return home, I took the same route. He was still there late at night. My heart sank, considering that I had feelings for her but felt somewhat happy that they had reunited. I shot her a text stating good luck with the reconcilliation. She replied the next day, ‘why the good luck? He and I are just friends.’ . Now, I knew that she was lying. This had to stop. She was willing to put me into a dangerous situation. I sent her a FB message restating the prior night’s conversation and what I saw. She starting calling me and wanted to know why I drove by her house, lie be damned. She denied that his car was there and was furious about me making assumptions about what I saw. She immediately blocked me on Facebook and tried to turn the table on me, blaming me for the situation. I told her in a text that I don’t like being lied to. Her response was dismissive and she disposed of the friendship. I perhaps could have handled this differently and just withdrawn from any attempts to be used or played. But the reality is that she was not my friend to begin with. Friendships are built on honestly and trust, not deceptions.

  111. Hi

    I would like to thank you or your article, it has given me a lot think about. I am in a relationship with a compulsive liar (undiagnosed anti-social personality disorder as his parents advise me)He basically lied to me from the first moment I met him and his lies have gradually gotten worse. His lies sometimes are so insignificant I wonder why he even bothers lying about it. Short history of our relationship he lied about having a daughter, when he lived, his background. He lived with me for a year he lied about working, he used to go to work everyday supposedly and then I found out six months later he didn’t have a job, it was all a lie even though he went into graphic detail of his days at work. Then I found out he had stolen and sold my mum and deceased fathers wedding and engagement rings (even though when I found they were missing he helped search the whole house with me. Telling me they must be somewhere)he sold my video camera and my sons games. I told him to leave after a while he eventually did, then came the phone call text ect I had to call the police as he was trying to break through the door. First he was attacked, then he was in a car crash all with fake photos and he did admit he purposely hit his face with the door for bruising effect along with make up, then there was the suicide attempt which went on for a few weeks with him setting up numerous email accounts in which to email me form various fictitious friends also going into graphic medical terminology of what was happening. He was then in prison for six months (that was real) he has only recently been released in which time whilst he was in prison he had the priest emailing me ( probably manipulated him too). Anyway he was free and the lies keep on coming too many to mention, I thought after prison he would have changed realised what was important. I told him it was over and his way of dealing with it was to get a tattoo of my name on his arm. I agree with previous comments in the fact that he can be really sweet, caring and chamming but also evil when he doesn’t get what he wants. His latest revelation is that he was abused when he was 8 years old and this is where the lying stemmed from. My dilemma is I don’t know whether he is telling the truth or not.

  112. Hi I’ve been in a relationship with a man for just under a year, I knew from the beginning he told lies as colleagues told me so they said that if you had done something then he would have done it too, he was that kind of liar. We have recently broke up because he told a lie that was damaging, he told a lie to get out of it but then went back to the original lie twice! And now I’ve had a break from the relationship I remember a lot of the lies he told, some I understand and some I just cannot understand the point. For example I knew that he was attracted to another colleague I asked him about it as I didn’t like the flirting, he came up with a lie that he knew her before he started working with her which I knew was lie. All my colleagues like him and say he has a good heart, some have known him years but I am just wondering whether they like him because he has manipulated them? I don’t know whether he is a pathological liar or any of the above liars and how can I find this out because I feel I need to as I’m am in love with him and I feel like i may take him back.

  113. It seems that you took a few different personality disorders and blended them together and called it pathological lying. What you describe sounds more like psycopathy. Pathological liars may feel remorse or guilt for their lies and almost unconciously fabricate tall tales. Personal gain is not always the objective. Most of the time they are just trying to make their life more interesting.

  114. I have been dating a guy for 1 year now. At the beginning I saw some simple lies and I told my girlfriend. Simple such as he said he lived with his guy friend in a 2 bedroom apartment and the price was $1400. I asked him how his friend got such a cheap price as I have a townhouse I rent out and I view the prices for that apt. complex and many others. The price for a 1 bedroom is $1400 and a 2 bedroom is $1800; that was Lie 1. Lie 2, he said he has a car, but I have never seen the car. he takes lyft to my house 5 minutes away from his apt. after a year you would think I would see the car. I haven’t even seen the apartment. I let those lies slide as I felt he was probably embarrassed of his situation. Lie 3 – I had a sandwich and it was gone, he said he didn’t know what happened to it; but he was the only other person at my home. small, stupid lies – embarrassed; probably so. I get that! He talks about this awesome job he had, but he lies about how long he worked there and even what age he was when he worked there. He did have a nice job, but was laid off (he told me he decided to leave because there was another person coming in with the merger – okay, i get that too as I have been through the same), – I checked out the job as best I could and I can confirm he had a huge stock option pay out). Lie 4, he said he was 44, but when I researched for my own protection due to the simple lies (I had lost my husband the year prior and wanted to make sure I wasn’t meeting a con artist) and for the protection of my college age sons, I thought the information I paid for was incorrect until I delved deeper. I asked him about his age and he lied stating the internet is wrong and he thought I had used a certain site. I told him no i did not get my information from that site. He then proceeded to switch it from him to how his sister gets so upset because the internet has her age wrong. LIE!!! I have his sister and brothers details too! I even told him I found out he graduated from his H.S. in 1985, not 1990 and his brother in 1986. He told me the information was wrong – well it was, he graduated 1986 and his brother 1987. I had looked at the information incorrectly for the year. Again, he bold faced lied to me! From there I was so mad knowing he was lying to me and mistook me for an idiot that I got a copy of his birth certificate. HE STILL TRIED TO LIE TO ME even though I told him I had his birth certificate. THEN, he had the NERVE to try to turn everything on me! He said he thought I trusted him and how could I? I got so upset with him trying to BLAME me, that I turned to leave the room and I told him, “Oh, I see, it’s all me!”. He then told me okay, I’m sorry and proceeded to tell me why he had lied. Okay, I am forgiving, but do not lie to me again. SEX, it went from starting to be awesome, but not really REAL sex most of the time to basically nothing. His excuse over time, he was tired from working all the time. He does work a lot, but a lot of it is reading blogs and keeping up with the times – he has time… also over time I saw how he really isn’t as busy as he says – he sure has time to watch t.v. when he wants… He told me when we met how he lacks empathy and blames it on his mom, but his past girlfriends have been teaching him and I am teaching him. What am I teaching him – I do not see LOVE and AFFECTION anymore. I feel as if this whole relationship is a rouse… when I found porno on my dead husbands computer that I was letting this man/boy/guy use I was pissed and was ending it. He came to my house so quickly and showed me that his client had been hacked by Russian and Chinese hackers and they were putting up these links and his clients site and the husband was a former judge, now a lawyer and was going to sue a major company (I don’t think I can say the name of that company) this August (I haven’t heard anything more about the law suit and we just ended August). He did show me an email from that client, but that was 1 email – I believe he is into porn and possibly child porn!!! I was so pissed because I didn’t want my sons to get charged for child porn if that is what he is truly into. I do not have PROOF of this though. My sons were away at college when it happened, so I would be able to defend them. When I was ending it, but he showed me supposed proof of his innocence, I did not end it and it was at that time that he finally told me he LOVES me. RED FLAG!. my male friend and another female friend told me I should leave him. As EVERYONE on here states, the person is usually so CHARMING and everyone loves them. I feel so scammed and that is what I told him when I was breaking up and that I needed time now to learn to trust. These people are so good at their lies!!! why am I staying? what happened to the affection? he tells me how much he loves me, but there is such a lack of affection, kissing, hugging and sex. I amaze myself that I am still in this relationship. My sons and their friends really like him. I am worried that he is going to try to make me out to be the bad one to my sons and make me look like the crazy one. I need to end it as sad as it is. There are even stories about his family and how his brother, sister-in-law and mom burned him. I would like to believe him and I would like to believe the stories about his old gf that is the mother of his daughters that he has never met. BUT, is he lying about this family and her too??? He doesn’t even want pictures taken of him!!! I have one that he does not know I took and I have another of us at a wedding where we have masks on. I do not know what to believe so like Shark Tank – I want to say, …… and for those reasons, I am out. it’s sad, because he seems so awesome, but where is the love…

  115. What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton,demonstrating the characteristics of a pathological liar?

  116. You were just asked “What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton,demonstrating the characteristics of a pathological liar?”
    If you choose to reply, please also provide your thoughts on Donald Trump, same question.
    Thanks.

    • Haha… My thoughts exactly!

  117. This article is great and provides a lot of good information but it seems to be strongly suggesting that compulsive liars are almost always psychopaths. I work with many clients with developmental and learning disabilities and many of them compulsively lie. I feel like an article like this just to the worse possible conclusion when a more parsimonious explanation could be that the lying is a defense mechanism, or memory impairment. I know one of my clients,when asked a question he was unable to answer, would reply with the first answer that came to mind, not because he is a psychopath set on manipulating us, he simply could not remember the truth. My experience is that this is more often the case.

    How often is compulsive lying a result of a personality disorder as compared to a a developmental/learning disability? ( I work as a behaviorist for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, etc., so my experience is mostly within this demographic)

    • If you read back further, she does discuss how those that have developmental disabilities, lie for different reasons than those that have normal or higher intelligence. While certainly autistics and like may not fit entirely in this category, they are also not in the ‘normal’ range.

  118. RECORD EVERYTHING!!!!
    What everyone that is in one way or another interacting, willingly or not, with these kind of persons that has no moral compass, is to RECORD. RECORD every time (and everything) you interact with this person, use your phone or buy some other stuff that records -film or just sound collect it on an usb stick. GATHER EVIDENCE.
    In one way or another you will need it.

  119. Is there a possibility for a an adult to be sociopaths yet acting exactly like every one. Being very calm and act completely normal. Yet have this inner mind which can be considered evil?

    • Brandon, even though I’m not a trained behavioral psychologist or psychiatrist allow me to reply to your question….YESSSSS!! This is their very essence and absolutely their M.O. I have much experience with what I’ll call “pathological behavior” and have taken a keen interest in the subject which has helped me glide through life in my old age. I have lists of each categorization hanging on the walls of my home. I only wish “I knew then what I know now” as the saying goes.

      One online psychologist defined a sociopath using just one word, chameleon. Perfect! Narcissists are me, me, me and want/demand praise from everybody after tooting their own horns. They are easy to spot given a little time. Psychopaths are over the top and have no conscience. As a result they are quite easy to spot early on. Their actions are to the extreme and they have no idea how they come off.

      It is the sociopath that is the biggest danger by far in my opinion since they are the most difficult to spot. They, like psychopaths have no conscience and can do tremendous damage long before you figure them out. They know right from wrong and don’t care. They will tell you want you want to hear and act in a manner that they think you want to see. They will do whatever it takes to get what they want and seem perfectly normal in doing so. They will set you up for a fall. They are vindictive. They will hurt you and in extreme cases kill you then go home and sleep like a baby. They don’t care.

      Brandon, if you think you are dealing with a sociopath and are asking that question my suggestion is to eject that person immediately and then put your guard up and keep it up. Don’t argue and no reason or rationale needs to be given. Goodbye. Even if you’re wrong the fact that you asked that question is reason enough to get rid whoever it is that you’re referring to. Good luck.

    • Hi Brandon,
      Yes there is. Many sociopaths and psychopaths fit into society very well. What makes them so evil and deceptive is that they come across as 100% normal, caring, and people smart. Sociopaths/psychopaths are “people-smart,” they know exactly how to relate to others, get into others’ good graces, and walk the walk or talk the talk so to speak.

      It is very scary.

  120. I have to say unfortunately that I disagree with quite a bit of this. Compulsive lying runs in my family. I used to do it all of my kids did it and I’m sure other people in my family did it. I think there’s a difference between an actual psychosis and a person’s inability to understand that your story is an actual story and not reality. One of my sons has never been able to see this, has ODD and ADHD but is actually a champion for those smaller and weaker than him. When he was a kid we used to joke that he could sell water to a drowning man but as he’s gotten older and now he’s 30 years old, it’s quite frightening. He doesn’t do it for gain and he doesn’t do it to manipulate people or malicious he just really believes what comes out of his mouth. He forgets that you were there, Kira forget that anybody would be able to prove him wrong. The fact that it comes out of his mouth to him means that it’s the truth because he really doesn’t put any thought into it. He doesn’t study people he doesn’t try to get one up on people he really honestly believes what he’s saying is the absolute truth. So I think that compulsive lying should not be categorized with the actual Lying by a sociopath. My other two sons I was able to teach them the difference between the story and the truth and although my youngest son still is a compulsive liar he will now immediately say I’m just kidding. He can’t stop himself from lying but he now can catch it and say I’m just kidding to cover it up. I’m hoping at some point in his life he will actually be able to control the lies that come out of his mouth.

  121. I have a 10 year old daughter that this article describes almost to a T, her father was the same way and it ruined our relationship, I don’t want the same fate for her. What things can I do to help her and change her fate? She has already lost friends because of this and I fear she will have a very lonely life. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Kadison,
      You pose a very challenging question. I would suggest therapy for her. Find a therapist (therapytribe.com or psychologytoday.com – locate a therapist link) who has experience working with pathological lying or kids with oppositional defiant behaviors. A therapist who is experienced in this area may use techniques to help your daughter build insight, grow, and change. It is important to keep in mind that she is only 10yrs old and some lies may serve a purpose for her in some odd way. For example, telling lies could occur because of a need to feel listened to, accepted, or “interesting.” Some kids lie to their peers to gain “prestige.” Other kids get a “rush” from lying because it is “risky.”
      A therapist would be able to help you identify why the behavior is occurring so that you can begin the work to hopefully change it.

      I wish you well

  122. I’m 40 and have two sisters a few years older than me and one brother 3 years younger. The brother is actually my nephew, but as his mother (my sister) took off abroad a few weeks after having him and left him with my mum, he was always treated like my brother.

    To get to the point, both the nephew and his mother are totally irresponsible and are pathological liars, whereas myself and the other sister (the eldest) strongly believe in acting responsibly and telling the truth. It has become very obvious to me as I got older how this situation developed historically. My mother has some kind of psychological issue whereby she will accept any lie (no matter how obvious) told by two of the siblings against the other two. In both cases it is the slightly younger of the members of the sibling pair close in age, so the second eldest was always believed over the eldest, and my nephew was always believed over me. There were also different rules in the house for the ‘preferred’ children such as the ability to have friends over at any time of night and make as much noise as they wished, even if it kept the whole house awake. These rules were never stated, but that was how it was enforced. In any conflict with my brother, he would put a lie in place, disappear for a few days and my mother would basically bully me into submission. I didn’t realise the same had happened with my eldest sister until much older when she confided she had been to psychological counseling over it. Both her and myself suffer from low self esteem despite being fairly well accomplished in many ways, whereas the two liars have traits of extreme confidence to the extent where for example my sister had the audacity to lie her way into a computer programming job despite knowing absolutely nothing about the subject.

    The main point here is that it’s quite obvious to me that it was the parental treatment that forged the two liars and the two truth lovers amongst us. I have tried to broach the subject with my mother but no matter how calmly and politely I do it she acts as if I am victimising her, even threatening to commit suicide one time and spending days in bed. The upshot is that she can never be made aware of how she is behaving. Meanwhile, I am no longer talking to my brother after he used some particularly nasty psychological warfare to show me in a bad light, fully supported by my mother of course and he’s lost his best friend after screwing the guy out of several thousand pounds. According to my brother and mother, it was the friend who caused the falling out, however I witnessed it all first hand so know the truth.

  123. Thank You so much for publishing this article! It has taught me the tell tale signs of a pathological liar and a sociopath. I am a young woman in my twenties and I just realized the disturbing reality that I was in love with a sociopath for a year. It is true that the body language and patterns of a pathological liar show no empathy for their victim and they often use humor and a sociable smile to sweep their “victim of their feet.” Quickly, they turn their emotions to anger or jealousy to weaken their victim. Please realize that the pathological liar has no remorse or guilt when lying to you about everything from who they are to what they do. It has been a harrowing journey to not blame myself for the pathological liar’s actions and to resist their advancements. I pray for anyone to heal from the damage a pathological liar has done.

  124. My son fits the criteria for a pathological liar and/or a narcissist. I do not know where I went wrong with him. He has latched onto a beautiful wealthy girl. She is a nice person.They are married and have a son. She has no idea that he has lied about his entire life. I have kept my mouth shut about his lies, but urged him to seek help. He then cut me out of his life completely. Is there anything I can do to help him?

    • Hi Janice,
      This is a tough situation. It sounds as if your son either has a “fantasy life” or “fantasy identity” that he is comfortable living with. It’s unfortunate that his wife is in the dark about everything. It sounds as if he is attempting to block you from revealing his lies by “shutting you down” and cutting you out of his life. Without further details I am unable to assess what the real problem may be. But I must say that as an adult, living outside of your home and on his own, there is nothing you can really do. If you fear for the safety of your grandchild and daughter-in-law, you might want to consider revealing some of his lies.

      It is wonderful that you urged him to seek help. However, if he truly has traits of a pathological liar, he will not seek help as he most likely doesn’t think he has a problem. You might, however, benefit from your own therapist as your therapist may be able to give you a better understanding of it all.

      Very complicated. I wish you the best.

  125. I’m 48 & my mother lied & lied, manipulative, with extreme moods. I was an only child, like my placid natured dad. It was tough growing up with her anger, screaming, telling lies. She was unmedicated. The only clues to go by as to her problem was her mother was similar. Her dad had bouts of depression & one night when I was 14, I heard her say there was a program on tv she wants to watch about manic depression. By the time she was 40 she was like a lunatic, lies, deceit etc.though she’d always been like it. By the time I was 33, I severed all contact with her. One of the last things I heard was from my 9 year old Daughter, she told me “Grandma said ‘your mother wouldn’t listen to me'”. I felt disgusted with my mother giving the impression to my 9 year old daughter that I made mistakes, yet I was doing fine with a partner, mortgage, job, holidays. It was damaging & i knew my mother was actually a huge risk to my household as she was years back aswell. Things came to a head & that was it. 16 years later I’ve had no contact. My daughter & i changed our surname, but my father worked for the post office & at some point handled my mail as his job was filling up the sorting machine. He must have told her our surname change & she tracked down my daughter by then 18 through f.book & also wrote a letter to my daughter claiming I stopped her from seeing her. My daughter wasn’t interested by then. By the time my daughter was 23 my mother made contact again via f.book. The hideous thing was that my mother (or someone else) had created a page containing photos of my daughter up til age 7 and the page carried a fictitious name (a mans name, a bit creepy to say the least) & she wrote strange titles under the photos such as ‘Happy days until stupid relatives spoilt it all ‘. Wierd thing was that it wasn’t happy days at all, it was dreadful. She also messaged my daughter (though not as a f.book friend) after 4 weeks of no reply, my mother messaged again. My daughter found it worrying & showed me the 2 messages. As the messages had gone into a folder marked ‘other’ my daughter accidentally stumbled on them. Not only was it a violation of our privacy as they were not told of our name change, it was as though she was stalking my daughter. I was horrified as my mother had wrote about my father’s mother having Narcissistic personality disorder and she’s as manipulative as always. Odd, as my dads mother was an ordinary,popular woman aged 91 with nothing wrong with her. I said to my Daughter “this has to be my mother, twisting her own problems round to make them look like someone else’s”. It was awful. I wrote a letter to my father the following day & I told him about the contents of the messages,to get her to a doctor, to remove with immediate effect the f.book page containing images of my daughter aged 9 (by that time 23),or we will take the messages to the Police. The day after, the f.book page was gone. It was awful & sad for me, it plagued me for weeks.
    I can only think that my mother diagnosed herself.She couldn’t have been on medication acting like that? Her messages were embarrassing & not appropriate to send to a 23 yr old she knows very little about. My daughter told me years ago aged 7 that she was with my mother outside the shops & my mother while she was talking to an old work colleague she bumped said that my daughter was HER daughter! Truthfully I could no longer take the behaviour anymore.
    Years later, I separated & i met a new partner. By that time I’d got a 9yr old son. The new man told me his ex had the Bi-Polar disorder & left taking their 4yr old daughter. I believed him, til he started telling me lots of stories about the ex, on a near daily basis, like he was obbessed. After 5 months he started becoming abusive, wanting money,& he’d been taking out payday loans every month. His behaviour was so bad & his 7 yr old daughter was badly behaved aswell, comparable to a chimp, running, figeting in her chair, up & down out of her chair, blurting out silly comments, hyperactive behaviour. After 9 months of his terrible behaviour & lie after lie, I tracked down his 55 year old brother (he had kept me away from) by email & I asked him if he could give me any info as the bad behaviour was getting worse. I revealed a few things & the brother revealed that he is a Habutual Liar, lies to anyone, their mother, other family members, he’d lied to their mother & got thousands out of her. It was shocking, also he revealed was that he’d been violent to his ex girlfriend, spent all her money, he ran up huge debts & he told everyone he’d got full custody of the girl & that she lived with him permanently. The girl lives with her mother, he has her schl hols. The first time I confronted him about his lies & bad behaviour by text, clearly I was angry, but his response was “and your point is what?”. I think that goes with what is on this website, that they have no care. No apology, either a crap remark or nothing. After many more months & the girl was a month away from 9, I could see there were problems with her behaviour aswell. Though I detected no lies from her, I felt that there will be problems with her in the future. Together they were VERY similar & by nearly 9, she acted like a 5 year old. He once blurted out that she’s been referred to a school psychiatrist (not known if its a lie, but maybe an attempt to make the mother look bad). After he cut me off for 5 months as I dared to confront him, I typed a 6 page letter listing a few of his,lies, deceit etc., but heard nothing, by text, post or phone. However & strangely he posted about 4 messages on my dating profile page (where I first met him), but I decided to never use a dating site again because of this experience & id have to pay to read his messages.when I got the email notifications I felt panicky as part of me wanted to respond but i kept being reminded of the pain of his deceit & his lies. As he often sent me angry & insulting texts when I was with him, I’m actually too frightened to venture into reading any messages, & I’m not wasting my money or time . After one & a half yrs of no contact, I’m getting through it, reading up on it all & moving on. That dreadful man told lie after lie to everyone, threatened my little boy, praised his own badly behaved daughter after she hit my son on the top of his head with her fist. He was after money & had no interest in any relationship with a woman, not even his ex. When confronted,he acted like the victim. He was like a deceitful salesman. I believe this behaviour is genetic, runs through families. To make things worse, if they could be, my daughter seems to be agitated a lot lately & xmas day just gone, it was too much for her to take a photo of me in my new dress. My little grandaughter got in the photo waving her arm & the photo was ruined, ok fair enough, but my daughter denied taking the photo. I gave her the camera, nobody else took the photo.After that I thought ‘whats going on?’ Id had 16 years away from my mother, sadly I cant see my dad as he stuck by her, made himself unwell & he’s made no contact with us. Being around this,dreadful man I hooked up with, brought everything back again & before I knew what was wrong with him, I thought ‘hes like my mother!’ I’m away from him now, but its been hard as I built up a liking of him, only for him to ruin things. My mother was a nightmare, I couldn’t get away from her when I was a child but I did in the end. I couldn’t go through that again.

  126. Dear Tamara,

    Do you realize that you could help millions of Americans better understand our new President if you educated the media on what you’ve explained so clearly here? Years ago I had a pathological liar working for me, so I recognized the signs at the very first Republican debate. As Trump confounded his Republican opponents and defeated them by his lies month after month I sounded the warning but watched the media continue to focus on him and not the real issues of the election.

    You could be helping your country by advertising this blog to the media and to as many Americans who will read it and learn.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Mimi,
      Thanks for your kind comment. Others have said similar things about this very article. At this time, I would rather stay out of the political debates and focus on enlightening my readers here or through other social media platforms. But I can certainly see your point!
      Take care

  127. I just found out that my bf of 8 months had most likely been cheating the entire time. Our relationship had a fairy-tail beginning. The 1st day we met we were instantly attracted and had a connection. I walked him to his car and he asked me to sit for a second and we talked briefly. We had a magical kiss and parted ways. By the time I made it home and was in bed, he text me saying how great it was to meet and how much he looked fwd to getting to know me. I echoed those sentiments.

    Our 1st date was absolutely magical. We spent the entire day together which I’d never done before with anyone. There were many things that we had in common, most notably music. He was the 1st person that I could play my music and never hear anything negative. He would be surprised I had certain songs in my playlist.

    He presented himself as very honest and trustworthy. He sent me a text within the first few weeks of meeting stating that he needed to be honest with me and explained that he’d just got out of a 12 yr relationship and had a 18 yr old some from a previous marriage to a women. I should point out that we are gay men. These revelations helped me to believe he was legit as he surely didn’t have to divulge this information so quickly.

    There were several other seeds he planted in my head to make me believe he was trustworthy and not a cheater. He was often talk about the cheating ways of his ex in the beginning and how much the lies and deceit affected him, so much that he had to seek counseling.

    We spent plenty of time together and regularly talked, texted and video chatted during the day. We were very much attracted to each other and had a very health sex life. He introduced me to his family and friends very quickly. All of the things you’d expect a person to do to assure you of their good intentions, he did. He wasn’t cagey with his phone or laptop. We showcased out relationship on social media. We were so perfectly aligned with our hopes, dreams and aspirations in life. We both desired to be married in the future.

    The major negative in our relationship was his insecurities. The smallest thing would lead him to question my sincerity. He could call me a midnight and if I didn’t answer the phone he’d have a fit. Of course this added to my feeling that he really did believe in monogamy. It really started to get out of hand and he would do things that were much more suspect but when I would point out the inconsistency, he would agree and say he would work on both his insecurities and keeping things more balanced.

    Fast fwd 8 mos later and I was made aware that he was hooking up with guys from a gay dating (hook up) app called Grindr. I was shocked and devastated. Although I had my suspicions, I never actually thought he was cheating and especially not to the magnitude that he was. He indiscriminately hit guys up whenever it was convenient which was most often when I was at work.

    At this time, he was actually out of the country in Dominican Republic for his best friends wedding to which I offered to lend him the money for the plane ticket otherwise he would not have been able to go. We did speak while he was out there and video chatted once, but the service was really bad so it was often. He was only there for a few days.

    I dropped him off at the airport and picked him up. I confronted him and of course he denied it until he couldn’t anymore. I asked to see his phone and phone out he’d met a doctor out there and hooked up. He was bragging about it to his best friends which hurt much more because I met some of them and I was presented to them as his man and future husband. I felt like I was the joke amongst them.

    I know that he is a compulsive liar and potential narcissist. I just find it hard to believe he never really loved me. The first few days after catching him was torture. So many unanswered questions because they never are truthful. He’s only response was I’m sorry and I don’t know why I did it. Oh and he said that his friend said sometimes the betrayed becomes the betrayer. I realize it’s pointless to seek answers. The ultimate way to gain back your power is to no longer love them and that’s what I’m on a fast track towards. This blog has really helped a lot to read others experiences dealing with a liar!

    • Jay,
      Sounds like more than just a pathological liar – psychopath would more likely fit the bill. A psychopath or ‘controller personality’ is a pathological manipulator and the best advice possible is ‘NO CONTACT EVER AGAIN.’ There is no talking it over with these people and there is no way to resolve the issues with them. Psychopaths are not insecure – it’s not about insecurity, it’s about control and making you second guess yourself and become insecure, and thereby more yielding to them.

      This is worth a read. It’s by no means perfect, but gives you a decent layman’s understanding.
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Puzzling-People-Labyrinth-Psychopath-Thomas-Sheridan/1905605285

      • Yes I 100% agree that he is a psychopath and I have absolutely no desire to be in contact with him. My path toward recovering, learning and becoming a better person has no room for him in it!

        Thanks for the reply and information provided!

  128. My brother is what I assume, a pathological liar. He is 68 years old and never graduated boot camp in the Army, but touts that he is a combat veteran, sniper, Vietnam veteran and Sargent retired from the Marines. He claims he was hand picked from the Navy to build helicopters when he left the service. What he actually did was assemble electrical boxes that were installed into the helicopters at Sikorsky. Every story that comes out of his mouth is exaggerated and grandiose. Up until now I have dealt with it because he always lived in another state, but he has recently moved to my neighborhood and assumes that I am going to be his care taker and suddenly become close. His wife passed away a year ago and I get that he needs to be near family, (since he has no friends and neither of our other siblings will have anything to do with him). I know that I have to set some very firm boundaries, but my concern is that because I don’t trust him, (he also is a bit of a cleptomaniac), I feel as though he is going to find ways to get into my life. Not sure if there is a solution, but any suggestions would be appreciated. It’s so wonderful that this forum is here!

    • Hi Joy,
      Thank you for your kind comment and for sharing your story.
      The tricky part about pathological lying is that it is difficult to determine when it is or is not present. For example, a person who embellishes their accomplishments or make things more “important” than they really are may be attention-seeking, manic (if the person has bipolar disorder), or ashamed of the truth and thus in denial instead of being a pathological liar.In some cases, a person can be all 3 of these things!

      As far as what you are doing to protect yourself from him, you are on it. I would keep him as far away from your life as possible. Set firm boundaries and directly address the behavior if you have to. Explain that you don’t trust him because of previous behaviors, if he notices you are firm. You might find my other article on pathological liars helpful too: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2015/10/pathological-liars-how-to-protect-yourself/

      Take care

  129. Dear Tamara,

    This article and the comments from your readers have helped me realize that I’m not alone. I was with last boyfriend, whom I later became engaged with, for 2.5 years. At the beginning he would boast about his job, how much money he made, and the people he knew. I thought it was odd behavior, but I didn’t ultimately listen to my gut feeling at the time. A year into our relationship I found his drivers license that put him 7 years my senior versus the 5 he told me when we first met. I asked him point blank about it and he lied without blinking saying it was an error at the DMV. After that I became suspicious of everything he said and did, but I never had proof. I later found custody papers for children I didn’t even know existed. He obviously told me it was not true and they weren’t his. However, for me that was the last straw. I ended our engagement. I told him during one of our conversations that he fit the bill for a pathological liar, which he obviously didn’t like hearing. It’s been a year after he left my life and I’m still finding out more of his lies. I feel like such a fool for bringing him into my life and for not seeing who he truly is.

  130. Dear Tamara,

    This article and the comments from your readers have helped me realize that I’m not alone. I was with last boyfriend, whom I later became engaged with, for 2.5 years. At the beginning he would boast about his job, how much money he made, and the people he knew. I thought it was odd behavior, but I didn’t ultimately listen to my gut feeling at the time. A year into our relationship I found his drivers license that put him 7 years my senior versus the 5 he told me when we first met. I asked him point blank about it and he lied without blinking saying it was an error at the DMV. After that I became suspicious of everything he said and did, but I never had proof. I later found custody papers for children I didn’t even know existed. He obviously told me it was not true and they weren’t his. However, for me that was the last straw. I ended our engagement. I told him during one of our conversations that he fit the bill for a pathological liar, which he obviously didn’t like hearing. It’s been a year after he left my life and I’m still finding out more of his lies. I feel like such a fool for bringing him into my life and for not seeing who he truly is.

    • Hi “Manipulated,”
      Thank you for your comment. I am glad you found it helpful.
      You are certainly not alone and that probably makes you feel so much better. Pathological lying is a real thing and a lot of people do not know this, sadly. Don’t beat up on yourself for not seeing the signs. There are times when we simply are not strong enough or “open minded” enough to see the signs right in front of us. In other situations, the signs are so minimal or “hidden” that you can easily miss them. I would suggest you read my article on narcissism that I published this week. http://Blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers. I’m sure you’ll like it as it seems most fitting for this ex-boyfriend.
      Take care

  131. I have dated a guy for 6 years, he was very social ,smart,sharp, perfect in all aspects, @starting he told me he is in final year of engineering & came 2 ma home , met parents & asked ma hand for marriage. We dated happily but den problems started wen everything ws perfect I got 2 know he is not engineer, he was dng ntg , den I broke up with him den sm hw he convinced me , I ws so blind in Love , I accepted him , & told to do smthng , we wr in long distance relationship, but from same hometown we met monthly twice , asked him 2 tell his parents but he said cuz of caste issue I can’t tell ri8 nw , bt Dn’t wry I ll convince dem den years passed , with up n downs & so many breakups & small lies I continued, ignored his lies & finally we all wr set 2 marriage , ma parents said dey will convince his family , we r abt 2 go , we got 2 knw he got married on that itself , I was in comma after listening dis, after parents fights dey said he lies 95% out of 100% in a day , I never suspected dis , I can’t believe he cn dis happen 2 me , den he said m sorry I Dn’t have courage 2 tell ma parents he was so different in front of his parents,different with me , different with his family, difficult with his friends, m so confused, & I tried 2 move on & after 1& 1/2 month he came in contact with me , I got emotional he said it was forced marriage , m not happy with her , I didn’t even touch her etc that’s y m drinking so much I can’t tolerate her , I wanna comeback in ur lyf etc etc den we started talking again we fought so much , bt he didn’t even say a word 2 me , he listened 2 me & gave all explanation den his wife come to know dis den his parents contacted me said wats is truth tell us I told dem he told me lyk did den his mother said his wife is pregnant etc etc m in very confused state who is telling lie , who is ri8 , nw we r not in contact dis whole incidents happened in jst span of 3 months , m gonna die with confusion cuz he is talking swear infront of ma people he didn’t even touch her , his mother is lyng , but due to family issues I didn’t even see him last tym, dey gv me warning not 2 contact him & vice versa, but I loved him truly I still think he is not lyng in some situations, sometimes he was so true , sometimes very different, nw dey kept him @ unknown place , I Dn’t knw what is truth , what is lie? I ws ready 2 accept him cuz I lived him truly, but m in very confused state what is this? Ma lyf is in a mess. He said she married him jst cuz of mny etc etc she want property but as everyone is considered him lier so no any1 is believing him. He gonna gv divorce 2 his wife etc etc but his parents got 2 know dis he acted very differently , said sry 2 his wife der & here said m gonna gv divorce, bt ntg lyk dis said in front of his parents, I Dn’t knw is he making me fool ? Or anything else is hidden from me by his family? God save Me, m gonna Mad

  132. Good afternoon,
    I’ve been in a relationship with my BF for only nine months. when I met him unbeknownst to me, he had a GF whom he’d lived with for 5 years. He told me she was his “landlord”. when we started dating june 2016. he would stay over @ my place occasionally then it turned to 2 – 3 days in a row. By December of 2016 he was pretty much living with me. i began to have ‘woman’s intuition” and a bad gut felling, so i started to investigate. i was able to get into his phone and see texts.( plus he was texting another girl and hanging with her on a weekly basis as well.) so he was living with the “landlord”, dating me, and hanging with another girl. Christmas eve 2016 i worked nights, he told me he was gong to spend it with his parents, which he did. he left his parents at midnight and went to her place. Just after Christmas I got the “landlords” number & called her.The “landlord” confirmed they were together over 5 years . she told me all sorts of lies that he had told her with respect to where he was in the summer on the nights he was not with her, while he was staying at my place. She showed me all kinds pics of the 2 of them together over the years and showed me texts that confirmed he went to her place Christmas eve .I am a big fool for continuing the false relationship. I confronted him and he denied they were ever in a relationship. he would tell me she was crazy and they she was obsessed with him and he wanted no part of her.. i continued (up to this very day) to go through his phone and see constant communication, including phone calls, between the 2 of them. in the text she is constantly asking why he lied and did what he did. he has given her no valid reason. he denies to me that he has any contact with her, yet I see it and I have documentation of the text. I AM DONE with him, and Need help in how to confront him and end this. I don’t know if telling him ive seen his phone will matter, because he will just make up lies and excuses.. however i’m torn, because i want him to know that I KNOW. I don’t want him thinking he’ got away not being caught. But i know by telling him i have proof, it will definitely cause a huge up roar!!! looking for help in how to end this!!
    Thanks.

  133. Thank you for this article and all of the great feedback. It has been very helpful in confirming that a man I was dating is indeed a pathological Liar, but that he is aware of his lies shortly afterward. He has never accepted responsibility for them, so I never got the apology I was hoping would indicate he was healthy enough for a relationship.

    This man is an intelligent, articulate sales professional with an extremely charming demeanor. He is definitely a narcissist and he lacks empathy for women who he is in a relationship with. He dwells on past hurts as if they were none of his responsibility. I believe that his father had PTSD, while his mother loved him unconditionally. I have come to realize that although he has buddies, he has no close relationships in his life. It’s clear that he is not capable of them. His lies are to make himself seem more worthy than he feels. He also avoids discussions of any intimacy with me as if I just don’t matter to him.

    I am grateful that I finally figured this out by doing some online research.

    At the same time though I feel sad for him because I know that if he does not recognize this and get help, he will never be happy. I knew I had to walk away and protect myself from him.

    • Thank you Scorpio for your kind comments. I’m glad you found the article useful. Walking away, protecting yourself, and keeping your eyes open are the best ways to protect yourself from this destructive force.
      I might be writing more about pathological lying in the summer months, so stay tuned.
      All the best

  134. I have watched him twitch while lying to me, watched him lied and contradict himself in the same sentence, when asked or told that he did that, he gets angry at his own lying! Instead of telling a friend that he wants to skip this weeks “out” time (dinner, dancing,etc.) he lies and makes up stories? Even after telling him his co-worker told he of his adultry he still denies it and gets angry at the mention of it I keep laughing at him lying to me while his “tell” is showing “the twitching shoulder”. He is an extremely selfish person with everyone loving him even after he lies and they forgive. I’m so over this! How to save my children or let them down slowly….. Cheers to the honest people may we find each other soon.

    • Hi Heliesfornoreason,
      Thanks for your comment. It is challenging when the individual doing all of the lying is also selfish. Bad combination. The lies get worse when the individual is ego-centric (all about self).
      Take care

  135. I came across this article this evening while seeking to put my mind to rest. I divorced a pathological lying, sociopathic, pedophile nearly 20 years ago. In the years since, I have become a new person and dated very little. Recently was invited to spend some time with a man that seemed really nice. We have a lot of mutual acquaintances and everybody likes him. (should have been my first clue).
    While I noticed right off that he had some interesting stories regarding his life, mostly I was thinking he just needed let go of the pains of a bad marriage. After finding out that the marriage ended over 20 years ago, and he is still bitter with his ex and estranged from his kids (because of her of course) I started to take another look.
    Then tonight he told me a story “about himself” that I have heard before about another person – on more than one occasion. To say I was sick to my stomach doesn’t even begin to describe the myriad of emotions I’m having now. I don’t know if I’m disgusted with him, or just totally ticked off at myself!
    At any rate, your article brings back memories I was glad to have forgotten and NEVER want to relive. Thanks for the insight. I think single till death is probably the safest route to go…

    • Hi “Suckered,”
      Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds as if that marriage took quite a bit out of you. That isn’t surprising. It can be really difficult to separate truth from fiction or honest behavior from sociopathic or manipulative behaviors. For example, the fact that he was nice and everyone seemed to like him isn’t necessarily a “clue” or “sign” that something was wrong. There are a lot of charming people, that everyone likes, who are not pathological or narcissistic and sociopathic. Just wanted to put that out there!

      But I do understand what you mean and you remind me of the various research studies on narcissism and sociopathy that report charm, glib, and friendliness as being the tools these individuals use to manipulate, control, and ultimately harm their victims. Pathological lying is just another way they try to control. For some pathological liars, they do it even when it doesn’t benefit them!

      Your emotions are very similar to the millions of women who have been in your shoes. It may be that you are experiencing anger at yourself and him. I’m sure you have said to yourself “how did I not see this?” It’s easier said than done most of the time. Sometimes mental health professionals fail to see signs. It isn’t as simple as we think it should be.

      I like that “single till death.” I would hold on to the hope that perhaps one day the right person will come along, but if not, you are better off without the headache and heartache.
      Take good care

  136. we seem to have gotten one in our business. I work as an IT professional, programmer by trade. we hired a system admin, Betty. She was brought in by an apologetic friend. She started with getting our night operator out because she didn’t punch holes in Betty’s papers. Next, was the flatulence problems and personal hygiene. She used this technique to “punish” non-followers. This became exaggerated when she had a stomach bypass to loose weight. She uses a “I’m sweet” voice on the phone as a mask. many people do I guess. Her subordinate at the time, set by the boss, was the print operator. New printers were brought in to our area as had been planned before her hire. Since they were connected to the main system, she presided over them. (The following is conjecture because i have not been able to prove due to evidence. Take it with a grain of salt) When her demands for rewriting already good notes were not met, she used a program called PrintNet to manipulate the printers so they would fail causing stress for said operator. I have tried to research these issues, but as the Admin, she has all the cards as it were. I asked her to dump the PrintNet software log, but Betty claimed it was unusable as it was in HEX.
    She was caught once “remoting” into a printer and her claim was she was trying to help. I believe she was pulling some “munchousen” on our mainframe so to fix it and be the hero. I have 20+ years working on this kind of machine, and it … well, something is rotten in the state of Denmark as Shakespeare put it. She has threatened hostile work environment to keep her detractors at bay and the boss seems to refuse to hear it. In addition, as i was reading earlier, yes she appears to exaggerate her life stories. Her presence has caused paranoia and digust with many coworkers. Short of a personal lawsuit, I have no clue how to deal with this. As for the foul wretched stench that would happen, EEOC basically said diet or no, its a medical condition.
    She had also mentioned her ADHD”. =(

    • Hi Roland,
      It sounds as if she may also be emotionally and psychologically immature and unstable to say the least. It could be that she lacks an identity which can cause her to use “her sweet voice” to get by. What people who do this often don’t realize is that despite what personality, voice, or attitude you may put out there for others to judge you by, some people are keen and intuitive and know exactly what you are and are trying to do. Most times these things (voice, attitude, personality, etc) are used to draw others so they can be manipulated or even have nothing negative to say about them because they’ve built a positive reputation. Sadly, only the people closest to these people really know what they are like.

      Take care and thanks for commenting

  137. We adopted our daughter 10 years ago when she was 13, and she has been lying to us ever since. I’ve been reading up on pathological liars and it fits her to a T. I raised all my kids with practical consequences for their actions. Didn’t work with her. If we don’t trust her, it’s OUR fault, not hers. Now she is stuck in a foreign country with a man she met on the Internet and married, upset with us because we won’t sponsor him to come to the US. She has again told us all kinds of lies trying to get us to agree to sponsor him. We told her what we will do is let her come back and live with us while she works so that SHE can sponsor him. Which will never happen because she wants everybody to do everything for her. She never graduated from high school or got her GED. Never wanted to listen to anyone, not even her friends. I love my daughter but it has gotten so I sometimes dread when she contacts me. . . thinking, what outrageous lie is she going to try to get me to believe now? Pointing out the truth in a situation does NO GOOD AT ALL and makes me the bad guy.

    I even told her that she is an adult and I really don’t expect her to tell me everything about her life, she has a right to privacy. . . just don’t tell me things that aren’t true! If I ask a question and she doesn’t want to answer it, just say so. . . don’t make something up!

    People ask me how she is doing and I really don’t know what to tell them, since I never know if she is telling me the truth or not.

    • Hi “sick of being lied to,”
      Thanks for sharing your story. I totally get your frustration and your fatigue. No one can tolerate someone who, every time they are speaking, may be telling lies. What can you believe and what should you not believe? This roller coaster is emotional and fatiguing. With someone like this, boundaries are going to be extremely important including non-tolerance. I often encourage my clients, who are dealing with pathological liars, to make their intolerance of lies known. Let the person know that they have broken your trust, they have made believing them very difficult (although you want to believe them), and that they will have to work hard to regain your trust. You shouldn’t have to put up with someone who lies every second they speak. It’s okay for you to make it known that you question everything they say because of what they have done to their own credibility.
      Take care

  138. Hello. Thank you for this article…it is very informative.

    That being said, I want to make a comment which could be labeled ‘grammar policing’.
    So, here goes: your term, ‘peaking your interest’ related to the pathological liar’s potential tactic of using arousal [sexual and otherwise] as a form of distraction should be termed, ‘piquing your interest’.

    Thank you again…especially for letting me comment on this as correct grammar, spelling and word choice are important to credibility. As your article is very professional I offer this comment so that you may maximize the best aspects of the information you have provided.

    Aurora

    • Thank you Aurora for catching that! I appreciate you letting me know as I don’t always see my errors. Life is learning, everyday. I think we, as adults, should be open to whatever learning may come our way.
      Take care

    • Add to the list “faze,” not phase, meaning did not disturb or discomfit (his lying behavior.)

  139. Reading the article and some of the comment is helping me understand how someone who compulsively lies works. I’ve read a lot in the past about personality disorders and just needed to refresh what I thought. My daugher is involved with someone who her Dad and I have found out to be a compulsive liar. It’s all happened over the last few months and is going to come to a head today when we have to sit daughter down and tell her. This friend (female) has told us she has cancer and Crohn’s disease. Also that she was given several million pounds by a cousin who won the Euro lottery (turns out he did but only gave few thousand pounds to family members). Initially we were very concerned for her as only 28 with two young children and the thought that she had stage 3 cancer was awful. As time has passed and we’ve been told so many different reasons she’s not had treatment\operations alarm bells started to ring. She was living with her partner of 14yrs at the beginning but told us he was having an affair (not sure what the truth of that is) and couldn’t stay in the same house as him at night and he expected her to sleep on sofa or with one of the children. Because I thought she would be going in hospital very soon and my daughter asked I agreed she could sleep at our house. Weeks passed with one reason after another been given for why she wasn’t in hospital – cancelled surgery, iron to low, infection etc etc. Over this time her and my daugher have got closer and closer and are now in a relationship. Quite a shock as daughter never shown any interest in women in a sexual way before. After reading the article I realise that it’s possible that every kind of manipulation can be used. My daugher to had recently ended a relationship that she thought was forever and was vulnerable. She’s always liked been “in love” and dosen’t like being on her own. Something I’ve known for a long time. She’s thirty with a 3 year old daughter and has been living with us for six months. We moved to be nearer to where she works to help her out as I look after my granddaughter while she’s at work. She’s a primary school teacher and knows this woman through work as her children go to her school. So many lies been told in such a relatively short space of time that am hoping my daughter will realise how bad it is. Want this woman out of our lives. Know she’s mentally ill but really don’t want years of having to deal with it. My sister had mental health issues and so I know what it can be like. Helps to just put it in black and white. Thankyou

    • Hi Mary,
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. I find that this blog often provides a platform for readers to not only connect with me, but connect with each other. Not only am I learning from you, but you are (hopefully) learning from me. It is a great place to discuss, explore, and ask questions. I truly believe that education is power and the more insight readers build on this forum, the better they will all be at noticing dysfunctional patterns in their relationships. You can also search the search box to find an article on how to cope with pathological liars.
      All the best to you

  140. My husband and I have dealt with our son his entire life. He started the lying and denying in kindergarten. He has stolen from us many times throughout his adolescent years. He took money from our daughter also. We were so relieved when he moved out of the house and got married and had a family. In November of 2016 he left his wife and asked to stay for here for awhile. Biggest mistake ever! He is still here. He has taken money from us on at least 3 separate occasions. Every time we confront him he denies it. My father passed away in May and he even stole some of the change my father had saved in a jar before I could get it in the bank! He has never admitted to any wrong doing at all. He also gets into the food in the house and eats it all at once, even when we have asked him not to. He won’t clean his room and has no respect for our property. We have let him drive a car that is in our name. He will not pay the insurance on it. He gives us no money whatsoever for staying here. And we never get a word of thanks for letting him stay here, or feeding and taking care of his kids when he has them here every other weekend. I can no longer live like this. My husband is planning to give him an ultimatum this afternoon. Get out on your own by November and pay the insurance on the car or we sell it. What else can we do?!!! We don’t want to be alienated from him (or our grandchildren) but at this point we don’t care! Your article was so helpful and really describes him exactly!

  141. I am an admitted pathological liar (whew! Feels kinda good to tell the truth after a lifetime of lying haha) and I just wanna say thank you for posting this I have never been to therapy but I realized that I need to break the cycle of addiction (compulsive lying)and reading your article and others like it have helped me to face that which I’ve spent my whole life avoiding. I was abandoned by my drug addicted father as an infant and my abusive stepfather wasn’t much of an improvement. I experienced sexual traumas as a child. I was also bullied all through childhood didnt have many friends moved around alot and I think I started lying like this at a young age for multiple reasons: for fear of being further abused and shamed, embarassment of the truth, as a means of escape, as a way to spite people, as a way to make myself a force to be reckoned with (don’t cross me because I’m dangerous etc etc) the list of reasons goes on. It’s breaks my heart more and more every time I reflect on it when you feel like no one understands you and you resort to such extremes because the truth is so painful and fills you with anger rage hatred and misanthropy towards yourself those who’ve wronged you and society in general. I’m now in my 30s and I don’t know how to rebuild myself I spent all these years struggling with this conflict within me I don’t want to lie anymore but I don’t think I can ever be entirely truthful either the only 3 true friends I feel I ever had and were honest with are all dead and that didn’t help matters. I don’t know how to be confident and fear I will be this way for the rest of my life I can only say this to those who have loved ones with this problem. Please don’t give up on them no matter how much it pains you. Not all pathological liars are consciousless and their true inner pain may run deeper than you know. They are lucky to have you in their lives and you may be the only hope they have.

    • hey alrightythen, I identified with some of your situation and want to chime in here to support your decision to break the cycle of lies and dishonesty.
      Quite a while back I came to the realization that I wanted to live an authentic life. It has been a struggle and there have been times (even long stretches of time) when I completely failed at being truthful. But looking back, I know that it has been worth the effort to keep moving toward living truly authentically.
      For me, starting with the smallest basic stuff helped me to begin to use my honest muscle and strengthen it. What did I eat? What time is it? How much did I spend at the store? What color are my clothes. Though this IS basic, where else to start and be successful?
      From there I became more honest during interactions. Learning good ways to say, “it’s none of your business,” “I don’t know”, were road bumps for me, for sure. I’ve learned to say, “why do you ask?” I find this takes the pressure off me saying something that isn’t true for whatever the reason is at the time.
      There is so much true joy in living an honest life. The peace that comes with truth is amazing and is a huge motivator. (and acknowledging past “wrongs” can be painful but this is a good way to move forward.)
      I wish you peace and true joy as you let the past go, and my best to you as you put one foot in front of the other moving toward living truth.

      • Hi beentheretoo thank you so much for your support. This is the 1st time ive ever opened up about my problem and it feels good to know that im not alone out here. My sympathies to all here who are dealing with a loved one who is a path.liar but being on the other end of the barrel its rare to have someone come out with the problem of BEING a path. liar rather than just dealing with one. The truth of the matter (no pun intended) is that we lose so much of ourselves in our lies and we hurt ourselves as much or even more so than the people we lie to. I dont know what your situation is but i thank you for the encouragement and offer you the same HANG IN THERE and continue to let the truth set you free

        All my love prayers and support,
        Alrighty then

    • Hi Alrightlythen,
      Thank you so much for your humbling and kind comment. Thank you. So kind.
      It sounds to me as if you have struggled with the nature-nurture dilemma where part of your lying may be genetic while the other part is social and learned. The “conflict within” is the result of pain and possibly event trauma. Because of pain, suffering, trauma, or other similar things, lying can serve as a protective mechanism for the mind and for the heart. It’s better for some people to live a lie as opposed to the truth. When this happens the lying becomes apart of every day life and then becomes apart of the person’s character. This isn’t something that happens to all pathological liars but it is something that happens to those with a “reason” for their false living.
      One of the reasons I decided to work, years ago, with the juvenile delinquent population was because I believe there is room for redemption. Room for change. Room for improvement. I continue to pray that I don’t lose sight of the fact that these individuals may be some of the most hurting among us.
      Take good care

      • Hi doc
        Thank you so much for all you are doing. Your words are very encouraging and have helped a lost and twisted soul come just a bit closer to finding inner peace. The work you do is truly wonderful and the world needs more people like you!

        With love,
        Alrightythen

      • Thanks so much Alrightythen. I’m glad you found my comments helpful. I find yours just as helpful. 🙂
        All the best

  142. My observations on a psychopath
    He introduced me to all of his aquaintences, family & appeared plausible.
    I began to notice inconsistencies in his ‘time line’ & he often contradicted himself. To question him resulted in me being shut down & him sulking.
    The lies were often as I thought a ‘joke’ or irony, he would describe himself as athletic & handsom over time I released he was deadly serious & he really did overrat his physical appearance and prowess.
    He claimed to have been married fir thirty years, then would mention relationships which made a 30 year marriage impossible unless he was cheating which is highly likely in hindsight.
    His military service was exaggerated as was his educational achievement.
    He hated direct questions, he made statements, he evaded telling actual lies sometimes by avoidance of key information & circular conversations about nothing related to the topic.
    He often employed a flattering comment or promised to “explain it to you later” later never came.
    Eventually I did my own research & felt used by him. His entire identity was a lie even though he had all of the props in place. A few of his aquaintences did indicate his controlling nature, his stormy temper & different accounts about his reliability. Pathological liars are almost impossible to detect initially because normal people have no motivations to live a lie or deceive. He knows he lies, he once described himself as an illusion, it’s a strange life to lead.
    I saw his pleasure when he lied to people, some lies were pointless so I assume it’s the pleasure of duping that drives a liar.

  143. My daughter has spread rumours about me which have been hard to deal with. This has gone on for numerous years. I have tried approaching her about some of the things and the only reply I get is ” I can’t help what people think and say”. I feel very isolated and it has been difficult to face people, not knowing what they think. At the moment things are reasonable, but when her husband asked her if she was alright when in my company, I know it is still going on. It is so difficult, I am aware of the games that are being played, but I still don’t know how to protect myself. My daughter has two sons and I know, at the drop of a hat, my seeing them would be taken away; not that I see them very often. Some advice would be welcome, thank you

    • Alison,

      Even if you can’t successfully broach the subject with your daughter, I see no reason why you shouldn’t make others aware of the untruths spread about you. As something similar happened between myself and my brother I know what it is like. The liar goes to great lengths to spread their slander. Why don’t you go to similar lengths to dispel it? Here are some tips-

      1)Don’t make a point of bringing the subject up unless something is mentioned. Just deal with it as it arises.
      2)Remain calm and don’t paint yourself too heavily as a victim, even if that’s the way you feel.
      3)Don’t try to recruit people to ‘your side’ or turn them against your daughter; just calmly state that you do not understand why she’s doing this.

      If she lies about other things as my brother does, you may be surprised. Suddenly people start remembering these instances and putting the pieces together.

      All the best.

 

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