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What Frequent Liars Actually Think and Why

What Frequent Liars Actually Think and Why
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Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by liars?

Are you tired of listening to lie after lie after lie? And we’re not talking about the type of liar that lies occasionally as an excuse for breaking a commitment.

No, that would be a little easier to handle.

We’re talking about the lie-for-no-reason, make-you-want-to-pull-your-hair-out type of liar.

Yes, that one.

No worries. You’ll be able to keep your hair once you understand there are multiple reasons why a person lies like this, also known as pathological lying, as well as how to recognize and deal with one.

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Pathological lying is continuously lying with no logic behind it.

Fibbing, deceiving, fabricating — whichever way you slice it, you know it’s lying. However, pathological lying is different. This kind of lying goes beyond what’s considered a “fib” or a “harmless, little lie” in that the person routinely lies and does so without any logic behind it.

There are multiple names for pathological lying as well, such as mythomania, compulsive lying and pseudologia fantastica.[1] While some of these terms may be familiar to most people, some are not, unless you’re an expert in the field.

Also, the overall consensus is that these terms all mean the same thing, but there is some debate between mental health professionals that pathological liars fall under compulsive liars. They believe it’s the compulsive liar that lies without reason, just out of habit, and that the pathological liar not only lies habitually, but also creates lies rooted in manipulation.

Pathological liars can leave you open to harm.

It can be easy to think lying is no big deal, but being around a pathological liar can be harmful in some cases. These people not only lie to make their lives sound more exciting or credible, they also lie about other people — maybe even you.

Not knowing if a person is a pathological liar or not could result in lots of negative experiences. For instance, you could be working in your office and find out a pathological liar has lied about you in order to take your job. Or sometimes, it may not even be about taking your job. They may do it just to be hateful. In addition, a pathological liar may not seem so obvious at first. Some come off as extremely charming, kind and nice. But you may soon realize this person is not only a liar, but may even be a sociopath, leaving you open to harm.

This type of liar may actually suffer from other mental disorders.

As of today, pathological lying is[2]

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“not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual a book published by the American Psychiatric Association  as a separate mental health condition, but it is agreed that this type of lying does not line up with standard human behavior.”

Also, some people suffer from other disorders and pathological lying can be a symptom of these disorders. These issues can contribute to or make it harder to diagnose pathological lying on its own. For instance, a child may be suffering with attention deficit disorder or have oppositional defiant disorder. In addition, an adult may have psychotic disorders, delusions, sociopathy and more. All of these disorders can blur the lines behind what is and isn’t pathological lying.

To take it a step further, Medical Daily says,[3]

“Pathological lying doesn’t crop up out of nowhere like a tumor. Somewhere along the line, and then for multiple years thereafter, it gets learned.”

To spot a pathological liar, observe these behaviors.

When you’re dealing with pathological liars, you’ll begin to notice a few things about them.

They are “so” amazing.

For example, every story they tell will seem extraordinary and absolutely fabulous. They often put themselves in an excellent light, such as a hero that saves the day, someone that’s rich and powerful, or they know a lot of celebrities or people in enviable positions.

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They play the victim non-stop.

In addition, pathological liars may also take an opposite approach and show themselves as victims. This person may always have a new illness, or tragedy in their life. It’s when the number of terrible events in a person’s’ life makes you question their honesty, you’re probably dealing with a pathological liar. [4]

They have addictive personalities.

If a person has certain addictions like alcoholism, gambling, substance abuse or more, they may be more likely to be a pathological liar. This doesn’t mean all addicts are liars, but according Expertscolumn.com, people fighting addictions tend to be more likely to lie uncontrollably to friends and family. [5]

More traits to keep in mind with pathological liars:[6]

  • Obsessiveness
  • Narcissism
  • Jealousy
  • Impulsivity
  • Abusive attitude
  • Aggressiveness

If you come across any pathological liars, address them in the right ways.

So when you know someone is a pathological liar, you can be on your guard and more apt to addressing them. How? Well, according to PsychCentral, there are a few ways to handle them:

1. Avoid engaging them if possible.

Your gut instinct may quickly tell you something’s off with a pathological liar. Instead of agreeing and engaging them, you can give them a confused, blank stare. That let’s them know you realize they aren’t fooling you with their outlandish stories. This may get them to pull back or move on to someone else.

2. Get confirmation.

If you know this person lies a lot, don’t even consider believing any part of their story unless you can line it up with facts. Until you can, make sure you stay detached and neutral during all your conversations.

3. Don’t argue with them.

There’s no point in arguing with a person that clearly has issues and lives in their own head. You’ll most likely never get to the truth anyway and it’s best to just keep your distance if you can.[7]

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If you’re friends with the person, Nobullying.com says to try these suggestions:

4. Offer support for them.

Reassure them that you still care about them regardless of their issues. Tell them you understand they felt compelled to lie and that you are willing to help.

5. Help them change.

Encourage them to practice the truth a little at a time. Telling a few truths consciously and intentionally may help in adjusting their behavior.[8]

If all else fails, you may need to call it quits with the friendship. Sometimes, you can’t stay friends with a pathological liar. In that case, you may need to end the relationship altogether and stay away from that person. Livestrong.com says:

Pathological liars can overcome the propensity to lie, but it takes willingness and, usually, therapy, so to be a friend you need to be there for the long run. Often though, the person does not want help, at which point you need to make a clean break to keep from being hurt.[9]

Understanding how a pathological liar operates as well as how to recognize one will make you better equipped to deal with this person properly and protect yourself in the process.

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Reference

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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