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What Frequent Liars Actually Think and Why

What Frequent Liars Actually Think and Why

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.

Reference

More by this author

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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