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How to Spot a Compulsive Liar Before Starting a Relationship

How to Spot a Compulsive Liar Before Starting a Relationship

Lying is morally wrong but it is also quite normal. Everyone does it. In fact, one researcher said [1] that lying is an unavoidable part of human nature.

How many times have your loved ones asked if you were ok and you said that you were, when in fact you were not? Or have you ever been running late and told your friend that you would be there in five minutes when you knew fully well that it would take at least ten? And what about when toddlers say that they haven’t eaten any chocolates despite having their face smeared with it?

At a certain age, we learn that lying is hurtful and most people will develop a good set of morals to try to hurt other people as little as possible. Pathological lying, however, is very different.

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What is pathological lying?

I once knew a girl who was charming, sociable and gregarious. Over time, however, I started noticing too many inconsistencies in her stories and claims that were blatant untruths. Whenever she was caught out, instead of confessing like a normal person, her pathological lying continued to the point that she even created further lies.

Scientists have discovered that there are brain abnormalities in pathological liars[2]. The prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain is responsible for remorse and morals. Brain scans revealed that those inclined to pathological lying had much less grey matter in this area.

What signs should you look for?

Contradictions

Their stories are inconsistent and will eventually begin to become undone over time.

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Attention seekers

They will go to lengths to concoct elaborate, grandiose stories or achievements, in order to get them the attention or admiration they want.

Defensiveness

The goal of pathological lying is to manipulate you. If you question something that may seem inconsistent, they will instinctively get very defensive or possibly even angry.

Master liars

It may take a substantial amount of time before you are able to detect their web of lies because it is an art they have perfected. If they suspect that they may be found out, they will simply make up another lie to cover things up.

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Asking you to repeat yourself

If they are caught off-guard, they may ask you to repeat what you have said so that they have enough time to fabricate something else for you to believe.

Unafraid of their lies

They lie with no regard or fear of the consequences or how it may impact the other person.

What you should know about dealing with a pathological liar

They spend time studying you

It’s important for them to study you in order to learn what your weaknesses are and to be able to take advantage of you. They will get an understanding of how to sway you and what things you may or may not believe.

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They lack empathy

It is not possible for them to feel remorse for their actions like a normal person because of how their brain is wired. They lack the ability to be concerned about if they may hurt you or how their lies could impact you. Do not expect them to sympathize with you or see the results of their actions. They are, however, able to feign emotions if it benefits them.

They will use whatever means necessary, whether psychological, emotional or sexual, in order to deceive you into whatever they desire. This sense of “connection” that you will feel towards them causes you to lose your guard and feel a false sense of trust.

There is no cure for pathological lying

In order to get treatment, they would first need to admit they have a problem, which they will rarely do. Furthermore, a lot of psychologists would not agree to treat them, since they are often unable to be truthful in sessions. Lying is second nature to them and simply, they do not know how to exist without doing it.

Reference

[1] BBC: Lying
[2] Livestrong.com: Treatment for a Pathological Liar

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J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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