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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

More by this author

J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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