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What to Do When Your Loved One Is a Chronic Liar

What to Do When Your Loved One Is a Chronic Liar

Nobody likes a liar. It doesn’t take a statistic to know that is a fact. For the most part, spotting a liar is simple, and we can easily disassociate with that person. But sometimes the person who lies, and lies often, is a relative. While everyone lies at some point, trying to love someone who lies in a chronic way can be challenging. This means they lie almost as a reflex. A chronic liar is a compulsive liar, or someone who lies out of habit as a natural way to respond to questions. Most of the time, the lies are pointless and it can be difficult to understand why they felt a lie was necessary. Thankfully chronic liars are not dangerous or manipulative, but certainly frustrating [1].

It can be difficult to spot when love is involved

Sometimes the lies may be so grandiose that it’s obvious a person is lying. Other times, it can be difficult to spot because you are so personally involved. For the person doing the lying, it can provide an escape from discomfort and help them to feel safe. More so, chronic lying is usually a symptom of a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Confrontation typically feels like the right thing to do if you’re suspicious that your loved one is lying, but that can be tricky. In fact, there isn’t much reward in doing this, as they will most likely continue to lie and the strained relationship will only get worse. With the hesitation to confront someone you think it lying, you can start to feel paranoid and wonder if you’re being overly-suspicious. No relationship can function in this scenario.

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It’s like you aren’t worth the truth

When you are in love with or related to a chronic liar, it is not just frustrating, it’s hurtful. It can make you feel like you aren’t worth the truth, and that impacts every aspect of a relationship. More so, it becomes impossible to trust that person, since you know he/she lies compulsively. For the liar, chronic lying is an addictive behavior that provides comfort, but for the one being lied to, it provides pain and confusion. Because of these factors, a healthy relationship is very hard to accomplish.

Though it may provide a release to the liar, it will never feel comforting to be lied to. In fact, it can make you so jaded that you could start to wonder if everyone is lying to you. It can make you feel crazy and weak. Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S says is well [2]:

…it’s the destruction of relationship trust caused by the constant lying, deflecting, secret keeping, and misplaced blame. And this pain is exacerbated if/when the innocent partner is made to feel as if he or she is misperceiving reality and therefore crazy, weak, damaged, etc. In other words, it’s not the [chronic lying] that wreaks the most emotional havoc, it’s the…ongoing denial of reality.

What to do about a chronic liar:

Obviously, the last thing you want to do is cut ties with a family member, but unfortunately, you may have to. Thankfully, that’s worst-case-scenario. Before it comes to that, the following steps may help you deal with the situation.

Educate Yourself

Unless you understand chronic lying, you won’t be able to adequately approach or confront one. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get a psychology degree, but you should do a little research. If you better understand what motivates a chronic liar, you will more easily be able to talk with one [3].

Start Small

When you’re having a conversation with a chronic liar, don’t immediately confront them about huge lies they have told in the past. Instead, listen closely to the details of the exchange and pause the conversation to ask about a detail you feel is a lie.

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Offer Help

If you’re very close to the person, talk to them about therapy. Politely recommend they get help in addressing their need to be dishonest. If they say no at first, don’t push! Be patient and try again later.

Be Patient

Remember that this person did not become a chronic liar overnight. Therefore, they won’t become honest overnight, either. Show the person you truly care about helping them by being patient, kind and gracious [4].

Take Note

While it may seem like a terrible thing to have to do, keeping a journal, or even notes in your phone, can help you confront the lying loved one later on (and in detail). This isn’t meant to give you all the power and make the liar feel small, but rather to provide an accurate and detailed account of the lies he/she has told in order to potentially illustrate how outrageous they are.

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Remember the Love

When the chronic liar is a relative or spouse, it can become very easy to focus only on how upsetting it is that they lie all the time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do either of you any good. Try to focus on the relationship, not the rage. If you truly want to make the relationship work, you have to keep the attention on the quality of the relationship, not just on the quantity of lies.

Ignore Them

Here’s the thing, when a chronic liar is talking, it’s usually hard to pay attention anyway. You know half of what they’re saying is utter nonsense, so why even pay attention. Sure, we are supposed to be considerate of other people and pay attention to what they say, but no one encourages you to entertain a liar. If they aren’t going to respect you, you don’t need to respect them. Granted, this isn’t an invitation to be cruel to them, but rather an opportunity to tune out the ridiculous claims.

Confront the Pattern

If your loved one says something you know is not true, politely ask if the story is as true as the story about [insert equally untruthful story here]. They will have two choices: They can either own up to the lie, or try to convince you that both stories are fact. Even if they choose the latter option, stay calm. You still subtly let them know you’re onto them without having to be mean.

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All of these tips are purely unbiased. When you are in a relationship with someone who lies as easily as they breathe, it can be very hard to be patient, offer help and ignore them. However, the most important thing you can do is respect yourself. If you find the relationship is so toxic that it is negatively affecting you, even when you’re away from the liar, you may have to cut ties. While no one ever wants to end a relationship with a relative or a spouse, etc., sometimes it’s the only way out. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilt if this is the case for you. As long as you did everything you felt you could do to try to make the relationship work, then it isn’t quitting. Instead, it’s respecting yourself enough to keep your own mental health in tact. And don’t be afraid to seek solace in other, honest relatives. Remember that you aren’t the only one who speaks to the chronic liar, which means you aren’t the only one being hurt by the dishonesty. Don’t suffer alone, and don’t allow yourself to feel crazy or paranoid. You deserve the truth, and you deserve happiness.

Reference

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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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