Have you ever met someone who couldn’t stop lying? Maybe you’ve caught them telling small lies, or perhaps it’s something major, but they always seem to be making things up. If they tell enough lies, you might even begin to wonder if they have a serious condition.
Do you ever wonder what it’s like to live with a compulsive liar? Today in the hot seat, we’ve got Jessica, a pathological liar, to tell you all about why she’s constantly betraying others’ trust.
Inside the mind of a compulsive liar
Lifehack: Why do you lie all the time?
Jessica: The funny thing is, sometimes I don’t even know why. There are times when I tell lies because I’m trying to get people to sympathize with me, but sometimes I just make things up to see if I can get away with it. If I want to impress someone, I definitely make things up.
Lifehack: What have you learned from being a compulsive liar?
Jessica: At first the lies were small, so nothing really bad happened. After a while, the lies grew, and I stopped realizing that I was making things up. I learned that people will believe almost anything if you say it with enough conviction.
At the same time, I learned that I have some issues. My therapist thinks my lying started because of low self-esteem, and we are working to disrupt the lie cycle. Right now, I wanted to tell you that I lie because of past trauma, which is true for some pathological liars, but it’s not the case for me. I’ve never experienced trauma.
Lifehack: Do your friends and family know that you’re a compulsive liar?
Jessica: Absolutely. At first, they tried to play along because they were being polite. As the lies got bigger and more absurd, they started calling me out. My brother actually stopped talking to me because my lies got so out of control.
Lifehack: What has compulsive lying cost you?
Like I said, my brother doesn’t associate with me anymore. My lying even cost me my marriage. Plus, everyone knows that I have this problem, so my reputation is ruined.
Lifehack: What are some ways that you might lie in an average day?
Jessica: I’m always tempted to lie when I meet new people. It’s easier to deceive strangers who aren’t aware of my history. I definitely lie about my job. I work at a bookstore, but I’ll tell people that I’m a lawyer sometimes. I read a lot novels about law, so I just pull from that.
I also tend to exaggerate when I want to get out of things. Once I had a cold and I don’t want to go into work, so I told my boss I was hospitalized for a bad case of pneumonia.
Lifehack: What’s the worst thing that’s happened because of a lie you told?
Jessica: My very worst lie is the one that cost me my marriage. My ex and I were arguing a lot. It wasn’t because of my lying–we were just having a rough time. I decided to tell him that I was pregnant even though I wasn’t. I went as far as to steal a sonogram picture from my friend to pass off as my own.
This news made my husband happy, and it temporarily alleviated our problems. Everyone in our families got excited about it.
That lie obviously has a shelf life. When it got to the point where I should have been showing, I decided that I’d have to “miscarry” in order to save face. I waited until he went to work, faked a trip to the hospital, and had to break the news to him. I was so upset about what I had done, but everyone thought I was just sad because I lost the baby.
Eventually he figured out that I made the whole thing up, and he filed for divorce.
Lifehack: Do you have any way to control your lying?
Jessica: Sometimes I believe the stories I make up, or the lies happen before I even think about them. I’m working to get it under control, but I don’t know if I’ll ever stop.
Lifehack: How does it make you feel when you lie?
Jessica: It’s complicated. I feel excited when I manage to successfully deceive someone into thinking I’m better than I am. I also know that some lies that I tell are so over-the-top and so damaging, that I usually end up regretting them later.
Don’t believe everything you hear
Most of us fib on occasion, but some people take lying to a new level. Compulsive liars seem to derive some satisfaction from what they do, but they also tear lives apart and leave their own in shambles.
Featured photo credit: Photo by Louis Blythe on Unsplash via unsplash.com