KONKANCATHOLIC

HOW TO DEAL WITH A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR

Do you know someone who can't seem to utter the truth? Have you ever found yourself listening to their story but all you can think of in your head is-‘Lie! Lie! Lie!’Some people lie to make themselves look good or to get what they want, and others because they actually believe what they're saying. 

A compulsive is someone who lies excessively and habitually with no particular “end in view.” It is called pathological lying or “pseudologia fantastica.” What sets a compulsive liar apart from other liars is the consistency with which he/she lies. They create incredibly complicated lies, with specifics and background stories, and they keep them going for years. They often believe the lies they tell, and they'll tell you a completely absurd story with a poker face so earnest you can't help but take it as truth. Because pathological lying is a controversial topic, psychologists argue whether the compulsive liar knows or controls their lies or not. An argument claims that compulsive liars end up living the lie so vicariously that they can no longer distinguish between reality and their fantasies. 

So I guess the question is how do you help and confront someone who is a compulsive liar? Be aware when a person lies just for the heck of it, even when asked questions about seemingly unimportant topics, because he or she might be a compulsive liar. Always remember before confronting such a person to determine whether the person's lies are harmful. Before you stage an intervention, figure out how the lies are affecting the liar, you, and other people who may be involved. Some people actually enjoy the act of lying more than they enjoy telling the truth. It can be like an addiction, evoking a small high each time a lie is told. 

By writing down each instance of lying that you notice, with details explaining why you believe it's a lie with some evidence that the person was lying, rather than just going on a hunch you have you will be able to show the liar that you know without a doubt that he or she was being deceitful. It’s better to discuss the matter in private, so feelings of shame and embarrassment don't escalate the matter to a breaking point. Calmly tell the person that you believe he or she lied. Spell out the specific lie or lies you want to discuss and whatever you do never ever call him or her a liar. 

Give the person a chance to explain and if he or she admits to the lie and apologizes, you may not need to take the confrontation much further.However,if the person gets defensive, makes excuses, or continues lying during the confrontation, it's time to bring out the evidence. Show the person the emails, text messages, papers, or other evidence you collected that definitely proves he or she lied to you. At this point you've cornered the liar, and he or she will probably either remain silent or begin to apologize. 

The next step is to inform the person that your trust has been lost. This is a difficult thing to hear, and the person in question will probably feel upset when you tell him or her that you no longer believe a word he or she says. Explain that you can't help but be hyperaware that the person might lie, and that until he or she demonstrates a commitment to the truth over a prolonged period of time, your trust will still be broken. Remember with compulsive liars it is never always going to be easy. While some admit that they have an addiction, and ask you for help in stopping their bad habit. For others, it is a never ending battle. 

Recommend psychological treatment if necessary as liars can seek outside help in order to live a more honest lifestyle. Understand that it will take a while for the liar to break his habit right away and know you do not have the power to change another’s behaviour. 

Dealing with a liar can be emotionally exhausting. Just when you think trust has been restored, you might catch the person in the act again, and be forced to start all over. It's important to take time away from the person and spend time with people you know you can trust. You might also consider seeking counselling for help dealing with the mixed emotions that come with being close to a liar. 

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