The Pathological Liar. They're Everywhere
Pathos: (pa'-thos) n. [Gr. pathos, suffering, disease, feeling]
Pathological: (path' e laj' i k'l) adj. 1.) concerned with diseases. 2.) due to or involving disease 3.) governed by a compulsion; compulsive.
Liar: (li' er) n. A person who tells lies (relates untruths)
Some terms require only short, simple definition. Some individuals require no introduction.
TWO of the best....(sickest)
Faces beyond familiar
The faces of Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony have been placed here, not because I intend to write about them their lives, crimes and court cases, nor current status. I merely want my readers to see what a certified pathological liar may look like, should any be curious.
Nothing above nor below the average young adult female amongst the millions who exist most anywhere in a substantial number of countries of our world, I suspect. We see no horns nor fangs...and most importantly no neon sign around their necks flashing the words, When my lips are moving...I am lying.
Aside from the fact that these two young women are bona-fide certified classic examples of my topic, there is little if any information within about Jodi or Casey.
My intent here is to present as simple and comprehensible, a flash-class in Pathological Liar 101 as possible, while still affording my readers a solid grasp on recognizing these individuals when the dreaded moment arrives that they must.`
Facts on the table
You don't necessarily have to take my word for it, but if you're reading this, you know at least one or more pathological liars. This is an indisputable fact. You and I, as well as millions of others, have spoken to, lived or worked with, shared a church pew or classroom with....pathological liars. And this is merely brushing the surface. Many, the unfortunate of us may have been raised by, otherwise controlled by, married to or at least closely involved with these narcissistic, borderline personalities. While this may be one hell of an up-close and personal education of these characters, it is never positive nor pleasant.
So, WHO are "they" and where do "they" come from?
There is a universally common question asked by 90% of people who have ever (even momentarily) been subjected to sharing the same space and oxygen with a pathological liar. Oddly enough, this question is often the first from the mouths of those who have recently had a close encounter of the bizarre kind with one of these spooky, expert deceivers.
I mean no humor in this. These people can be quite frightening to the average ordinary and unsuspecting person, who hasn't been able to forgive himself for the little white lie he told 10 years ago.
In fact, Confession Time: As many hundreds of times I have sat face to face with a certified Borderline Personality Disorder pathological liar, they do not fail to increase my heart rate, raise the hairs on the back of my neck and cause my tummy to flip. How do they do this? I don't mean to frighten you....but it's in the deep dead, soul-less stare of their eyes and the foreboding, eerie and emotionless tone in their voice and speech. (Goosebumps...just imagining this scenario) The closest I can come to helping you out in your attempt to relate, is to make this simple comment. Remember, if you will, any interview or in-depth Documentary you have viewed of Ted Bundy, Richard (the Night Stalker) Ramirez, Richard ( the Ice Man) Kuklinsky or for that matter, any high-profile criminal/killer (serial or otherwise.) You cannot forget those eyes or the voice, and the chill up your spine.
The Every day, Generic Compulsive Liar
If lies were not so damaging and hurtful most of the time, we might often see the humor in some of the ridiculous lengths and ludicrous scenarios a liar will go to....to prove their deceitful point. It should certainly occur to us how much energy and effort goes into whipping out a lie per second. You know, that's actually an amazing feat. The plain and simple truth really is easier!
The seriousness of pathological lying is that it qualifies as and is diagnosed as a mental disorder. These are the individuals we simply cannot and normally do not believe due to the strength, consistency and frequency of their bold, blatant lies.
The Pathological liar in most cases begins their career as a youngster. All too often even those decent parents who may notice this flaw in their darling, erroneously think it may be only a phase...or a way to get attention, and will be outgrown. Seldom is this the case. We need to understand and accept the sad fact that these sick individuals have deeply rooted compulsions. Much like the addict and his/her drug.....the lying becomes beyond their conscious control.
Even if they may know better in a moral sense, they cannot and do not allow any barrier between the lie and themselves. He/she needs the lie to feel complete, even further, to feel superior. This should seem crazy to you....to any stable person....because my friend, it is in fact a form of crazy.....all due respect.
From a Professional: The Sociopath
The Red Flags.........Heads UP.
Should you be at all interested in what to look for....or at least be aware of in terms of recognizing that you may easily be in the presence of a Pathological Liar, I offer you a brief list of key characteristics. The reality is there are literally dozens of symptoms that can be attributed to this pathos and of course the average lay person is not expected to diagnose. We can however be wise enough to be duly informed and armed.
Man woman child...any color background environment, history or educational level
I would like to suggest you use caution as well as common sense as you read through the following list. Do not take any issue of possible warning sign(s) to the extreme nor fabricate and/or fantasize that you see or experience a particular troublesome character flaw in any one. Please use this information as a basis for further research and/or contact with Professionals.
The Compulsive (Pathological) Liar:
1.) When in conversation, he/she speaks either a.) Extremely dramatically, using flowery language and added expressions that seem unnecessary to the subject matter and appears to "sound" very knowledgeable by quoting unknown experts. b.) To the opposite extreme, remains quite monotone, controlled and condescending, with little or no change in facial expression throughout.
2.) This person somehow has an answer and/or explanation for absolutely everything and tends to brag or boast of having experienced the best and the worst in life at one time or another. Repeatedly uses a list of memorized and rarely-used/obsolete vocabulary, to purposely leave question marks in the listener's mind.
3.) Makes numerous conflicting statements, but when called on them, can immediately jump to his/her defense with an off the wall (yet logical-sounding) explanation.
4.) When you intentionally ask a question (and you should) the answer to which you are 100% certain yet receive the wrong answer from the liar. (Resist the urge to correct them.)
5.) This person will also bring up names of places he/she has never been, with people who are figments of their imagination with the precise intent to force you into the dark and the unknown. Since you cannot immediately disprove any of this an air of confidence may be detectable in the liar's attitude and facial expression.
6.) This is a huge red flag: Compulsive Liars are the world's most expert blamers and finger-pointers. They are the buck passers and the perpetual victim in any situation. A continual monologue of placing blame upon every one and anyone other than him/her self.
While I have listed only 6 points of alert, I am confident these are the best and easiest for most people to recognize with little difficulty. I'm also pretty sure at this moment, each of you is thinking about someone you know who fits each and every point. Remember my advice to use caution here.
Hubber Christin Sanders
Giving Credit where due
I would like to thank Christin Sanders from Midwest, America....aka Hubber ChristinS, who posted an interesting Question on our mutual Freelance Writer's site, "Hubpages," which was the inspiration for my hub.
Christin is an Apprenticeship Alumni, who has been with Hubpages for approximately 2 years. In this time Christin has published 122 hubs, has 782 followers, accrued over 100,000 views and has been awarded 17 Accolades. Christin is a talent to be reckoned with. Do yourself a favor and read her work. It is all fabulous.