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Compulsive Liars

Updated on June 26, 2015

Why does my partner lie to me?

When you trust someone with your life and they let you down with continuous lies that become a norm in your relationship, it gets extremely draining and you begin to lose your trust in the relationship and in anything that they tell you.

Lies lead to doubt and doubt leads to mistrust and without trust in a relationship, you do not have a solid foundation for a future with a partner.

Many of us have told a "white lie" every now and again and that is completely normal behaviour in order to save face or avoid hurting someone's feelings but there are those that lie compulsively and this can be a problem for the ones that have put their entire trust into.

Some people lie to manipulate the way in which you see them or the way that they would like others to see them and this is because they are insecure within themselves and have tried to impress others throughout their lives that they have become used to the lies as this has worked for them in the past.

Insecurity is a sad trait to possess but it is a trait for many and they have learnt to live with lying to make them feel better about themselves.

By telling lies they feel a sense of control in their lives, thinking that others are impressed or will feel something and because they have come to lie their entire lives, they become extremely good at lying and it is almost believable as they themselves believe in their lies.

For those who are intelligent, the lying is not realistic and many can tell when their partners are lying, if they cannot, the truth will come out in the end.

Compulsive liars have lied their entire lives and they just do not know any better. People that they have lied to in the past, probably knew about the lies and kept silent, which led to the "liar" continuing on to bigger lies.

Children with no discipline and absentee parents, will grow up thinking that lies are acceptable as they have always been able to get out of situations with lies, which has kept them out of trouble or they have seen that parents believed their stories as they never received punishment for it.

As an adult they do not understand that people can see the lies and will continue to do it, with bigger and bigger lies until the time where one lie becomes way too much to control.

Compulsive liars are good at lying and it is hard to tell when they are speaking the truth
Compulsive liars are good at lying and it is hard to tell when they are speaking the truth

Reasons for lies

Many couples lie every now and again. For a man it will be that he has only had one or two drinks and for a woman it is that she only spent a few dollars rather than tell the complete truth, to avoid having a confrontation or lecture from a spouse. Keeping the peace is why they tell little "white lies."

Others lie to avoid hurting someone or save them from a humiliating experience.

Compulsive liars find comfort in lying with ease and may continue to lie even when they are faced with hard cold facts and evidence.

Getting a compulsive liar to admit to the truth is an impossible task.

Although it is not a disorder it falls into the category of other disorders such a narcissism, bipolar or borderline personality disorder.

People who are compulsive crave attention and esteem as they feel inadequate in some way.

They either lie to be rewarded or gain acclaim for something that they did not do but have made up in order to get recognition for it.

Many fake accidents and crime in order to pretend that they are a victim for attention.

Getting what they want might be difficult and they will use a lie to get what they normally would not be able to achieve. The lying is continuous as they enjoy the thrill of lying and being able to get away with it, almost as an adrenaline rush or a fix. They do this to manipulate others and go out of their way to motivate their lies.

A lack of self esteem also encourages someone to become a compulsive liar in order to gain sympathy. They fear rejection and due to this will make up stories that defer from their actual personalities in order to feel accepted and give themselves a false sense of security.

Compulsive behaviour also includes disguising something that they have done wrong to avoid getting into trouble by making others feel responsible for their actions.

Pathological liars are sociapaths and they will lie in an attempt to trick people, they lie for absolutely no reason at all and can be extremely convincing. They lack empathy for others. The reason for a pathological liar could stem from childhood, where they were betrayed by a parental figure, either being caught in a web of lies or having been neglected or abused in some way.

Beware of a Lying Tongue

Liars can be the worst people you will ever meet so beware and don't date one.
Liars can be the worst people you will ever meet so beware and don't date one.

Have you been involved with a compulsive liar and hwta did you do?

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How to stop a compulsive liar

There is only one way to stop someone that you love lying to you and everyone else and this is finding the source of the problem.

There is always an underlying psychiatric disorder or it could stem from an addiction of some sort.

Confronting a loved one about a lie is of no use as they will either convince you that they are telling the truth, deny, deny, deny or they will listen to you and continue to lie in the future.

Finding the source of the problem is important and you need to analyse why they lie compulsively. It could be one of the above reason and they need to confront it, in order to move forward.

Medication such as anti psychotics or anti depressants can help but will not solve the underlying issues and for this cognitive therapy is necessary if the person is willing to commit and want to be helped.

This will put a huge emotional strain on a relationship as the person will get defensive and could deny needing any help at all.

Stopping someone from being a compulsive liar might be a challenge and it will leave you to feel betrayed in some way. Asking yourself if this is how you would like to live your life, might be an option as for many compulsive disorders, the onus is on the person with the disorder to want to help themselves.

Compulsive lying gives the liar an adrenalin rush
Compulsive lying gives the liar an adrenalin rush

Compulsive liars

It's hard to spot a compulsive liar but sometimes the stories do not make sense.

Partners that are with compulsive liars will never trust each other and you will end up getting hurt.

Get help for a compulsive lying partner in order to move forward in your relationship.

Spotting the lie can be seen through body language, eye contact, long detailed stories that change, smiles that are tense and fake and polygraph tests.

How to detect lying

Polygraph tests are a good way to check if someone is lying but if it is a compulsive or pathological liar, then they will be able to beat the test with ease.

Other ways to see if someone is lying is to;

Eye contact is important and a liar can look you directly in they eyes whilst telling you a story. If they look up it is natural as they might be thinking of something that they have forgotten. Should they look to the left, then this could mean that they are lying to you.

Pathological and compulsive liars will look directly into your eyes and hold eye contact.

Look for detail in a story. If there is too much detail about non specific things, this will mean that they are lying. You can also expect details that do not match up, different versions of the event and many contradictions.

A smile can also tell you if there is a lie as the lower part of the mouth will be a little stiff and almost appear to be fake. A relaxed and happy face will show a little teeth if it is genuine.

Sweating more than usual is a sign of stress if someone is confronted.

Body language will also indicate to you whether you are being lied to or not. The liar will turn away from you at an angle or they will place an object in between the person that they are communicating with.

Tones in the voice will also be a sign and the liar will have a stutter, lose their train of thought or hesitate when speaking. They will also clear their throat, frequently pause or have a slightly higher tone to their voice. Rambling quickly through their story could also be a sign as well as changing certain words, eg: do not will be used instead of don't.

Anger and defensive answering will be a sign too. Someone that is confronted and is not telling the truth will get defensive and angry and will make you feel guilty.

Changing the subject rather quickly will be a sign of a liar and it will almost confuse you as to why they are deferring from the topic.

You will also find a liar will say "I would never lie" and if you look at their hand movements or things that they do when telling a lie, this will give you a good indication. A liar will touch something, like their nose or scratch their head and perhaps even just touch something whilst talking to you.


There is nothing wrong with a little white lie to protect someone that you love but when lying becomes a part of everyday life, it stops the trust and could break down a relationship.

Children that are compulsive liars from an early age, need help before they get to high school as this will affect their ability to freely speak the truth, find friends and keep relationships.

Look for the signs, listen carefully to what they are saying and confront a liar.

Letting them know that you are aware of the lie could help but it will make them defensive and this will require more than a visit to the doctor, therapy is good way to get compulsive liars to stop lying indefinitely.

Try to tell small truths if you cannot stop lying
Try to tell small truths if you cannot stop lying

How to stop lying

Start by telling small truths every now and again. If you have been lying from the time that you were little, then it will be difficult to just speak the truth. Remember that the truth is sometimes so much easier than a lie as you will not have to pressure yourself to remember the details of your story.

Finding the reason as to why you have lied could help you improve your life. Was it to gain attention because you felt excluded, did want to have some excitement in your life, you lied because you felt that you needed to be loved?

These are all things to consider when you tell a lie.

Confront and face your demons by starting with small truths and get brave enough to admit to a lie, the reaction from a partner, parent or friend will probably be relief as they have been able to see your lies from a while before.

Your family can help you by giving you the attention that you need to get help.

Once you have tried this you will find that people will love and respect you more, they will be willing to give you their undivided attention as they will be aware that you are telling the truth and this will make everyone in your life feel as though they can trust you, which will stop you from feeling isolated.

The truth will always come out and one day you will be caught out with your lies. Tell the truth before that day happens in order to have some happiness and a real, true life without deceipt.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you! yes if not dealt with it will escalate into worse things and eventually becomes a natural routine

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      Very good advice on an important topic. I believe one must get to the root of it all before they can realize they are a habitual liar.

    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks - Stages of me

      Peachpurple - most countries have lie detectors but when in court, they are not allowed to use them as sometimes people who are comfortable with lying can get away from the test

      MsDora - thank you, yes I think professional help is needed as this starts from young and could isolated a child into becoming a sociopath with other issues

      FluorishAnyway - Relatives could be a nightmare! I would agree RUN!! pathological liars are so convincing that you would never be able to tell.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Anyone who thinks they are involved with a pathological liar should do themselves a favor and run if they can. Heaven help them if the liar is a relative. Good hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good counsel on a prevalent problem. Professional help is a wise suggestion. Thank you.

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you know, korea has a lie detector, used for detecting liars

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 

      4 years ago

      Great points and nice job on this hub :)


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