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Compulsive, Pathological Liars: My Experiences and Insights

Updated on August 7, 2017
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Missing Link is originally from rural Ohio. He currently lives in Hillsboro, OR. with his Wife and two Sons.

I have had experiences with two pathological liars (PL). One was a middle aged, Asian female and the other a middle aged, Caucasian male.

It takes time to realize a person is a PL; you will not recognize one immediately. This is because PLs are quite rare and it is not normal for you to think of someone as one. We can be suspicious of an individual and doubt their motives, etc. but it is not normal to think another person is dishonest about most everything.

The worst thing that can happen is that you become attached or fall in love with a PL. This is easy to do as it might take you awhile to realize they are a PL. By this time you can already have fallen in love or have become attached otherwise. Growing up with a PL can affect the way you develop and grow and can impact the way you view the world. Luckily, PLs are a rare breed.

The Asian lady I knew would lie about very important things but would also lie about everyday, ordinary things. After recognizing she was a PL I would test her from time to time. Knowing she had been to a grocery store I would ask where have you been and she would say visiting a friend. Knowing she had not been to work on a certain day I would ask how was your day at work and she would say fine. She once told me "I wasn't lying to you I just wasn't telling you the truth." Of course her life had been a dysfunctional could it be otherwise? The PL leaves behind a trail of broken relationships and hurt feelings.

The white male was similar but also had a fake illness component to him. Once those around him began to realize he was a PL he then began to develop "health problems". His girlfriend (poor girl) was an enabler in that she fed his pathology. He would urinate in a jar in his bedroom and she would empty it for him. He could walk just fine and there was nothing preventing him from going to the bathroom on his own.

Both of these PLs were absolutely hopeless. When dealing with a PL a normal person may try to fix or help them but this will not work. All you will get is more lies. These people are hard wired this way and there is nothing you can do. Stay away from a PL if you can.

A PL often has at least one enabler nearby. The enabler is often a dim witted fool or also has some kind of personality disorder. The enabler appears to not recognize they are being lied to. They can be lied to a thousand times and many of the lies can be ridiculous but the enabler seems to not realize it. You find this also with extremely obese people---an enabling mom who cooks 12 meals a day to feed her hungry son...even though he already weighs 500 pounds.

What causes one to be a pathological liar? This is a good question. My opinion is that it originates during important developmental periods when they are young. These people likely grew up in a very dysfunctional or abusive environment.

The Asian lady for example: She was from the vicinity of Tibet and experienced the Chinese invasion. She and her loved ones had to flee to Nepal. I suspect she was sexually abused or raped as a young lady. She once told me that when young when she did tell the truth no one believed her. If this is true then it would kinda make sense that one would learn to lie. Was anything she ever told me true? I just don't know. The PL will tell you a truth once in a while but in the midst of all their lies you will have a hard time sifting out or recognizing a truth.

I have likely been around other PLs but just did not have enough time with them to recognize it.

Have you ever known a compulsive, pathological liar?

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      GR 2 years ago

      All bastards are pathological liars.

    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 4 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks Savvydating for visiting and for your comments!

      I'm pretty sure it is a disorder; it would fall under the category of "Personality Disorder" which is a bonafide, official, psychiatric diagnosis----though there are a number of variations.

      That is an interesting person you spoke of----reliable in some ways and yet so unreliable in other ways---like with truth. This undesirable part of him cannot be changed by the way so yes we agree----minimize contact or exposure.

      By the way, I read one of your hubs this evening about relationships and it made me think in a number of directions at or about the same time---pain from the past, mistakes I made in the past, grateful for what i now have, etc. The Bruno Mars video was somewhat of a dagger in my heart.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 4 years ago

      I wonder if PL's lie because it was easier than telling the truth when they were youngsters. On the other hand, that would describe 95% of the people in the world, and we'd all have an excuse to be pathological liars. Likely, they have a disorder, plain and simple.

      I knew a man who lied, or at least exaggerated ALL the time. He was a "crazymaker." He couldn't tell the truth to save his life, yet his lies were fairly innocuous, and he was otherwise very responsible, i.e., stable at work, financially responsible. It was weird. I remember telling him that he was like the man who cried wolf, and therefore it was impossible to believe him... then he would say come insane half-truth to defend his position. Anyway, long story short, you can't communicate with a PL, so you're right in saying that your best option is to "run for the hills."

      I enjoyed your interesting, true life stories.

    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 4 years ago from Oregon

      Hi beenthere,

      How have you been able to handle a marriage for that long with a pl? It would drive me crazy---I know I could not handle it.

      Yes the sociopath connection makes sense to me. I do not think PLs are necessarily full blown sociopaths but I think they have at least an element of sociopathy to them. Of course, just per statistical probability, a few of them no doubt are full blown sociopaths.

      I wonder if having a pl Mother had anything to do with you hooking up with a pl Wife or if it was just a coincidence? How did your Mother's behavior affect you? Sorry if I am delving into your personal life a bit much but I'm hopelessly curious :)

      Thanks much for stopping by and for your comments!

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      beenthere 4 years ago

      I grew up with a pl mother and to my dismay my wife of 30 yrs is also a pl. They are not rare, they premeate all facets of society. They also fall into the category of Sociopath. The best thing anyone can do when they meet a pl is to run for the hills...literally!!!

    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 5 years ago from Oregon


      Excellent comments! Sounds like a typical PL. Your comment "I loved the person he made me think he was" is spot on. Often they will try to use you to help them out of messes they have created, will try to pressure you for money or real estate, etc.

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      maria91 5 years ago

      I highly recommend you get out of the relationship immediately. I just ended a two year relationship with a PL. Every time I confronted him about his lying, he had an excuse. Then a few days later he would make up a sob story knowing good and well I wouldn't confront him if he was going through some emotional crisis. He once even pretended his daughter was dying from a rare disease. He was very good at making me think he was a great person, but what I have realized is I never loved him. I loved the person he made me think he was. Once you realize that, everything will be much easier.

    • Missing Link profile image

      Missing Link 5 years ago from Oregon

      Why Me n LA,

      I am so sorry to hear about your situation. If you are sure about what you say you must get out of that relationship immediately! Your pain and misery will only continue to grow. If you do not get out you will only be more sorry as time goes by...I know from experience. She most definitely will not change! Yes you may be lonely and hurt for awhile post breakup but it is nothing compared to the misery that is coming if you stay in--guaranteed. In time, you will find someone else if you wish. Again, sorry. Thanks for stopping by and your comments!!

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      Why Me n LA 5 years ago

      I'm currently involved with a PL n I Love her but I don't believe nothing she says n its really sad cause really believe her lies r the truth I'm ready to cut my loses I c now my love for her will never change what she is.

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      Missing Link 5 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks for commenting Kristeen! Yes I think it fits into what they call a Personality Disorder? I don't really understand it either and if I dwell upon it I feel like I'm starting to lose my mind---I just can't wrap my mind around the phenomenon.

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      Christine 5 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, I believe I have - maybe more than one, but one that I know of for sure. It was a young woman I worked with at the Apache Indian mission run by my church and it was many years ago. It didn't take me long to catch on. We were friends and had some good times together, but I never believed anything she told me. I never understood it and still don't.