- Mental Health
Compulsive, Pathological Liars: My Experiences and Insights
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 mess...how 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.