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kayyyyleigh's avatar

What makes someone a pathological or compulsive liar?

Asked by kayyyyleigh (404 points ) December 11th, 2009 from iPhone

just wondering because I know some people who could lie about anything to anyone.

I’m a good liar, and sometimes use it to my advantage to stay out of trouble.

but what is the line between a simple liar, and someone with a “problem”?

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10 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Fifth of scotch, gambling addiction.

SirGoofy's avatar

Feelings of complete inadequacy. I had a relative (long passed) who was like this…always conjuring up the most confoundedly ridiculous stories about his personal adventures. What’s really bad is….I think he believed his own fabrications. I would repeat some of his ramblings, but…like me…you wouldn’t believe them either.

DominicX's avatar

I think someone crosses that line when they lie about things that give them no benefit whatosever. Where it seems like they’re just lying for the sake of lying.

ragingloli's avatar

Being Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Kent Hovind, Kirk Cameron, Ray Comfort or Sarah Palin, etc..

MrsDufresne's avatar

I have found that a person that can not cope with the consequences of another person’s emotions makes them a liar. In other words, they fear the other person’s reaction to the truth so much that they master lying to themselves in order to avoid the emotional pain the truth may cause. To sum it up, cowardice makes someone a pathological liar.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Pathological liars have a psychological disorder. Your usual compulsive liar teen-agers generally have low self-esteem and environment where blind obedience is expected. Teens lie because they want people to think well of them, however, they know the truth about themselves.

When you lie, you have to remember the lie, and make up other lies to support the lie. Then you get found out, and everything unravels. Lying creates a lot of stupid drama. Not only are there consequences for the original event, but being label a liar means that you’re untrustworthy. It’s far easier to just own up to making a mistake and get it over with. If you say, “I did something really stupid” the worse that can happen is that they will agree with you, yell for a minute, and then start the consequences. Being labeled a liar can drag on for a long, long time before trust is regained.

Oxymoron's avatar

Usually someone has a problem with lieing when they find themselves doing it over little things. Things like “What did you have for lunch?” or any simple question like that.

Poser's avatar

@ragingloli Basically anyone who disagrees with you, I presume?

StupidGirl's avatar

Me personally me thinks they’re in it for the adventure.
However, according to the internets:

Pathological Liar
A pathological liar is usually defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. Pathological lying is often viewed as coping mechanism developed in early childhood and it is often associated with some other type of mental health disorder. A pathological liar is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused – it is done to get one’s way). Pathological liars have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. A pathological liar often comes across as being manipulative, cunning and self-centered.

Compulsive Liar
A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning (see, Pathological Liar), rather they simply lie out of habit – an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship.

Silhouette's avatar

Emptiness and feelings of inadequacy.

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