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Mama_Cakes's avatar

In real life, how do you deal with boldface liars? Do you call them out on it?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (10929points) May 2nd, 2012

Family, friends..

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33 Answers

Charles's avatar

Only if I care about them but, when people lie to me, it makes it easy not to care. It’s easier not to care than it is to confront them. Now, the only people I can’t do that do are my family members. As far as I know, my wife doesn’t lie to me. My kids have lied (“Yes, dad, I brushed my teeth…”) and as a parent I create situations that makes it impossible for them to lie, for example, insisting they brush their teeth in front of me or someone else.

Qingu's avatar

Yep. I’m not very diplomatic. :)

SpatzieLover's avatar


I do not handle lies well at all.
If I catch someone in a lie, I let the person know immediately I will not tolerate it.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, I’m with @SpatzieLover

I do not tolerate lying, manipulation or any mind games in my relationships and usually, once these traits are uncovered I let the person go. I learned a long time ago you cannot change others and when I see signs of weak character it’s almost an automatic delete.
I let go of a “friend” of 8 years a year and a half ago due to her manipulative, passive aggressive and deceitful behaviors. I attempted a discussion with her and she went into full bore anger, denial and giving me the silent treatment for addressing her behaviors.

The end.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Situational. Depends on the lie, the context, and whether I have to see or work with the person again. Not one rule for everyone and every situation.

marinelife's avatar

I used to. But now I am usually content with knowing my own truth.

By the way, the correct expression is bald-faced lie or as follows:

“How dare you try to falsify my person? You are discovered in a barefaced lie, and now want to bully it out.

Life; or, The adventures of William Ramble Esq., by John Trusler, 1793.

This is still the usual form in Britain and to a lesser extent in Canada. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Americans started to use bald-faced lie instead, which has become the most common form in today’s US newspapers. An early example:

No one of ordinary intelligence is, of course, expected to believe the statement, and every one who is capable of putting it into readable English knows it to be a bald-faced lie.

The Newark Daily Advocate (Ohio), 12 Jul. 1883.

Both forms are based on colloquial uses from the seventeenth century. Someone bare-faced originally had the face uncovered, and hence was figuratively acting in an unconcealed or open way (Shakespeare is the first known user of both literal and figurative senses). From the latter part of the seventeenth century onwards, it took on a sense of something or someone who was audacious, shameless or impudent, so that a barefaced lie was one in which the speaker made no attempt to disguise it as truth.” World Wide Words

Judi's avatar

One of my biggest flaws. I believe in people so much that I try to justify what they said, find a glimmer of truth in what they said, or try to figure out how they believed what they said was true. I have a hard time admiting someone has evil intent and usually give people way to much slack.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@marinelife Thanks for the correction.

anartist's avatar

If I KNOW someone is lying to me and I want to let them know I know I tell them one big whopper right back, one they would KNOW was a lie. Maybe then I’d get a straight story.

Elm1969's avatar

If someone lies to me and I am sure it is a lie, I tell them that I find it hard to believe when I have other facts avalable. I find after a while, those who used to lie to me don’t like to be challenged and tend not to involve me in their lies. I don’t get involved if I hear them lying to others. I can tell the liar knows I know by the look they give me as they are expecting me to challenge.

Coloma's avatar

Well, bottom line, everyone has told a little white lie or two in their life, but…CHRONIC liars are almost always personality and character disordered. Their lying is only the tip of the iceberg of what really “lies” beneath.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Depends entirely on the person, the lie, and how it affects me personally. One thing I have learned in this life is to pick my battles.

wundayatta's avatar

Bah. What’s the point? I have better things to do with my time than spend it with liars. I just say good bye and never go back.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@wundayatta It’s not that easy. The lie that came to my mind was when my son’s ex-girlfriend told him and everyone else (including his new wife) that she was expecting his twins! That is one battle I chose, because I felt it was important enough to expose her lie.

wundayatta's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Was it necessary to do anything more than laugh in her face? What the hell was she doing there, anyway? I hope you never invited her back again. That’s what I mean about cutting people like that off. There’s no excuse for them to be in your life.

Twins. Let me guess. She had an abortion?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Doing where? She wasn’t at a family function, believe me! She called my son at work, and sent him letters to his new house. She called me at work to let me know I was going to be a grandma. Of course, his new wife, who was really pregnant, was most upset, so I felt it was important to prove her deception for the sake of my son’s marriage. You have to know the ex. She can be very convincing. She went so far as to go to a doctor with a pregnant friend of hers’ pee, to get a positive pregnancy test.

Facade's avatar

Yes, people should be truthful. If not, you’ll get embarrassed and called out.

Bellatrix's avatar

As others have said, it depends on the circumstances and the lie. Some examples:-

Someone who means nothing to me and has little bearing on my life – I would probably note it down for future reference and avoid them.

At work, where I am not personally affected and the lie is doing no harm – keep a closer eye on the person, let close colleagues know if they are likely to be screwed or taken in by the person’s lies but observe and avoid interaction.

If I know it will affect people or my organisation – take them on without mercy. And I have done this. I gather my evidence first though and make sure I can back-up my charge of lying.

With a personal contact (relative/friend) confront. Whether I bother with the person in future depends on our relationship and why they lied. Some family you can’t dump. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that led to the lie.

If it is a compulsive liar situation – dump regardless of who, where and why. I don’t need that in my life.

wundayatta's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt From the way you described it, I had the picture (obviously wrong) that everyone was in the same place when she told you she was pregnant. I made up that you were at a family gathering.

YARNLADY's avatar

My son is/was a compulsive liar. He and I both went to counseling (separately) to learn how to handle it. I don’t know if his severe stroke changed that, and yes I know that one is true because I have had independent proof, plus I visited him last year and saw for myself.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@wundayatta A logical mistake. And as far as the “twins” lie, she kept fast to her story, even after we proved it to be false, clear up until she would have been about 11 months along, then made up a story about how she had miscarried. A year later she sent a picture of herself as a baby to my son and claimed that she only miscarried one, and this was the other one. That girl was so psycho that I was keeping an eye on the news out of Oregon in case someone’s baby went missing. Just recently Nancy Grace reported an incident where a girlfriend had told her boyfriend that she was pregnant, and then needed to produce a baby, so she gunned down a mother in the parking lot of a pediatrician’s office and stole the baby. This case showed me that I was right in being worried about something like that with my son’s ex.

wundayatta's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I guess there are boldface liars, and then there are psychos. That does sound like mental illness to me. I wonder if the woman ever got help.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course, I call them out on it.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, after the last incident (her sending the photo of herself as a baby), we contacted her family in Oregon, and had to have a real confrontation with her, basically letting her know that we know that she has never been pregnant, and that the photo was, in fact, herself. She was really angry that my family “dared” to collaborate with her family, but at least it got her to leave my son alone. I haven’t heard a peep from her since then.

She was psycho, but before all of this happened she was already a long-time habitual liar, a sneak and a thief.

tinyfaery's avatar

Depends on my mood. I especially like it when there is a group and one person lies to the group, but I know the truth. I like to get in my snickers.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Extremely situational. Is it just some random asshole spoutin lies about things that dont matter? If thats the case I’m usually diplomatic and let the issue slide. But if its something with meaning or in the middle of a debate or something, I’ll be the first one to call you on your bs

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a very hard time flat out calling someone a liar unless I absolutely, positively know for sure. Then, how I call them on it, depends on who they are.

Only138's avatar

I work with a dumb fuck who lies about absolutely everything. From the most important things….to the least significant details. what ever he says, is either a total lie, or something that he has heard from someone else, and has assimilated it into his own adventures. I confront him about being a liar ALL the time, He lies and says hes not lying. LOL
Go figure.

bewailknot's avatar

I used to work with someone who was always getting tangled in her lies. If she had kept them simple she would have been better off but her stories would get more outrageous as we let her add to the story over several days. We never called her on them, but the rest of the people in the department would give each other “the look” and laugh about how wild the stories were when she left the room.

Uberwench's avatar

I like to mess with them and see how deep I can get them to dig before they have to admit to lying or otherwise try to back out of what they were saying. It’s good to remind them why telling the truth is for their own good.

woodcutter's avatar

Well since they have broken the BS ice by lying then it is ok to lie to them and dare them to find fault with it. But don’t do an ordinary white lie. Make it a black one. Dare them to be indignant.

ETpro's avatar

I will start by trying to show them that they are in error. If you look up the word, lie, you will find that the old saying, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” is actually true. So until you at least try to appraise someone of the error of their statement, they may not be lying, they may just be misinformed. Of course, when you walk in on somebody with their hand in the cookie jar, and they flat deny they ever touched said jar, that is an obvious bald faced lie. And flagrant ones such as that I call them on. You betcha.

anartist's avatar

have you ever said with a droll southern drawl “you lie, yo’ feet stink, an’ you don’ love the baby Jesus?”

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