General Question

Horus515's avatar

Should people be called out on their lies?

Asked by Horus515 (769points) April 13th, 2009

I have someone in my life that continually lies right to my face. It’s as if this person thinks I got to where I am in life by being stupid. In fact, they would have to think I was stupid because their lies are really easy to see right through. I never call them on it because I’m afraid it will be more trouble than its worth and sometimes I think that you can’t really force someone to be honest but at the same time I almost want to call them out just to let them know I’m not an idiot.

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34 Answers

oratio's avatar

Yes. But why would you accept to have a friend or whatever in your life at all who treats you like that?

Mr_M's avatar

Why continue to be friends with this person? You can’t have a normal conversation since everything they say is a lie. Why bother?

cwilbur's avatar

Do you need to have a relationship with this person at all?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Why are you dealing with such a person? Call them out and tell them goodbye. You don’t need to bring any more grief into your life.

SuperMouse's avatar

What role does this person play in your life? Do the lies have an impact on your life?

I always want to call liars out. I would say that I actually do that about 20% of the time. Most of the time it isn’t worth the drama it will cause. However, if a lie directly or indirectly impacts me, then I have to call them out. I don’t see as I have a choice.

ShauneP82's avatar

Yes. Without question. People used to be killed for telling lies. It is a shameful act and is totally dishonorable.

Especially, if they are suppossed to be a leader.

jrpowell's avatar

If you just want to call them on their bullshit and are doing it to make yourself feel better that is fucked up. If it bugs you just stop dealing with them. The “I’m not an idiot.” angle makes this hard.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I agree with calling them out on it. Who needs that? I also agree with those who said to be rid of this person. Why hang around a liar?

MissAusten's avatar

I also have someone in my life that constantly lies—my mother. She does it to everyone, and I don’t have a good explanation for it. I think she lies for sympathy, to make herself look better, or even just out of habit.

Calling her on the lies is extremely tempting. Sometimes I literally have to bite my tongue. I do a lot of eye rolling, or put the phone down (she lives several states away) and take a deep breath. I used to question her and point out inconsistencies in her “stories.” She would only try to cover it up with more lies, get angry, start to cry, and throw a guilt trip at me. We’d have long, frustrating arguments on the phone that never accomplished anything. Finally, I decided to just give up and stop trying. She will never change, and I can’t just cut her out of my life because she is my mom. I make good use of caller ID and vent to my husband.

So, you have to decide if it’s worth it to call someone out on their lies. Is it a family member you can’t avoid? A coworker? Sometimes I’ll still say something to clue my mom in that I know she’s lying, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. You could try giving a hint here and there to let this person know you’re aware of the lies, but if this is someone that you, for whatever reason, have to keep the peace with, it’s probably not worth fighting over.

classyfied's avatar

I have a friend who I think is a pathological liar. Her lies are pretty ridiculous. The latest one is that she is a secret FBI agent and has been for three years (she is 18). Of course, she never explicitly tells me this because it’s supposed to be a secret, but she hints at it often and they are very obvious hints. There was this guy that she had a crush on and she actually explicitly told him that she was an FBI agent. Unsurprisingly, he thinks that she’s an idiot.

I still consider her a friend. Even though I’m offended that she would think that I’m stupid enough to believe her crazy lies, they are not hurtful. They are just silly. And at the end of the day, she is a good friend. I once realized I lost an external HD with a lot of important data on it and sent her a text in frustration. I didn’t expect a reply since it was 1 AM. She called me back immediately and asked where I was and spent the next two hours running around campus with me looking for it. :].

However, if she was telling hurtful or malicious lies I would call her out on it.

Horus515's avatar

I should have clarified something. I put “work” in the topic line but should’ve elaborated in the description. This is someone I work with and cannot boot from my life. Calling them out might make the work environment uneasy but I have decided to do it anyway. If they were Management I might not, but being that it is simply a colleauge, I’m gonna let them know. Thanks for the responses I’ve received so far!

funky_princess's avatar

I personally wouldnt want to be friends with someone who lies. Thats not what i call a friend!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Horus515 I’d certainly speak up, too. Do your superiors know about this?

Horus515's avatar


No, I think including my superiors in the situation would aggravate other people too. Tattling is especially looked down on in my office. I think I’ll get at them face-to-face and in private.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Horus515, good luck with that, habitual liars are like habitual drunks, they can’t see the real THEM. I’m sorry you have to work with anyone like that. I did for a while, but fortunately, the guy quit and moved on. Some people confronted him on his lies, but it didn’t do any good; the jerk just kept living in his fantasy world of BS. His best lie had to be that he was on generic morphine because he blew his back out playing lead quarterback for a local college. (he wasn’t even enrolled at that college, they picked him off the street). You know, the generic OTC morphine that EVERY discount drug store sells in the ‘pain reliever’ aisle, next to the aspirin.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Horus515 well, in your line of work, lying is NOT good. Take the bull by the horns!

cwilbur's avatar

Get things in writing. Eventually the lying will take care of itself.

Judi's avatar

Some people have a lying problem. It’s an obsession. You shouldn’t take it personally, it’s not about you at all. My daughter had this problem and wanted to stop. She made a pact with her sister. Her sister would call her out on even the smallest lie. It was a lot of work but she is an extraordinarily honest person now. But still, every once in a while, about some small fact, she will stop herself and say, “That’s not true, it didn’t happen that way, I don’t know why I said that.” It is a habit that takes 1. wanting to quit, and 2. support and discipline to quit. Unless this is a very good friend who you are willing to invest the time and energy into changing and unless they want to change you might just be better off taking everything they say with a grain of salt.

tinyfaery's avatar

Everyone lies, and I mean everyone. So if you think it’s okay to call others out on their lies, you should expect the same treatment. Personally, unless I am greatly effected by a lie, I just let it pass. People lie for all sorts of reasons. Judging why is not my place or responsibility.

VS's avatar

I would find it difficult to work with someone I could not trust to tell me the truth. Call your coworker out on the lies and explain that you will like them just as much without all the untruths. Do not explain that ‘liking them just as much’ does not mean you like them very much.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@tinyfaery It sounds like this person LIES. And lies about important stuff. Telling little white lies & fibs is one thing, but when it comes to the work place, there should be no tolerance for it. It sounds like this person has a big problem. I’d try to do something about it one way or the other.

tinyfaery's avatar

I feel no reason to confront a coworker about a lie. If I was the boss, then that we would be a different story. Like I said, unless it effects me greatly, I wouldn’t call anyone out on their lies.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@tinyfaery But in Horus’ situation, it IS serious enough that he feels something should be done about it. If that’s the way you feel about your work, fine. But this is HIS problem.

tinyfaery's avatar

Question: Should people be called out on their lies?

Question not: Should I call out my coworker on his lie?

@jb You are not a mod or Horus, so maybe you should keep your opinion to yourself.

Horus515's avatar


You’re right about my initial question but later in the discussion I did move it forward a bit to focus in on the more specific problem, i.e. my lyin ass coworker. I appreciate your and others opinions but in this case I do feel the need to do something about it. If only because it is actually affecting the work process. If the lies were of no consequence then I wouldn’t bother calling anyone out.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@tinyfaery Another reason I said what I did, is because I KNOW what this man does for a living. It makes a difference. I have a right to voice my opinion, just as you seem to think YOU do.

tinyfaery's avatar

Like I said “if it effects me greatly”. And since it does effect you greatly, go for it. I guess no one was actually reading my response.

@jb You have the “right” (whatever that means) to your opinion about the question. But only the mods have the right to chastize me for doing something wrong on this site.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@tinyfaery I didn’t say or even MEAN that you’ve done anything wrong on here. Not my intent at all.

Let’s forget it. Truce?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@Horus515, do they lie about things that matter, like saying they did work but didn’t, saying other people said work couldn’t be done, but never asked? Or is it BS bragging type of lying?

gambitking's avatar

Abraham Lincoln said “Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” You’re gonna need some of that, buddy.

Great question, and I think it can be applied to so many situations where the answer might differ.

To me, I think you already believe it in this case to be “yes”, but on the matter of principle, therefore it is entirely resolute to handle it mano y mano

Horus515's avatar


Without going into too much detail, it suffices to say that the lies are work-related. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother.


You know me, GK, full of tact!

cricketonastick's avatar

I would say that you should confront them, but not in a direct way. You don’t want to embarrass them. Write them a letter, email or what have you, but they shouldn’t keep on going through life lying to everyone. It’s not good for anyone, and though they are not really hurting you, they could hurt someone else.

CMaz's avatar

Make your point then blow them off. Not worth your time. And, nothing you are going to say will make a difference.
Apparently it is who they are.

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