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Pandora's avatar

What type of person makes up grand stories and at times has erratic behavior?

Asked by Pandora (27578points) April 27th, 2010

I was speaking with a friend about a friend of theirs that has erratic behavior at times but also makes up grand stories. Like I flew out of the country over the weekend and stayed at and expensive hotel. When you know they don’t really have money. Or, I’ve managed to save thousands of dollars to start my own business, yet they are bearly squeaking by and have child support to pay and are absent for work plenty of times?
Any way, I know there are names for this type of behavior but I couldn’t remember the exact word to describe it.
Appreciate any insight.

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22 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

They could be a pathological liar or a compulsive liar.
This person sounds like they lie out of habit, which would make them more of a compulsive liar. Here’s the difference.
I don’t know what to tell you about the erratic behavior because you aren’t specific, but I hope this helps some.

Kodewrita's avatar

the insecyre type that always wants to be the centre of attention. like Vunnesuh said, some of them actually are compulsive liars. They are to be pitied not detested.

can’t help with the word though. “Megalomaniac” was the first that came to mind but that sounds kind of grand.

partyparty's avatar

I would call them attention seekers.

Pandora's avatar

I think your word may fit slightly better but it did finally come to me. I was originally thinking histrionic personality disorder. I don’t know the person so its really hard to say but his behavior (from what I heard) sound a little bit more than a compulsive liar. Sounds as if this person only wants to seem to have a more grandiose life style than what they really do however some of the things he says seem on the surface to be true and others simply too outrageous.

partyparty's avatar

Just looked up the definition for histrionic personality disorder:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrionic_personality_disorder

I suppose you never know what is fiction and what is fact. Very sad.

Pandora's avatar

@partyparty From what I’ve heard he has all the behavior but the last two.

ucme's avatar

Souds like an accurate profile of Jesus to me, although I could be exaggerating a little.

chamelopotamus's avatar

Someone who is ashamed of where they are in life and has had to defend their shame against judgement over an extended period of time, causing their lies to get more grandiose as time went on

Pandora's avatar

Well I’ll be back in a few hours. I’ve some errands to run. Thank you all for your responses.

MissAusten's avatar

I thought of histrionic personality disorder too, which I suspect my mother has. She refuses to see a therapist and believes she is perfectly normal though, I highly doubt she’ll ever get some kind of diagnosis.

When your friend’s friend is confronted about the lies, how does he or she react? My mother will become defiant, never admit to lying (because she truly believes the story, even if it changes from day to day), become emotional and dramatic or very angry, cry, and hang up on me. The lies and strange behavior are a defense mechanism used to combat severe fear of abandonment or rejection, or to seek approval at any cost. I stopped trying to confront or argue with my mother years ago because it did nothing but emotionally drain me. When I first read about histrionic personality disorder (and borderline personality disorder), it was like being hit by lightning. Suddenly a lot of things started to make sense!

This is probably not very nice of me, but I keep a running list of the more entertaining stories my mother has told. One of my favorites is that she, along with a friend, were blindfolded as teens and taken to a secret Black Panthers meeting. At the meeting, my mom convinced the Black Panthers to become a nonviolent group and support Sesame Street. WTF? Another favorite is that Tom Petty’s song “Last Dance with Mary Jane” was written about her because Tom Petty saw her dancing around a hotel room in Indianapolis wearing only her underwear. He was in the hotel across the street, looking out of his window and into hers. The fact that the song was written years before this supposedly happened and is most likely really about marijuana is irrelevant to her. :)

escapedone7's avatar

I know someone who is schizophrenic and rambles about things that never happened. However, he really thinks they happened. He thinks he hears voices talking about him and he thinks he has superhuman powers. He also thinks he’s traveled the world and fought dangerous criminals. He lives in somebody’s basement and thinks he is James Bond or something. He’s fun to have at parties.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

The type that has more to lose than they have to offer.

sleepdoc's avatar

Individuals with bipolar disorder sometimes have these types of problems as well.

andreaxjean's avatar

A bipolar disorder is more associated with prolonged mania (which erratic behavior can occur) or prolonged depressed states. A person with this can at one minute feel like they’re on top of the world and nothing can hurt them then suddenly the next minute feel like their world is crashing down. This doesn’t really explain compulsive lying so I would rule bipolar out.

This guy could be a mythomaniac. The definition is a condition involving compulsive lying by a person with no obvious motivation. The affected person might believe their lies to be truth, and may have to create elaborate myths to reconcile them with other facts. Or a pathological liar is actually another name for it. It is a serious mental illness.

sleepdoc's avatar

@andreaxjean without knowing everything about this persons behavior you can’t say for sure he doesn’t have bipolar. Many who do while in their manic states belive things about themselves that are obviously not true and they tell everyone about it.

andreaxjean's avatar

@sleepdoc well now I’m speaking from personal experience. I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder when I was 17 and you’re right about it to some extent. I would lie to myself to try and make things seem better when they really weren’t and those lies would become what I believed to be true most of the time… to the point where I would totally forget what the actual truth was. Does that make sense?

I don’t think someone with bipolar disorder would come up with lies about leaving the country or having thousands of dollars. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

sleepdoc's avatar

@andreaxjean Since I don’t know if he really did wasted money or use a credit card and go out of the country (which would not be a stretch for a bipolar in mania) I am just leaving it out there as an option.

CMaz's avatar

A waste of time.

slick44's avatar

This is an example of an attention seeker. always trying to be somone,or something their not.

Factotum's avatar

Is ‘Munchhausen’ the word you are looking for?

Pandora's avatar

@Factotum, I think Munchhausen has more to do with creating false illness through lies or even making someone ill (by poisoning) to get attention.
@andreaxjean, I’m starting to think he may be bipolar. It looks as he may have left the country for real. He decided he is going to live in a country where he doesn’t even speak the language or know anyone. Either way, he just lost his job.
Since I do not know him personaly I suppose the one word that would totally discribe him no matter what is NUTS!

Pandora's avatar

@sleepdoc, Sorry I missed your first response. I do agree with you and think he may be bipolar and going through an episode.

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