We’ve all lied in our lifetime. And maybe even been in a relationship with a pathological liar.
I can confidently say I was not a pathological liar but a compulsive one.
I didn’t have to lie. There was nothing to lie about. But I wanted to be liked; I wanted validation of my self-worth. And so, I would lie.
People would love my stories; they thought I was hilarious – that’s all I wanted. I wanted to be seen; I wanted to be valued.
It’s not easy to accept that truth, but that’s what it was. I built my self-esteem on the foundation of other people’s opinions of me through lying. And that’s not a solid foundation.
There were points where I would forget my lies and then have to lie to cover that lie, and honestly, it was exhausting – a full-time job.
Plus, it didn’t attract genuine people; it attracted seriously toxic individuals who used my insecurities for their own benefits.
In the end, I started to realize that I was in this vicious circle – meeting the same toxic people, only with different names and faces. So, I had to change. But we’re not going to focus on how I changed.
We’re going to focus on how to identify a pathological liar so you can get out of the relationship. Oh, you thought you could rescue them? Yeah, not a chance.
For compulsive or pathological liars to stop lying, they’re the only ones who can change. You’re just collateral damage, baby.
Compulsive Liar vs. Pathological Liar
This is important to differentiate because they are different.
- is a person who lies habitually to achieve their goals and does without self-awareness.
- is a coping mechanism developed in early childhood – lying to avoid a traumatic event, for example.
- people with antisocial personality disorder (APD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) typically are pathological liars.
- they’re manipulative.
- they have little to no respect for the feelings of others.
- pathological liars are extremely good at lying and are usually not caught in the act.
- they develop extravagant stories in which they often believe themselves as they told those stories over and over again.
- they bend the truth about everything, no matter if it’s big or small.
- compulsive lying develops in early childhood where lying is necessary and routine.
- they find it easy to avoid confrontations, hence why they lie.
- compulsive lying may or may not be associated with a mental disorder.
- they are not extremely manipulative; rather they lie out of habit (an automatic response).
- their stories usually do not add up.
- they display classic lying behaviors such as rambling, avoiding eye contact, etc.
- they often lie for no specific reason.
- they know the difference between reality and lies.
- they are more likely to admit to lying when confronted.
What do we get from this? Compulsive liars (I would have classified myself as being one) are people who don’t necessarily have a goal with their lies. They lie because they’re uncomfortable with being honest and seek validation from others.
Whereas pathological liars are dishonest to manipulate others to achieve a specific goal. They’re extremely selfish and only lie for their own self-interest and do so without concern for other people’s feelings.
8 Signs You’re Dating a Pathological Liar
Who’s ready? Okay, no one really wants to know the truth, but you’re already here. So it’s time to face the music and figure out if you’re in a relationship with a pathological liar.
#1 It’s all about them
Every story that comes out of their mouth is about them. There’s no story about a memory of you, and if there is, it’s a story that makes them look a certain way (heroic, funny, intelligent, etc.). Everything has to be about them – why else would they lie? To make you look good? Think again.
#2 They have extremely low self-esteem
Let’s get one thing straight, no one lies because they truly love themselves. They lie because they lack the confidence and self-worth to be who they are in front of other people. Everything that comes out of their mouth is to create a specific image in other people’s eyes. Deep down, they can’t stand who they are.
#3 They never admit to their lies
You may have caught them lying a couple of times, and even when confronted, they don’t admit their lies. Instead, they create a lie to cover the exposed lie, continuing the vicious cycle. If there’s one thing they cannot let you find out, it is that they’re weak and insecure. This is a huge sign you’re in a relationship with a pathological liar.
#4 They have unstable relationships
We all have our relationship drama with a family member or a friend or two, but all of their relationships seem to be on the rocks. Wherever they go, the drama follows. And that’s a sign there’s a deeper problem here.
#5 When confronted, you’re the crazy one
After you confront them, you’re thinking they’re going to confess – not a chance. Instead, they do the old “it’s not me, it’s you” routine and try to pin you as the crazy person.
They’ll throw anything at you, whether it’s a lack of trust or gaslighting. If there’s one thing that’s not going to happen, it’s a confession.
#6 The stories all paint a specific image of them
They’re not lying for fun. Every lie that comes out of their mouth has a specific goal. Their stories will tend to all follow a similar image, whether it’s that their invincible or extremely smart. They want you to see them a certain way, and that’s why they lie.
#7 They cannot differentiate between a lie and reality
“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth,” said Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Yeah, a Nazi. If you ask me that’s not a good quote to be linked to. And yet, this is the tagline of a pathological liar. At some point, they repeat their lies so often; it becomes their reality.
#8 You feel something is off
I always mention this in most of my articles because I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for our intuition. When placed in front of a pathological liar, most of us will feel that something isn’t right. It may take some time, but eventually, we catch on to what’s going on. If you feel something is off, then you’re probably right.
Of course, I would love to tell you that yes, you can be in a healthy relationship with a pathological liar, but that’s not true. This isn’t that kind of dating writing.
You can’t be in a relationship with a pathological liar; it’s that simple. And it’s not your fault. This person has deeply rooted issues that need professional help – and you’re not a professional.
If you’re dating a pathological liar, you will never be happy. You deserve someone who will be honest with you.