5 years ago

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Lying can be devastating. Not only does it hurt the one who is being lied to, but it also hurts the one lying. Interestingly, there are a number of different types of liars. Here are 5 of them.

Sociopathic Liars
Sociopaths are defined as someone who lies continuously in an attempt to get their own way, without showing care or concern for others.


These individuals are goal-oriented.

Even though it might seem hard to believe, lying is focused – they are focused on getting their own way. Sociopaths don’t have a lot of respect or regard for the feelings and rights of others. They tend to be charismatic and charming, but they will use their exceptional social skills in a self-centered and manipulative manner.

Compulsive Liars
Compulsive liars are defined as someone who continually lies from sheer habit. Lying tends to be their normal manner of responding to any questions from others.


These individuals will always bend the truth, regardless of how small or large the question is. For these individuals, telling the truth doesn’t feel right. They are uncomfortable whenever they tell the truth, while lying makes them feel right.

Compulsive lying is often thought to manifest during childhood, due to being put into situations and environments where lying became a necessity. Most of the time, compulsive liars aren’t cunning or manipulative, rather they only lie because it has become such a habit for them.

This automatic response is more difficult to break. It can end up taking its toll on being able to maintain a relationship. Many people also call these individuals pathological liars or habitual liars, but they all mean the same thing.

Occasional Liars
Occasional liars are those who seldom tell a lie. When they do, they are so blown away by what they said that their guilt overcomes them. These individuals are quick to ask for forgiveness from the individual that they lied to.


Occasional liars might not be perfect, but they are often respected for their attempts at being truthful and humble enough to admit when they are wrong.

Careless Liars
Careless liars will go about their normal lives and lie every way they can. This individual isn’t concerned about trying to hide their lies or making sure they make sense. Everyone knows that the person isn’t being honest because they tend to be sloppy with their lies. They don’t have a lot of friends because most people get tired of hearing their twisted stories.

White Liars
People who tell white lies don’t usually think of themselves as true “liars”. They justify their white lies as harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. They will sometimes tell only part of the truth, and not be suspected of lying at all. White liars may use their lies to to shield someone from what they believe is a hurtful or damaging truth.

Sadly, lying is a common denominator in many of our lives and recognizing some of the different types might just help us in dealing with the liar in our lives. Lies and liars come in all shapes, and in shades of white, grey and black.


What distinguishes the more extreme forms of lying is the degree of harm they cause and the extent to which the behavior becomes habitual or uncontrollable.

White Lies
So-called “white lies” generally mean deliberate lies which have no victim or no intended victim. For example:

Telling your children about Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.
Telling your kids that they did a great job the first time they tried to dress themselves.
Telling your girlfriend that those jeans don't make her look fat.
Telling your host that she served a delicious meatloaf - when she didn't.

Self-Serving Lies
This is your basic, old-fashioned fib. The most common form of lying is self-serving and infrequent. This kind of lying is done by just about everybody and is usually motivated by a desire to get something you want or to get out of something you don't want. Children instinctively learn to lie from about the age of 4 or 5 when asked loaded questions like "did you wash your hands already?", "did you eat that cookie?" or, "did you hit your brother?". Most of us develop the skill of lying into adulthood. We don't do it any less - we just get better at hiding it.

Dissociative Lying
Dissociation- A psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.
People who dissociate believe - at least in part - what they are saying to be true. Dissociative liars can be thought of as people who also deceive themselves when they tell a lie.


As they are speaking, they may not be fully aware that what they are saying can be shown to contradict objective truths, verifiable facts, or statements they may have made in the past.

Pathological Liars and Pathological Lying

Pathological lying, also known as mythomania and pseudologia fantastica, is the chronic behavior of compulsive or habitual lying.

Unlike telling the occasional white lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or getting in trouble, a pathological liar seems to lie for no apparent reason. This can make it frustrating or hard to know what to do if you believe you’ve met one.

Though pathological lying has been recognized for more than a century, there’s not yet a clear universal definition of the condition.

Some pathological lying may result from a mental condition, such as antisocial personality disorder (sometimes called sociopathy), while others appear to have no medical reason for the behavior.
Defining a pathological liar
A pathological liar is someone who lies compulsively. While there appears to be many possible causes for pathological lying, it’s not yet entirely understood why someone would lie this way.

Some lies seem to be told in order to make the pathological liar appear the hero, or to gain acceptance or sympathy, while there’s seemingly nothing to be gained from other lies.

Some evidence from 2007Trusted Source suggests that issues affecting the central nervous system may predispose someone to pathological lying.

Compulsive lying is also a known trait of some personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder. Trauma or head injuries may also play a role in pathological lying, along with an abnormality in hormone-cortisol ratio.

A 2016 studyTrusted Source of what happens in the brain when you lie found that the more untruths a person tells, the easier and more frequent lying becomes.


The results also indicated that self-interest seems to fuel dishonesty.

Though the study didn’t specifically look at pathological lying, it may give some insight into why pathological liars lie as much and as easily as they do.

Pathological Lying is a persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.

Pathological lying is similar to selfish lying, while being more pervasive. A Pathological Liar has a greater disregard for the effect their dishonesty has on others, resulting in a more destructive impact. A Pathological Liar may often be accused of being self-centered, manipulative and controlling.

What it feels like:

When you discover that you have been lied to, it can make you feel as though you have been taken advantage of, made to look foolish, had something stolen from you. You may feel anger, disappointment and fear all at the same time. You may feel the urge to get even, get justice, settle the score, clear your name.

You may also turn some of that negative energy inwards upon yourself. You may begin to question yourself - "Why was I so easily deceived?" "Am I too naive?", "What other lies have I been told?" Your sense of security may be damaged.

Over time, if you are lied to repeatedly by a pathological liar, this loss of self-security and sense of injustice can severely beat you down emotionally. You may begin to believe very negative things about your own self-worth and your place in society.


You may become depressed and feel hopeless and powerless. If you are related to or in a committed relationship with a person who is a habitual compulsive or pathological liar you may feel isolated and trapped. You may begin to consider extreme options to free yourself from your situation.

What NOT to Do:

Don't confuse intelligence with honesty. Just because someone has an articulate, respectable appearance it doesn't mean they are trustworthy.
Don't enter into contracts with people who you do not know well. Don't marry someone, sign a business deal, open your home or your bank account to anyone who you have not known for a considerable time and seen a track record of honesty in their dealings with you and others.
If you see a person lying to others, stealing from others or speaking ill of others, chances are they are doing or will do the same to you.
Don't let anyone intimidate you into giving them your trust. Remind them that trust can only be earned - not taken. If someone tries to make you feel bad for not putting your trust in them stand your ground. Chances are your initial instincts are right on the money.
Don't let yourself become isolated from people whom you DO trust.


One of the ways pathological liars retain control is to keep their victims isolated from people who might tell them the truth. Don't give up any healthy relationships with family, friends and acquaintances or let them slip away because of pressure from another person. Don't go it alone or keep what you are experiencing a secret.
Don't give up a good job, good habits, career, hobbies or interests for the sake of another person. What is good for you makes you stronger and is good for your loved-ones. True Love never asks a person to sacrifice something that is good for them.
What TO Do:

Try to judge people by their behavior rather than by their appearances.
If someone makes promises of change or pleads with you to give them one more chance, judge them by their track record rather than by what they say. If a person truly is reforming they will understand your need to do that.
Talk to trusted friends and family about what you are dealing with. This helps to compare your thinking with other people who can perhaps see things in a different light and can tell you if what you are dealing with sounds reasonable.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Develop an emergency plan for any scenario that may include theft, violence or abuse being directed towards or your children.
Report all acts of theft, violence, threats of violence or self-harm to the authorities immediately every time.
Maintain your healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships.


You will need them. Explain to your loved one gently, if necessary that you have made your decision and that is that and then move ahead. If they really do love you they will be happy to support you in what is good for you.

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