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12 Types of Liars, 15 Types of Lies They Often Use & Ways to Deal with Them

You might think that a lie is a lie; it’s simply saying something that’s not true. But you’ll be surprised at how many types of liars and lies there are!

Types of Liars

There’s not a single soul in the world who hasn’t told a lie. The thing is that people create all sorts of different reasons to lie. They might be trying to spare someone else’s feelings, or maybe they’re trying to keep themselves out of trouble. Regardless, it’s shocking how many different types of liars and lies that really exist.

What is lying?

Merriam-Webster defines lying as something being marked by untrue statements. A lie is a statement made with the intent to deceive or mislead. [Read: Lying in a relationship – 15 steps to confront a lie & heal the love]

In short, it’s saying something that is blatantly not true.

But that’s not all it is. Lying can also be done by not telling the whole truth. Leaving out important details is, in fact, an act of deception.

As you can see, the word “lie” is truly an umbrella term. And underneath it are several different types of lies told by several different types of liars.

Liars are considered to be bad people, and lies are considered to be bad things. However, it’s really not as simple as that. Lies are told to protect the liar, protect other people, or for a number of other reasons.

Despite the fact that so many different subcategories exist, a lie is just choosing to not tell the truth.

The different types of liars that you’ll encounter

Liars come in all different shapes and sizes, and each liar has their own set of motives. [Read: 20 big but subtle signs & gestures to tell if someone is lying to your face]

It’s important to know the different types of liars out there. Knowing the types of liars and why they lie can help you figure out how to deal with them more effectively because lying can often be a symptom.

For example, narcissists lie for completely different reasons than pathological liars. Some lies don’t make even a slight difference, but some lies are detrimental.

If you find yourself in one of these categories, don’t freak out. You can always change because lying is a learned behavior.

1. The intentional liar

The intentional liar lies for the fun of it. They think that their lies come with power. Being able to lie to you means that they know how to push your buttons, and they find that exhilarating.

This is one of the types of liars who seeks attention. They love an audience. The intentional liar lies because they think it’s entertaining. They lie for the reaction and often disguise their lies as cruel and malicious jokes. [Read: How NOT to be an asshole – what makes one, 41 signs, & how to fix yourself[

2. The manipulative liar

The manipulative liar has a purpose. They have a divine goal when it comes to their lies.

This type of liar lies to get what they want, and they’ll say whatever it takes to make it happen. Their favorite lies are based on flattery. They use flattery to advance their position, whatever it may be.

If they think that being in your good graces will yield the result that they want, prepare to be buttered up.

3. The occasional liar

These are people who are generally not constant liars.

In fact, when they do lie, they’re completely riddled with feelings of guilt and usually end up seeking forgiveness from the ones they lied to.

Even though they did lie, they quickly understood their mistake. They have enough self-respect and respect for others to change their behavior and admit their fault. This liar has a pretty vivid conscience, which isn’t too common among the others.

[Read: Guilty conscience – what it is & 21 emotional signs]

4. The frequent liar

This person lives lying their way through day by day. As frequent liars, they aren’t overly concerned about the repercussions of their actions. In fact, they usually don’t even try to cover their tracks.

Though everyone may know that this person’s lying, they’re not bothered. Their sloppiness results in them having very few friends because no one can fully trust this person.

Frequent liars may feel the need to lie in order to make themselves appear more interesting or likable. However, people usually catch on pretty quickly.

5. The smooth liar

This person knows how to lie.

They have perfected their craft of deception. When it comes to dealing with a smooth liar, you may not even realize that you’re being lied to. They’re often so good at what they do that even they believe their own lies. They’re so convincing that you don’t even question it.

They’re very fluid with body language and speech and are usually a favorite at parties and social gatherings. [Read: Why you should tell the truth even when it hurts & why it matters]

They’re fun to be around because they entertain. They always have some story to share about some crazy night out, but it’s typically all one giant lie. Once people start to question them, they quickly find new people to work their magic on.

6. The compulsive liar

A compulsive liar has a serious issue when it comes to honesty.

They lie even when they don’t have to. They could easily tell the truth, but it usually feels more natural when they lie. This is beyond lying for entertainment. This is an addiction that they’re unable to control.

They usually dedicate a large amount of time to coming up with new stories and lies to share. They’re not trustworthy and, therefore, unable to maintain any meaningful friendships. Their lies usually end up destroying their lives.

[Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

7. White liars

Most of us think of ourselves as white liars.

White liars are usually not considered actual liars. White lies are justified as being harmless and even beneficial, depending on the situation. They tell the truth with the hint of a lie. Typically, even if there isn’t a slight truth involved, the lie is told for the greater good.

If your mom went through the trouble and labor of making meatloaf for you, you’re certainly not going to tell her that it sucks, no matter how much you hate it. See how a white lie can be harmless?

8. The protective liar

The protective liar sounds like one of the more noble types of liars, but are they?

It really depends on what or whom they’re protecting. [Read: How to tell if someone is lying about cheating on you – 15 subtle hints]

Protective liars will do anything to keep a secret safe if it serves their purpose. This is great because it means that they’ll loyally protect your secrets. But at what cost? Protective liars might be holding on to some pretty nefarious secrets. You’ll never know what they’re hiding.

9. The avoidant liar

This liar is generally out for self-preservation. Their ultimate goal is to avoid any kind of discomfort, confrontation, or judgment.

Avoidant liars choose to lie instead of providing a legitimate excuse. They’d rather deflect and dance around the truth because they feel safer and less judged. Whatever they have to say to avoid something unpleasant, they’ll say it.

Avoidant liars never say what they mean.

10. The impressive liar

This might come as a shock, but impressive liars lie to impress others.

They might not even consider themselves to be liars. They typically like to think that they’re just embellishing the truth a little to please the crowd. [Read: [Read: How to spot a compulsive liar and know if it’s time to walk away]

The lies that impressive liars tell are meant to help them get the approval they seek from others. They’re mostly harmless, and lying is honestly more of an unintentional habit for them. Regardless, their obvious lies can be extremely annoying because you know that they’re trying to be someone they’re not.

11. The lazy liar

Lazy liars are pretty simple and mostly harmless liars. Sometimes, depending on how you look at it, they’re not even really liars.

The thing with this type of liar is that they’re too lazy to tell the whole truth. They’d rather just get to the point.

They just want to avoid overly complicated narratives, so they edit and condense as they see fit. They’re trying to save themselves from talking too much and keep you from having to hear too detailed of a story. As we said, they’re mostly harmless.

The real issue comes when they summarize so much that they leave out important details. [Read: Signs of dishonesty in a relationship that push couples apart]

12. The tactful liar

This is one of the most well-meaning types of liars. They genuinely mean no harm with their lies. In fact, their intention is the opposite.

They lie to provide reassurance and spare someone else’s feelings. They’ll always tell you that you look incredible when you ask. If you embarrass yourself in a crowded place, they’ll tell you that no one saw it, even if everyone did.

Different types of lies

Now that you know the different types of liars, you need to know the different types of lies they tell. Being familiar with the types of lies will go a long way in helping you identify and address a problem.

1. The bald-faced lie

This lie is the easiest to catch because it’s bold and in your face. It’s almost obvious and is generally used by children, the inexperienced, or the desperate.

The problem with this lie is that not only does it make you look bad, but it also insinuates that you don’t think very much of the person you’re lying to. They’ll wonder why you think they would fall for something so obvious.

[Read: 73 red flag signs & traits of a narcissist & how to read them like a book]

2. Broken promises

Broken promises are exactly what they sound like.

If you break a promise, you’ve failed to do something you said you’d do. This is especially detrimental if you do it to the same person over and over again, and even more so if you make a promise knowing that you won’t be able to keep it.

3. Fabrication

Fabricating means that you concoct a story out of thin air. It might be true, but you don’t know that it is.

This is often how rumors about people get started. You probably shouldn’t be speaking negatively of others to begin with, but you definitely shouldn’t be spewing things that you don’t even know to be true.

Depending on the fabrication, you could destroy a reputation. [Read: An ex’s revenge – my ex’s rumors ruined me]

4. Deception

All lies are deceptive, of course, but lies of deception are a brand of their own. Being deceptive means that you’re skirting around and intentionally misleading someone by giving them a false impression.

A used car salesman might blatantly tell you that no accident reports were made with a certain vehicle when he knows that the previous owner hit his own mailbox and had to replace the hood of the car. That’s an example of deception.

5. Exaggeration

Exaggeration is usually used to enhance. People who use these lies are usually telling a story that’s based on the truth, but they build it up with a sprinkling of lies.

They might be doing this to make themselves seem more impressive or to make a story seem more outrageous and wild than it really was. [Read: 42 reasons, signs, & steps to stop lying to yourself & everyone else]

6. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a double-edged sword.

Plagiarizing means that you’re stealing someone else’s work and lying by claiming that it’s your own. You might submit someone else’s research paper as your own, or maybe give a speech that you pieced together with the words of others, but you take credit for writing the whole thing.

7. White lies

White lies are viewed as the least serious of the different types of lies, but that might not be true.

These lies are pretty simple in nature. You might concoct a false excuse for not being able to visit your mom or pretending that you love something when you hate it.

Sure, their nature is to prevent hurting someone’s feelings, but the more you’re caught telling white lies, the more credibility and trust you lose. [Read: Little white lies you should tell on a first date]

8. Lying by omission

Lying by omission is telling a partial truth or neglecting to correct something that you know isn’t true.

For example, you might tell your boss that you’re late to work because your car battery died, but you don’t tell them that you also stopped to grab a coffee with a friend for half an hour.

Or maybe your mother-in-law mentions that she hopes you’re feeling better because that’s certainly the only viable reason that you wouldn’t show up for dinner, but you don’t tell her you just didn’t want to go.

How to catch a liar

Catching a liar can be a daunting task because so many of them are experts in their craft.

Most lies are genuinely undetectable. It doesn’t even register to you that you were just lied to. Sometimes the lie is so simple that you can’t fathom why this person would be lying like that.

Occasionally, you might immediately know that someone is lying to you. [Read: 25 secrets to catch a cheater red-handed in the act & with the right proof!]

But if only it were always that easy!

It doesn’t help that every liar has a different lying behavior. It can be incredibly hard to catch a liar if you don’t have solid proof, but there are a few top-notch tricks to get a little closer to the truth.

First of all, some liars as so used to flying under the radar. They get away with it all the time, and they feel good about it. What they don’t know is that they get away with it because no one else feels comfortable calling them out. If you feel pretty good about knowing that they’re lying, a simple confrontation might be enough to make them break.

Most of all, pay attention to how they’re acting. You might know this person pretty well, so you likely know a lot about them, including when something is off.

Do they seem more anxious than usual when talking about their lie? Are they more animated, or do they refuse to look you in the eye? Watch for inconsistencies in their behavior. If they’re doing something outside of their norm, there’s a good chance that you’re being lied to.

[Read: How to read people – the secrets to instantly figure anyone out]

What to do when you encounter a liar?

All types of liars tend to be fragile people. A lot of them have low self-confidence and easily disturbed emotions.

They’re pretty unpredictable, so you should be safe when approaching them.

1. Don’t be aggressive toward them

If you figure out that you’re being lied to, don’t attack the person with accusations.

Instead, calmly show them the evidence you have. Your goal is to have them admit their faults, so if you freak out at them, they may continue to lie and weasel their way out of it.

If you can calmly show them that there’s nowhere to go, you’re more likely to get an admission. [Read: Dead giveaways that someone is lying to your face]

2. Stay confident

They may try to manipulate you and break down your self-esteem, making you second-guess your feelings and thoughts.

Don’t let them. You hold the power now, so do not let them take it back from you. Stand strong, and stay firm in your opinion.

3. Show them love

Try to show them empathy and compassion as you get them to open up to you.

You want to better your relationship with them instead of further breaking them down. Show them you support them as a friend or partner.

It doesn’t mean that you have to let it slide. They did lie, but they can learn to work on their behavior, and you can learn to forgive them. [Read: The 15 ways to learn how to forgive someone]

4. Have your facts ready

If you confront a liar, you have to be confident in your evidence, or your argument isn’t going to go far. In fact, they probably already have another lie locked and loaded to defend themselves.

Do what you can to be ready to present what you know to be factual. If you have to write everything down, write it down. Make sure that you have some solid evidence to back you up.

Otherwise, you risk being called crazy and having the lies deflected back on you.

5. Keep the conversation going

Have you ever heard the saying “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?”

It just means you’re more likely to win people over with kindness. You might be the angriest you’ve ever been, but it’s important that you don’t act like it.

Try to keep your cool. Maintain a steady conversation free from aggression. You’re far more likely to have the honest truth that way. [Read: Communication techniques to get them to open up to you]

6. Ask questions

This is your time to ask questions. You want to ask them specific questions because this is the only way that you can uncover their lies. Even the best liar can only prepare so much. If you think of something they’re not expecting, you’re more likely to catch them off guard and watch them fumble.

7. Take some time for yourself

Now that you’ve talked to them, it’s time that you took some time to yourself to think about what you’re going to do.

In you’re eyes, this person is no longer trustworthy. You need to figure out what you should do with this relationship; if the trust can be rebuilt or if the friendship/relationship is done for good. [Read: Trust issues in a relationship – 22 whys & ways to get over it together]

Now that you know all the different types of liars and all the kinds of lies they tell, you’re better equipped to figure out how to handle them!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...