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How to Spot a Compulsive Liar: 7 Signs It’s Time to Walk Away

The compulsive liar doesn’t just tell the occasional white lie. They lie with the intent to twist and turn reality and leave you questioning you.

compulsive liar

We all have habitual behaviors that might not serve us very well up front. But, if we didn’t gain some benefit from them, we surely would find a way to undo the cycle. A compulsive liar is someone who habitually lies. They lie about everything without thought or remorse.

When most of us lie, we do so either to get out of something or to not hurt someone’s feelings *like in a white lie*. But, for the compulsive liar, there is no rhyme or reason why they perpetually don’t tell the truth. As if allergic to just saying what is real, they twist and turn reality to further whatever their cause is.

Lies are like digging in the sand. Once you start digging the hole begins to fill up, which leaves you constantly trying to dig yourself out. For most of us that leaves us feeling bad and uncomfortable. But, for someone conditioned to lying, it comes so naturally, it is like breathing. [Read: The 20 right reasons you need to break up and walk away from someone]

7 signs someone close to you is compulsive liar

Being with a compulsive liar leaves you questioning not just yourself but your sanity. They typically tell you that you are wrong, mistaken, perhaps even paranoid, which is a huge mind f*ck on your psyche. The only way to deal with a compulsive liar is to say goodbye. The bad news is that you aren’t ever going to change them. They are comfortable in their lying ways and don’t see it as a problem at all.

Spotting the compulsive liar is not an easy thing to do, they don’t want to be spotted. If your inner voice tells you something isn’t right and things are amiss, listen to it. It is almost always right.

#1 They tell lies about everything, like everything. The compulsive liar is so conditioned to live in an unreal world of lying that they are opposed to telling any truth at all. While most of us lie to get out of a bad situation, save someone’s feelings, or to cover for someone else, the compulsive liar lies about everything.

They are the type of personality where if they said the sky was blue you would look up to check. A habitual behavior, they lie just because they don’t want to break their pattern.

Something as mundane as “Did you eat lunch?” will be met with a “No” even if you saw them eating through the window. They simply can’t tell the truth. It is as if they’re adverse to anything factual. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

#2 They become very angry when questioned. One of the ways that the compulsive liar lives with their conscience is by convincing themselves that they are not only right, but if they even admit to lying, they are justified in doing so.

If questioned, it sets them off on a tirade to divert what is really going on. Throwing anything into an argument to confuse you further, they make sure to leave you feeling guilty about calling them out, even if they lied. In the end, you end up feeling bad that you called them a liar, so you learn to just deal with it. [Read: 13 ways to know if your love is toxic and how to get away]

#3 They lack a conscience. There is normally some underlying pathology behind the compulsive liar. It isn’t just the lying that ruins the people around them. It is the reasons that they lie. Compulsive liars use their lies to manipulate you, make you feel crazy, or to make you feel guilty for not trusting them.

Often compulsive liars have an underlying mental illness like sociopathic and narcissistic tendencies, which allow them to tell mistruths without feeling badly. When the average person tells a lie, there is something inside of them signaling them that what they did is wrong.

For the compulsive liar, there is no moral compass guiding them. So, they just do what they do and never look back or consider who they hurt.

#4 They change their story 10 times without batting an eye. A compulsive liar is no newbie. They perfected lying to such a degree that they twist and turn and make everything seem perfectly reasonable unreasonable.

If you try to question them, they have no problem changing their story about 10 times, never admitting that they alter what they are saying. Turning it back on you, it is like walking through a maze. Each time you think you cornered them, they find a lying way out, which leaves you exhausted. [Read: Emotional maturity: 13 clues to know if someone has it]

#5 They are their best interest. Many liars are people who lack empathy and the ability to see how their lying ways affect the people around them. Since they lie purely for their own benefit whoever gets hurt is just collateral damage.

They are the type of people you simply can’t touch. They don’t care if you cry or beg, they simply don’t care about anyone or anything but their best interest. If you think that you can change a compulsive liar, you can’t any more than you can change a sociopath. So deeply ingrained, they don’t even see the error of their ways.

#6 They are nearly impossible to have a relationship with. One of the cornerstones of any relationship is trust. If you can’t trust the person you are with, there is no way to have a loving and supportive relationship.

The compulsive liar disappoints you at every turn, which you dismiss up front. In the end, it completely destroys everything you know is true. Leaving you a shell of yourself, they literally take your insides out and leave nothing but a bottomed out alternative. [Read: Should a relationship without trust last?]

#7 Their little lies in the relationship turn into big ones. Compulsive liars typically start with the smaller lies that seem to be no big deal at all. As time progresses, you see that really nothing they say is the truth.

To the compulsive liar, truth is like kryptonite. So, the more involved you get, the more in-depth their lies become, and the more intricate web they weave. One lie building off of another, it becomes a black hole of despair for those in love with a compulsive liar. [Read: Why do people lie in relationships? 10 common reasons why we fib]

Compulsive liars are not people who lie just once or twice. They make an entire life out of avoiding facts. If you think you’ll change them, you can’t and you won’t. Whatever benefit they gain from lying far outweighs whatever they gain from being honest and truthful. Whether it stems from an underlying mental illness, poor upbringing, or just a very weak moral compass, matters not, the compulsive liar takes all that you are and leaves an empty shell.

[Read: 13 giveaways to know when someone is lying to your face]

The only way to deal with a compulsive liar is to walk away. If they are truly ever going to change, it won’t happen by you sticking around, confronting them, or putting yourself through hell trying to get down to the truth.

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Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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