The truth is that all of us tell lies every now and then in order to get out of uncomfortable situations or just to spare the feelings of another person. However, not a lot of people lie just to have fun with it. This is because we have been taught from a very young age that lying is a bad habit. Another reason is that people do not want to be caught lying and face the dire consequences. Despite all these, there are some people who have the habit of lying even for the most simple and mundane things. For them, it has become a habit. Such kind of people are called compulsive liars, and this article will help you to understand the nuances that come with this type of personality disorder. The information provided here will even help you to catch them while lying.
People with compulsive lying disorder lie just because it has become a habit for them. Lying has become a normal reflex for them when reacting to other people’s questions. They feel more at ease when they lie. On the other hand, they get really tense whenever they speak the truth instead of the other way round. They feel they have a sense of control whenever they lie, and it makes them feel really good about themselves. It is usually during the early childhood years that an individual develops compulsive lying disorder. This is usually developed because they are constantly faced with situations which compel them to lie (like fear of getting punished) and as a result of the habit sets in. Over time, they hone this habit and reaches a point where they rather feel uncomfortable, to tell the truth.
COMPULSIVE LIARS VS. PATHOLOGICAL LIARS
For a lot of people, compulsive lying disorder is just like a form of addiction drugs, smoking, etc. Although another common term to describe compulsive lying is “pathological liar,” the two terms are quite different in actuality. Pathological liars are cunning and manipulative. They lie so that they can achieve an end goal without any care about causing pain and hurt to other people because of their actions. On the other hand, compulsive liars lie because it has become an automatic response for them in any given situation. Other terms used to describe compulsive liars are chronic liars or habitual liars.
CHILDREN AND LYING
This is a disorder that is rooted in their early childhood stage. We all know how children twist and lie about events which have occurred thereby exaggerated an incident that has happened. This is actually normal among all children and is a result of the vivid imagination that they have. It is when the child starts lying for no reason that it becomes a problem to be addressed. Parents grow to lose trust in their children which drives the children to become even more unruly and make them want to lie even more often. It has, therefore, become vital for parents to identify lying disorder among children and try and address them as soon as possible.
One of the biggest reasons that cause compulsive lying syndrome is because of underlying mental illnesses which are caused further by antisocial personality disorder in most cases. However, for a person to have compulsive lying disorder, it is not mandatory for him or her to suffer from a prior personality disorder. As mentioned earlier, it just may be a habit they developed over the years.
SYMPTOMS OF COMPULSIVE LYING DISORDER
It is quite tricky to spot symptoms of compulsive lying disorder due to the fact that the lies are very subtle for the casual observer. The liars skillfully incorporate it into their stories so that no one will notice it. It takes time to be able to notice it, especially for the untrained ears. People who have close relationships with compulsive liars will be able to identify the lying symptoms.
THEY LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING
Compulsive liars are not selective about the things they lie about. They lie about everything for no reason at all. They will lie about even the most trivial things like their favorite cola or the food they had earlier.
There are some people who have this constant desire to become the center of attention at all times. Such people develop the habit of telling white lies just so that they can continue being popular among people. This habit soon becomes inbuilt into their personality.
Compulsive liars wanted to feel superior and validated in front of other people just so that they can achieve it. They make up stories to make them look great. This becomes a deeply ingrained habit so much so that they lose their popularity and charm once they let the cat out of the bag. For instance, a person may claim to have gotten so many attention from women at the bar when in actuality he was sitting in a corner all night watching his friends have fun with beautiful women.
TRYING TO COVER UP
Whenever a person who compulsively lies is finally caught in his or her own web of lies, they will create another story just so that they can act innocent or deny it by telling another story. Another interesting thing is that the individuals with compulsive lying disorder actually tense up and become really nervous whenever they are forced to speak the truth.
DIFFERENT CHARACTERS BUT SAME STORY
In order to create a grandiose life in the eyes of other people, they resort to “plagiarism,” and it forms a major part of their overall behavior. When they keep lying over and over again, they may forget that they have narrated the same lie to the same person. Every time the person lies, the underlying concept may remain the same, but there may be changes in the date of occurrence, place, characters, etc.
The main target for treating compulsive lying disorder is to modify the behavior of the person. It is imperative for the person suffering from compulsive lying disorder to want to change and therefore seek professional help. The treatment will not succeed unless this happens. The ideal method is first to consult a counselor.