Reasons for lying psychology – expert advice

Pathological liars: what makes them lie?

They lie as they breathe. Deception is their life credo. They do not notice the boundaries between true and false. Meet pathological liars. Why do they lie all the time and how do they fight it?

Would you swear that you always tell the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth? Hardly, like 99.99% of the people in the world. Anyone who claims he has never lied is clearly lying. Nevertheless, most people can honestly say that they at least try not to deceive.

But there is a special category of people for whom lying is a way of life. Pathological and compulsive liars find it easier to make up a lot of lies than to tell the truth. Why they do it and how to expose them?

Pseudologic Fiction.

Pathological lying, mythomania or Pseudologia Fantastica, causes much controversy among psychologists and psychiatrists. Some believe it is only a symptom of a more complex disorder (e.g., borderline personality disorder, sociopathy or narcissism), others are convinced that it is an abnormality in itself.

There is an assumption that it is a special form of addiction: a person cheats under the influence of a psychological impulse, like an alcoholic, a smoker, or a gambler, by reacting to specific triggers. However, the fact remains that some people lie all the time.

Their deceitfulness can be called chronic, in the sense that it is lifelong, or habitual, in the sense that it becomes second nature

This type of person always acts out of intrinsic motivation, not outward factors. In other words, they lie not so much to avoid the unpleasant consequences of the truth as for “sporting interest.

Pathological liars are not easy to recognize, especially when getting to know each other superficially or at the beginning of a relationship. They may appear to be interesting, intelligent, companionable, and charming. Their true face is revealed only with time, and then communication becomes strained. Endless lies can destroy friendships, loves, working relationships and even families.

Pathological and compulsive lying: what is the difference?

The two types of lies have their own characteristics. How do you know who you’re dealing with?

Pathological liars:

Lie with a specific purpose,

Make up fantastic stories, which you can endlessly add new details,

believe everything they say,

They resent being suspected of deception,

they lie to enhance their own credibility,

and do not blush or feel embarrassed.

Compulsive liars:

Seriously believe they are obligated to lie: either because they don’t know how to do otherwise, or in case the truth is inconvenient to tell,

often lie for unclear reasons and without any benefit,

They make up stories as they go along, without giving much thought to their plausibility,

prefer “holy” lies which they think others would like to hear,

As a rule, they sense other people’s distrust,

When confronted, they confess that they are lying, but continue to fool the people around them.

These distinctions are quite arbitrary, because deceivers easily change their masks.

What causes such behavior?

There is no clear scientific explanation for the tendency to report deliberately false information. This behavior is caused by many genetic and external factors, but this set is unique to each individual. Here are the most common reasons.

1. Personality disorders

As mentioned above, lying at every turn can be a symptom of mental illness.

2. brain features

A number of studies have pointed to structural abnormalities in the brains of pathological liars. One such study found increased white matter in three areas of the prefrontal cortex.

Another paper suggests that a persistent tendency to lie develops as the inhibitory emotional response of the amygdala diminishes. Earlier studies found that 40% of pathological liars have central nervous system damage caused by epilepsy, head trauma, or dangerous infections.

3. the costs of upbringing

As children, we all learn what is good and what is bad. At an early age, a person can lie for fear of punishment or gain, and this later becomes an unconditional attitude.

4. chemical dependence

Drug addicts and alcoholics often cheat to hide their problem and at the same time to extort money: addictions “turn off” the conscience.

5. Other Psychological Problems

Someone who often lies may suffer from depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This behavior may be related to fear, guilt or shame, or an unwillingness to admit one’s condition. That said, it is important to understand that not everyone with this diagnosis is a pathological cheater!

Signs of pathological and compulsive lying

If you suspect that you are being fooled regularly, pay attention to the typical signs of lying.

The stories of liars are completely unbelievable.

If you notice yourself frequently shaking your head, refusing to believe fables, it seems that you have got just such a person. Someone tells you how he had lunch with Tom Cruise or set the world record for eating sausage? You’re not wrong.

2. There is a desire for attention.

If someone is lying to get attention, and they go out of their way to prove that they are important, they are pathological liars. They practice two ways to get attention:

To pad themselves. Instead of admitting they were wrong, or being honest about being in trouble, they talk nonsense just to look innocent.

To make themselves look like the victim. In order to gain sympathy and support from others, they complain about imaginary misfortune. Illnesses, deaths of loved ones, someone’s cruelty, and other disasters in which they allegedly suffered.

3. Liars have low self-esteem.

On its own, it does not indicate pathological or compulsive lying, but when combined with other signs, it complements the portrait of a shameless liar. Low self-esteem is usually found in compulsive liars: it hides anxiety and insecurity.

4. They must have the last word.

Arguing with a pathological liar is like banging your head against the wall. He will bring the most ridiculous arguments until you do not bore bickering, just to get out of the fight the winner. It’s easier with compulsive liars: they get embarrassed when they’re exposed, and they don’t insist.

5. They are extremely disingenuous.

They manage to lightning-quickly invent plausible versions for all occasions, create suitable lies literally out of thin air and present them in a convincing way.

6. They know how to turn everything upside down.

When liars feel they are about to fail, they immediately backtrack and change the meaning of what they say. But it is no use catching them in the act: they will retort and say that you misheard or misunderstood.

7. Their lives are messy and full of tragedies

They get away with it as best they can, trying to appear honest, but sooner or later people realize: something is wrong here. Relationships crumble, jobs are lost, friends turn away, but the pathological liar still rushes around looking for simpletons who can be bullshitted.

8. They cannot keep secrets and adore gossip.

The concept of decency is not familiar to them: they enjoy discussing the details of other people’s lives, including intimate. For them, there is nothing sacred.

How to behave with them.

It would seem that it couldn’t be clearer – to stop communicating and cut off from the life. But it’s not always easy, and not always necessary. Not all of the cheaters – the worst kind of crooks.

If you are convinced that you ran into a narcissist or sociopath, then there’s no question: stay away from him, and do not let your conscience torment you. But if someone close to you has serious psychological problems or addiction – perhaps you should not say goodbye to them. What to do?

1. Believe… if necessary.

Look for lies in every word – it is more expensive. Yes, a person often lies, but he is still capable of being honest. He may exaggerate, but on the whole he is telling the truth. At least try to understand when to believe him and when not.

Do you recall slippery topics in the discussion of which you have repeatedly caught your interlocutor in a lie? Or periods of aggravation, when the tendency to lie became too obvious?

A healthy amount of skepticism doesn’t hurt, but if you’re not absolutely certain that everything you say is a lie, why not assume you’re being told the truth? Of course, this does not apply to important questions: you have to check everything.

There must be at least a modicum of trust: when a man knows that he will in any case be accused of deception, why should he be honest? Someone who is trusted is more likely to tell the truth, especially if the lie is related to guilt or shame.

2. Understand why they lie.

We are bitter when we are lied to, and it is a natural emotional reaction. Critical thinking can help us deal with it. Think about it: why do people lie? What motivates him? What is the reason?

If you manage to understand the motives, for sure there will be a little sympathy. Perhaps your emotions will not subside immediately, but sooner or later you will calm down and be able to look at the situation soberly.

3. Accept as a fact: the lie will not happen again.

Pathological or compulsive liars don’t always control their speech. So it’s wiser to admit that they are and you have to live with it somehow. This does not mean forcing yourself to believe untruths or consider their behavior the norm. The main thing is to realize that not every lie is told with malice.

They cannot not lie. At least now, under certain circumstances. Of course, no one forbids to fight against it, but you yourself will not change anything. Try to look at it philosophically and not take it personally.

4. Convince them to ask for help.

If the propensity to lie occurred relatively recently, you can guess what it is (depression, addiction in the early stages, childhood traumas) and you care about the person, try to convince him to see a psychotherapist.

With people who are constantly cheating is not easy. And yet do not rush to write them in the scoundrels or evil manipulators. Pathological or compulsive lying has many causes, and while this habit hurts both those who are lied to and those who lie to, it is treatable.

How do you get rid of the habit of lying? Causes of Lying

All of us have experienced lying at least once in our lives. Everyone knows that “sticky” feeling when our deception is exposed. There are quite a few reasons why people cheat. If you have decided that you no longer want to feel uncomfortable and fear exposure, it is time to get rid of the habit of cheating.

Bad habits: the psychology of lying

As a rule, the habit of telling untruths appears in early childhood. At first it is harmless excuses because of a broken toy or a fight with the neighbor boy. In school years, deception is most often caused by bad grades, unsatisfactory behavior. Trying to avoid punishment, children shift the blame on others – so behavioral habits are formed. In older age, lying becomes not so harmless.

The desire to show a better side can cause a person to embellish reality – such is our psychology. Telling little-known people about themselves, some people want to appear more successful or wealthy without actually being so.

Many people are ready to cheat in order to get some benefits. There are no barriers for these people – they are capable of much to achieve their goals.

Some are compelled by circumstance to tell untruths. It seems to them that it is better to pass the responsibility on to another person. Many invent “good reasons” to avoid meeting with an unpleasant person.

Deep inner turmoil can lead to serious consequences – various bad habits develop. Fear of disappointing family and friends is one of the excuses for lying. This can manifest itself in unrealized dreams, feelings of uselessness and helplessness.

In some cases, people are embarrassed to tell the truth. They are ashamed to admit that their project failed, and the idea was unprofitable. In such cases, they are wishful thinking.

Many liars hide behind “lies for good,” showing “concern” for friends and relatives. But they do a disservice to themselves.

How to get rid of the habit of lying?

Lying, just like other bad habits, pulls people in like a drug. Having cheated once and benefited from it, a person will use it again the next time. Why tell the truth when you can lie and avoid negative consequences?

Pathological liars know the moment of exposure. Because of the lie, relationships stop, friends lose respect for you. Get rid of this habit of behavior will help effective tips.

Advice from psychologists: sort yourself out.

First of all, you need to admit to yourself that lying – this is a constant “companion” of your life. It is because of her there are all the troubles. Resolving to say goodbye forever with the lies, it is important to correctly set priorities. Then it will be easier to fight this bad habit.

The most common mistake of liars is to blame themselves for all the troubles. In this case, there can be an underestimation of self-esteem, which will have a negative impact on self-development. It is important to remember that the desire to get rid of this habit emphasizes your positive qualities.

Try to admit the error

In order to get rid of the habit of deception, you need to admit that this is a real problem. Pathological liars are well aware of this. To minimize the negative reaction of others, you need yourself to admit the mistakes made. Try to explain to deceived people why you committed such an act.

In addition to the confession, you must promise that in the future from your lips will sound only the truth and you will make every effort to change the habits of behavior. Although it is unlikely you will believe the first time. Close friends can forgive and forget the offense, but with someone else’s relationship will end forever.

How to regain trust and change behavioral habits?

Attention and trust of others can be returned. But you need to understand that this will take time. Try to show your best side. In a rush to show their most advantageous sides is very important not to go back to the past.

In order to be proud of yourself, you need to show positive qualities. Everyone has an ability for which he is respected. Interesting your interlocutor with his real achievements, you can not only return old relationships, but also make new acquaintances.

Remember that true friends do not care about your financial situation. Such people value the relationship with you. If bad habits are stronger than you, you can try your hand at writing fantasy stories or fictional stories. Of course, everyone will understand that this is not true, but in this case you can not be accused of lying.

The consequences of lying

Before you tell a lie, you should think about the consequences of your false statements. Imagine yourself in the other person’s place and think about how they feel at that moment.

In addition, people are confused by their lies – at any moment your lies may be exposed. What is more important for you: to deceive or maintain credibility?

How do you recognize a liar?

To avoid getting into an ambiguous situation and becoming a victim of deception, you need to know how to recognize a liar. “Newcomers”, describing an untrue situation, often get confused, speak uncertainly and stutter. Making up a story as they go along, they now and then bump into an invisible wall that prevents them from comparing some facts. Such a person risks immediately losing credibility.

If you doubt the truthfulness of what your interlocutor said, pay attention to his habits of behavior. Psychological advice from doctors can help identify the cheater.

When a person lies, he gives away the following signs:

  • Red spots appear on the face.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Narrowed pupils.
  • No eye contact.
  • Unnatural facial expressions.

The problem with lying is that it is as hard to get out of it as it is to get rid of a bad habit. Lies get sucked in like mud in a swamp – more and more every day. Only by ceasing to deceive family and friends, you can “negotiate” with his conscience.

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