Pathological Lying

Back in February, I wrote a blog post on Lying. In said post, I suggested that I would write another blog about lying. Well, here it is. This time I want to give a basic over view of some of the types of pathological lying. I will probably write another post in the future that focuses on Compulsive Lying, but I wanted to start with an overview of pathological lying. I think this is important because it will give you an idea what Compulsive Lying is not.

There are normal liars which are generally considered to be one of 3 types: Occasional Liars, White Liars and Functional Liars. Occasional liars are people that will rarely tell a lie and then find themselves over burdened with guilt when they do. This guilt then drives them to confess their lies. The types of lies considered here are not the white lies. The White Liars are those who tell lies in an effort to avoid hurting other people’s feelings. Generally, these are lies of omission. The last type are the Functional Liars. These people tell lies that serve a purpose in meeting every day needs. These are the people that wear a nice suit to a job interview when they are likely to be wearing jeans to work. It is a misrepresentation of who they are. These are also the people who tell the cop they didn’t see the speed limit sign to avoid a ticket. These are not people who are out to hurt others. Most people are actually all three types of liars to some degree or another. Being a liar doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you normal.

When should you get concerned about your lying?

  1. Has your lying caused you to loose friends or romantic relationships?
  2. Have you been fired from a job because of your lying?
  3. Do you frequently feel guilty about your lying?
  4. Do you perseverate over your lying?
  5. Do you feel that you cannot control your lying?
  6. Have other people told you that your lying is a problem?
  7. Does your lying fall into one of the pathological patterns outlined below?

Sociopathic Liars

Sociopaths lack compassion and empathy for others. Their actions and behaviors are driven solely by meeting their own needs. Because of this, they have no qualms about lying to get what they want. They are socially savvy and can weave intricate, believable lies that pull people in. They have charisma. They don’t seem like the type of person that would lie. Sociopathic lying is connected to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD).

Impulsive Liars

These are the people that say things without thinking about it and then feel that they cannot retract what they have said. So, they let it stand. This individual isn’t concerned about trying to hide their lies or making sure they make sense. They aren’t even driven by the desire to deceive or manipulate others. Everyone knows that the person isn’t being honest because they tend to be sloppy with their lies. Impulsive lying is connected to disorders that effect a persons ability to control their impulsivity such as ADHD, mania, anxiety disorder and DMDD.

Compulsive Liars

These are people who lie as continually a patterned response. Lying tends to be their normal manner of responding to any questions from others. These individuals will almost always bend the truth, regardless of how small or large the question is. These individuals are driven by obsessions that make the truth feel uncomfortable, driving the compulsion to lie which alleviates the anxiety/fear.

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 a safety mechanism for them.

Many people also call these individuals pathological liars (which is a vague umbrella term) or habitual liars (which suggests a larger degree of control). But in truth, this type of lying falls underneath the OCD diagnosis.


More coming?


About piggie4299

I am Myself I am a Wife Blessed with love I am a Mother Endowed with divinity Through the power of creation I am a Daughter Brought into this world With unending hope And the promise of the future I am a Sister Made fierce and strong While forged with kindness Protector and protected Spiraling together forever I am a Nurse Holding out the hands of healing And offering the sick comfort And the dying love Knowing that through this All things are healed and made whole I am a Writer Creating myself and world Sharing the inner depths of humanity Bringing together the divine And the humble mortal I tell the story of the Goddess And am remembered forever

Posted on May 3, 2017, in mental health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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