It is fair to say that no one is 100% truthful all the time. People tell mistruths for different reasons, and some of these reasons are honorable and done with the intent of protecting someone’s feelings or making them feel better. We often forgive someone if they lie occasionally, especially if the lie is to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

What makes a person to be perceived as a liar is if being untruthful has become their nature through repetition. This is especially so if the general intent is to deceive for the liar’s benefit. If a person is honest, they say what they believe to be true and are perceived as being honest and trustworthy. If a person is known to be a liar, it is hard to believe anything they say.

Some people lack empathy, such as pathological or compulsive liars and they both lie frequently, regardless of the harm their lies cause. As a result, it becomes hard to believe them at any time, even if they are telling you the truth.

Differences in Their Nature

Although they are both chronic liars, there are some differences in the natures of pathological or compulsive liars that are helpful to know. If you know the differences it will help you recognize whether you are dealing with a sinister person or a less harmful liar.

What are Their Intentions?

Pathological liars have an absolute intent to deceive you. Their lies are more calculated and planned, as their lies are designed for their benefit and purpose. They may be weaving their lies for numerous reasons, such as to gain your sympathy, to cover up wrongdoing, or to manipulate situations and people.
They are dishonest about many issues because they are looking for sympathy and attention.

Compulsive liars have an uncontrollable habit of lying. We’re not talking about a white lie here and there, they can tell numerous lies a day. Their lies help them to avoid the truth which they are not comfortable telling, and the truth provides no benefit, so there is no reason for them to tell the truth. They lie about themselves for self-gratification, and their ‘boasting lies’ help to boost their ego.

What Influences Them to Lie?

Pathological liars may have genetic and environmental influences during their childhood that can be detrimental to their personality. Many of them have signs of a mental health disorder, such as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), and some are suspected of also being psychopaths.

Compulsive liars are influenced significantly by low self-esteem since childhood and are less intentionally harmful. They do not necessarily have a mental health disorder, but some have shown symptoms of some disorders, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and Bipolar Disorder.

Do They Feel Guilty?

Pathological liars are sometimes unaware that they are lying as they create an alternate reality. They can look you right in the eye while they lie, and get very angry if you confront them with the truth. They don’t feel guilty or remorseful, even though they are self-incriminating. Pathological liars are harder to decipher if they are telling the truth or not, and they won’t admit to the lies they tell.

Compulsive liars may fabricate stories they think people will want to hear, especially about themselves. They feel guilty when they lie and are well aware of what the truth is, but they cannot stop lying because it has become a part of them. A bad habit. Even if they are caught out lying and admit they have lied, they will continue to lie again and again because they can’t stop.

How Do Pathological and Compulsive Liars Impact Other People?

Dealing with a pathological or compulsive liar can be quite infuriating, wearisome, and heartbreaking. Their lies can make you feel different and unwanted emotions. You can feel hurt, betrayed, unloved, uncared for, and sometimes feel afraid.

They can damage other people’s reputations and careers, and make others believe you are the liar and guilty party. Other instances of frequent lying can lead to legal actions from their victims.

Pathological or compulsive liars can cause broken relationships, whether personal or professional, once you recognize the signs, because it is then hard to trust the person. Even a simple conversation with them can make you feel uneasy.