It’s frustrating to be lied to, not only once but most of the time. Some lies are harmless and may even be necessary, but when lying becomes compulsive, it’s a different story. It can be difficult to deal with a compulsive liar, but if you’re willing to help someone you know, there are ways compulsive liars can overcome their bad habits.
Compulsive liars lie out of habit, usually for no apparent reason, often not even for their personal gain. Lying has become such a habit that it becomes more comfortable for them to tell lies than truths.
What You Can Do
Here are some ways you can deal with a compulsive liar:
It’s annoying when someone lies to you, especially if it happens a lot. It’s tempting to show how enraged you are, to shout, and call them names, but you must remain calm. They’re probably living in such a different dimension that it’s not worth your energy to argue with them.
Remember, compulsive liars get defensive when you confront them, and even with evidence, they will likely deny your accusations. Keep your cool no matter what. Don’t argue with them because it will begin a pointless cycle of arguing.
They may turn things around so that it’s you who looks bad and becomes intimidated. It’s just not worth your energy because it won’t get you to the truth.
Understand Why They Lie
Compulsive liars don’t lie just because they want to. Some know their condition and hate being who they are because of it. Their compulsive lying can be a symptom of an underlying problem, such as personality disorder or addiction.
Their childhood and environment can also be a factor in their behavior.
For example, they may not have received enough positive attention because they had a dysfunctional family, or they have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused when they were young. Understanding where they’re coming from can help you keep an open mind, so you can be more patient as you try to figure out ways to help them.
Call Them Out
While compulsive liars may never admit to their lies even with irrefutable facts, you should still call them out. Let them know that you know they’re lying by pointing out inconsistencies and inaccuracies in what they’re saying. When you point out that some information doesn’t add up, it can help undercut the lie.
Don’t be an enabler and avoid encouraging them.
When you nod or smile or laugh or show that you somehow agree even when you know that they’re lying, it will make them think that you believe their lies. That will encourage them to keep it up and tell more lies.
Pick Your Battles
While it’s important to call them out, you don’t have to do it for all the instances that they lie. That would be exhausting and even more frustrating on your part. Pick your battles. Learn when to let go of the small lies they tell, like being friends with someone famous or dining with someone important.
Reserve your energy for confronting the big lies, especially the ones you don’t understand or that particularly affect you. That’s when it can be worth it to have a discussion.
Ask Them to Seek Professional Help
When it’s someone close to you, you can suggest that they seek professional help. Ask them to go to therapy. This can be a touchy topic, so you must explain to them how therapy can help them overcome their bad habit of lying and be a better version of themselves. Seeking professional help isn’t a sign of weakness but of courage to change for the better.
Ignore and Walk Away
Sometimes when there’s nothing left to do, it’s best to ignore them and walk away. If their compulsive lying is making it hard for you to make your relationship work out, it’s not worth staying. Leave when you need to. You need to take care of yourself first because you shouldn’t be in a toxic relationship.
Dealing with compulsive liars is difficult, frustrating, and annoying. It can ruin relationships, not to mention that it’s exhausting. If the person lying to you is someone really close, like a family member that you can’t simply leave, you need to find ways to make it easier for you. Always remain calm and know which battles to fight.