someone who lies constantly only for attention. they lie about the most simple things. exaggerates the situation to the point of fiction. is very nutty, and does need mental help.
Is your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend a compulsive/pathological liar or a sociopath? Or are you dealing with a child that lies[->0]?
To begin with, it may help to understand the difference between a pathological or compulsive liar and a sociopath (see, types of liars[->1]). Ultimately, making this type of distinction may not be that useful. Because in either case, the outcome is typically the same: dealing with a compulsive or pathological liar is very difficult to do. And unfortunately, sociopaths cannot be changed (see, lovefraud[->2]). A compulsive liar will resort to telling lies, regardless of the situation. Again, everyone lies from time to time (see, when lovers lie[->3]), but for a compulsive liar, telling lies is routine. It becomes a habit - a way of life. Simply put, for a compulsive liar, lying becomes second nature. Not only do compulsive liars bend the truth about issues large and small, they take comfort in it. Lying feels right to a compulsive liar. Telling the truth, on the other hand, is difficult and uncomfortable. And like any behavior which provides comfort and an escape from discomfort (i.e., alcohol, drugs, sex), lying can become addictive and hard to stop. For the compulsive liar, lying feels safe and this fuels the desire to lie even more. Making matters even more complicated, compulsive lying is often a symptom of a much larger personality disorder, which only makes the problem more difficult to resolve (see, narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder[->4]). Unfortunately, compulsive lying is hard for the person involved to see, but it hurts those who are around it. Compulsive lying, if not addressed, can easily ruin a relationship (for example, see why does he need to lie[->5]). Compulsive lying can be dealt with through counseling or therapy. But, like any addictive behavior (and/or personality disorder), getting someone to admit they have a problem with lying is the difficult part. Sadly enough, getting someone to recognize that he or she has a problem usually requires hitting rock bottom first.
Rooted in poor self-esteem
Lying for many reasons, or no reason at all
Not officially a mental disorder
Suggests deeper psychological problems
Almost everyone has encountered a pathological liar—the type of person who in one conversation claims to have dined with the Queen of England, danced back-up for Madonna, and dived with great white sharks. The problem for pathological liars is that their attempts to impress often backfire. Instead of getting the love and attention they seek, they usually earn scorn and ridicule. A habit of lying can quickly ruin a person’s reputation and interfere with his ability to establish meaningful relationships. We all lie, in many different ways, many times a day—mainly to avoid hurting ourselves or others. Experts believe that children figure out by the age of 4 that they can mislead others with lies. But what makes a person leap from social- or self-defense lying to habitual, compulsive lying? Why they lie
Some psychologists theorize that a chronic liar is trying to deceive herself as much as she is trying to deceive others. Because of poor self-esteem, she wants to believe her lies, and often does believe them, at least while she’s telling them. Some of the hallmarks of pathological liars include telling outrageously dramatic stories, telling fibs that are easily disputed, changing stories when challenged and, most importantly, lying even when there’s no apparent benefit in telling the lie. Compulsive liars lie for many reasons, including no reason at all, but most often they lie to: ·
control and manipulate
compensate for feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem ·
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