We all have certain behaviors which we use to further reach our goals - if a particular behavior isn’t beneficial to us at all, we would do anything to stop it. These behaviors can be positive or negative, and one of the most damaging to relationships is the tendency to lie compulsively. Of course, everyone lies from time to time, but compulsive liars see no reason to stop, even when lying isn’t really necessary - as if they are allergic to the truth. No one wants to find themselves in a relationship with a compulsive liar, which is why you should be familiar with these seven red flags. In the end, you will also find out what your options are in dealing with such a person, without being repeatedly hurt by the habits of the compulsive liar.
While most of us will lie to avoid putting ourselves in harm's way, to protect another person's feelings or to physically protect another person, the compulsive liar will lie about everything, even if it isn’t necessary. Even an innocent question like "Have you eaten lunch" can get a "no", while the liar did have lunch - they just can’t tell the truth because they’re so used to lying about everything - big and small.
The compulsive liar knows inwardly that they are lying, but must live with themselves somehow, so their mind will try to protect them by convincing them that they are right. Even if that isn’t the case, they will justify their reason for lying. Sometimes the compulsive liar will even get irritated in order to divert the conversation in a different direction from their lie, in order to confuse you and make you feel guilty for snooping.
The compulsive liar doesn’t harm people around them just because of their lies, but also simply because of the fact that they are compulsive liars in the first place – they are manipulative people who make you feel guilty for not trusting them, even though they are lying. Such people are often sociopaths or narcissists, and these mental disorders help them to not feel bad when lying. In contrast, when a normal person lies, there is a small voice inside that tells them they’re doing something wrong, but pathological liars have the "ability" to suppress or ignore this voice.
Every compulsive liar gets twisted in their lives but they’ll never admit it, instead just adding more stories and details until you couldn’t possibly believe what they’re telling you. The pathological liar has no problem changing their story 10 times and will never admit to it. At the same time, you’ll feel as if you are walking through a maze every time you hear them speak - whenever you think you’ve called the liar out on their lies, they’ll add a new detail that will leave you exhausted from trying to understand the truth.
Many pathological liars have no apathy or ability to see how their lies affect others. They lie mainly for self-gain, no matter who gets hurt. They can’t be moved, they don’t care if you cry or beg, and the only thing that interests them is their feelings. If you think you can change a compulsive liar, know it's impossible - this disorder is so deeply embedded within them that they can’t see what they're doing wrong, even if you tell them.
One of the most important things in a relationship is mutual trust, and if you can’t depend on the person beside you, there’s no way you can have a truly loving and meaningful relationship with them. The compulsive liar will disappoint you time after time, and maybe at the beginning of the relationship you’ll justify it, along with them, in a variety of ways, but at the end, you’ll understand that you can’t possibly have a normal relationship with them.
Further to the previous section, it is very difficult to identify a compulsive liar at the beginning of the relationship, because the lies they come up with are usually small and over issues that may not seem important. However, as time progresses, the little lies continue and grow bigger and bigger, because the compulsive liar understands that they can trick you with their lies. One lie builds on top of the other until finally, you discover that your whole relationship was based on lies and truth was a rare commodity.
As stated, the compulsive liar can’t be easily changed – they have used lies for their benefit their whole lives. The compulsive liar doesn’t see an advantage in honesty and therefore will refrain from it quite regularly, whether it stems from severe mental illness or simply a lack of conscience, there is no reason for you to suffer from it. This is, of course, so long as the liar doesn’t understand their situation and turn to professional help on their own, to find that other mental states could be the cause of their lying, such as narcissistic disorder, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder. These disorders can be treated.
If the compulsive liar doesn’t want to go to therapy, the only way to deal with it is to stay away from them. If one day they do change, it probably won’t be while they are with you, because you've already shown them that their lies work on you and that they can avoid honesty in your conversations. There is no reason for you to be the victim of their selfish motives, and you must protect yourself against their destructive tendencies.