A PATHOLOGICAL liar can make a person feel confused by their temperament when they speak, leading them to wonder if what they say is true.
Over the course of their life, pathological liars tell on average about ten lies a day, ruining their ties to people around them.
What is a pathological liar?
A study on pathological liars focused on 623 people and found that about 13 percent of people are pathological liars.
The term was coined in 1891 by psychiatrist Anton Delbrück to describe someone who told so many lies that it could be considered pathological.
An individual who is considered to be a pathological liar will generally go beyond a normal exaggeration to use lying to manipulate or deceive others.
The difference between lying and being defined as a pathological liar is the person's need to lie without a motive.
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Generally, a lie is told for a reason that would benefit the individual, however, a pathological liar will tell them for no reason at all.
The study was published in the Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice journal and reported the individuals were asked a series of questions while being given a lie detector test.
They found that out of the 13 percent, the majority told on average ten lies each day, and some admitted to telling lies for no reason, saying they sometimes grew out of an initial lie.
The study is one of only a few that has been done in the area, and the cause of pathological lying is still unknown.
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Researchers say they need to conduct additional tests and studies to determine the underlying reasons for a person developing into a pathological liar.
What are the characteristics of a pathological liar?
Pathological liars can appear to be no different than those who lie regularly, however, there are some characteristics to set them apart.
- Their lie does not seem to have a clear benefit
- Their lies are usually dramatic, overly embellished, complicated, and detailed
- They sometimes believe the lies they tell, sometimes falling into the category of delusion
- They usually portray themselves as the hero or the victim in the lies they tell
How can you cope with a pathological liar?
Pathological liars can be more frustrating to friends and family members because they do not stand anything to gain from telling their lies.
However, there are ways to respond to a pathological liar including:
- Controlling your temper – It is important to respond to them in a way that is firm but kind and supportive.
- Expect them to deny the lie – If confronted, the individual will likely deny the accusation and may express shock or become enraged.
- Remember, the lie is not about you – It's easy to take a pathological liar personally, but it's important to remember that it may be driven by anxiety, low self-esteem, or an underlying personality disorder, according to Healthline.
- Be supportive – Tell them you like them for who they are and express they do not need to lie to you.
- Do not engage in the lie – Instead, tell them you don't want to continue the conversation while they're being dishonest.
- Suggest they seek medical help – This should be done with support and kindness, telling them you are genuinely concerned for their well-being.
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