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How to handle a pathological liar?

 
MyAffliction
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User ID: 2317943
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01/19/2013 03:52 PM
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How to handle a pathological liar?
This girl I know was a work acquaintance over the past 10 years we would always wind up back in each others lives for one reason or another. I always kept her as an acquaintance because she would always tell "stories". Recently she contacted me again because she was pregnant. She seemed to have cleaned up her act in the past 2 years we weren't talking. She had gotten a good job and her own place. So I let her into my life. Well, it didn't last long, her "pregnancy" that is. She told me about how she went out the night before and drank or something and I said "Why are you drinking while pregnant?" and she winds up telling me this hour long blatant lie about her miscarriage. The whole story sounded like bullshit. To top off the fact nothing in her story made sense, she also was VERY cold about the fact that she just lost this child. I brushed it off and decided maybe she just made up the lie because she didn't know another reason to call me out of the blue. Also we had kind of bonded in the 3 weeks we were talking. She had a horrible childhood which gave me empathy as to why she felt the need to lie all the time. Then she tells me she is pregnant AGAIN! I smelled bullshit from the beginning. Her stories of what the doctor was telling her made no sense. I didn't react the same as the first time and kept her at arms length for a week. She sends me a text of her new tattoo. Then calls me, after telling her it was cool, I say "What are you doing getting tattoos while pregnant? I don't know a single tattoo artist that would do that." She tells me AGAIN She just miscarried. The whole story I didn't feed into it at all. I just said "Uh huh" and "Okay" during the entire thing. UGH! So now I have stopped calling her completely but I answer if she calls me. a week passes and she calls me to tell me that it mustn't have been a miscarriage, her doctor says she is still pregnant. I don't know what to do. Should I just call her out and say "Look I know you weren't pregnant, that's fine, you don't need to lie to me" Or what? The reason I haven't done it yet is because I was waiting for some "Smoking Gun" type of lie that I could use as backup in case she tries to deny the lie.

Last Edited by MyAffliction on 01/19/2013 06:56 PM
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 04:02 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
If it bothers you then don't have anything to do with her. That part is your choice after all.

If it isn't that big of a deal, then just don't take anything she says seriously.

Your call.
MyAffliction (OP)

User ID: 2317943
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01/19/2013 04:12 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 04:17 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Give enough rope to hang herself.

Let her lie. Fake believe her. Go along with it.

Then when the house of cards falls, tell her you don't care about the cards, that she is fine as the true version of herself and if she delivers that you will continue to be her friend. But if feel like you can't trust her then you will have to stop caring.

You may need to allow it to play out in order to demonstrate that you truly don't care about the nonsense lies, but do care enough about her to walk with her through all this difficulty she is experiencing, causing her to feel the need to lie.

Sun Tzu: When enemy attacks, you retreat, when enemy retreats you attack.
MyAffliction (OP)

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01/19/2013 04:22 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Ok thank you. That's what I have been doing is waiting for the lie to completely fall apart. I could certainly make it happen faster if I could manage to hang out with her AND her BF and bring up something I know is a lie. However, she always makes plans for him to come and cancels EVERY time for some silly reason.
lightchild_uk

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01/19/2013 04:22 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I am sorry OP but she will NOT change.

Get a mirror, smash it with a hammer.
Then try and fix it, it will never be right again.

Her mind is probably shattered just like that mirror.
Lucky Charms

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01/19/2013 04:29 PM

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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I advise employing the Socratic Method.
Normally employed in debates, I find it works pretty well with liars too.

Go look it up if you need to, it's not complex.
Then next time she spins some bull (or you suspect it's bull) start off as if you are highly interested in what she has said... maintain an attitude of openness and innocence in your questions.

You don't need to wait for the smoking gun lie, you can help her generate it on demand by simply asking questions when you suspect she's telling porkies.

Don't make them accusatory questions, keep an attitude of innocent interest.

Eventually in order to cope with your probing she'll have to lie to support her lie and lie to support the lie supporting the lie etc until the whole steaming pile of bullshit collapses under it's own weight.

For example with the tattoo incident, you should have asked her what studio, you should have made your point about no artist inking a pregnant woman to her, then start banging on about lawsuits etc... Call the studio, tell her you're going down there with her to take this irresponsible artist to task, keep piling it on, tell her you're lawyer is ready to get involved... go nuts, blow it out of proportion, make it a BIG deal. ;)

Like when a kid fakes being sick to avoid school and the smart parent says "ok, no school... but we're going to the doctor, get in the car."

The kids tummy bug clears up pretty quick.

Last Edited by Lucky Charms on 01/19/2013 04:29 PM
'Magically Delicious'
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 05:04 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I know where your coming from OP - I have one of these in my life also. Btw did you know that it has been proven that when people tell lies and stick to them - that after a time the lie is true to them. Frightening really living a life of bs - they crack in the end. My liar trips herself up constanly. Just note these things in the back of your head. As to your friends upbringing, imho she needs Big Help. hf
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 05:06 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
PS - return her "drama" feed with pure logic - really stuffs em up

abduct
MyAffliction (OP)

User ID: 2317943
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01/19/2013 05:21 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I advise employing the Socratic Method.
Normally employed in debates, I find it works pretty well with liars too.

Go look it up if you need to, it's not complex.
Then next time she spins some bull (or you suspect it's bull) start off as if you are highly interested in what she has said... maintain an attitude of openness and innocence in your questions.

You don't need to wait for the smoking gun lie, you can help her generate it on demand by simply asking questions when you suspect she's telling porkies.

Don't make them accusatory questions, keep an attitude of innocent interest.

Eventually in order to cope with your probing she'll have to lie to support her lie and lie to support the lie supporting the lie etc until the whole steaming pile of bullshit collapses under it's own weight.

For example with the tattoo incident, you should have asked her what studio, you should have made your point about no artist inking a pregnant woman to her, then start banging on about lawsuits etc... Call the studio, tell her you're going down there with her to take this irresponsible artist to task, keep piling it on, tell her you're lawyer is ready to get involved... go nuts, blow it out of proportion, make it a BIG deal. ;)

Like when a kid fakes being sick to avoid school and the smart parent says "ok, no school... but we're going to the doctor, get in the car."

The kids tummy bug clears up pretty quick.
 Quoting: Lucky Charms


Ooh this is great!! I was thinking of asking her the doctor she has been seeing because I'm "looking for a good OB". As a start at least! You guys have some great feedback thank you!! Everyone else is just telling me to kick her to the curb. That's just not me to a fault lol

I hate all this drama but I have the feeling nobody has ever called her out in her life which gives me a glimmer of hope. I can think harder about how i will handle our friendship depending on how she reacts to the accusation she is lying.
natasha77

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01/19/2013 05:50 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I have pathalogical liars as acquaintances, three of them.
I stay far away, but on those rare occasions when I run into them, I go all pathalogical on them TOO.

For every big lie they tell me, I tell them a bigger one.
It doesn't cure them, they don't believe me, but I get the satisfaction of lying to them as they do to everyone they know.

Sad thing is, I doubt if this makes them reflect on THEIR lies.
LOL
SPEAK UP. SILENCE IS DEADLY!

I am currently experiencing life at several WTFs per hour.

:flatearth:
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 05:59 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Tell her what Dr Phil (and I) always tell liars:

"Don't talk to me if you're not goanna tell me th' truth."
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:02 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


Some sociopaths are born that way, you are wasting your time, she just sees you as a patsy. Cut her out of your life, she'll keep coming back with a 'poor me' story so you have to be firm. These people seek out others with empathy because they know they can manipulate them through it. Been there and done this kinda thing and got the T shirt.
MyAffliction (OP)

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01/19/2013 06:27 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


Some sociopaths are born that way, you are wasting your time, she just sees you as a patsy. Cut her out of your life, she'll keep coming back with a 'poor me' story so you have to be firm. These people seek out others with empathy because they know they can manipulate them through it. Been there and done this kinda thing and got the T shirt.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 26440764


I know she is not a sociopath because she hasn't tried to take advantage of me other than looking for me to buy into her lies. She actually is a very giving person and we share things and swap things and if anything she has given me more than I have her. I know she has stolen in the past from stores and claims to be part of the robbery of someone's house as a teenager. But she hasn't attempted to swindle anything from me except attention.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:29 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I used to think that about my ex best friend too, if they'll steal from stores they'll steal from you too.
MyAffliction (OP)

User ID: 2317943
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01/19/2013 06:30 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I have pathalogical liars as acquaintances, three of them.
I stay far away, but on those rare occasions when I run into them, I go all pathalogical on them TOO.

For every big lie they tell me, I tell them a bigger one.
It doesn't cure them, they don't believe me, but I get the satisfaction of lying to them as they do to everyone they know.

Sad thing is, I doubt if this makes them reflect on THEIR lies.
LOL
 Quoting: natasha77


Haha that's hilarious! If anything you're making them stop in their tracks with the lie!
MyAffliction (OP)

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01/19/2013 06:36 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I used to think that about my ex best friend too, if they'll steal from stores they'll steal from you too.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 26440764


I appreciate the advice and will be continuing my distance until I can completely confront her.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:48 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


She needs to talk to a Family Counselor in her area.

Meaning she must go in on her own.

If you care about her, tell her that and make shure she actuly goes....

Or else, there is probably very little that you can do.

Although a Family counselor CAN probably help her. But she will have to Want the help on her own--you cannot make her want it.

Look in your yellow pages for a Family Counselor...

If she's a Mexican, get used to it, most of them Lie like this all the time....for them there is no hope, and they want no help.

other than that...Smile and be glad you're not all messed up in the head like that, becasue it must suck pretty bad being her.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:49 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Dont ask them anything...
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:51 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
This girl I know was a work acquaintance over the past 10 years we would always wind up back in each others lives for one reason or another. I always kept her as an acquaintance because she would always tell "stories". Recently she contacted me again because she was pregnant. She seemed to have cleaned up her act in the past 2 years we weren't talking. She had gotten a good job and her own place. So I let her into my life. Well, it didn't last long, her "pregnancy" that is. She told me about how she went out the night before and drank or something and I said "Why are you drinking while pregnant?" and she winds up telling me this hour long blatant lie about her miscarriage. The whole story sounded like bullshit. To top off the fact nothing in her story made sense, she also was VERY cold about the fact that she just lost this child. I brushed it off and decided maybe she just made up the lie because she didn't know another reason to call me out of the blue. Also we had kind of bonded in the 3 weeks we were talking. She had a horrible childhood which gave me empathy as to why she felt the need to lie all the time. Then she tells me she is pregnant AGAIN! I smelled bullshit from the beginning. Her stories of what the doctor was telling her made no sense. I didn't react the same as the first time and kept her at arms length for a week. She sends me a text of her new tattoo. Then calls me, after telling her it was cool, I say "What are you doing getting tattoos while pregnant? I don't know a single tattoo artist that would do that." She tells me AGAIN She just miscarried. The whole story I didn't feed into it at all. I just said "Uh huh" and "Okay" during the entire thing. UGH! So now I have stopped calling her completely but I answer if she calls me. a week passes and she calls me to tell me that it mustn't have been a miscarriage, her doctor says she is still pregnant. I don't know what to do. Should I just call her out and say "Look I know you weren't pregnant, that's fine, you don't need to lie to me" Or what? The reason I haven't done it yet is because I was waiting for some "Smoking Gun" type of lie that I could use as backup in case she tries to deny the lie.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


How does someone "Mentally Abuse" some else? What do mean they tortured her mentally or something? What does that mean?
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:51 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Learn to spell "pathological" and go from there, that's my suggestion.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 06:54 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Does she blink at you like this when she talks to you?

MyAffliction (OP)

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01/19/2013 08:02 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
This girl I know was a work acquaintance over the past 10 years we would always wind up back in each others lives for one reason or another. I always kept her as an acquaintance because she would always tell "stories". Recently she contacted me again because she was pregnant. She seemed to have cleaned up her act in the past 2 years we weren't talking. She had gotten a good job and her own place. So I let her into my life. Well, it didn't last long, her "pregnancy" that is. She told me about how she went out the night before and drank or something and I said "Why are you drinking while pregnant?" and she winds up telling me this hour long blatant lie about her miscarriage. The whole story sounded like bullshit. To top off the fact nothing in her story made sense, she also was VERY cold about the fact that she just lost this child. I brushed it off and decided maybe she just made up the lie because she didn't know another reason to call me out of the blue. Also we had kind of bonded in the 3 weeks we were talking. She had a horrible childhood which gave me empathy as to why she felt the need to lie all the time. Then she tells me she is pregnant AGAIN! I smelled bullshit from the beginning. Her stories of what the doctor was telling her made no sense. I didn't react the same as the first time and kept her at arms length for a week. She sends me a text of her new tattoo. Then calls me, after telling her it was cool, I say "What are you doing getting tattoos while pregnant? I don't know a single tattoo artist that would do that." She tells me AGAIN She just miscarried. The whole story I didn't feed into it at all. I just said "Uh huh" and "Okay" during the entire thing. UGH! So now I have stopped calling her completely but I answer if she calls me. a week passes and she calls me to tell me that it mustn't have been a miscarriage, her doctor says she is still pregnant. I don't know what to do. Should I just call her out and say "Look I know you weren't pregnant, that's fine, you don't need to lie to me" Or what? The reason I haven't done it yet is because I was waiting for some "Smoking Gun" type of lie that I could use as backup in case she tries to deny the lie.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


How does someone "Mentally Abuse" some else? What do mean they tortured her mentally or something? What does that mean?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 12366656


I was just trying to be vague but I went into more detail in the following post
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 08:10 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
I ignore liars.
Spirit666
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01/19/2013 08:16 PM

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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
My sister is a pathological liar. It started when she was very young and got worse as she got into her teen years. Now she grown and still telling lies. She believes her lies...it's a sickness that without help or treatment gets worse and worse. I had to cut off contact with my sister because everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. I now know she can't control it. She lives in her fantasy world. Sad...I wish my parents would have gotten her the help she needed when she was younger. Either way If I was in your shoes I would cut off contact. You never know what is a lie or what isn't and that is no friendship at all...

hf
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Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 08:21 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
Mvy experience with liars is that they never change, the lie just evolves and gets bigger.

I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw; "a liar's punishment is not that he cannot be believed, its that he cannot believe anyone else"

Most liars live in delusion about themselves and how they are perceived. If I catch someone in a lie, they get one chance to come clean, if they choose to be dishonest then they get discarded and ignored.

With the world falling apart, you don't have the luxury of putting up with that shit, you need people you can trust.
Light to Go

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01/19/2013 08:29 PM

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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
She sounds a little crazy. You might care about her, but you should care more about yourself at this point in the game. You are giving her a platform to play out her neurotic impulses. She could end up being potentially dangerous, for instance, say that you are the father in her next pregnancy claim.
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ibis

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01/19/2013 08:35 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
 Quoting: MyAffliction


If she is such a pathological liar, how do you even know that her childhood stories are true? Some people lie about everything. They are LIARS.
beeches

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01/19/2013 08:43 PM

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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
My sister is a pathological liar. It started when she was very young and got worse as she got into her teen years. Now she grown and still telling lies. She believes her lies...it's a sickness that without help or treatment gets worse and worse. I had to cut off contact with my sister because everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. I now know she can't control it. She lives in her fantasy world. Sad...I wish my parents would have gotten her the help she needed when she was younger. Either way If I was in your shoes I would cut off contact. You never know what is a lie or what isn't and that is no friendship at all...

hf
 Quoting: Spirit666


Sad, to have to break off contact with your sister, but I know you must have gone through a lot to get to that point.

Maybe therapy would have helped, maybe not.

You are right about cutting off the contact for the OP.

Lies keep you always off balance. . . .
Now is the time.
Anonymous Coward
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01/19/2013 08:49 PM
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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
It bothers me and is a big deal because I care about her. I'd like her to stop. Her father is in jail for murder and her mom was a drug addict and she was put in the foster care system and was repeatedly sexually, physically and mentally abused. She is young enough that I think she could change.
 Quoting: MyAffliction
could that be a lie also? sorta sounds like a bullshit story liars like to tell
KonaCoffee

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01/19/2013 08:51 PM

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Re: How to handle a pathological liar?
RUN!~That's my advice.

I also have a sister in this category.
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My nickname is Eileen Toodaleft.

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