Dealing with a serial liar

Close-up with KC Ejelonu

Email: Twitter: @kcejelonu

Some of us tell “little” lies once in a while and we pray for forgiveness.  Sometimes, a white lie can be better than the harsh truth and it could be an easier and safer alternative. But a compulsive liar will resort to telling lies, regardless of the situation. Again, everyone lies from time to time, 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, no matter how large and small it is, they take comfort in it. Lying feels right to a compulsive liar. Telling the truth on the other hand, is difficult and uncomfortable.

People often say “honesty is the best policy.” After carefully studying some individuals I know, I realise that serial liars have a habit of lying and constantly have this intense fear of how others will see them. They give others a false sense of who they are. It does take practice to tell the truth and that is not easy for a serial liar who is constantly telling and living a lie. Even when caught in a lie and are in a tight corner with evidence proving they are not been honest, their reaction is to tell a lie.

Still telling those lies can make you seem more innocent, nicer and generally a nicer person. But what starts off as a little white lie now and then could turn into something deeper and darker when it goes out of control.

Lying is a habit, and is something to be ashamed of. It can hurt when your partner catches you lying, but the only reason you are doing it is because you want the easier way out. Telling a lie to someone you care about will save you a few expectations, but it’ll lead to you feeling guilty all the time, and some individuals don’t feel guilty at all, especially the ones I have come in contact with. I would like to ask such individuals, “wouldn’t it be better if you could just tell the truth and feel good inside instead of concocting lies and swirling several other lies out of thin air just to protect the first lie?”

All said and done, is lying even worth it when it only makes you feel worse or you lose someone you care about in the process or what about starting a relationship with lies as the foundation?

Imagine a young man who is Muslim, dating a Catholic young lady who comes from a very liberal family. Relationship blossom, so it seemed, until a little lie the young man told about another young lady and the truth comes out. To cut the story short, he was dating two ladies at the same time and promised both of them marriage….Men! Men!! Men!!! Why oh why???? He kept lying even while he was caught, how he does it I don’t understand but I feel like there must be a demon involved.

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. Unfortunately, compulsive lying is not easy and 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.

It’s like telling a friend who drinks every night he is an alcoholic. Compulsive liars lie to themselves because they want to convince themselves that the lie is the truth. In their mind and little world, they are telling the truth. It is a dangerous game and eventually, they will only believe what they choose to believe and start erasing all other thought that make them look bad from their mind.

Compulsive lying can be dealt with through counselling or therapy, but if you are ashamed to speak to someone, go through the few steps below:

Understand the fact – Realise that the lying is getting out of control.

Have self-respect – Most liars don’t have self-respect. They believe that the truth would make them appear bad. Believe in yourself and respect yourself. You’ll become a better person and refrain from doing anything that may force you to lie.

Have moral principles – If you have strong principles and follow them, you won’t have to lie to anyone. Be your own judge and avoid indulging in something that you have to lie about.

If you’re wrong, you’re wrong- Everyone makes mistakes. Learn to accept your fault instead of letting someone else take the blame for it. Sometimes the consequences can feel better than the guilt.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – Would you like to be lied to all the time? Wouldn’t you feel hurt if you knew that your partner is constantly lying through their teeth for no reason at all?

Talk to someone you trust – Tell a trustworthy person who will not condemn you and tell them your deepest secrets. If you can’t brave yourself up for that, do it on a paper.