Admit it; we’ve all got a little Pinocchio inside of us that makes an appearance when we aren’t fully comfortable with sharing the truth. Whether it’s lying about cheating in a test or a simple white lie about why you can’t hang out, we’ve all done it at some point in our lives; at times even without realizing it.
7 Kinds of Liars
While the general census is that ‘all sorts of lying is bad’, where do we draw the line between what’s forgivable and what’s completely unacceptable? How many white lies can you tell before you lose complete credibility with people around you? Is your lying a notorious habit, a nervous tick, or part of a much bigger problem such as a personality disorder? We explore the answers to all these questions by classifying the different types of liars and how to spot them in your daily lives.
#1 The White Liar
People start telling white lies from a very young age and since they are usually mixed with a little bit of truth, most people deem them harmless. If you lie about how good someone looks in their new dress, then that comes under a white lie. It’s usually said to prevent unnecessary banter or to spare someone’s feelings in everyday situations.
#2 The Casual or Impulsive Liar
These are your common everyday liars who don’t hurt anybody in the long term. For example, people might lie to avoid awkward situations or lie to their parents about passing an exam they failed, etc. They usually do exhibit some sort of remorse or guilt when caught in the lie and tend to avoid repeating it.
Although these lies can easily be forgiven or forgotten about, if it turns into a habit then people usually start to distance themselves from such liars. Plus, keep in mind that it’s quite easy to fall into a web of lies from a basic lie if you’re not careful.
#3 Compulsive or Careless Liars
Lying becomes a habit for these people and is oftentimes quite unnecessary. Such people tend to make up tales about their achievements, social circles, and abilities to seem better than they are. However, they can usually be quite inconsistent with their stories and this makes them not only very easy to spot but also quite unpopular amongst people.
In every aspect of your life, people rely on you, love you, and trust you for your personality and the words you communicate. So when compulsive liars fail to live up to the expectations that they’ve set for themselves in front of others or full fill their responsibilities then they’re usually put in the “untrustworthy” category by most.
#4 Pathological liars
Pathological liars are people who lie compulsively without any genuine reason, usually to gain the sympathies of others. Although pathological and compulsive liars have similar characteristics as they both can’t help but lie about everyday situations in their lives; there is a significant difference when it comes to the intention behind their lies. Pathological liars neither experience guilt, not remorse over the lies they tell, and in some cases, might even believe their lies.
Not only do they fail to recognize that they’re in the wrong but are usually hard to catch since their lies are so detailed and seamless. Often, pathological lying is associated with personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.
#5 Narcissistic liar
A narcissistic liar is a type of a pathological liar who can share tendencies with both psychopaths and sociopaths. However, in this case, the lies usually stem from ego rather than logic. These types of people have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude and seem to have locked their hearts away.
With their nasty manipulative habits of luring people into trouble with them, they can usually get away with most of it by blaming the rest. Getting rid of a narcissistic person can take a lot of effort because they will always retaliate with the same lies about their love for you and refer to their mistakes as mere ‘slip-ups that you also had a hand in’. As hard as it may seem, when stuck around people like these, it’s best to get out as soon as possible!
#6 Sociopathic Liars
Sociopathic liars have freed themselves from moral and social obligations and can henceforth be the reason for the emotional distraught of others. Sociopaths are believed to be a product of a traumatic environment. Even though their lying tendencies seem similar to those of pathological liars, the difference lies in how disorganized and narcissistic they are.
Unlike pathological liars who are known as ‘parasitic liars’, these liars tend to be erratic, despise the opposite gender, and don’t feel remorse or empathy. When caught in a lie, they tend to get defensive and use humor and sarcasm as coping mechanisms. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean that you’re a sociopath every time you use humor and sarcasm to retell tales of your trauma.
#7 Psychopathic liars
Psychopathic liars almost completely dissociate their psychopathic tendencies from their normal lives- even though they are completely integrated into each other. Most scientists believe that psychopaths are born with a different brain than normal people which makes it relatively easy for them to lie without any remorse. However, they have been known to do this with the motivation of personal gain, for example, certain politicians who try to speak to people’s sympathies and take advantage of them.
A very interesting fact to point out is that psychopaths sometimes leave behind hints of their lies as if they want to be caught. They are excellent planners and will not care about the unfortunate consequences to other people involved in their plans. They will pretend to feel certain emotions to manipulate people but won’t genuinely be feeling them, which makes these people particularly scary to deal with!
How to Spot Liars?
Most liars that we encounter in our daily lives are generally easy to spot as long as you’re aware of the red flags you need to be looking out for! While this will be much harder with psychopathic and sociopathic liars, they do have certain traits of their own (as mentioned above) that make their personalities seem different and unnerving at times!
- Go with your gut!
The most important thing to remember when it comes to liars is to remember to listen to your gut instinct! Liars of all types will keep spinning stories to sound as believable as possible but make sure you are on the lookout for any indication of a lie. This doesn’t mean that you pick apart every conversation you have with people but do keep your guard up around those you don’t know very well or people who have been known to spread lies and rumors about others. If it gets uncomfortable then feel free to get out of the situation however you feel necessary. Depending on the person, you could either call them out on their lie or simply make an excuse to leave.
- Dig for the details!
While most people have the general made-up story in their heads, they tend to slip when it comes to minor details. If they say they can’t remember or keep changing stories every time they’re asked to repeat, then chances are they are lying to you. A great way to determine whether you’re being lied to or not is by asking the person to repeat the story in reverse; however not many people will be down for this as it could seem like a complete waste of time!
- Observe body language
Most people can tell if a person’s lying or not just by observing their behavior and body language. It’s especially easy to notice suspicious behavior in people you’ve known for a while as they might do things out of habit such as shaking their legs, fiddling around with hands, etc. If people seem to be in a hurry to get away from you in the moment or are quick to change the subject that usually indicates that they’ve got something to hide!
- Learn to recognize a pattern
This is very important for people with psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies. Keep in mind the person’s history when it comes to honesty. If they’ve been known for lying about things on multiple occasions then you’ll know they’re fully capable of doing it again.
You need to take a step back and see if you recognize the following pattern (or something similar). You catch the person in a lie; however they ‘sincerely’ apologize and make false promises of never repeating their mistake. While apologizing, they might shift the blame for their wrongdoing over to you while simultaneously claiming to care a lot about you. However, without realizing it, you get manipulated into trusting them again and often end up being collateral damage to their plans.
You need to recognize that you’ve been lied to over and over again by masterminds who seem to want what’s best for you. It is in your best interest to completely distance yourself from such people once and for all. Just calling them out on their lies won’t do much as they fail to feel guilt and will simply move onto the next ‘target’.
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