Chronic Liar

Chronic Liar

It is tough to identify chronic liars as their lies are not easily recognizable. In the following article, we will understand what is a chronic liar, the symptoms, and treatment, if any...
PsycholoGenie Staff
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to understanding which factors make up for a chronic liar. Why? Because it often overlaps with pathological liars. Their symptoms may be same, however, there is a world of difference between the two. Chronic liars, often known as compulsive liars, are people who lie for no apparent reason. It isn't that there is a motive behind their lies and not necessarily that they do it to gain attention. These types of liars keep making small, irrelevant, and even big lies because lying has become a habit of theirs. Apart from that, they don't really feel guilty or remorse about their lies. On the other hand, a pathological liar would be someone who wants to get out of a situation on their own convenience. Hence, they are also known as situational liars. They will do something but then again deny it, make faulty stories to back their lies. So now that we know the difference between the two, why don't we take a closer look at what chronic lying is.

The Disorder

If this term is still a bit confusing for you, let's make it even more clearer. What does the word "chronic" mean? It means for a long duration or continuous; as in chronic headaches or chronic backaches. That is why, if we say "chronic lying", that will mean a certain individual has been lying for a long period of time and it just comes naturally to them. Lying has become such a huge part of their lives that more often than not, the lies have become their reality and like to live in it. For an individual, chronic lying begins at a very early stage; perhaps childhood. As they are kept in a certain environment, lying become necessary and there's no other way out for them. These individuals are not cunning or manipulative in their ways. In fact, they simply lie because of their old habit and it has become sort of mechanical for them. When they are asked about certain events or situations, their automatic response is a lie and it is very tough for them divulge from.

Let's take an example for a small study. You know someone, a friend or family member and you happen to ask them if he/she had dinner. Now to really know if this person lies for no apparent reason and does it so well that we can't even spot it, here's what you need to do. See if this person really had dinner or not and then, ask this question. Next, see what this person has to say. Suppose he/she didn't have dinner and after you've asked the question, he/she is going out his/her way to lie about it; making up elaborate stories along the way. That should be an indication for you. But let me remind you, these types of liars are skilled and can weave a web so tight that it can be slightly tough for anyone to catch hold of them.

The Symptoms

As pathological lying overlaps chronic or compulsive lying, the compulsive liar symptoms are pretty similar. But nonetheless, their behavior and mannerisms demonstrate certain traits and patterns. Hence, it is essential to learn about some characteristics and their symptoms.
  • Their lies don't depend on situations or events; they are liars for no reason whatsoever.
  • Even if it isn't a complete lie, they exaggerate the truth and make a different story altogether.
  • They can't remember their own lies as every time, a new lie takes shape for the same incident.
  • There may be discrepancies in their lies as they can't keep track on what they said to whom.
  • These liars don't really care to tell the truth or understand its importance.
  • If their lies are being contradicted, they become verbally defensive and will not admit to the truth.
  • Such individuals make up lies to gain sympathy and attention from people around them.
  • Their lies are constructed so that they can show the other person that their stories are happier or more pitiful than theirs.
As these individuals begin their lies at a very early stage, it can be very difficult to really catch them in action. Many times, their lives begin to revolve around covering up their stories they might have told in the past and making up more lies to show their innocence in it. Either they will talk about how good their lives are or they end up telling sob stories which can't be beat.

The Treatment

Chronic lying hurts families, friends, and everyone who comes in contact with such individuals. Which is why, often times people disassociate themselves with such liars and don't feed their need for drama all the time. Such people are left alienated from everyone because they keep on lying about things which may not be necessary. However, there are families and friends who like to help such individuals and find some kind of treatment for them.

The treatment method can be complex and shouldn't be administered without professional help. If the cause of chronic lying is due to certain psychological illnesses, then seek advice from a counselor or mental health specialist. Also, the choice to be treated should come from the individual and should not be forced upon them. In order to treat themselves, a person has to first believe that he/she is a chronic liar otherwise, there won't be any improvements.

Chronic lying is habitual and there is no simple or straightforward method to treat or cure them. Which is why, if you know someone who is a chronic liar, it is best to not fall for their lies and also, not feed their hunger to make up stories about various incidents or even people.