Compulsive lying is also known as pseudologia fantastica, pathological lying and mythomania, though the general term is used more often than the others. Most of us know what compulsive lying is but those who don't, need to understand that this isn't a grave psychological illness and can be treated with some help. Compulsive lying is when a person, due to internal factors, only starts lying about circumstance and incidents that are completely fictional. These stories as we can call them, might have a slight element of truth initially, but later, as time passes by, these become completely fictional with no element of truth. This might turn into a second nature for that person and thus, it is important we know how to help a compulsive liar. Most of the time, these stories show the person who is suffering from compulsive lying, in a good light. For example, he/she might tell tales of incidences where he/she showed immense bravery, or was in one or the other way in the limelight. Sometimes, when situations demand otherwise, these people might show themselves in sad roles to gain sympathy or pity. The habit of compulsive lying might also arise out of attention seeking. Compulsive lying in children is increasing today, and it's important we help those whom we think suffer from it.
Tips to Help a Compulsive Liar
Understand Compulsive Lying
Before you help someone with habitual lying characteristics, you have to understand the problem yourself. Compulsive lying has been explained in the paragraph above but you also need to understand that the intensity of the same can vary. If compulsive lying characteristics are observed only sometimes, it might be easier to help the person. However, if this becomes second nature, things might be a bit complex to unwind. Again, it's easier to change the thinking process of a child than that of an adult. Compulsive lying problems cannot be treated in one day, but over a period of time, so it's important you keep at it with hope and faith.
Direct confrontation is never a good idea when it comes to breaking out such information to someone. Talk about compulsive lying in front of the person in such a way that he/she doesn't even remotely think you're targeting him/her. Sometimes, these people don't even know they're compulsive liars and this makes it even more important that you start with indirect hints. If you directly confront that person, he/she may not take it well and the surprise might be difficult to cope up with. Indirectly make those people come across data that speaks about compulsive lying, and how it can be treated. If these people understand that others can recognize compulsive liars, they might individually try to work on things.
Talk It Out
Once you notice these compulsive lying signs often, you might consider talking it out with the person concerned and that might just be what he/she needs. If we're talking about children in particular, this might just be the best thing to do. The thinking process of children is still forming as they're growing up and this makes it easier for us to mold them in any way we want. If you think your child is suffering from compulsive lying, you should tell him what the problem is and how it might affect him if it becomes a second nature. Show him/her the disadvantages of the same.
If none of the above mentioned tips help, and you see them going in vain time and again, you might want to consider consulting a psychologist. It's not important for you to immediately take the concerned person to the clinic. You can go talk it out on your own and see if anything can be done by keeping this under wraps. If the situation still worsens, you might have to take the person for a direct visit. The faster you treat it, the better it is for everyone.
These tips must have told you how important it is to help people with compulsive lying disorder before it becomes second nature to them, and they start living in a completely virtual world. Also, it's important that we keep at it, as compulsive lying is a habit, that may not vanish in a single day. Lying out of habit is not as simple as we think it to be, isn't it? Hope this article helped you to understand compulsive lying and how you can help people overcome the same.