It didn't seem like she was lying. She did not even bat an eyelid when she lied - with unruffled ease. And it wasn't as though she lied about anything special. Nothing that she needed to lie about, anyway. One person she told she'd not studied for the test while with the other, she could discuss all the answers in perfect rote, not a moment later. It was only after her stories started falling through and not standing true that it became clear that something was wrong...
...Every time she lied, she didn't realize it. Someone asked her something and the next thing she knew, she was lying about it. Sometimes a frivolous lie, a thing that need not be lied about and sometimes something that would affect the course of things. She didn't realize that she would get caught one day, that people talked about it and were on to her. Why did she do it? She didn't know why.
Impulsive liars are like that. They lie on an impulse without thinking of the consequences and what it could lead to. Is this a disorder? In its highest extreme, it could be. But, the reasons for why an impulsive liar becomes one are several and rather interesting. Before getting to that though, we need to know what impulsive lying is all about.
Why are Impulsive Liars the Way they Are?
Each one of us has lied at one time or the other and there are no two ways about that. Why do people lie? We lie for different reasons which have generally got to do with mischief or saving our skin. But rarely do we lie out of habit or as a general rule (for the lack of a better word). When we lie, we know we are lying. At the back of our minds we also know that we are doing something wrong. This fact gets even more highlighted when we lie out of malice or knowing fully well that our lie could hurt another person.
Reason # 1
In the case of an impulsive liar, he does not realize or does not contemplate on the effects of his lies. Why does that happen? Because most of the time, he does not even realize that he is lying. While in some other cases, he might realize immediately after that he has lied and he cannot take back his said words. For an impulsive liar, lying does not take the turn of becoming something evil or wrong. He tells lies to make his world seem more than the mundane, to give it a special twist.
What does that mean? Let's say for example, that someone says to an impulsive liar that he has returned from a foreign trip. To which the impulsive liar will quickly jump in saying that he has already been to that place or has been to a better place. This then propels the liar into a better light and his life seems much more exciting. He probably has no intention of lying, but even before he knows it, he has lied.
Reason # 2
While making his life seem extraordinary or better than the others around him is one of the main reasons that leads a person to lie impulsively, the other reason is to gain sympathy. Gaining sympathy from others by portraying things in a worse state than they really are, is another main cause for impulsive lying.
For example, if someone complains about catching a flu, he will talk about how he not only has the flu, but has also come down with a fever or typhoid even. Thus, he wants to gain the sympathy of the people around him by showing how tortured he is in his life.
Underlying Reasons of Impulsive Lying
There has to be a reason for why impulsive lying comes about. And there most definitely is. It has been observed that people who do not have much to show in their lives and therefore, suffer from a low self-esteem are more prone to becoming impulsive liars. They lie, as we said earlier, in order to make up for their shortcomings in life. Because of this low self-esteem, they also develop the need to have constant validation from others and therefore strive to be in the limelight at all times. It's also been studied that people who suffer from certain mental disorders are more prone to becoming impulsive liars.
One has to understand that a person who has to take to impulsive lying has certain psychological factors guiding him. Maybe he did not get enough attention while growing up, so he needs to find ways to garner that in his adult life. Maybe he did not have the required social interactions while growing up to be able to make a differentiation between what is right behavior and what is wrong. For him telling a lie is not something bad, but just a way of interacting with others. These are of course some examples of the causes that could lead to impulsive lying. There could be many more factors that influence this as well and they will be different for different individuals. The point of the matter is that an impulsive liar will not know the seriousness of his actions. For him/her it is just a way of life.
How to Identify an Impulsive Liar?
How does one know that a person takes to impulsive lying? How is one to identify someone like that? Here are some signs of lying that will help you out:
- They will talk about things in such exaggerated terms that it becomes difficult to believe them, making it seem like something is fishy.
- They might tell one person something and another something completely different. That is why it becomes easy to catch them easily and they lose their credibility.
- They will lie without feeling anything about it and in such a way that you tend to believe them right away.
- When caught in the act and questioned, they will completely deny lying about it.
- They seem to have stories that always try to beat the opposite person's stories. This comes from their need to feel superior and give their self-esteem a boost.
- They have a constant need for validation and attention and therefore, whatever they do, they will make it a point to exaggerate the facts and always bring it out in the public eye.