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My friend is a pathological liar...do we confront her or ignore her?

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Question - (7 December 2005) 22 Answers - (Newest, 9 July 2009)
A female , anonymous writes:

My friend is a liar. We have researched it and we think she has the symptoms of a pathalogical liar.

Should we confront her about it?

Or should we continue not beleiveing anything that she says?

PLEASE HELP

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 July 2009):

I have two daughters who work together and one is a compulsive liar about everything from fact about her life to things that go on in our family. everyone knows she lies but no one says anything. she makes an ass out of herself and I dont know why. how does me or my daughter confront her without starting a war

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A female reader, goldenheart United States +, writes (4 February 2009):

I have had two friends like this and they have both pretty much given me hell for just being their friend.

My first one was a girl and at first I thought she was fun and a breath of fresh air until I realized that the details of her stories weren't adding up. I stayed quiet about this behavior for a year, but she was clinging on me and my approval more and more and more until I just couldn't take it anymore. So I just broke off the friendship. Let me make this clear to ANY potential pathological liars reading this, this is COMPLETELY wrong behavior in every sense of the word. What you are doing to your well-meaning friends is completely injust and uncalled for and you better expect karma to screw you over.

My second friend first became friend with my group than with me. It was pretty clear that every time something didn't go her way something would happen in her life to make it even worse. So the only response we could have towards her was absolute sympathy. I wasn't close to her so I didn't care. Then during college me and her got close and supported each other through so much but now that I've caught her in her greatest lie ever I think that everything could have been false and she was just using me as a tool to make her feel good about herself instead of enjoying me as a companion. I'm angry as hell and so mad. I want what's best for her so I won't go too hard on her, but I cannot believe it. I'm about to pull a Blair Waldorf but I'm not sure how (by that I mean confront her LOL one-on-one) hopefully she'll get the message.

For you all out their these are sick people who need help, be gentle with them, but they need to know what they're doing in completely and totally wrong.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2008):

I have known a woman to be a pathological liar for 12 years. She lied about how her parents died, what race she is. she was also extremely jealous of me and did not like the fact that I had started my legal studies and would tell people that she was a barrister and I had failed my exams and she was helping me. People would appraoch my family members in the street to inform us of what she had said, as she had caused problems with lots of other people. When she was confronted she would cry and apologise or completley deny what she had said. She was always in competition with me for some reason. she would also tell people that she knew celebrity lawyers and studied at the top universities in the UK and gained a postgraduate law degree. she also has been telling people in the area that I live, that she is a top International Barrister, has a mansion in the middle-east and a luxury flat and car in the UK and has actually invited poeple over knowing that they would probably not come. she still maintains that she is a barrister and tells people that she can solve their problems in employment and criminal law. she has falsely represented people at employment tribunals, claiming that she is a qualified Amicus representative and has been found out. she is always up to no good but feels distraught when I do not want anything to do with her. I will never speak to her. she can be very nice and caring but her otherside is not good. she is extremley jealous, competitive, manipulative and lies too much. I have chosen to no longer make anymore allowances for her and feel that she is an energy drainer. she has upset a lot of people and she has a very bad reputation which she worries excessivley about. She does know what she is doing but cant help herself. sShe feels that people should forgive her if she apologises, even though she has lied and caused problems and has even lied to the police about a person who was harrasing her, but not to the extent she has told them. She is dangerous, manioulative and not to be trusted and I have also reported her to the police as I no longer want her coming to my home, upset because I have chosen not to have anything to do with her ever again. Pathological liers can cause a lot of distress and can be emotionally draining. They are energy drainers and I would suggest that you keep a wide birth if your friend is not prepared to be responsible for her own behaviour. They lie usually to make themselves more interesting. What they need to realise is that people will accept them for who they are and they should stop attempting to be somebody they are are not. We are all unique individuals!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 July 2008):

I have known a woman to be a pathological liar for 12 years. She lied about how her parents died, what race she is. she was also extremely jealous of me and did not like the fact that I had started my legal studies and would tell people that she was a barrister and I had failed my exams and she was helping me. People would appraoch my family members in the street to inform us of what she had said, as she had caused problems with lots of other people. When she was confronted she would cry and apologise or completley deny what she had said. She was always in competition with me for some reason. she would also tell people that she knew celebrity lawyers and studied at the top universities in the UK and gained a postgraduate law degree. she also has been telling people in the area that I live, that she is a top International Barrister, has a mansion in the middle-east and a luxury flat and car in the UK and has actually invited poeple over knowing that they would probably not come. she still maintains that she is a barrister and tells people that she can solve their problems in employment and criminal law. she has falsely represented people at employment tribunals, claiming that she is a qualified Amicus representative and has been found out. she is always up to no good but feels distraught when I do not want anything to do with her. I will never speak to her. she can be very nice and caring but her otherside is not good. she is extremley jealous, competitive, manipulative and lies too much. I have chosen to no longer make anymore allowances for her and feel that she is an energy drainer. she has upset a lot of people and she has a very bad reputation which she worries excessivley about. She does know what she is doing but cant help herself. sShe feels that people should forgive her if she apologises, even though she has lied and caused problems and has even lied to the police about a person who was harrasing her, but not to the extent she has told them. She is dangerous, manioulative and not to be trusted and I have also reported her to the police as I no longer want her coming to my home, upset because I have chosen not to have anything to do with her ever again. Pathological lyers can cause a lot of distress and can be emotionally draining. They are energy drainers and I would suggest that you keep a wide birth if your friend is not prepared to be responsible for her own behaviour. They lie usually to make themselves more interesting. What they need to realise is that people will accept them for who they are and they should stop attempting to be somebody they are are not. We are all unique individuals!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2008):

Sorry to hear your friend will do that to you.

The truth is, we all lie about certain things in life. However, If your friend is telling a story to make herself look better,get sympathy or manipulate people to get her ways, INDEED SHE IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR!!!!!. If she is doing that, you are wasting your time being with her. Pathological liars really believe that things they are saying really happened or is happening to them. They don't have any idea they will get caught soon or later. The confronting part will not work. Because, your friend will get defensive. She will tell more outrages stories to cover whatever she told in first place, so you will end up with bigger stories to be more angry.

DO NOT SPEND YOUR PRECIOUS TIME WITH YOUR FRIEND BECAUSE, IT'S YOU WHO IS GOING TO GET HURT AT THE END.

I know this, I had a friend who had a father who killed him self to few of the friends and for some other friends, her mother killed the father do to long term illness. according to her.!!! stories will change again and again, but, PATHOLOGICAL LIAR WON'T... EVER!!!!

I hope you find better friend who will be true to you.

God Bless....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2008):

I think it is best to distant yourself from her and never take anything to face value on what she says. Do not feel bad or think maybe they have changed. they can not, not w/out professional help. They can't switch on feelings for the ones they lie to nor to they even care. I have a brother that will lie to your face and then when confronted he gets teary eyes. He is 38 years old. I guess someone forgot to inform him that he is not a child anymore and this makes him look weird. I sure hope he realizes the bridges he has burned because I had enough and he will soon have no friends at all.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 March 2008):

I go to a sheltered workshop two or three days a week. One girl who works there keeps saying she's pregnant. One time, when my husband asked her about it, she said that she couldn't have children because of her disability. Yet, she still keeps saying she's pregnant. Is she considered a pathological liar?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2008):

yes you should if you want it to stop plus she will fight for it cause she thinks she right but be careful

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2008):

hey anna you can contct me me for your questions

thanks faran

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 January 2008):

Hello,

I work for a TV production company in the UK and I'm researching a sympathetic documentary about compulsive liars. I'd really like to talk to some people who can't help lying, or people who have friends/family members who are compulsive liars. I haven't registered this site so this mail is anonymous, but if anyone's interested in sharing their experiences with me then reply to this post. Then I will register and give you my phone number so you can contact me.

Thanks,

Anna

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 November 2007):

Speaking from the point of view of such a person, i dont try to con my family or ruin peoples lives, its simply a way to entertain people, most of the things i say are would be jokes or funny stories, but as i have no way of telling them as stories i have to tell it like it actually happened, however i dont have the courage to own up to them being lies, i have told people something before then owned up to it, hoping to ease my stress but it only made things worse and they kept bringing it up at every chance they could...i have said things that were totally wrong, like telling people that a close friend of mine died which wasnt true, i didnt even know such a person, it was merely a way of justifying why i felt so depressed.... for myself and others... its up to you whether you confront her, i suggest that if you do, let her know you dont mind what she has done, merely that you wish for her to tell the truth, i wish i had people like that around me because i would have cured myself by now... but i still feel guilt for the massive lie i told about my 'friend' i just dont know how to come out about it...i sometimes do it without thinking, i just think up the story then without thinking about the consequences of lying, i say it.

Good luck with that though

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 September 2007):

Absolutely confront that dumb ass. We are dealing with family memeber, who stole checks and forged signitures and messed up her sister's life. she did everything a con artist would do. Have no mercy on such liars, and stay away from them. Their mission is to simply extort money, mess people's lifes, and attract sympathy from friends and family.

Once they are exposed, they can no longer lie to anyone anymore. They live in a web of lies that they creat in their minds. They are extremely jealous people with very low self esteem, and can be dangerous. Remember the singer Selina, who got killed by her ugly, low self esteem, liar manager. I say expose them and Run For Your Life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2007):

Hi, I can relate to your predicament concerning the friend with a problem you describe as a pathologial liar. By all means do confront your friend. I have two clues concerning the development of these personalities.

My mother's friend had a daughter my age. We attended kindergarten and first grade at a private school together. Her parents were professionals, as were mine. On days her mother drove us home from school she told tales about what happened in school which I knew at age 4 were completely untrue and if I had known the term, would have said were science fiction. Her mother encouraged her "creativity". On the other hand my mother punished fibs, she said no matter how bad things were if I told her the truth she would be on my side even if she was angry. She would not trust me if I lied. I consider myself to be very honest and rarely lie.

The second pathological liar I met in the 5th grade, she told tales of special powers she had and of things she had done. In retrospect she might have had a case of childhood scizophrenia.

The final liar who really impacted my young adulthood was a neighbor who used my name as an excuse for many misdeeds. She was not a friend. She was a paroled convict who used my respectibility. She told people of wild parties she attended in my apartment, of places we went together, all lies. I met her once at a swimming pool. I was the wife of a med student and worked as a news reporter at that time.

The worst pathological liars I have ever met were at a sleazy law firm in Washington D.C. where the attorneys intimated I was their client, they were thieves.

By all means, call your friend down for the lies. They lies will escalate and could really conceal either a criminal mind or a very sick personality. You might find yourself stuck with a mop and bucket cleaning up anything from identity theft to being impuned by a wierd fantasy of this person. The worst thing that can happen is misrepresentation of your identity, with the potential of disastrous consequences. Why do you want this friend anyway? I don't know how old you are, but when will you stop tolerating this behavior.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2007):

someone I know is also a pathalogical liar, its really sad evryone knows that hes full of it

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 November 2006):

yes for sure confront her or it will continue to get to you for years i am dealing with this problem right now as well and my answer would be she gets help or not to be her friend anymore cause it is a big problem and cant just be ignored..

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A female reader, attractivecousin +, writes (19 May 2006):

I have a friend who is without a doubt a pathological liar. At first, I thought she was just a very wild and adventurous person. I thought she was so interesting and all of her stories kept me on the edge of my seat. We became very close and signed a lease to move in together. I live with her now and I've since found out that almost everything she tells me is either a complete lie or it is sensationalized in some way or another. Most of her lies deal with her love life or they are something made up to make her sound more interesting than she really is. None of these things really affected me. Just recently though, she turned me against another friend of mine wither her lies. That was when she crossed a line. I care about her, but I'm really starting to get angry with her. I feel like there is nothing I can to do help her, but I absolutely can't have this phony friendship with her anymore. It's driving me crazy. I hope that her lies are not more important than our friendship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 January 2006):

Thanks for letting me vent. There are not very many message boards that don't ask for all your personal info before letting a person post. I know it is to prevent trolling, but the good people far outweight the few trolls, so I don't think it's worth giving up personal info. Usually, the personal info is used for junk mail, ads and spam, so I am very hesitant to even join a message board.

So once again, it's nice to find a message that doesn't ask all my personal info. Thanks.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 January 2006):

My sister thinks she can change reality with her mouth. If she says it, then it must be so. My sister lies everytime she breaths. I read books on how to defend yourself politely and how to approach someone when you think they "got the facts mixed up." It said not to use "you" statements and say, "I'm confused, will you clarify this for me." "I don't understand, will you explain that?"

You can try this, but if they are scheming and lying on purpose then they already are extra sensitive about protecting those lies or getting revealed.

Anyway, the polite way doesn't work with my narcissist-pathalogical-liar sister. She goes into a rage even with the most politest way of asking. That was a sign to me that she was more messed up than I thought she was. It's all about her and how people treat her and she's the only person in the world with rights. The rest of us...we are just objects for her to manipulate and how dare we not just let her program us with her lies. We are just expected to swallow everything she says, no questions asked. What about my right to be reconized as an individually thinking human being. She lies so much. She tells people I said and did things that I didn't, so then I have to try to undo the rumors. While I am undoing the rumors, she acts like I am in the offense and yells at me and says I am backstabbing her. She told everyone that I caused her to get anorexia and every single mistake in her life is somehow my fault. I am so tired of hearing her lies. She was the one that followed me around telling me I was so fat I should be embarrassed to go out in public. I remember telling her that my friends like me the way I am and I don't feel the need to change for them. She would follow me around and tell me how many calories everything I ate had. I told her, "I am not on a diet, I don't care." She blames me for her actions...blame blame blame..everytime she opens her mouth she is blaming me or someone else. She uses me as her scapegoat. She has split off her evil parts and projected them onto me. I decided to leave the family altogether. I don't know why people believe her, but I understand. It is her word against mine and they don't know. I don't hold it againt them personally, but can't talk to them while they are in her spell and under her influence and using her lies as though they were facts. It's like gaslighting. That tells me that my family wants to or is inclined to believe her to begin with. Which is an indirect way of them letting me know that they don't like me. So I figured, if they are so inclined already and so easily believe negative things about me, without asking me how I feel or if its true, then they shouldn't miss me. If I am such a horrible person, then they should be happy to see me leave the family. I haven't really been in touch with the family that much anyway due to years of trying to stay off my sisters radar. I am just getting out of her web of lies and sadly, some of my family has become her pawns. I didn't have a choice, but had to leave the family, no contact with anyone. My family would call me and lecture me for things I didn't do, and it was all based on a lie she told them. No matter how many times I said, "that didn't happen, I didn't do that" they just kept lecturing. I felt like my sister had hijacked my identity. I knew that they weren't lisetning to me or considering my thoughts. I almost felt like telling my relatives, "why even bother talking to me, you are not listening to my side and and my sister has basically become my PR person." I was just a character that they assigned a role to and even though it was not my personality. They talked to me as though they think I am interested in a subject, like fortune telling, and no matter how many times I say, "I'm not into fortune telling, I don't believe that stuff" they keep talking to me as though I am. I never hear the end of it. ring ring, "since you like fortune telling!..." My sister tells them what I like and don't like and they just believe her. I have seen how she does this. They take her word over mine, regarding MY LIFE. I am tired of her speaking on my behalf. She even goes so far to tell them what I am thinking. Like she is a mind-reader. She repeats the same phrases so much and literally tries to brainwash people. She tried to do it to me a few times, but the more I didn't agree the more forceful and repeatative she got. She was determined to force me to agree with her. This was regarding somebody else. She tried to convince me a family friend was doing something illegal (cheating welfare). I said, "I don't know this person very well, so I don't have enough facts to make a quick judgement." Well, my sister didn't like that. She started yelling, "SHE HAS TO BE CHEATING." I said, "maybe, but I heard she was sent tot he other county by the mental health agency." My sister didn't like that either, and continued to try to force me into agreeing with her. "SHE HAS TO BE CHEATING OR WHY ELSE WOULD SHE GO TO A DIFFERENT COUNTY." Again, I said, "I heard that she was going to get mental health benefits for her brother, and that all the news I have on this." My sister was going on one of her smear campaigns. She always has to have a target or someone to blame. I guess it makes her feel better about herself. Recently, she was trying to convince me that our aunt was up to no good. I predicted to my husband that if I left the family, that my sister would have to find new scapegoats and people to blame. She did. I hear about it through 1 relative that I still talk to. My relative calls and tells me all the lies my sister is spreading (except my relative doesn't know they are lies and believes my sister).

I am about to quite answering the phone to her also. It's like talking to fantasy land. My sister is a vindictive sadist. She enjoys trying to ruin other people's lives. I know this because of the many times she has bragged to me about how she ruined somebody else. She is very vindictive and people tiptoe around her. Her mouth is her instrument. She lies, she tries to change reality with it. She tries to intimidate people with her mouth. She screams at people. She buts in and won't let people speak. She gossips and gaslights, manipulates. I call her MOUTH. Because that's all she amounts to. Just a MOUTH. That is her dominant feature, and she steals credit for other people's work. She doesn't do anything but tries to bluff everyone that she did, so basically she is just all MOUTH. She orders other people to do everything for her. If you don't follow her orders then she gets revenge and goes on a smear campaign. If you can't be manipulate by her, then you must be destroyed. That's why I think she is an extreme narcissist to the point of psychopath. She creates a false reality by her pathalogical lying, and the way she uses partial and half-truths, deception, omission. Innuedos are her specialty. The last phone call (literally the LAST) she was having a conversation with me, but not really. You know how people get on the phone and pretend that you said something you didn't say, she was having a conversation with herself. She had other people in the room with her. She pretended I said things I didn't say, she told everyone in the room, "she's laughing." I wasn't laughing. Then she said, "I know how you always think such-and-such was your fault."

I never thought it was my fault! She was speaking on my behalf again and letting people in the room with her believe that I was responding a different way than I was, and that I was thinking things that I never thought. That is the art of deception. I don't know what she was getting at, but just know that what she was relaying to them, was not how I was responding. It was like I wasn't really even on the phone. She could have had the entire fake conversation with a dial tone, and nobody would have known the difference. She was already filling in for me. Did I mention she has NO EARS. No EARS, just a MOUTH. Carrying on one-sided conversations because other people are things or objects to her. She decides what other people are thinking. She tried to intimidate me and lowered her voice and in the most patronizing way, she said, "oh your crazy, your crazy..oh your crazy." (repeating). I felt like saying, "I guess just because you say so, I guess that makes it so." but I decided she is just back in 6th grade name calling and I'm not going to respond to her play-ground tactics. I hung up, and vowed never to speak to her again.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2006):

I have just ended a 6 month relationship with a man who is a pathological liar. Unfortuantely I think that pathological liars are so sick that they may be unable to recognize when they are actually telling lies. If you confront your friend be prepared that they may pretend to appreciate your concern, but it may not necessarily change their behavior. It is your decision whether or not to maintain the relationship. But, how genuine can a friendship be if you can not trust a single word that comes out of their mouth. It is a very frustrating situation. Some of the lies they come up with don't seem to serve any purpose. You may find yourself thinking that if they would just confess to all their lies, you could continue the friendship. This may not be something they are capable of.

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A female reader, Bev Conolly Australia +, writes (8 December 2005):

Bev Conolly agony auntI don't think "confrontation" is such a good idea. Why do you have to be confrontational about it? Has she caused a lot of trouble that you feel you have to reprimand her for? Or are you and your other friends just annoyed at her?

You also shouldn't allow her to continue to lie and get away with it. Apart from all the other problems it causes you, it's going to set a bad precedent for the rest of her life.

So why not just point it out to her, in a friendly and forgiving way when she tells lies?

"Sorry, Cassie. You must be mistaken. I saw you on Wednesday when you were at the shopping centre - don't you remember? - so you couldn't have been at an interstate spelling bee."

"When did your instrument change? You said yesterday that Mr Swanson was your clarinet teacher, not a trombonist."

"That's the first time you've mentioned that your brother was a war veteran! How did your mother have him in 1950 and you in 1990?"

I too had a friend who was a pathological liar. I didn't realise he was making things up as he went along until he started telling the same stories with different details. At first I started pointing it out to him innocently, but when I realised that he lied about everything, I had to explain to him - as you would a small child - that I was never going to be able to believe *anything* he said if he was going to make up a lie everytime he opened his mouth.

After that, I have to admit that I pointed out his inconsistancies in a less polite way, though he was a man in his 60s and had been that way for decades. Sadly, my friend never understood how he ruined our friendship with his lies.

Perhaps you'll do better mentioning it to your friend when you catch her lying about something. Don't be "confrontational" about it! She knows she's lying; you don't have to confront her. Just point out with simple logic to her that you know she's making it up too. If you and all of your friends do it when she lies, she'll see quickly that she doesn't have to make things up to be your friend (which is why she's doing it, by the way).

You may be able to break her of her habit before it's too entrenched in her personality... and if not, you'll will have been a good friend for trying to help her.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 December 2005):

Yes definitely, if you want to confront her, confront her on a one on one basis. Everyone is safer that way. This question cannot be answered whether you should or not. It's rather more like if you want to, how should you. 8]

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 December 2005):

Dont confront her in a group! Have one person talk to her about it, that way she won't feel like you are ganging up on her. I had a friend just like that. My friends and I all wanted to call her out on it. So we did, but it turns out she was such a good liar that she got my friends to turn their backs on me! Its just high school crap, but its inevitable. All I can say is she probably lies to cover up her insecurities. I know that sounds like something right out of book, but its true. Good Luck!

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