What’s one really bad sign in a potential partner? Compulsive lying. If you’re dating someone who compulsively lies, it’s time to seriously re-evaluate the relationship. Compulsive lying isn’t a normal thing, and most people do not engage in this kind of behavior.
What Is Compulsive Lying?
We all tell lies. Sometimes, we lie to make others feel better: “No, that outfit doesn’t make you look fat.” Other times, we lie to protect ourselves: “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your birthday party, I found out that I had to work last minute.” However, compulsive lying is different. People who lie compulsively don’t lie for any discernable reason. They aren’t lying to avoid consequences or protect someone else’s feelings. In fact, it may seem as though those who struggle with compulsive lying tend to tell such stories just because. Compulsive lying is not normal and, in many instances, it’s a sign of serious mental health issues.
Does Your Partner Do This?
It can actually be very difficult to determine whether or not a person is lying compulsively. Since those who lie compulsively don’t generally lie out of self-interest, people tend to take them at face-value, reasoning that they probably aren’t lying because there’s no reason for them to make something like that up. However, if you’re dating a person who lies compulsively, you’ll likely find that they have a lot of highly unlikely stories that are very entertaining, nonetheless. Generally, these stories feature the person who compulsively lies in an extremely favorable light. People who lie compulsively tend to take mundane happenings and embellish them to be more interesting and more fantastic. Or they may borrow outrageous stories from others and pass them off as their own. Everyone has a few wild stories. But you’ll know you’re dating a compulsive liar when they’ve got a few too many crazy and unbelievable stories.
Do I Lie Compulsively?
There’s a misconception that pathological liars are people who believe their own lies. This is, in fact, not necessarily true. Though people can come to believe their own lies, this doesn’t often happen. Those who lie compulsively or pathologically do know they’re lying when they’re lying. However, they tend to lie without really planning out the lie in the first place. Those who lie compulsively may feel like the lies just fall from their mouths in the same way that the truth would. People who compulsively lie may believe that their fantastic stories aren’t a big deal, or that everyone does it—even though most people do not lie compulsively. The point is that most people who are honest with themselves know whether or not they are prone to telling stories that are exaggerated, or flat-out didn’t happen in the first place.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Compulsive lying is an indication that a person is suffering from a cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders include narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Generally speaking, those who are suffering from cluster B personality disorder struggle to maintain healthy relationships. Although having a personality disorder doesn’t make someone a bad person, it may mean that they need professional mental health counselling before they’re ready to get into a serious relationship. While these personality disorders cannot necessarily be cured, the symptoms can be treated. If a person is compulsively lying, that may be a sign that they have more work to do before they’re ready for a relationship.
Making Life Interesting
Although compulsive lying is a sign that someone has a personality disorder, there are other reasons that a person may lie compulsively. Sometimes, people compulsively lie in order to make themselves and their lives more interesting. Oftentimes, these people don’t like themselves and worry that others would be bored with them if they knew the truth. So they invent, borrow, and/or embellish stories that are interesting and that may make them look interesting. While that may sound innocent, people who don’t like themselves don’t tend to make good partners. They tend to need a lot of reassurance, and they often bring complications to the relationship.
When to End the Relationship
Whether or not this is a deal-breaker will depend on your unique circumstances. Only you can know whether or not a relationship is right for you. Compulsive lying generally is a sign of a serious character flaw, at the very least it can make trusting your significant other difficult. In some cases, it may be wise not to marry someone who struggles with compulsive lying until they’ve worked through the issues causing them to engage in such behavior.