Compulsive lying is a common disorder, wherein the person lies constantly, with no reason at all, other than low self-esteem and lack of attention. This continues even when the person is faced with the truth or reality, thereby denying the fact that he lied. This results in compulsive lying, which is lying by reflex. Moreover, if you ask the person the reason for lying, he will be completely unaware of his behavior. A compulsive liar resorts to lying on both major and minor issues. A 'habitual liar' and 'chronic liar' are other terms used for a compulsive liar.
Compulsive lying is seen in children as well as in adults. It is a kind of disorder, which at times, is associated with low serotonin levels, even seen in impulsivity, making the person more prone to lying. However, there are no definite reasons known for the occurrence of compulsive lying. With time, for a compulsive liar, lying leads to more lying. Compulsive liars may not always be harmful per se, but the habit hampers their personality with time. So, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms of compulsive lying early on and take corrective measures for the same.
Symptoms of Compulsive Liars
- Compulsive liars lie about anything and everything. Small and insignificant things or petty issues, it does not make any difference to them. They just have to hide the truth.
- Such liars do not have a reason for lying and do not indulge in the activity to manipulate others. It’s just a habit for them.
- Compulsive liars, at times, might suffer from poor self-esteem. In effect, by lying, they might try to gain importance in certain situations.
- People suffering from Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to demonstrate compulsive behavior, which can turn into uncontrollable lying, if not checked on time.
- People addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs and other activities also lie compulsively.
- Compulsive liars lie on a regular basis. Since it becomes a habit, they practice it all the time.
- Such liars are never nervous. They are quite skilled at the art of lying and do it with immense poise and self-confidence.
- Compulsive liars do not even realize that they are lying, as it comes so naturally to them. On enquiry, they further lie or blatantly deny their behavior.
- They cannot even stay consistent with their lies, as they themselves get confused, owing to the amount of stories they have told to different people. They just like to be the centre of attraction and lie to get noticed by people.
- You can identify a compulsive liar by his body language. He would either be crossing his arms at you or must have crossed his fingers behind him or would be blinking frequently.
- Compulsive liars use 'character testimony' to cover their lies. They would get someone to lie for them or vouch for their innocence.
- Such liars would often be seen making statements like 'I'm trying to tell you what really happened', 'Let me try to explain why I did that', 'You might find this strange, but this really happened' or 'This may sound strange, but let me tell you anyway'.