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The Compulsive Liar

This brief list is sure to bring tears of laughter, understanding, and guilt from everyone who reads it.

Everyone has told at least one lie in his or her lifetime, but few possess the cunning required to truly master the act of lying as an art form. Although the term “chronic liar” implies skillful deception and craftiness, there are several characteristics of this condition which should make the individual in question more easily recognizable. The most significant of these to look for are shifty eyes, a defensive attitude, and the ability to cry on cue.

First, shifty eyes are the most obvious characteristic to look for when you suspect a compulsive liar. Even the most skilled liar will find it extremely difficult to meet your eyes for more than a fleeting instant while he or she elaborates on the lie. To compensate for this evasive gaze, the liar will in turn focus all of his or her attention on you while listening to your response in an attempt to appear innocent. Sometimes, the guilty individual will go so far as to create a distraction to divert your attention from his elusive eyes. Distractions include fidgeting with hands, clothes, inanimate objects – anything to avert your eyes from his own. Shifty eyes will most definitely be the easiest characteristic to recognize.

A defensive attitude serves as another sign of a habitual liar. The individual might give this attitude away through body language by crossing his or her arms in front of himself in a protective manner. The liar will most definitely defend himself in an irrational and belligerent way at even the slightest sign of unbelief on your part. The most talented compulsive liar will even be able to leave you feeling guilty for not believing him after your subjection to his defensive tactics. Often, the liar will exert an anxious, desperate aura during such displays. A defensive attitude is a dangerous and often successful characteristic of the chronic liar to be made aware of.

Finally, the ability to cry on cue is perhaps the single most effective attribute of a habitual liar. This ability is most often used as a last resort when it has become evident that the lie is not yet believed. Such a passionate show of emotion appears dangerously genuine, especially when the actor is male. No matter how observant the recipient of the lie has been throughout the ordeal, his or her convictions are sure to waver at this point. The ability to cry on cue is the chronic liar’s strongest weapon and all too often succeeds.

In conclusion, the compulsive liar can be identified by three main characteristics: shifty eyes, a defensive behavior, and the ability to cry on cue. Learn to spot the attributes. Don’t become a victim!

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  1. JNV

    On May 8, 2007 at 5:39 am


    I found this article very informative. Thanks for the article

  2. LJS

    On May 15, 2007 at 9:13 am


    All too true. Since i’m a compulsive liar, it’s pretty easy for me to know.

  3. CJW

    On April 23, 2008 at 4:20 am


    I identified with this article having lived with and loved a compulsive lier for 9 years.

  4. THEA

    On May 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm


    I see this in me. I am a chronic liar and I admit it. Well, at least to the web. Is there any way to treat such a condition? @_@

  5. hurt

    On September 8, 2008 at 9:40 am


    Thanks for this. My husband has lied to me and many others (family and friends included)on several occassions. I always forgive him and try to move on even though he does it time and time again (Sounds stupid I know….but what happened to “forgive and forget” AND we are all human and do make some mistakes along the way so I tend to forgive with the idea that the person will learn from their mistakes)
    Now that he is realising how difficult it is for him to tell the truth he is getting caught up in guilt and confusion …and the lies continue. He has been showing these exact signs that you have mentioned (especially the crying) and I always land up feeling sorry for him, trying to support him and find help for his possible depression. What am I to do but run away and protect myself from the next lie?

  6. Marybeth

    On September 21, 2008 at 6:27 am


    I have recently moved to the same town as my sister and I have discovered that she is a compulsive liar. Naturally I am curious to know more about this behavior and your article really hit the nail on the head. She is very defensive when I call her on a lie and she cries at will which is very strange to see. I wish to maintain a relationship with her as she is my sister, but I will never trust her again, nor will I ever believe anything that she has to say. It’s unfortunate, but things like that happen.

  7. Kdog7454

    On April 12, 2009 at 6:44 pm


    Very informative, i was engaged to a compulsive liar and found out she was lying about 80 percent of who she really was. Its quite disturbing how someone could lie so well to myself and my entire family for a year and half. Even after i told her i would still go through with the engagement and loved her she was so defensive she threatened to call the cops. And i had 120 percent evidence of lies.

  8. sick and tired

    On May 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm


    This article has brought tears to mhy eyes. I feel completely stuck in my ways and I have lost someone very dear to me because of this. She would have never know I was lying to her for the amount of time I was lying to her for. My guilty conscience forced me to admit to her the truth about me. I truly wish I had never done that. I lost my first love and I feel so lost. I must admit that to this day I still havent stopped lying and I have prayed for help. My soul is crying out for help…please someone i need answers ands help. So I may never lose another love again. I lost my bestfriend and sould mate all in one. I will never be the same after this

  9. lynda howard

    On July 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm


    This is truly a hard hitting piece of info.
    Thanks.
    I am going to show it to my daughter and 3 of my sisters.
    I know my daughter is only 10 years of age, but she needs to learn the problems when you lie to someone.
    When 3 of my 6 sisters lie to me, it makes me feel like what did I do to deserve this ?
    The 3 sister who lied to me I refuse to have anything to do with them because they are bad examples for me, my husband, my 2 kids, and my 1 cat. Hey, the cat is a part of the family.
    Spot our family cat will let you know if he does not like you.
    He is a very particular cat. He is a very affectionate cat.
    I know that I am not perfect. FAR FROM PERFECT. Of course i haved lied then I feel bad, then I go back to that very person who I lied to and then I do not say “Hey I am sorry.” I ask for forgiveness with a sincere atitude.
    I know how it feels to be lied to. It hurts very deeply. When I have that deep not very happy feeling then it ruins my day and others’ feelings. This is also a way to lose respect of that person.

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