I have had to deal with compulsive liars more than once in my life.
I would never wish a compulsive liar on even my worst enemy… though, secretly, I’ve more than once wished karma to do a round-about-face on said compulsive, habitual liars.
The excuse always thrown out on the table is, IF you ever get them to admit to one, is… well EVERYONE lies.
True. True. True.
Lying is inevitable.
At least once in our lives, even the best of us will lie. Tell a half-truth. Leave out, omit the embarrassing part…
Sometimes we lie out of kindness. “No, it’s not you… it’s me…”
And sometimes, yes, kindness was the Right reason… most of the time though, the cognizant ones learn that sometimes true kindness is telling the cold, hard, truth.
The more adept learn to just not answer the question… or break the question down to intention.
Because, in reality, when someone asks another person if this or that shirt or pants looks good… they’re asking for an opinion. Not a truth.
So, unless the garment(s) look terrible? It’s safe to say, “I have terrible fashion-sense. Please don’t put that pressure on me.”
In lieu of or additionally… It’s possible to find an honest complement like, “Oh, that color does match your skin-tone…”
After which, you’re clear to smile and grab a sales person to push the responsibility onto (Hey, that’s what they get paid for…).
Beyond the little white lies or, shall we call them, “disguised opinions”…
There are the factual lies.
Factual lies defy reality, logic, and every other aspect of a multi-dimensional experience. They start out small… but if not checked… they will grow.
These lies are the most painful. The most damaging. The hardest to control.
And the hardest to knock down… especially for those with a compulsion for it. Because, well, at some point, if they’re really good?
They start to believe the lies are real. And, when busted, they will earn an Oscar nomination for trying to sway the listener otherwise.
Even if the lies aren’t coming from a compulsive liar… the factual lies are the worst.
Factual lies are a smack-to-the-face of existence.
Two of the multitude of reasons a person feels the need to commit a true, factual, fraudulent, LIE:
Self-defense. Sometimes it is to protect the self or others from repercussions of actions. Who really wants to get in trouble? No one… very few of us accept the repercussions of actions with grace and dignity. It’s not a common occurrence.
Fear. Sometimes these lies are to hide an aspect of ourselves which is considered fringe, or weird, or just plain socially unacceptable. Like omitting a Dungeons and Dragons obsession to professional work colleagues.
Most of the time, even these can be really unimportant.
I mean when a sales person says Hello, How are you today? And you answer, with a smile, “good… thankyou” even though your grandmother just died… Not a big deal right? The self-defense part of that was not wanting to discuss such a personal matter with a stranger.
There is one absolute in the lying continuum though.
And this is especially true for those who have made it a habit.
Lies to those closest, especially the factual ones… are not because the liar is ashamed of their actions.
…not because they are protecting us, or themselves.
…not because they are afraid we will be disappointed in them.
They lie because, somewhere, deep down… they know that the person they are really lying to…
They leave us out of the loop because, well, they KNOW, we know them better, and we’ll call ‘bullshit’ on them.