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Why do people lie and how to deal with liars

Why do people lie and how to deal with liars

Honesty is supposed to be one of the key components of integrity (you know, doing the right thing when no one is looking, that thing that’s so critical to building the relationships that help your business thrive). Yet, according to Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia, lying is on the same par with brushing your teeth. Most people lie to someone else at least once or twice a day, and over a week, they lie to 30 percent of the individuals they interact with. And as with any bad habit, if you’re going to stop people from lying to you, you have to understand what’s motivating the behavior.

The function behind lying

Doctor and author Alex Lickerman asserts that, in general, lying serves a protective function. What we strive to protect through fibbing can vary considerably, though. We lie to protect ourselves, such as when we don’t want to feel shame or experience some type of abuse. We do it to protect material and non-material interests, such as money or attention. We try to protect our image, covering up the flaws we think others will think less of us for. Sometimes we don’t want to lose resources, including our energy. And lastly, we lie to give those same protections to the people we care about.

But it goes a little deeper than that. What are we really after, for example, in a bid for attention? Why is it so scary if others to have a lower opinion of us? What does all that protection get us?

Ultimately, when a person lies to you, they’re holding onto something extremely basic–survival. They’re afraid that, if they don’t lie, they risk rejection and isolation, not having enough. Even though they know there’s a risk of consequences if found out, because they frequently don’t suffer consequences when lying, they see fibbing as a relatively safe way to keep those deep fears from coming to fruition. All this matters because, if you see the person who’s lying to you as being vindictive rather than insecure, you’ll likely lose out on a chance to respond with compassion and miss the mark on how to get them to stop their dishonest behavior for good.

Spotting liars

Understanding the above, part of the reason lies get to us is because we’re actually pretty lousy at detecting them. A meta-analysis of some 253 studies of people distinguishing between truth and lies found that people are accurate barely over half (53 percent) of the time. We rebel when we catch someone in a lie because their behavior calls into question how accurate we’ve been in the past, making us feel foolish and incompetent. But if you know what to watch for, you’re less likely to get duped. Former CIA officers Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero identify the following as tipoffs to dishonesty:

  • Behavioral pause or delay when an immediate response would be expected
  • Verbal/non-verbal disconnect (e.g., nodding while saying no in a narrative response)
  • Hiding the mouth or eyes (literally shielding themselves from the reaction that might come from the lie, covering up the falsehood)
  • Clearing the throat prior to response
  • Hand-to-face activity (the autonomic nervous system tries to address the spike in anxiety from the lying, draining blood from the face, ears and extremities and producing feelings of cold or itchiness)
  • Grooming or tidying behaviors (e.g., straightening a tie or skirt, suddenly repositioning paperwork on the desk; these distractions can alleviate the anxiety of lying)

So you’ve found a liar. now what do you do?

Once you’re sure that someone’s been stingy with the truth, you have four main options for how to handle it, as psychologist, emotional intelligence expert and author Dr. Travis Bradberry outlines:

1) Do nothing (sometimes the cons of calling the person out outweigh the pros).

2) Deflect with humor (acknowledges the lie but gives the liar a chance to admit the dishonesty without fearing you’ll retaliate).

3) Play dumb (asking lots of questions to get details can force the liar into admitting the dishonesty without you calling them out).

4) Point out the lie (best done privately with directness).

Within these options, given the self-protective purpose of lying, seize opportunities to be reassuring and encouraging in ways that get to the root of the behavior. Empathy goes a long way. For instance, if you know that someone is strapped for cash but they lie and say it’s no problem covering your bill at lunch, you can say something like, “Gosh, I appreciate that, but no–I can’t contribute to an empty wallet when I remember what broke feels like myself!” The more you can convince a liar that the threats they’re consciously or subconsciously perceiving aren’t an issue, the more they’ll probably relax, trust you and put their two-faced ways behind them.

By the age of three or four, we all start to lie. At this point in our brain’s development, we learn that we have an incredibly versatile and powerful tool at our disposal — our language — and we can use it to actually play with reality and affect the outcome of what’s happening.

Sooner or later we learn that lying is “bad,” and we shouldn’t really do it. But if Jim Carey’s “Liar Liar” taught us anything, it’s that this just isn’t feasible. We all have to lie sometimes.

But some people are pathological liars, meaning they can’t stop spreading misinformation about themselves and others. The psychological reasons for why some people are this way is a bit of a mystery, but in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pathological lying is a disorder in its own right, as well as a symptom of personality disorders like psychopathy and narcissism.

“I think it comes from a defect in the neurological wiring in terms of what causes us to have compassion and empathy,” psychiatrist Judith Orloff, author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide,” told Business Insider. “Because narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths have what’s called empathy deficient disorder, meaning they don’t feel empathy in the way we would.”

The truth doesn’t matter to narcissists

When you don’t care about other people, lies don’t seem to matter. A lack of empathy essentially means a lack of conscience, which is a hard concept to grasp for a lot of people.

“When they lie it doesn’t hurt them in the same way it would hurt us,” Orloff said. “So many people get into relationships with pathological liars, or just can’t understand why they’re lying, because they’re trying to fit these people into the ordinary standards of what it means to be empathetic.”

But they don’t fit. In fact, they may not even realise they are lying half the time, because they’re not conscious of it. Orloff said they actually believe they are telling the truth a lot of the time. It’s not so much about the fact itself, she said, as it is about wanting to have power over somebody.

This is extremely dangerous for highly sensitive people, because they attract narcissists. Then when they see someone is lying, they try and figure it out, or blame themselves. Once the lies start, it can end with the victim being gaslighted, which is essentially when they are told over and over again that their version of reality is incorrect, and they begin to believe the warped truth of the abuser.

“The great power of relationships is when you can tell the truth to one another, and trust each other, and be authentic — and with pathological liars you can’t trust them,” Orloff said. “You can’t base your life around them. It’s like a moral deficit, and there’s no accountability. Someone who is a pathological liar will not say I’m sorry for doing it. They’ll say it’s your fault.”

The only way to escape the clutches of a pathological liar is to be strong enough to say “no this is not my fault, this is not ringing true to me, so I can’t really trust you,” she said.

Unfortunately, people tend to doubt themselves, because the lies can escalate subtly. It may start with a small white lie, and a few months later the victim’s life with be a mess of confusion because of the web of tall tales that has been woven.

“If somebody lies, don’t try and make an excuse about it,” Orloff said. “A lie is a lie. And if you bring it up to the person and they say it’s your fault, or no it didn’t happen, just know there’s something very wrong going on.”

Compulsive liars are not necessarily bad people

Psychologist Linda Blair, an author of many psychology books, told Business Insider some compulsive liars are simply too impulsive to tell the truth. The impulsive-reflective scale is ingrained in our genes, and it’s very hard for someone highly impulsive to take the time to think things through, just as it is a challenge for a reflective person to jump into something head first.

“If you’re an impulsive person, it’s really hard to break the habit, because you have this terrible feeling inside you that you have to sort things out right now,” Blair said. “So when it comes to your head, you just say it. That doesn’t mean you necessarily lie, but it’s a little harder for you to stop from lying, more than it is for someone who’s more reflective.”

Pathological lying and narcissism aren’t synonymous, they just sometimes go hand in hand. In other cases, compulsive liars just might not have the capacity to stop themselves blurting things out. And Blair said they just need to learn to control their urges and compulsions. Their lies don’t necessarily come from a bad place.

“I don’t think it’s something they know how to deal with,” she said. “We think probably it has something to do with actual brain function and the way some people’s brains work, which makes it much harder for them to understand the effect it will have on other people. We think, but we just don’t know yet for sure.”

9 Motives for Telling Lies

Why do people lie and how to deal with liars

Reading between the lies

Why do people lie? Such a simple question should come with a simple answer (but doesn’t, unfortunately). There are indications, however, that most of us share the same the motives for telling lies.

Learning to spot micro expressions is an important key to detecting deception as micro expressions often reveal hidden emotions.

Numbers don’t lie

My data collected during interviews with children and from questionnaires completed by adults suggests that telling lies occurs (at least in part) for one of nine reasons:

1. To avoid being punished. This is the most frequently mentioned motivation for telling lies (by both children and adults). It’s important to note that there were no significant differences for lies told to avoid punishment for a purposeful misdeed versus an honest mistake.

2. To obtain a reward not otherwise readily obtainable. This is the second most commonly mentioned motive, by both children and adults. An example of this is falsely claiming work experience during a job interview to increase chances of hire.

3. To protect another person from being punished. As with lying to avoid personal punishment, motive does not change with intent. We’ve seen this occur between coworkers, friends, family, and even with strangers!

4. To protect oneself from the threat of physical harm. This is different from being punished, for the threat of harm is not for a misdeed. An example would be a child who is home alone telling a stranger at the door that his father is asleep now and to come back later.

5. To win the admiration of others. Telling lies to increase your popularity can range from “little white lies” to enhance a story being told to creating an entirely new (fabricated) persona.

6. To get out of an awkward social situation. Examples of how telling lies can look when motivated by this are claiming to have a babysitter problem to get out of a dull party, or ending a telephone conversation by saying there is someone at the door.

7. To avoid embarrassment. The child who claims the wet seat resulted from water spilling, not from wetting her pants, is an example if the child did not fear punishment, only embarrassment.

8. To maintain privacy without notifying others of that intention. For example, the couple who claims to have eloped because the cost of a wedding was beyond their means when, in reality, they were avoiding the obligation to invite their families.

9. To exercise power over others by controlling the information the target has. Famously embodied by Hitler, this is arguably the most dangerous motive for telling lies.

Even More Motivation

I suspect there are motivations behind telling lies that fall outside one of the above nine categories , such as trivial deceits like lies told out of politeness or tact, which are not easily subsumed by these nine motives. However, these nine were presented in data I collected myself and can, at least, be used as the foundation to explain why people lie.

Want to know if you are being lied to?

When lying, the face often contains two messages- what the liar wants to show and what the liar wants to conceal. Often, these hidden emotions leak in the form of a micro expression, a brief (half a second or less) involuntary facial expression revealing true emotion.

While Dr. Ekman cautions that a single micro expression or flash of leakage does not offer conclusive proof of lying, micro expressions are one of the most effective nonverbal behaviors to monitor to indicate a person is being dishonest.

By Eric Patterson

Adult ADHD and Lying Compulsively

Lies and lying begin to evolve into a problem when they are done with higher frequency and higher intensity. Someone lying by saying they really like the soup you made for dinner is much different than saying they have no idea what happened to the money in your purse.

Some people in your life will be more prone to lying, while others will maintain a high level of honesty and integrity.

So, what is the difference? What makes some people extremely honest and others lie excessively? What is compulsive lying and how is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) associated with it?

Lying and ADHD

It is difficult to say people with ADHD lie more than people without ADHD, but people with ADHD face different challenges that make telling an untruth more likely. Instead of thinking of ADHD as one diagnosis, think of it as a collection of unwanted symptoms including:

These factors will heavily influence the level of lying the person with ADHD exhibits. Someone with poor attention is more prone to make a statement without thinking about it first.

For example, you could ask them a question they are not fully paying attention to. They will respond without any awareness of doing so. Later, they may deny their previous statement, not remember their response, or fail to acknowledge any aspect of the conversation.

Someone with poor impulse control may lie as a response to your question or the situation. It comes out of their mouth without appropriate thought attached.

Since impulsivity and hyperactivity tend to increase the speed of the response, there is a greater chance the response will be inaccurate and technically a lie.

Compulsive and Pathological Lying

Just because someone lies frequently does not mean they are compulsive liars. A compulsion is a repetitive behavior performed in response to an obsession, like in the example of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

In this case, the lies are a result of the influence of the obsessions. An example would be someone obsessed with seeking the approval of others, or someone obsessed with presenting a desirable image of themselves to the community.

These people would use lying to maintain their standing and reduce the anxiety or fear associated with people learning the truth. People who lie compulsively would not like the experience of lying, but will continue to do so due to perceived risks of not lying.

Pathological lying is another situation completely. Someone who lies in a pathological way will enjoy the process, as the lies are a means of manipulating people and gaining control and power over their environment. People most likely to lie pathologically will be those with a personality disorder like:

These people are aware of their lies and the potential impact they will have on people in their life.

ADHD Lying Solutions

Know the Source

Because of the symptom overlap, it can be confusing to know the source of the lying. This step is crucial, though, as there is a huge difference between ADHD lying and OCD or personality disorder lying.

Effective treatments will vary widely as well. Fortunately, success will be more likely with lying rooted in ADHD than in OCD or personality disorders.

Establish Your Expectations

As mentioned previously, modifying your expectations will have an impact on your view of the one telling the lies. Your expectations must be practical and realistic to have any chance of victory in this situation.

Gain the Attention

Anyone will struggle to give a good answer to a question when distracted. Watching TV or scrolling through social media will harm concentration, listening skills and attention.

If you want to increase the odds of producing a truthful response, you must reduce or eliminate the distractions. A good way to accomplish this is by turning off all stimulation and making clear and direct eye contact with the person.

Slow It Down

When someone has ADHD, they are more likely to blurt out an answer with little thought. This is true for children in a classroom and for adults at work or in relationships.

If you want to ask someone with ADHD a question you think might produce an impulsive lie, give them extra time. Instead of believing the extra time will give them the opportunity to think of a lie, believe they will be more likely to think of the truth.

Sometimes, the truth is not so obvious. If you have ADHD and someone asks you a question, ask for a few moments to consider your response. Make them aware of your needs and the benefits of waiting for you.

Just be sure to note the need to respond, so you don’t forget altogether. Using a timer is a great way to accomplish this.

Double Check

If you are the not the person with ADHD, asking “Did you say…” is an appropriate means of double-checking the content expressed to check for lies and changing stories. Rather than try to catch someone in a lie, try to catch them in the truth, since they might not be sure of what they said previously.

If you are the person with ADHD, you can say, “Did you ask me this before? What did I say?” as a means of fact-checking your previous statements. Again, this is not a way to be sneaking or underhanded. It is a way to be more clear and consistent.

Surely there is a link between ADHD and lying. Your job is to thoroughly analyze the lies to assure you know the source, since other mental health disorders can influence the level of lies significantly.

If analysis points to ADHD, take the appropriate steps to set yourself or the person with ADHD up for success. By doing this, the lies can shrink while the relationship quality surges.

Why do people lie and how to deal with liars

“I think 80 percent of the population are really great, caring people who will help out and tell you the truth … and I think 20 percent of the population are crooks and liars. It’s just a fact.”

Okay, so all of us at some point have told a lie or two. Even the “Honest Abes and Annes” amongst us have said a little white lie, right?

But you are not a liar; not really. Not when we consider that some people continue to spew lies over the course of an entire lifetime. These are the folks slapped with the “LIAR!” label – and deservedly so.

Consider this: in a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, some people tell as many as three lies every 10 minutes. How a person manages to do this is beyond us. These folks are liars of the pathological variety.

It is only out of respect for the liar’s humanity that we approach this topic from an even-keeled perspective. Make no mistake about it: liars can be infuriating to deal with. Not to mention, deceivers can extract every thread of our energy and patience if we’re not careful.

So we did some research and came up with nine ways to effectively confront liars without losing your mind.

Here they are:

1. Confirm the Person is Actually Lying

If you think you’ve been lied to, it is easy to get worked up and abandon logic for emotions. But if you think you’re upset now, how would you feel about yourself accusing someone of something they didn’t do?

Research shows that paying attention to a person’s baseline habits – how they conduct themselves when they’re not lying – and comparing them to their present behavior is the best way to find out. For example, if they appear anxious, avoidant, or uneasy, it may be time for a talk.

2. Check Your Facts

Put on your investigator cap and uncover and document all of the pertinent facts (Who, What, When, Where, Why). Facts are crucial when confronting a liar; if you don’t possess objective, hard information, then don’t bother confronting them at all. (They’ll just slither their way out of it.) Oppositely, if you’re diligent about collecting the necessary facts, you can confront the liar with confidence.

At this stage, you know with near-to-absolute certainty that the person lied.

3. Determine the Course of Action

After you’re reasonably sure someone is fibbing, it’s time to consider your approach. Only you know the context of the situation and the severity of the lie; so it’s up to you to determine how you’ll go about handling it. Is this a first offense or is it a pattern of behavior? What effects did the lie have? Was this a personal or professional incident? All of these factors must be taken into consideration.

4. Call Them Out (If Necessary)

This step can be difficult for some of us, especially those who are conflict-avoidant. To overcome this hesitation, it may be necessary to remind yourself what is personally at stake (reputation is a big one.) If your character is being called into question, especially in a workplace environment, you need to call their B.S.

Why do people lie and how to deal with liars

When You’re Ready to Confront:

5. Maintain Your Integrity

As you may know, dealing with a chronic fabricator is often a maddening experience. But you haven’t come this far only to stoop to their level. Always be above personal reproach. Before confronting the liar, remind yourself who you truly are. Rigorously adhere to your principles, and you will maintain your integrity.

6. Keep Things Civil

Once you are in the appropriate environment, calmly state “Something is on my mind and I wanted to discuss it with you.” Afterwards, present your case. “Here’s what I heard” or “Here’s what I know” are possible openers.

Maintain a calm, composed tone at all times. There is no need to escalate things unless absolutely necessary.

7. Watch Their Reaction

Once confronted with hard evidence, liars will do one of three things: deny, admit, or defend. Admitting what they did is the only acceptable solution in all likelihood. Provided that you gathered the facts, maintained your composure, and kept things civil, there is no excuse for the person to act defensive, deny their actions or play dumb.

Provided the person doesn’t get out of hand, you can end the conversation after the next step.

8. Send a Strong Message

Make no mistake about it, you are a victim of someone else’s lying or manipulation. Quashing someone’s propensity to lie about you requires a firm (yet calmly stated) message. Take a few moments after your case is presented to express that you do not appreciate lying from others; that you expect the person to be open and honest, and that you will always do the same.

9. Reflect Internally

After someone lies to you – especially if it’s a person who you trust – a period of reflection may be necessary. The truth of the matter is that most people are honest – for better or for worse.

Take heart in the honesty of most people. Regarding the offending individual, reevaluate the relationship, if necessary, but forgive them, if only for your own peace of mind.

But always remember this: You are a good, honest, and strong person. Your character will never fail to rise above the situation, provided you keep heart!

Have you ever been in a relationship with a liar? It can be deceptive, painful, and down right confusing. You lose your bearings. You can feel like your relationship is a boat without an anchor, not rooted to anything, anywhere.

Truth is a steadying force. It is heavy. It anchors us to the earth, to reality, and to one another in a way that is irreplaceable.

Now, let me make the distinction: there are people who lie and then there are liars. All people, at some point or another, lie. White lies abound in our culture. Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re lying until someone points it out. We often substitute the word “excuses” for “white lies.” But it’s basically the same thing. Half-truths. Exaggerations. You get the point. This is an ugly part of life.

However, a person who is striving for honesty and integrity always brings the truth into the light. They choose to admit they were wrong and apologize for any hurt they have caused. Truth is tough. It’s humbling and it’s often times, embarrassing.

On the the flip-side, there are habitual liars. These people have made a habit out of lying. They have a lifestyle of deceit. These folks almost live in an a false reality that they have even come to believe. Crazy doctors call these people “delusional”. Sadly, I can speak from experience and being a liar can ruin your life and the lives of those around you. So, here are..

3 hard truths about liars

1. Liars Are In Love with Themselves:

Think about it, why do people lie? What are some of their motives? They don’t want to look stupid, they don’t want to be wrong, they don’t want to let people down, they want to keep everyone happy, they want to get what they want. All of these motives have the “self” at the center. Liars make every situation all about them. They’re not thinking about the questions, How will this impact people I care about? What will be the consequences of my lies? No, liars are very short sighted, focusing only on the immediate and easy way out of a situation. In the long run, it is impossible to have a long-term, healthy relationship built on mutual trust and honesty because liars are narcissists.

They’re essentially only in a relationship with themselves.

2. Liars Are Cowards:

Anyone who lacks the courage to look at the truth is a coward. Cowards are really hard to love. They will perpetually frustrate you. Instead of admitting their shortcomings, their failures – their basic humanness – they will lie in order to cover it up. They’re so busy keeping up with “the Joneses” that they destroy their closest relationships in the process. Liars need courage to overcome their lifestyle of deceit.

3. Liars Have No Legs to Stand On:

At the end of the day, at the end of one’s life, what do you have besides your good name or your reputation? Liars have essentially chopped their own legs out from under them through continual denial and lying. They have destroyed their own reputations and in doing so, their name in the community. Since they have no legs, they can’t take a stand on anything that matters. Their lives have become meaningless wastelands, easily forgotten and dismissed. No one with any discernment trusts them and they end up isolated in their lifestyle of lies.

When have you encountered a habitual liar and how was it destructive to your relationship?

This blog post was written by an independent guest contributor.
Author Name: D Patridge.

By Eric Patterson

Adult ADHD and Lying Compulsively

Lies and lying begin to evolve into a problem when they are done with higher frequency and higher intensity. Someone lying by saying they really like the soup you made for dinner is much different than saying they have no idea what happened to the money in your purse.

Some people in your life will be more prone to lying, while others will maintain a high level of honesty and integrity.

So, what is the difference? What makes some people extremely honest and others lie excessively? What is compulsive lying and how is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) associated with it?

Lying and ADHD

It is difficult to say people with ADHD lie more than people without ADHD, but people with ADHD face different challenges that make telling an untruth more likely. Instead of thinking of ADHD as one diagnosis, think of it as a collection of unwanted symptoms including:

These factors will heavily influence the level of lying the person with ADHD exhibits. Someone with poor attention is more prone to make a statement without thinking about it first.

For example, you could ask them a question they are not fully paying attention to. They will respond without any awareness of doing so. Later, they may deny their previous statement, not remember their response, or fail to acknowledge any aspect of the conversation.

Someone with poor impulse control may lie as a response to your question or the situation. It comes out of their mouth without appropriate thought attached.

Since impulsivity and hyperactivity tend to increase the speed of the response, there is a greater chance the response will be inaccurate and technically a lie.

Compulsive and Pathological Lying

Just because someone lies frequently does not mean they are compulsive liars. A compulsion is a repetitive behavior performed in response to an obsession, like in the example of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

In this case, the lies are a result of the influence of the obsessions. An example would be someone obsessed with seeking the approval of others, or someone obsessed with presenting a desirable image of themselves to the community.

These people would use lying to maintain their standing and reduce the anxiety or fear associated with people learning the truth. People who lie compulsively would not like the experience of lying, but will continue to do so due to perceived risks of not lying.

Pathological lying is another situation completely. Someone who lies in a pathological way will enjoy the process, as the lies are a means of manipulating people and gaining control and power over their environment. People most likely to lie pathologically will be those with a personality disorder like:

These people are aware of their lies and the potential impact they will have on people in their life.

ADHD Lying Solutions

Know the Source

Because of the symptom overlap, it can be confusing to know the source of the lying. This step is crucial, though, as there is a huge difference between ADHD lying and OCD or personality disorder lying.

Effective treatments will vary widely as well. Fortunately, success will be more likely with lying rooted in ADHD than in OCD or personality disorders.

Establish Your Expectations

As mentioned previously, modifying your expectations will have an impact on your view of the one telling the lies. Your expectations must be practical and realistic to have any chance of victory in this situation.

Gain the Attention

Anyone will struggle to give a good answer to a question when distracted. Watching TV or scrolling through social media will harm concentration, listening skills and attention.

If you want to increase the odds of producing a truthful response, you must reduce or eliminate the distractions. A good way to accomplish this is by turning off all stimulation and making clear and direct eye contact with the person.

Slow It Down

When someone has ADHD, they are more likely to blurt out an answer with little thought. This is true for children in a classroom and for adults at work or in relationships.

If you want to ask someone with ADHD a question you think might produce an impulsive lie, give them extra time. Instead of believing the extra time will give them the opportunity to think of a lie, believe they will be more likely to think of the truth.

Sometimes, the truth is not so obvious. If you have ADHD and someone asks you a question, ask for a few moments to consider your response. Make them aware of your needs and the benefits of waiting for you.

Just be sure to note the need to respond, so you don’t forget altogether. Using a timer is a great way to accomplish this.

Double Check

If you are the not the person with ADHD, asking “Did you say…” is an appropriate means of double-checking the content expressed to check for lies and changing stories. Rather than try to catch someone in a lie, try to catch them in the truth, since they might not be sure of what they said previously.

If you are the person with ADHD, you can say, “Did you ask me this before? What did I say?” as a means of fact-checking your previous statements. Again, this is not a way to be sneaking or underhanded. It is a way to be more clear and consistent.

Surely there is a link between ADHD and lying. Your job is to thoroughly analyze the lies to assure you know the source, since other mental health disorders can influence the level of lies significantly.

If analysis points to ADHD, take the appropriate steps to set yourself or the person with ADHD up for success. By doing this, the lies can shrink while the relationship quality surges.

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Why do people lie and how to deal with liars Pixabay

In a sinful world that’s under the influence of the father of lies, we should not be surprised to see all sorts of deceitful and lying tactics being used against us. We should not be surprised at the fact that anyone can lie to us, straight to our faces, at any given time.

That said, how do we respond when we find out we are being deceived? How do we deal with the fact that there are people whom we trusted, yet have lied to us? And yes, how do we respond when the deceiver is a fellow Christian?

We’ve got to respond with grace.

Grace that empowers

Many people think of “grace” as some sort of ability to be passive. What I mean is, when people think “gracious Christians,” we think of the kind who just allow anybody to deceive them and manipulate them, and then forgive and forget the offense. This is wrong.

Grace, in its simplest definition, is God giving us the goodness we don’t deserve. He saw our sinfulness and our wickedness, yet He loved us so much and gave His one and only Son for us to be saved, through believing. We didn’t deserve God’s love, but He loved us anyway. That’s grace.

When I speak of Christians being gracious to people caught lying, that’s what I mean: we know the offender is a liar, but we do them good just the same, hoping to bring them to the Lord. We don’t deny the fact that they did us wrong, but because God loves them we hope and pray for their salvation.

That’s grace. God’s grace empowers us to say “no” to sin and do what we normally can’t do – love people.

That said, here are three ways to graciously deal with liars and deceivers, even in the church.

1) Pray for them

Lastly, we should keep praying for them. God knows how to deal with them, and in fact, He can deal with them before we even try to talk to them to address the issue.

Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,”В and so we should ask His help in dealing with the manipulative people around us. He loves them, and wants them freed from bondage to sin.

2) Confront the liar with truth

Next, we lovingly confront the lie with the truth. Lies can only be dispelled with the truth. When we confront the liar with the truth, he can then be given the opportunity to admit the lie and repent of it.

Follow the Matthew 18:15-17 way of dealing with a sinning brother in the church: personally talk to him alone; if he doesn’t listen, bring a witness; if he still doesn’t listen, bring the matter to the church; if he still doesn’t listen, just let him be a stranger to you.

Keep in mind that the motivation for this is to bring a sinning brother to the Lord through repentance, so that he may be restored.

3) Ignore their lies and accusations

Lastly, by the enabling grace and confidence that God gives, we should ignore the lies. I am not saying we should just allow anybody to slander us. What I am saying is we should not let the lies and accusations shake us.

If there’s nothing to hide, there’s nothing to fear anyway. If we have a clear conscience before the Lord, then we’re good. Let us not take revenge against the liar, rather, let us do what pleases the Lord. He is our vindicator (see Romans 12:19; Psalm 4:1-4)

God is able to do more than what we ask of Him, so let’s trust Him.

Have you ever been in a relationship with a liar? It can be deceptive, painful, and down right confusing. You lose your bearings. You can feel like your relationship is a boat without an anchor, not rooted to anything, anywhere.

Truth is a steadying force. It is heavy. It anchors us to the earth, to reality, and to one another in a way that is irreplaceable.

Now, let me make the distinction: there are people who lie and then there are liars. All people, at some point or another, lie. White lies abound in our culture. Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re lying until someone points it out. We often substitute the word “excuses” for “white lies.” But it’s basically the same thing. Half-truths. Exaggerations. You get the point. This is an ugly part of life.

However, a person who is striving for honesty and integrity always brings the truth into the light. They choose to admit they were wrong and apologize for any hurt they have caused. Truth is tough. It’s humbling and it’s often times, embarrassing.

On the the flip-side, there are habitual liars. These people have made a habit out of lying. They have a lifestyle of deceit. These folks almost live in an a false reality that they have even come to believe. Crazy doctors call these people “delusional”. Sadly, I can speak from experience and being a liar can ruin your life and the lives of those around you. So, here are..

3 hard truths about liars

1. Liars Are In Love with Themselves:

Think about it, why do people lie? What are some of their motives? They don’t want to look stupid, they don’t want to be wrong, they don’t want to let people down, they want to keep everyone happy, they want to get what they want. All of these motives have the “self” at the center. Liars make every situation all about them. They’re not thinking about the questions, How will this impact people I care about? What will be the consequences of my lies? No, liars are very short sighted, focusing only on the immediate and easy way out of a situation. In the long run, it is impossible to have a long-term, healthy relationship built on mutual trust and honesty because liars are narcissists.

They’re essentially only in a relationship with themselves.

2. Liars Are Cowards:

Anyone who lacks the courage to look at the truth is a coward. Cowards are really hard to love. They will perpetually frustrate you. Instead of admitting their shortcomings, their failures – their basic humanness – they will lie in order to cover it up. They’re so busy keeping up with “the Joneses” that they destroy their closest relationships in the process. Liars need courage to overcome their lifestyle of deceit.

3. Liars Have No Legs to Stand On:

At the end of the day, at the end of one’s life, what do you have besides your good name or your reputation? Liars have essentially chopped their own legs out from under them through continual denial and lying. They have destroyed their own reputations and in doing so, their name in the community. Since they have no legs, they can’t take a stand on anything that matters. Their lives have become meaningless wastelands, easily forgotten and dismissed. No one with any discernment trusts them and they end up isolated in their lifestyle of lies.

When have you encountered a habitual liar and how was it destructive to your relationship?

This blog post was written by an independent guest contributor.
Author Name: D Patridge.