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How do I help my friend who is a compulsive liar?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who LIES ALL THE TIME! It started in high school and has continued for years. She is married, has two children and a lovely home. She is a stay at home mother and a medication tech. on the weekends. She lies about everything to everybody. Her friends at work cannot come over to visit because she lied to them about where she lives, what her house looks like and even what her husband does for living and she doesn't want to get caught in a lie. The other day she was checking out at the grocery store and I was three people behind her and she did not see me. The clerk asked where she worked (she was dressed in scrubs) and she said "Oh I am trauma surgeon at Methodist Hospital" I almost fell over! She doesn't know I heard her, but I am just saddened by this. She even lies about the weight of her children when they were born (so she can have the biggest baby in the group) Really twisted stuff and it is getting worse. How can I approach her? What can I say? I am really worried about her mental state and her husband has NO idea what she is doing. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 11
I can't imagine anything you can say specifically about the lying, but maybe "It seems like you aren't happy with your life, have you thought about getting counseling or something to work out why that is?"
post #3 of 11
I deleted my post because I don't think what my friend did is in the same category as what everyone else is talking about.
post #4 of 11
I have no clue. My ex was a pathological liar. I finally confronted him on it in the middle of my pregnancy. I told him he had to chose between our (planned!) baby, and lying. The end result was him lying more, and leaving, having nothing to do with either of us since.

ETA: Stalking his myspace has proven that he is STILL lying 4 years later.
post #5 of 11
I think it really depends on the relationship and what you want out of it. If you are more aquaintences I'd distance myself from the person because it wouldn't be worth the effort. I've done that before with people that I discovered are liars and scammers. If it's someone you are really close to I'd start calling them on every lie when it happens.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I think it really depends on the relationship and what you want out of it. If you are more aquaintences I'd distance myself from the person because it wouldn't be worth the effort. I've done that before with people that I discovered are liars and scammers. If it's someone you are really close to I'd start calling them on every lie when it happens.
I have to admit, I think it would be difficult to stay friends with someone who lied all the time. I mean, they're not trustworthy!!!
post #7 of 11
My birth mother is a compulsive liar too. It can be really hard to deal with. I haven't seen her in years now but before I would just start saying, "That's a lie, isn't it?" or "Come on... we both know that's not true, right?" and after a while she started admitting it. I know she was working on getting help, but I don't know how that went.
post #8 of 11
I've read that compulsive lying can be an indicator of a bigger personality disorder, and it can also be related to lack of impulse control and OCD. Darn it. I wish I still had access to all the awesome books at my old job.

I find the whole compulsive lying thing fascinating. I wish I could remember some of the stuff I've read on it
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
My birth mother is a compulsive liar too. It can be really hard to deal with. I haven't seen her in years now but before I would just start saying, "That's a lie, isn't it?" or "Come on... we both know that's not true, right?" and after a while she started admitting it. I know she was working on getting help, but I don't know how that went.
We've got a family member who lies, but in her mind she believes it...it's unfortunately part of her mental disorder. It's either her perceptions are always *reality* or what really happened was only a small piece of the truth.

Her whole family basically just doesn't bother correcting her ever. I think they just accept that it's part of her illness.

(They won't discuss it, the illness that is. We know it's there because we were visiting her during a 'relapse' when her meds weren't working. That was the only time that her husband discussed it with us, because she was at the point where hospitalization was mentioned. Normally she's managable to deal with.)

Do you think this person has a mental illness?
post #10 of 11
My ex husband is a compulsive liar...we actually ended up getting divorced because of it. After 10 years of marriage almost, I found out that he was really born in Japan and moved to America when he was five; he had been telling me the whole time he was born in California. He even lied on our marriage certificate. It was insane!

To me that is so scary, I think it indicates at the very least a borderline personality disorder, if not a sociopathic one.

<shudder>
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I believe she may have some type of personality disorder. She is a very good friend I have known her for years and she acts like she may be suffering from bi-polar disorder. She has manic highs and then lows, and then lies. I just want to be gentle about it, not mad, even though at times I am upset, but if it is a disease then she cannot help it. I just want her better. I have not spoken to her in a week so I might give her a call and have her come over and talk to her then. I don't know how it will go, I don't want to end the friendship, but I want her to know that I am catching on to her (I have known she was a liar for a LONG time) and I want to help, not poke fun at her. It is sad to see someone like that and to lie about weird things. Sure, I tell little white lies, most everyone does, but not to the extent she does and for no reason. I need an opening line. Maybe I will take the approach listed above like "How is life going? Any problems?" and see where it takes me...I am just saddened by it...
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