Did You Know?
Studies say that around 60% people tell at least one lie in a short ten-minute conversation with anyone.
The mind, if it is channelized in the wrong direction, can spell doom for that person and for others as well. Moreover, you can lie to people convincingly, but how can you deceive your own self? Just as Eric Hoffer has said, "We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves." Lying is one thing which turns me off every bit. But there are some who do not mind lying, and they lie pretty convincingly. That too, with absolute élan, while others are totally persuaded and made to believe the 'true lies'.
Take this simple test and find out if you stand in the group of pathological liars.
Lie Detecting Tests
The main purpose of the broad category of lie detector tests is to confirm if the person is speaking the truth or not.
» The polygraph is the most common type of lie detector test. It records and measures varied physiological responses of the person being tested. These responses could be anything - from changes in blood pressure to increased or decreased pulse rate, perspiration, and so on. Questions provoking considerable changes in the subject's sympathetic nervous system are emphasized upon.
» Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), another test that has been used in the recent times, is a technique in which the use of oxygen by the brain and the fluctuations while telling lies are recorded. fMRI has the potential to go to the root and catch the lie at source.
In case of pathological liars, sometimes, the tests may not prove to be conclusive. That is because, if the person is an expert in falsifying incidents and fabricating tales, there would not be any alterations in his or her physiological responses. That time, you have to trust your gut feeling and look out for some signs, which will help in deciding whether that person is lying or not.
Signs of a Pathological Liar
Don't Know Answers? Ask Questions
Those who are involved in pathological lying, or have a tendency to be one, are very defensive, which is a natural reaction. That is especially when they are asked doubts and queries they are not expecting. Again, the reason behind this is simple - to manipulate others into believing their lies. If that person realizes that you are not believing him or her, that person may become really agitated and go totally on the defensive mode.
What is Cooking?
Pathological liars, according to expert psychologists, many a time, contradict themselves. They are inconsistent too, about whatever they say. The subject of inconsistency can be anything - from their work to family. Such people cannot properly differentiate between the reality and truth, and they seem to live in a fantasy world. This is one of the basic symptoms.
Another test, or rather sign is that the person concerned will pretend and talk as if (apparently) he/she knows more about you, than you know about him/her. In case it so happens that anything said by the person is doubtful and you cannot vouch for that, the person might be lying.
Nervy Times - Body Lingo
Well, even though the person thinks that he or she is very smart and the lie cannot be unveiled, the person lying tends to forget that his/her body language is a definite giveaway. These liars need to be in total emotional control to keep nerves at bay, which is not always an easy task. Now, this can very easily translate into signs of discomfort, like being restless and an inability to sit still - a small part of the body language which hints at lying.
This is yet another significant sign of a pathological liar. In this case, when you ask such a person about something related to what he or she said, the person asks you to repeat the question. This gives that person time to cook up or devise a lie in anticipation and hope that you would believe him or her. If you observe this happening frequently, be careful.
Treatment for this condition involves several aspects. It includes probing the patient for getting any indications of a personality disorder and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
At the end of the day, if you choose not to deal with such a person, that is an individual decision. If that is someone very close to you, then may be realizing that the person is going through a psychological problem would help. That is, if you do not want to lose contact with that person. A combination of medication and psychotherapy can help in treating a pathological liar.