We all know that lying is widespread among children.
In fact, as many as 96 percent of the little ones are guilty of telling lies.
But the thing is, most of us grow out of it!
That is, unless you’re a serial liar.
These true Pinocchios continue to lie consistently through their teeth even into adulthood. It can be caused by a traumatic experience, low self-esteem, or a desire to create a false sense of self.
How do you recognize serial liars?
Look for these seven behaviors that give the game away.
1) They have no (obvious) reason to lie
This is a big one.
Because lying without reason distinguishes immature childish lies from something more serious.
Let me explain.
We all remember sneaking an extra cookie as a kid (I know I do).
If confronted by our parents, we would vehemently deny it (despite having crumbs around our mouths).
But at least we had a clear reason to lie (to avoid punishment).
This is what serial liars miss.
At first glance they seem to have no apparent reason.
Maybe you come out of a conversation thinking how great (but far-fetched) their story was. You’ll probably give them the benefit of the doubt, because why would they have made all that up?
It seems like a lot of effort.
The fact is, they DO have a reason (it’s just complicated).
They may try to reinvent themselves to appear more interesting or fit in. Maybe they just crave attention, or are trying to impress.
It comes down to.
Their reasons for lying are much more complex (and less obvious) than simply avoiding punishment.
2) Their emotions don’t match their words
Telling fake stories is one thing, but showing fake emotions is much harder.
You need Oscar-level acting skills!
That’s why it’s usually a slam dunk giveaway for spotting serial liars.
Suppose your friend tells a traumatic story about breaking up with an ex-partner or losing a loved one.
If you can’t detect any sadness in their tone, it may mean they aren’t true.
Although it is not always that simple.
Some people Use humor to mask pain. Perhaps they joke about unfortunate events in their lives as a coping mechanism.
So you need to have a good understanding of their character before labeling them as a liar.
In short, look for emotional inconsistencies in their behavior over time.
3) They love attention
Attention seeking is common among serial liars.
their dubious stories, do they also fish for compliments, do they look for sympathy, do they show jealousy or do they often feel lonely?
Because these are all telltale signs of someone who absolutely craves attention.
And they will do anything to get it (including lying).
Pay close attention while they talk. Especially for large groups.
Most of us are somewhat intimidated or nervous about broadcasting to the entire room. Attention seekers, on the other hand, feel very much at home and even enjoy the experience.
4) They are not affected if they are caught
Serial liars rarely show remorse.
They may even go so far as to downplay their dishonesty or blame someone else.
In a recent example, a popular YouTuber was caught stealing his viewers. When presented with the evidence, he blamed the fans:
“Some of the responsibility lies with the fans because they put too much emotion into it.”
Serial liars do this to protect their ego.
After all, it feels better to point the finger and not take responsibility than to accept that you made a mistake (or were caught lying).
It stems from their fragile self-esteem.
They may even pile lies upon lies in an attempt to dig themselves out of a hole. Creating increasingly elaborate stories.
5) They are charming (and manipulative)
Serial liars are usually charming and articulate people.
After all, they have a lot of experience in telling stories over the years. They have learned exactly how to manipulate and convince people.
Usually it involves a good sense of humor (even if it’s not entirely authentic).
This is what it is about.
They understand that humor is a powerful weapon in their arsenal of deception.
It’s not alone the most important quality we look for in a partner, but humor also puts us at ease and makes us feel more at ease with people.
And with good reason.
Humor is great for dealing with stress and depression, and has even been linked to improving cancer treatment. The physical act of laughing literally lowers blood pressure and muscle tension.
6) They lack empathy
This is a no brainer.
If you start telling lies and misleading people for your own gain, you definitely lack empathy.
Pathological liars do not care about the consequences of their actions or how their lies will affect others.
It’s just not in their heads.
They are too concerned with protecting their ego, fitting in socially and being liked.
In fact, empathetic behavior is super important when it comes to spotting a serial liar.
Think about it.
This way you distinguish between small white lies (which we all tell sometimes) and more calculated lies.
Take this example (we’ve all been there).
Someone cooks us a bland meal and asks how it was.
We may lie because we are empathetic (and polite). I thanked them and told them how wonderful it was not to hurt their feelings.
While serial liars are much more calculated and determinedly have their own (unempathetic) interests in mind.
7) They exhibit unusual body language
Body language is huge when it comes to spotting a serial liar.
Did you know that a huge 55 percent of communication happens via non-verbal signals?
In other words, it’s pretty hard to hide.
There’s a reason lie detectors (which monitor these things) are up to 80 percent accurate.
If you suspect someone is a serial liar, pay close attention to eye contact, defensive body language (such as folding arms or tugging on earlobes), and fidgety behavior.
As with all the behaviors mentioned, they may not mean much on their own. But if you notice them consistently over time, chances are you’re dealing with a serial liar.
It’s also important to remember why they lie. They probably have some deep-seated issues that need attention. Professional help is always a good recommendation.
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