The Nature of Liars

I was having a discussion with a friend about liars and how to deal with them. We weren’t talking about people who tell the odd white line (probably nearly everyone) but people who tell full on porkies. We were discussing which are harder to deal with. The people who know they are lying or those who seem to actually believe their own lies.

Those who know they are lying. Well, you may have a starting point for getting them to stop because at least they know it’s not true. Then again, they have made a conscious decision to lie so have a firm reason for doing so. Plus they have the emotional stake of admitting that they have been lying. Maybe not so easy to get them to admit it or stop.

Those who believe their own lies. How do you even begin to persuade them to stop if they actually believe what they’re saying. I suppose you can confront them with evidence.

Then there is the tendency of both types when confronted by what they have said and done. They just say “I didn’t do that” or “I didn’t say that” when asked. it becomes a head banging against the wall exercise!

I have been having to deal with someone who fits a third category. Someone who is a mixture. That is, they seem to know some of their lies are lies but others they appear to completely believe. My Oh has said she feels this person is a fantasist in some ways. Which suprised me as my OH very much tends to give people the benefit of the doubt. She says that some of the things this person claims to have happened are convoluted but just seem to be not quite right to have actually happened. I don’t know how to even begin dealing with that.

Lies about me tend to enrage me. I think this is true for most people but I don’t know if I feel it more strongly than most. I do know that lies of others have had profound effects on my life at various points; maybe that’s why it gets to me so much. On some of the bigger lies I sometimes think it’s better just to rely on the common sense of people to see it’s a lie. Even if they don’t say so or challenge it. But I also think it’s a problem not to challenge it. It tends to confirm it in the mind of the liar. There are occasion, something I feel strong currently, that I just want to draw up a list of the most significant lies and detail a public rebuttal of them.

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2 responses to “The Nature of Liars

  1. Sounds to me like you’re talking about the current Government! White lies, sometimes they know they’re lying, the rest of the time they believe their lies! This is not to make light of the real point you are making but I don’t think public rebuttals ever do anything much more than rebound on you. Untruths about oneself are probably the most hurtful form of bullying – that’s what it is, and the instinct is to fight to protect one’s self. But self-preservation comes from strength within, the much more difficult and long-term strategy. Setting the record straight might be more helpful way of looking to call the liars to account? Less aggressive, more reflective and somehow more like playing them at their own game?

  2. Bullying is a good word Sam. It feels like a personal attack. That’s why the desire to put the record straight is there as it feels like defence against that attack.

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