Most of us have been there. You’re communicating with someone who seems to live another world, saying things that sound extremely exaggerated and false. But, you can’t quite put your finger on what or who they are. More than likely, you’ve come into contact with someone who exhibits signs of being a pathological liar.
According to The Psychiatric Times, pathological lying is defined as a “long history (maybe even a lifelong history) of frequent and repeated lying, for which no apparent psychological motive or external benefit can be discerned.”
Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM-5) does not have a standard and stand-alone definition for pathological lying, it is listed as a characteristic consistent with other serious personality disorders:
- Antisocial Personality Disorder (better known as sociopathy)
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Some are cleverer than others, but there’s one fact that rings true in nearly every case: Their lies will cause more harm than good. We’ve rounded up a few key signs you can look out for that can help identify a pathological liar right away—before it’s too late:
1. They’re paying extremely close attention to you
You may be flattered by someone noticing even the smallest details about your personality, but it may actually be because the pathological liar is looking for your weaknesses. Additionally, they want to make sure they’re not immediately caught in their lies, so it’s best for them to be on the lookout just in case you’re catching on.
2. They don’t feel much remorse for, well… anything
It may sound unbelievable, but it is true. The liar’s moral compass is vastly different from that of normal people. Lying is instinctual for them, so people’s feelings are never factored into their mental processes. In layman’s terms, they rarely think, “Oh, I shouldn’t say that because I could hurt…