Relationships: Protecting Yourself From Pathological Liars

Pathological liars Pathological lying is a behavior that most people struggle to understand.

Many of my clients find it difficult to understand the foundation of pathological lying which is often a “symptom” of a bigger problem.

It is important to learn their modus operandi (MO).

I discuss this further in this article and offer tips on how to manage and protect yourself from them.

What is the MO of the pathological liar?

Pathological liars have weak egos and poor self-esteem that has arisen from years of unhealthy family dynamics and social relationships. In many families with pathological liars you will often find broken homes, abuse histories, anger management difficulties, complex family dynamics, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Juvenile delinquency, oppositional defiant behavior, fire-setting, harm to animals, and lack of empathy are also common occurrences among pathological liars. And we certainly cannot leave out genetics. Some research suggests a strong correlation between pathological lying and genes.


How do you study pathological liars?

Pathological liars are difficult to study because there aren’t any real “signs” of a pathological liar. The only way of knowing you are dealing with a liar is to watch behavior and watch patterns of behavior over time. Triangulation (confusing parties involved in a conversation or dispute), manipulation, deception, and withholding of important information are all patterns of behavior I encourage you to watch for. Once you learn the pattern(s) of behavior, you’ll be better able to not only identify other people like them. But also protect yourself.

Pathological liars aren’t easy to study or track:

  • They are often manipulative, calculating, and narcissistic.
  • Their ultimate goal is to influence others to do things that will ultimately benefit them.
  • They are bent toward social and emotional power over others.
  • They have no empathy or care for others.
  • They lack the capacity to grow and change. And they harbor feelings of self-hatred.

What do I need to know about them?

Understanding pathological lying goes far beyond the contents of this video. In this video, I discuss how to protect yourself from the pathological liar in your life.