Do you know someone who makes a habit of lying all the time?

Compulsive lying is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning (unlike sociopaths), rather they simply lie out of habit – an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship.

What are the symptoms of compulsive lying?

  • Attention Seekers: There are certain people who need to be the center of attraction where ever they go. In order to maintain their high popularity rate, they begin to build up attention seeking white lies. These lies soon become a part of their personalities and they never find it necessary to shrug off the harmless lies.
  • Create Stories: Creating stories of valor and great deeds about oneself all the time, is a compulsive liar symptom. They make up such great stories about themselves, that they lose their charm once the cat is out of the bag. For example, someone claims to have fought a bloody fight with a goon at the local bar, when actually he is known to get scared or has even fainted at the sight of blood.
  • Covering Up: When a compulsive liar gets caught in his lies, he will cook up another story of how he is falsely accused or will deny it totally with another story to back up his claim of innocence.
  • Same Story, Different Characters: Plagiarism becomes another part of obsessive compulsive liar symptoms. One may not realize mentioning the same lie to the same person, more than once. Each time he says the same lie, the basic concept remains the same, only the characters, place, date of occurrence, etc. may change.
  • Poor Self Esteem: The hallmark of compulsive liar disorder symptom is low self esteem. An inferiority complex forces the person to make up stories, that makes him/her feel worthy and appreciated.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): This is mostly apparent in compulsive lying disorder in children. Even adults suffering from ADHD with impulsive behavior, exhibit compulsive lying symptoms.
  • Bipolar Disorder: People suffering from a bipolar disorder are always suffering from mood swings, that range from depression to a manic behavior. During this period, their impulsive behavior is switched on, that forces them to lie through their nose.
  • Other Addictions: Drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, etc. who are into similar activities that causes them to fall into trouble more than often, may exhibit compulsive liar disorder. They may keep lying to help themselves out of sticky situations, get out of financial mess, hide the truth about themselves, from their family and friends.
  • Reality Denial: People who are unable to face the truth or unable to admit truth are true compulsive liars. They may turn on an elaborate emotional display that takes the attention away from their lies.

People affected with compulsive lying disorder lie and they lie big time, for no apparent reason at times. You do not realize that you are being lied to, until you spend a considerable period of time with him or her. With time, you recognize the inconsistencies in the facts that are shared with you. The surprising thing is that the person continues to lie, even when he/she realizes that you see through him!



“Why do you lie? Low self-esteem, maybe? Finding yourself in an environment where everyone seems to be competitive, has more experience than you so you feel small and unimportant? Or could it be that you needed to be the center of attention? Why do you create stories? Do you think they wouldn’t find out? Too late for that. Make your lies more believable next time, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself. You’re not deceiving 5 year old kids, you know. They all know you’re bending the truth, and every little thing that comes out of your mouth. Stop it now. It’s not doing you any good. It’s just making things worse for you.”