Lying is a serious issue which most relationships face. However, how do you tell the difference between compulsive lying disorder and white lies? What signs are considered borderline? Find out what you need to know about liars and therapy for compulsive lying.
Difference Between White Liars and Compulsive Liars
White Liars: People who consider themselves as white liars believe that the lies they tell are harmless. They don’t think of themselves as true liars. They sometimes even believe that their lies can be beneficial to others. They may tell lies to shield people they care about from a harsh truth. They sometimes only reveal half the truth. These are all examples of white lies.
Compulsive Liars: These are people who continually lie about most things out of sheer habit. Such people find reason to bend the truth regardless of how big or small the matter in question is. Such individuals start to feel uncomfortable while telling the truth and need to lie to feel safe and comfortable in situations. Lying tends to become a necessity for them and generally manifests since childhood. These people experience no guilt in lying regardless of how their lies affect others. This behavior is also known as pathological lying personal disorder or pseudologia fantastica. Certain personality characteristics which are generally seen in pathological liars are narcissism, selfishness, abusive behavior, impulsiveness, jealousy, manipulative behavior and deceptiveness.
Treatment for Pathological Liars
Take a look at some of the treatment options.
Counselling for Liars
Cognitive behavior therapy is usually found to be beneficial for habituated or compulsive liars. In this therapy, the therapist explores the reasons why the individual feels the need to lie. They also study their emotional and behavioral effects of lying. They generally also conduct other screenings for other mental health disorders.
Psychotherapy is usually the best place to start for patients who are pathological liars. It is important to help the patients see the difference between their own lies and the truth because sometimes they themselves aren’t able to tell the difference.
Compulsive liars will often try to manipulate the therapist. This is a trait which comes very naturally to them. It is difficult to get them to see reason and understand that they have a problem. They tend to make up stories with false memories and emotions to gain the sympathy of the therapist. In order to avoid such situations, it is important to first get the patient to admit to the problem in order to move forward.