Most folks don't want to believe their are being lied to.

Best to get over that and recognize what's happening, why, and how to respond to liars.

"I know I'm being lied to, but I want it to be true." I hear that so often from clients. I understand that they are so hooked on hope that the person they fell in love with would never lie to them that they believe the lies.


  • Difference between white lies and pathological lies
  • 10 reasons pathological liars will not tell the truth
  • Most common lies of #Hijackals and other pathological liars
  • What not to do when being lied to by a #Hijackal or #pathologicalliar
  • What to focus on when you are being lied to
  • How best to respond and how not to respond to a pathological liar

#pathologicalliar #signsofapathologicalliar #beingliedto # #narcissistslie #howtostopthelying #Iknowheslying #iknowsheslying #confrontinglies #respondtoaliar

Machine Transcript:

Are you with someone who lies to you frequently?

And then when you ask them if they're lying, or you tell them that they're lying, they tell you that they're not and everything is your fault....And why are you so suspicious? And why is this such a difficulty for you? And why are you always finding fault?

Well, you may very well maybe with a pathological liar and you need to know that because you don't want to be trapped in a place with a pathological liar and not recognize what's happening.

[intro clipped]

So, what - or who - is a pathological liar?

I want to talk about lying. I started with an episode last time about being able to understand when someone's lying to you and what to do. And I promised that I would be far more specific, especially about people that I call hijackals.

So today, that's what I'm doing. I'm giving you some more in insights into this whole being-lied-to-business, which is very unsettling and absolutely wrong on every level. So let's just talk about it for a bit.

Let me give you some background. Now we all know about white lies, you know, "do I look fat in these pants?" Well, that's not a question you want to ask if you want an honest answer, right? So there are things that we call it white lies or little fibs or, you know, little things. And basically, they're relatively harmless things. There's no malicious intent. Maybe they're done to spare your feelings. Maybe they're coming from embarrassment and they don't want to don't want to tell the truth.

With these white lies, sure, something is happening, but it's not going to affect the depth and the being of the relationship. It is not going to erode and undermine your trust and your belief and your willingness to be in full relationship with that person.

But pathological lies. That's what those folks that I call hijackals trade in... pathological lies.

And my definition of hijackals for, those who don't know, I created this term because most people who have any type of traits of personality disorders will never be diagnosed. So don't pretend you can diagnose them either, no matter how much you've read on the internet. But feel free to use my term, because they need a name. Hijackals are people who hijack relationships for their own purposes, and then relentlessly scavenge them, at home usually, for power status and control. And they lie. They lie like a carpet.

I'm going to give you 10 ways that they do it. And then when I'm done with that, I'm going to talk about each of them so that you really understand. Then some thoughts on what you can do when you have a pathological liar in your life.

Pathological lies are different than those white lies, which as I said, are relatively harmless. Pathological lies, wow, they are frequent. And each time it happens, it causes your mind to melt a little bit, like "What? Really? That doesn't make any sense. "

But maybe you really want to believe so you allow yourself to go down that pathway. Or maybe you're exhausted from not believing so you just roll your eyes mentally and go "there they go again," but those lies are frequent. And then you begin to notice that the person is actually a compulsive liar. Even when it doesn't matter, even though something is totally not important. They still lie. That's a mark of a compulsive liar, a pathological liar. And they do it for no real reason.

There's there's no necessity to lie, it won't save anybody anything. It just is a habit that they have. They don't live in a place of wanting to deal with reality. So it becomes a habit. Another reason that people tell lies and and become pathological about it is their fear. They want to protect themselves all the time. So even if it's just perceived that something may not be construed correctly about them, they'll lie about it because of their own fear of needing to be seen as wonderful all the time.

Another way is they want to dominate a situation. So they see an opportunity to take up more air time, to be "the one who knows." So they lie in order to do it. Or they always want to appear right. They need to explain why they are right and how they are right and preferably how you are wrong. But that's why they will lie to save themselves and to protect themselves.

They'll also lie to avoid responsibility or accountability or any possibility of blame or shame coming their ways. Hijackals are very fragile beings much as they appear to be real Bulls in a china shop and bullies, sometimes they really are very fragile human beings who are constantly hyper vigilant for anything that looks like a slight coming in their direction. So they will lie instantaneously to avoid responsibility or accountability or blame or shame.

Now, another big reason they lie is to make themselves the hero of this situation. "I saved the day if it hadn't been for me. I came in, I did it right, I took care of it. I was the one I."

And then there are covert, hijackals. These are the ones who want to make themselves the victim. "Nobody ever believes me. Nobody ever cares about me. Nobody ever gives me what I want. Nobody acknowledges me. Poor me. " You know,  the "I'm going out to worms"... that kind of victim status all the time, in order to keep the attention on themselves.

And the last one that I want to put out there before I give you all these other pieces of information is that pathological liars want to have power and control over you and to create some sense of status for themselves. In every situation. So, to grab the power, to take control to up their status, is very, very important to them and they will lie through their teeth and beyond to do that.

So what do pathological liars lie about?

Now we know why they lie. But what do they lie about? You want to be able to recognize these things as immediately as possible.

They lie about:

  • how they are the best, the most, the greatest of everything and everyone,
  • how they overcame the most adversity,
  • how they suffered more than anyone else,
  • how they're smarter than everybody else,
  • how they had the biggest XYZ
  • how they had the most ABC,
  • how they had the greatest LMNOP, or
  • how they had the most awful.

It doesn't matter whether it's positive or negative.

They have to use these superlatives, their experiences are always greater, deeper, bigger, longer than anybody else's. They'll lie about anything and they love large numbers. They'll make up those numbers on the fly, no problem. And the next time they lie they'll make it even bigger. And the next time it'll be a larger number and it'll go on and on and on. And that is a hallmark of a hijackal. They have to be the one who creates the statistics even though there's not a word of truth in them, not a bit.

So another way their lies give them away, is they love to tell elaborate, embellished stories of their lives. They will take up all the air time that you will allow and they will elaborate on it and it will go into all the weight of it..  so soon it's the s/he done me wrongs and how every person I've ever been with was crazy.., and I survived. For all the things that they have overcome, whether or not it has anything to do with reality, as long as they are dominating the conversation, and they are telling rich stories, whether they're true or not, does not matter to them. They are the center of attention. They have your attention. And that's all they care about. Preferably, as many people in the room's attention simultaneously suits them best.

Now, they love to exaggerate their accomplishments. You know, I can tell a story from my own life:

Once, a man actually borrowed my status in life. Just to give you an example, I went to a networking event with a fellow that I'd been dating for a while. And when we were meeting people, you know, I would just want to extend my hand and say hello and, he would pre-empt that. He would come up and say "You know, I am so and so. And this is Dr. Rhoberta Shaler." And I said to him, "do you know why do you do that?"

And then I realized, by telling people that I was a doctor it inflated his sense of status, because he basically was very embarrassed by the fact that he had a high level job with a low level education. He wanted to borrow that, so he would exaggerate even my accomplishments because he was standing by me, and that would make it his accomplishment.

Does that ring a bell for you? It took me a while to figure that one out.

Now, another reason that they lie, is they'll go on at great lengths about things they know little or nothing about. But they will make it up. They will string together words that when you play them back in your head or on tape, they make no sense at all. But they were delivered in a very blustery, exemplary "I am the top of the pile" kind of way. And they will go on and on and on about it.

I've known people who could string together platitudes forever just to keep the attention on themselves. And maybe you do too. So they often fail to give specifics. They're often very, very general and very, very vague about what they're talking about. But it will be filled with things that make them think they look good or sound good.

And when you ask for details, oh, how dare you? They suggest that something's wrong with you. You weren't listening. Oh, you wouldn't understand this. You don't have the background. They will diminish and and discount you when you ask them for details because they can't provide the details. They were making everything up. They were blustering. This happens a lot.

Another way that they lie is they never give a straight answer to a question. So when you ask a question, you know, and you want a yes or no answer, you're going to get fog, lots of fog, lots of words, maybe a little spit, but it's all gonna come at you, then you're going to be left asking yourself, "was there an answer in there somewhere?" And if you say, "I'm not exactly sure what the answer is," then they'll point their finger at you and make you wrong again.

Another thing they will do, because they're not always good at remembering when they lie, as much as they do, and they lie to win in the moment. So when they lie that frequently, they often forget what they said. And then when you say to them, but you said this yesterday, they will tell you that you don't listen very well. Right?? So they'll have several versions of the same story at different times.

Maybe you will do what I did at one point, way back before I recognized all of this, you know, I would hear someone tell a story that included me. And then I would hear them tell it again and there was kind of six degrees off what actually happened. Not really enough to call them on it as not true, but enough to make it uncomfortable. And the next time they tell the story, it would be another six degrees off. Now we're 12 degrees off of truth. What do you do now? And that's what they're hoping for that you will believe what they say and you will not remember what they've previously said.

And the last thing I want to point out about their lives is all their answers and all their statements are intended to make them right and you wrong.

If you've been with a hijackal very long you truly understand that.

So what do you do when you have a pathological liar in your life (and big PS here: All hijackals lie. Yep. All hijackals lie.)

First of all, expect them to lie.

Okay, now that sounds a terrible thing to do. But don't be surprised when they lie. Okay, they're probably going to lie. So then you can stop yourself from reacting. Because you know, they're probably going to lie to you, I maybe ask because there's a chance they'll tell you the truth. But don't be surprised when they lie. That'll help you with the emotional reaction to asking them a question.

And then observe them carefully and recognize the lie. Just look at them and recognize, okay, they're lying to me and they don't think I know. And then just observe that and say, Is this okay with me on any level, and then if you're going to respond, don't respond by blaming or questioning them, respond by talking about yourself. "Oh, that's not the way I remember it,"... or something to that effect.

Make a little note of it because you said something, but you didn't make some wrong. Another thing... you don't want to confront the lie. And when you DO confront a lie, you will get a rush of emotions. You'll get denial, you'll get blame, maybe you'll be shamed. Something will happen, they will do something to protect themselves and in order to protect themselves, they will go over the top and have to blame and shame and deny, get angry, maybe even in a rage and walk out. So don't confront the lie when you're with a hijackal.

When you're with a relatively healthy person and you say, "That's not the way I remember it". A healthy person will say, "oh, what do you remember?" A hijackal will not say that. A hijackal will make you wrong with every breath they have.

Now another thing to do when you have a hijackal liar in your life is always respond with neutral emotions. Frustrating as it is, don't lose your temper. Again, you can say something that comes from my formula, the personal weather report, you can speak about yourself. You can say that's not the way I remember it, or my recollection is different. Or that's not what I took from that experience. You can say something wholly about yourself, but don't bother trying to catch them in the lie.

Another thing to do is to remember, hijackal lies are about them, and who they are. They're not about you. So even when they're lying about you, you have to remember, "no, it's their twisted mind that is drawing the line here. No matter what they say. It doesn't alter my truth." They're altering their truth. And again, stay in that neutral position..your only response.

There's no use confronting, there's no use repeating. There's no use engaging in the whole lie conversation. Observe it and say internally or preferably say out loud in a neutral way. "That's not the way I remembered it." Or "actually, I, I have some things that let me know that that's not accurate."

But don't engage with them. Don't make them wrong. It's not worth it.

So I hope those things are helpful to you because you want to be able to to have a reasonable conversation with someone, and you can't have one with a pathological liar.

And oh, yes, they're charming, and they're often exciting, and they seem to be engaging. But remember, they're always fabricating. So notice the lies, document the lies, especially if you're going to have to go to court ...and distance yourself from the lies and preferably distance yourself from pathological liars. Do something, take some action, discount their lies in your head and learn to respond in the ways that I've suggested.

I hope this is helpful to you. I hope that you will ask any questions you may have. Just go to my page on Facebook, relationship help, doctor, and you will see where I publish things about the podcast comment there. If you have something you'd like me to talk about, certainly find me on Facebook and tell me about it. I'm there to Rhoberta Shaler I'm glad that you were here and I hope that you will understand and recognize how best to deal with a pathological liar. Take good care, and we'll talk soon. I'm so glad you spent this time with me today. Hope you heard something that touched your heart and empowered you to move forward. You can have the life and relationships that you most want and that begins with you within you today. I'm always here for you, life can get better.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


stay updated

Get every episode by email, when it’s published.

Narcissist Proof

get vital content about Identifying, loving, leaving and surviving hijackals, narcissists and other toxic people

You can easily unsubscribe any time. Emails are sent based on when we publish content or schedule events.

Log In is required for submitting new question.