How do you feel when you're lying?
Most people feel pretty guilty and awful after they tell a lie. This is all part of normal human behavior. We have to tell many other lies to protect that one lie and this just causes more harm and worsens the situation. It's not a good way to go forward in life. Unless you are a person who has no moral compass and doesn’t care about the things that happen as a result of lying, people usually feel regret and guilt after telling a lie.
1 Major Trait in Liars
The need to manipulate!
Liars are the best manipulators. Over time they get so good at lying that manipulating you and making you believe certain things is no difficult task for them. They play the role of the victim often and make you believe that you have been the one hurting them all along, when in reality, you are the real victim in the situation. According to experts manipulation is an unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking what they want or need directly. People who try to manipulate others are trying to assert their control over the other person. The manipulative behavior of a liar involves three factors: fear, obligation, and guilt. Liars are best known to master the art of manipulating people and coercing them to do stuff they don’t want to. The need to manipulate is definitely one major trait common in liars.
7 Other Common Traits of Liars
1. Avoiding eye contact
Even if the liar goes on talking endlessly, they are bound to avoid eye contact. This is the technique used in many interrogations, in which the officer forces the suspect to look directly into his eyes or focuses on his eye movements when he’s talking. Liars tend to avoid making any form of eye contact whenever they are telling a false story. These shifty eyes are the most common trait of all liars. However professional liars have mastered this art and it is much more difficult to catch them when they’re lying. Professional liars deliberately maintain eye contact as to throw the other person off and make them believe that they are telling the truth. Some habitual liars must even overcome the natural urge to avoid eye contact to make themselves believable. So in this case, it even becomes more difficult to spot a liar.
2. They are charmers
Ever dated a guy who doesn’t introduce you to his friends or family? This goes on for quite some time and every time you try to confront him about this, his charming behavior always lets him off the hook. Whenever you're dating a charmer, they use their engaging personality to get out of many situations. Charmers use their personalities to manipulate others into believing them. This slowly becomes a pattern and you get so involved in this type of behavior that you don’t even notice one bit that you're being manipulated. These kinds of liars are hard to suspect and even harder to dislike. They are found in all parts of life from your relationship to your job. So keep an eye out for them and set boundaries for yourself so that they stay far away.
3. They will never overshare information
A normal person always overshares, whether intentionally or unintentionally. But liars on the other hand are very careful of what comes out of their mouths. They never overshare because this can create many difficulties for them. It is found that habitual liars do not find it difficult at all to lie and they don’t show emotions like guilt or fear when they are lying. This makes them more believable. While telling even a simple story, they will twist things to make you believe that they are legit. Oversharing will mean that they are exposing themselves and all the lies they’ve told you. They won’t give you any small details about their previous relationships or their past. So keep a lookout for these type of people.
4. They are insecure
Many insecure people tend to lie to make themselves feel better about things. They will spread false news and gossip about their successes or their achievements. This will make them feel like they are better than everyone. We all want a safe place and a support system and when people don’t have either of these, they turn towards lying to make themselves feel better. Liars are ashamed of themselves and they have the tendency to lie about everything starting from their childhood to even their job and relationships. These types of people need to practice self-acceptance and self-love. This is a serious type of self-destructive behavior that not only affects them but also the people in their family or friendship circle.
5. They are good listeners
Another trait liars have in common is that they are very good listeners. They speak very little about themselves but always force you to tell them stuff about yourself. You may see it as a good personality trait, but in reality, they are just storing information about you in their mind to use as needed. Whenever you are feeling down, they will use this against you. By closely studying you they will know exactly what to say to manipulate your actions or emotions. Thus whenever you're even a little close to figuring out that they’re lying, they will use that information to get themselves off the hook. This slowly becomes a pattern and soon you will find yourself trapped with no escape in sight. If you are experiencing this, you need to confront the person and create boundaries.
6. They tend to rationalize their behavior, whether it is wrong or right
Liars always tend to rationalize all of their actions or behavior whether it is wrong or right. They get defensive whenever you ask them about it or just try to rationalize it by telling you that everything that is going wrong with your relationship is your fault and they did not mean a certain thing or did not mean to act a certain way. They get inside your head very easily and make you guilty about even thinking that they were wrong in the first place. You need to understand that nothing a liar does is your fault. This becomes much more difficult when you have been experiencing such a pattern for a long time.
7. They get defensive
Defensive behavior when confronted is also a very common trait in liars. They get defensive whenever someone asks them about a certain thing they lied about. Even if they think that you are picking up on something they will suddenly act defensively and very much offended. You should realize that this is all a common part of their behavior and this buys them time to give an excuse for the thing you suspected they were lying about. They will always say stuff like “so you think I am lying?” instead of calmly giving you an answer, resulting in a fight. You need to spot and avoid this behavior the best you can or it will seriously harm you in the long run.
How to tell a pathological liar apart
Pathological lying is a standalone disorder as well as a symptom of other disorders such as psychopathy and antisocial, narcissistic, and histrionic personality disorders. Unlike telling lies occasionally to escape from certain situations, pathological liars lie for no apparent reason. This makes it even more difficult to tell them apart from normal liars. But there are some things which can help. Pathological liars usually portray themselves as the hero or the victim in their story. Moreover, the lies they seem to tell, have no clear benefit or purpose. They sometimes even believe their own fabricated stories.
What to do next: Confront or avoid?
If you're dealing with an occasional liar, confronting them might be the best option. This will make them embarrassed and they will think twice before lying again in the future. But be certainly sure the other person is lying before confronting them. If you're dealing with a pathological liar, confronting them won’t do either of you any good as pathological lying is a disorder that requires therapy.
We’ve all lied at some point in our lives, for various reasons. Oppositely, we’ve also lied to many times. Knowing about a liar’s traits makes it easier for us to spot one. Little lies are a part of life. But when it turns into an everyday thing and a person starts lying about every single thing, it becomes a serious problem. Keep an eye out for liars and you will save yourself from many harmful situations in the future.