How to Spot a Pathological Liar

the person next to you might not be telling the truth...

Marisol Gonzalez, Staff

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Pathological liars litter the nooks and crannies of any space within this day and age, so it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to stumble upon one on your own. When approaching a pathological liar, the endeavors of uncovering what is reality and fantasy can be a constant minefield. Dodging between what may be true and what is fabricated would be enough to make a person question themselves and the thoughts/information one decides to share with the accused liar. But what is it about someone’s actions that makes another question integrity in the first place? Is it subtly picking at the fingernails when delivering an alibi? The wide eyes in an attempt to persuade, or the change in vocal tone?

First and foremost, monitor a person’s behavior. Understand that your liar will be continuously studying you and your reactions in order to cater their responses to you, so it is vital to stay as neutral as possible in order to identify their true response. “The speech of a truth-teller is reasonably normal, but people who are lying tend to take quite a bit longer as they self-edit, try to be consistent, and leave out negative commentaries”, says Chris Jozefowicz, a writer for Psychology Today.

Though behaviors are crucial in identifying who in your life is stretching truths, body language is the biggest tell-tale signs of who is able to best upkeep their reputation in honesty.  Tyler Lennon, a student set to graduate in early June of 2019, says “Fidgeting is the number one giveaway. If they can’t sit still, there is no way they’re telling you the truth.”. Tahoma High School Senior, Kyle Macklin says “They probably won’t make eye contact with you. If they do, they’ll most likely be pretty bad at it.”. “Sometimes they’ll exaggerate for no apparent reason, or do it to impress the people around them.”

The rest is left up to personal judgment. It is up to you to decide who in your inner circle harbors a positive impact on your life, especially with the fragile balance of forming what relationships in your younger to older adult life would be ideal for you. Regardless, of all experiences one has in their life, chances are you wouldn’t be interested in keeping the dishonest present.