What would it be like if we all lived the life of Pinocchio and found our nose growing an inch with every lie we uttered? I think by now, every one of us would have had a very long nose to deal with! Let's face it; we all lie at some point in our life. At times, it is the particular situation that makes us tell a lie, or sometimes it is only out of habit. Habitual liars need no rhyme or reason to lie; they lie with full conviction and are completely sure they would never ever get caught! And since you are not the blind superhero Matt Murdock, alias Daredevil of Marvel Comics who can detect when a person is lying just by listening to the sonic vibrations of the liar's fast-beating heart, there are a few tricks to remember to successfully identify a serial liar.
Research has revealed there are various types of liars, and one can certainly see lying is more of a 'skill'; hence, the term skillful liars! One may come across these various types of liars throughout life without really being able to distinguish between genuine people and skillful liars. Some people lie for no reason and love to live their lies. Such people are known as pathological liars who lie to be popular or even live a separate identity. On the other hand, one can even come across professional liars who are really completely tuned in to the process of lying! Professional liars are extremely sleek and cunning in the way they present their lies and they are often extremely calculative in their approach. Habitual liars on the other hand lie frequently for no particular reason but are sometimes sloppy in their approach. Such liars often say whatever comes to their mind on the spur of the moment. Well, while some get caught lying, others manage to make a smooth getaway!
Characteristics of a Habitual Liar
Well, habitual liars don't need a reason to lie. They think they can never be caught but there are some traits, which can actually expose his/her lies to a great extent. They lie with ease and false stories flow from them with great conviction. However, experts opine these very traits of a habitual liar can even give them away! Body language is of utmost importance. Their gestures can reveal a lot about what is going on in their minds.
Even if the habitual liar goes on talking endlessly, he/she is bound to avoid making eye contact. These people tend to avoid making any sort of eye contact while they tell their fabricated stories. Shifty eyes are the most obvious characteristic of a habitual liar. This is often unknown to such a person. A professional liar knows how to control such signs or signals to a great extent.
A habitual liar often gives away a lot of signs unknowingly. He/she would tend to play around with objects while spewing out a lot of lies. Such groups of people often fidget around with things such as a mobile phone or even play around with a handbag. They love to add a hurdle between themselves and the person they are speaking to, therefore, even a simple act such as placing a coffee cup between the two is an attempt to subconsciously cover up for their act.
A habitual liar offers tons of explanations when asked a question. When asked a particular question, (s)he may fumble around and speak out irrelevant details. In an attempt to cover up for certain lies that did not add up and revealed the flaw in his story. A liar in his/her act to cover up the distorted account of the tale may blabber details, which are not even connected to the main question. In this case, they often end up avoiding direct questions as well and often beat around the bush!
When habitual liars probably run out of their string of lies, they often feel uncomfortable and prefer to change the subject. This makes a person feel his/her lies is accepted and one can also take time to cover up any missing links in the previous conversation. A change of subject gives one the chance to avoid further unanswerable questions.
This is one of the most obvious and concrete ways to nab a mythomaniac. Most of them will have the tendency to give different versions of the same tale to different people. For example, to you he may come and say that his wife got him the new tie because it matched the color of his eyes and to your friend he may say that he had to coerce his wife to buy him the tie. To a third person, he will say that he detests the tie he is donning and is wearing it just because his wife made him put it on. These lies will be told compulsively and sans any premeditation. Just because he felt like it. In fact, these people keep telling these stories to figure out in their heads which version sounds the best. Same story, different versions. Gotcha! Such people also tend to completely forget the variant lies they have told people and goof up only to prove that they are lying!!!
Defensive behavior on being confronted is another very vital trait of a pathological liar. The very hint that you have picked up the inconsistencies in the cock-and-bull story he just gave you will exasperate him to a certain degree. Understand that even mental confabulations take time, unless of course the liar is super prompt with his tales. His defensive exterior actually buys him some time to conjure patches to cover the inconsistencies that you have been able to detect.
Observing and analyzing gestures and facial expressions are the best way to gauge a habitual liar. An observant person would surely understand particular signs of non-verbal communication to be able to spot such liars. The problem simply lies in the fact that they are comfortable in their act of generating lies anytime. Therefore, being able to deal with one may be difficult, as in some cases this habit develops at a very young age. These traits are only a guide to recognizing habitual liars. These are just a few signs of warning. So before you jump to conclusions, it would be a better idea to develop your powers of observation prior to dealing with the person!