Thursday, June 13, 2013

Liar, Liar, Wish Your Pants were on Fire

I saw a t.v. show recently with an excellent example of a skillful liar. The scene had a straight talking friend and a liar. The friend asked a direct question about whether he was involved in a dangerous situation. The liar gave a clever non-answer of "Wouldn't I tell you if that was so?" The friend tried with another direct question, "Are you saying that you knew nothing about this problem?" They practiced liar responded vaguely again, "I believe that is what I implied."
What he implied? Yes. A statement of truth? No. Make the friend feel like a heel for asking the original question? Yes.

It reminds me of so many conversations with the abusers of my past.

Someone who abuses and lies is no fun to live with. Most of us want to believe and trust others, so it can take a long time for us to acknowledge when someone is lying to us or about us on a regular basis. Unfortunately, by the time we understand the compulsive lying, we've already stomached a lot of lies.

Some clues that another is lying:
1. Won't give you a direct answer. Instead, the liar gives you an answer that implies something or steers you toward believing something they are intentionally not saying.
2. The story changes as it is retold.
3. She speaks so many words about something trivial that you never manage to finish asking the question you wanted to ask.
4. He blends some true details with some sound-like-it-could-be-true details.
5. She changes the subject--frequently --leading everyone far away from the serious concern.
6. You hear him say things regularly to others that totally misrepresent what you know to be the truth. If he'll lie regularly to others, he'll lie to you too.
7. If she regularly says "you don't trust me" or "you offend me" or "of course, you would think that" or "I can't believe you'd think I was lying,"then be wary. The liar is focused on getting the spotlight off of himself and onto you.
8. He leaves you in a state of confusion frequently. You tried to ask a question and what you get back is so convoluted or condescending that you suspect that you are not qualified to ask any questions and you drop the subject.
9. When nothing makes sense she may be hiding the truth.When she is speaking it all seems to make sense, but after she leaves the room you are completely unsure what she just said. She sounded helpful or honest, but what the heck did she just say?
10. His version of the story sounds so sincere it hurts to keep pressing for answers. If the story doesn't line up with known facts, it is the story that is fishy. For example he says he needs you to pay because he has no money, and half an hour later you see that he has lots of money in his wallet.
11. When she keeps telling you that "they" messed up, you should wonder. "They made a mistake, why would I go to a hotel?"
12. If someone says, "You don't believe me? Then call my boss!",  that's a dare he doesn't want you to accept. Take it literally, call and check.

It would be so much easier if their pants really did catch on fire or their noses would grow.

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Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft