So many friendships and relationships have been destroyed by pathological lying. Sometimes it’s hard to see the truth of those lies.

With pathological lying, there is usually an underlying personality disorder. Yes, people lie, and I lie too…gasp. But telling lies every once in a while and being a liar are two different things.

Pseudologia fantastica, another name for this type of lying, can actually be a serious mental issue, in fact, most of the time, it’s a personality disorder. It can destroy relationships and friendships. It can estrange people, completely keeping them from each other.

How does pathological lying hurt us?

You might think a liar couldn’t hurt you as long as you recognize the lies, but trust me, pathological liars can get under your skin fast. It could take a long time to realize that someone is lying to you in some cases, while in others, it could become obvious soon enough.

They have an amazing ability to wear a mask resembling honesty, and this is how it pulls you into a relationship, either intimate or just as friends. Even the liar’s expressions seem genuine until you dig deeper.

Here are a few ways that pseudologia fantastica can ruin a relationship:

1. You question yourself

When someone you know lies all the time, these actions begin to make you question yourself. Are you a good person, are you really talented, or did you really make a good impression?

Pathological liars will tell you about their own good deeds, and many of them are not even real. They will talk about how many friends they have, when, in actuality, anyone who truly knows them, knows they lie. Regardless, when you’re around them, you will always question the positive things about yourself.

2. Breaks trust

Trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship or family dynamic. Honestly, telling a lie in certain circumstances may not be the end of the world, but pathologically lying can change things in ways that cannot be fixed.

The pathological lie can break the trust between two or more people in a relationship. Once a lie is found out, anger and frustration begin. If trust isn’t instantly broken by this initial deception, it will soon be if lies continue. With pathological lying, the broken trust will happen quickly.

3. Lies become habits

This liar will lie so much that they will begin to create more and more fantasies as they go. What started as a single lie about a situation will become embellished as time goes on.

These lies will be so obvious that the one being lied to will understand they cannot trust a single word the liar says. A relationship built on nothing but lies cannot survive for long unless you want to live a miserable life. It will be like living with a stranger, and you never know what will come out of their mouth next.

4. Pathological lies about everything

Sometimes people lie to keep from hurting others, or they lie to make someone feel better, but liars who are pathological will fib about mundane things. This means, you can ask them what they had for lunch and they will even lie about that. It’s almost as if they can lie about the sky being blue.

Friendships and relationships can be utterly destroyed by the insulting behavior of this mundane lying. Although it proves this type of lying is a disease, it’s just too disrespectful to tolerate for long. It seems like they would get exhausted from making up false stories to change the easy truth.

5. They never take responsibility

Pseudologia fantastica keeps liars from fessing up to their deceptions. Just like a child, liars of this caliber will never take responsibility for what they say, and that’s because if they do, their lies will be revealed.

Deception is impossible if you take responsibility for what you’re doing. Unlike the rest of us who do take responsibility, pathological liars rather just continue down the road of fantasy and self-proclaimed innocence.

6. You have no control

In many relationships, control issues are the biggest problem. Pathological lying places the liar firmly in control of just about everything, so this creates an even larger problem. Why? Because if all they do is tell lies, then all you can do is accept that fact.

If you’re in a relationship, being controlled by a liar of this caliber will eventually destroy all attraction you have for them, thus ending the relationship. Unfortunately, the end of a relationship isn’t even a wake-up call for them to change either. They usually just move on to another person willing to accept who they pretend to be.

7. It is an illness

Pseudologia Fantastica is a personality disorder. This means, without extensive help, the pathological liar will probably never change their ways. Most relationships and friendships with these people will feel like a joke. I”m sorry to be so blunt about that fact, but it’s true.

This a flaw could have originated from some sort of trauma early in life, or just from the strong desire to be accepted as a child. If a child is neglected, they will do and say whatever they need to get attention. It is possible that this cry for attention grew into a severe imprint that cannot be controlled. This is the sad part.

How can you recognize pseudologia fantastica?

You will recognize this type of behavior over time. I once knew a woman who tricked me for a pretty long time with her lies. This is because she could look me straight in the face and lie and make the lie seem absolutely true, beyond a doubt. I paid attention to the words she said, and soon, over time, they became absurd.

If you ever catch someone in one of those “mundane” lies, as I mentioned above, you will start to pick out all their other lies much easier. They will be guarded people and they will always insist on their way and knowledge as pure truth.

If something happens, they will show themselves as innocent and point blame towards others, no matter how unfounded or ridiculous it may be. When it comes to intimate relationships, catching a pathological liar may even allow you to catch a cheater. After all, liars like this are rarely faithful.

Pathological lying reveals itself by the stark way in which it’s done. Other lies usually come with a hint of guilt or a reason, but this type of lie is created with no remorse.

I know the first time I met someone like this, I was amazed by their brazen ability to lie. I believe this is why it was discovered to be a mental illness instead of just a personality flaw.

Have you found someone who is using pseudologia fantastica? If so, you must analyze your relationship and figure out if it’s worth continuing or if it’s time to call it quits.

Remember, while you are not responsible for other people’s personality disorders, you are responsible for living your best life and appreciating your own self-worth. Do your research in this area in order to stay safe from this sort of behavior. I will you all the luck in the world.

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner mobile

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Athena Devlin

    Thank you! Coming across your article was an act of serendipity at a time i needed it most. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      The first time I met a pathological liar, it stunned me. I couldn’t believe that someone could so easily lie about EVERYTHING! I hope this article truly helped you. Bless you and you are very welcome.

  2. mike gurnow

    I had a women live with me for 3 years she left for a month and then lied her way back into my life, she lied to me about where she had been or what she had been doing I was in love with her and she later left me for another man . I know she lied to me but I didn’t want to believe it, love is blind you know. she always tried to call me out as a lier to cover up what she was doing behind my back, she was very good at what she did in a liers world . it took a toll on me , I live by myself now I guess because i’m afraid I might get into another relationship like this, I couldn’t do it twice

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      I am sorry you went through this. It is hard living with someone you cannot trust, almost impossible. I think now would be a good time to get to know yourself better. It is obvious that this person has unresolved issues in her life, and it’s not your job to fix her. I wish you well.

  3. Deangelo

    The Article was an act of good luck.

  4. Kim

    Athena Delvin, Mike Gurnow, Deangelo

    Love is blind at the best of times so navigating the terrain of a pseudologia fantasticia when u are already only able to see how wonderful they are is a disaster . A sure fire heart ache in the making. Are they even capable of feeling heart ache or does there ability to lie to themselves over power the fact that they loose the one person able to give them unconditional love . Are they even capable of giving love . Do they really even know what it is Sherrie Hurd. What about when they have abilitys and gifts and talents that surpass the average human . What about when they dont have to lie when there capability is greater than most ???….. wait i can answer this . There insecurity is severe and there need to out do everyone else even though this one laterally can still has to lie in the most ridiculous ways and it defys understanding how someone so intelligent cannot see how outlandish his lies appear as hes trying to top and already steller capability . Very sad . Infuriating . Gut wrenching. Devastating because he cant own it even when hes caught out in it hel fight tooth and nail to defend it .
    7 yesrs is long enough to go on with this charade . Cant believe i put myself through that . Dont know if i can come back from this one .

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      When I read comments I get to see just how many people are mistreated, in pain, and at a loss for hope. I am struggling too. The thing that hurts me most about a liar is not the lie itself. It’s how stupid they think you are to believe them. This happens to me often. Someone will lie to me, to my face, and it’s so obviously a lie or a huge exaggeration that I almost laugh. I have been left in shock from how some people act, their sudden volatility, their lies, how they project things onto you, gaslighting, manipulation, and the thing I deal with now – the “all or nothing” attitude. I think I need to write about that one.

      Liars are in a world of their own. They need help, they need a complete rebuild of their inner structure. Unfortunately, what we are taught from the age of birth until the age of 7 is the foundation of who we are for the rest of their lives. So, think about that for a second. A person who lies all the time must have been around others who lied all the time and that impression is so deep that they really think they fool people, even to the point of looking like an utter fool. It hurts, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s hard to figure out how to deal with it.

Leave a Reply