Did you know that there are different types of liars? In order to confront each of them effectively, it’s important to recognize which type you are dealing with.

Lying is a terribly destructive thing. Not only does it cause pain and hurt for the one being lied to but the one doing the lying too. We all know lying exists and is something that most people try to fight against doing. However, you may not have realized that there are actually various different types of liars.

In the following article, we will highlight the 7 main types of liars and how you can deal with them.

White Liars

We often tend to see white lies as not being real lies. People who tell white lies often feel as if these kinds of lies are beneficial or at least harmless. White liars often tell only some of the truth. So it could be that people mistakenly believe they aren’t lying at all. Sometimes, a person may use white lies when trying to shield someone from the truth if they feel that it may be damaging or hurtful.

If you believe that someone is telling you white lies and consider approaching them and calling them out on it, you need to think through what you do next. If it is just a white lie about something fairly insignificant, it may be worth letting it pass. However, it can cause problems with intimacy and trust, if you don’t deal with it.

Careless Liars

Careless liars are very different to white liars as they lie all the time and don’t particularly care about the ethics or sense of their lies. Most people are aware that they are being dishonest as they are usually very sloppy.

If someone you care about is something of a careless liar, it might be a good idea for your own benefit and theirs to confront them about it. It is likely they know exactly what they are doing. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will admit it or change. You may have to be prepared to walk away from a person like this, unless they are willing to work on the who what where and why they lie.

Occasional Liars

There are some people who only tell a lie occasionally and there are a lot of them out there. One of the positives about occasional liars is that because they are not in the habit of lying.

They are usually so overcome with guilt that they admit to their lies and look for forgiveness. If this is the case, if you call an occasional liar on their fibs, they will be more than likely want to work on it and change.

Compulsive Liars (often referred to as both Habitual and Pathological Liars)

Compulsive liars, as you may guess, are people who as a strongly entrenched habit lie. Lying is their default way to respond to questions. No matter how small or big the question or problem, no matter how serious or insignificant, compulsive liars will always bend the truth. They generally feel very uncomfortable telling the truth.

According to psychology, this habit forms in childhood. The individual may have been in environments and situations where lying was the only option. At the same time, compulsive liars are not particularly manipulative or cunning. They only lie because of habit not because of out and out sheer maliciousness.

However, the problem with a compulsive or pathological liar is that it can be especially hard for them to break out of the habit because they have done it so long. When confronting this type of liar, you need to tread carefully and tactfully.

Sociopathic Liars

Sociopathic liars are without a doubt the worst of the types of liars. They lie as often as is necessary to get their own way and do not care about other people’s feelings or lives. For them, lying is part of their strategy in life. Shame and guilt are alien feelings to them.

When approaching this type of liar, depending on the situation, you should always tread carefully. It’s not only because of the situation flaring up but because they can be so manipulative and cunning.

Make sure you have evidence to support your beliefs that an individual is lying. If you are involved in a relationship with a compulsive liar, we are sorry but you need to be open to the idea of ending that friendship or relationship. Particularly if the individual is not willing to change.

Liars are not inhuman monsters, and if you are just approaching someone about their lies for the very first time, show them love and tact – obviously, depending on what the lie was. Present your evidence and stick to your guns.

Keep in mind that some types of liars may just continue lying even when you confront them about it. This is because they are masters of manipulation. You need to keep your wits about you to avoid falling for their falsehoods.

One of the foundations, along with good communication, of any relationship – be it a romantic, work or long-term friendship – is honesty. If someone isn’t being honest with you, then you should ask yourself why and whether you want them in your life or not.


  1. http://www.jstor.org
  2. https://msu.edu
  3. https://www.livestrong.com

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