How to Deal With Liars

Do you know that pathological lying is a serious psychological disorder that can have devastating effects? Lies spur mistrust, if not addressed, they trigger relationships break-ups, lead to loss of jobs, and generally send a wave of destruction. In this guide, I will show you how to handle dishonest and deceitful People.

To deal with liars, you need to be extra patient. Take time to confirm they are lying, derive the truth, and draw them to admit their weakness. Explain to them the consequences of their behavior to influence them to change. If they don’t show signs of remorse or express a desire to change, keep off.  

Most liars are not sorry or ashamed and will try to validate their lies with more lies. They lack the ability to empathize. How you deal with them solely depends on your relationship and your personal values.

How to Deal With Dishonest and Deceitful People

1.     Confirm the lies

       i.          Listen; let them give all their excuses.

Give the person a chance to explain themselves. It’s interesting how liars entangle themselves while heaping lies to a point where they set themselves up as they talk on and on. It confuses them when you remain calm and seem unmoved. Take time and listen as if you know nothing even if they suspect you got the details.

This is a powerful tool for confirming lies. As long as you refrain from being confrontational, they will give in and come clean. They may consequently apologize. If they do, accept the apology and caution them.

      ii.          Gather evidence

You can’t use assumptions to accuse someone of being a liar. Try to look for physical evidence, items like receipts, emails, phone records, or witnesses will help show them you caught them in a lie. This may help stop the lies from pilling up. Most liars become defensive during confrontations thus equipping yourself with proof that will help validate the truth.

Even with evidence, there is a high chance that a pathological liar will try to deny the accusation. They will, at most times, appear shocked or unhappy about the accusation. Don’t be fooled. Understand that this is their defense mechanism. Most liars rarely come clean even when everything points at their dishonesty. Maybe it’s because they believe they can get away with it.

     iii.          Address the issue calmly but firmly

Finding out that someone deceived you breeds anger and frustration. However, don’t let it take control of you when in confrontation with the liar. Instead, try to be firm.

2.     Take action

       i.          Warn them against lying

Warning liars can save you from dealing with more lies.  People that lie might want to change when you make them realize the effect of their vice. If a habitual liar values your relationship, they’re likely to be cautious about what they say around you onwards.

      ii.          Stop the vice

Question some of the things that liars say. Show them you know they are dishonest, and you are not willing to continue listening to them. You can say “I don’t believe that is true.” You shouldn’t allow them to keep telling lies, trying to explain themselves with untruthful stories.

     iii.          Recommend remedial assistance

A chronic liar can get medical assistance. It may sound embarrassing initially but it’s better to seek professional help before the weakness destroys their relationships and dreams. Imagine how painful it would be if a huge lie is unmasked at the peak of your career – it happens.

Play your role to make this person a better person. Let them realize there is help before it’s too late. Sensitize them on dangers that lie in waiting if a simple lie is treated as fraud. They risk suffering divorce, imprisonment, loss of employment, or life in worst-case scenarios.

3.     Protect Yourself

You shouldn’t allow yourself to get sucked in too much in the situation. Take some time off and keep a distance from the consistent liar. If things get out of hand, don’t be scared to cut ties.

       i.          Avoid engaging in long conversations

If you are in the habit of having long conversations with the liar, reduce them. Remember you are feeding your mind with garbage. Whether you choose to maintain the friendship or not, purpose not to listen to more lies, at least not for hours without end.

      ii.          Don’t believe anything before you confirm

Use facts not feelings. The moment you act as if you have a little confidence in what the liar is saying, you give them the power to manipulate your thoughts with more lies. Always confirm their words, always.

     iii.          End the relationship

If you were in the course of establishing a friendship, probably at just acquaintance level, discontinue constant communication, avoid meeting the person because once you meet, you can’t control what they say.

You can also end an aged relationship if it’s based on lies. It may be hurtful but it will save you from more hurt in the future. Be realistic and walk away instead of holding on to someone whom you keep second-guessing everything they say.

Final Note

Lying strains a relationship since relationships survive on trust. Where lies exist, trust is lost. Lies make communication difficult because every time a deceitful person speaks, their words are subjected to misinterpretation.

For example; if a perennial liar tells you, “I can’t see you tonight, I am working late.” The most probable interpretation will be he or she is going out with someone else.

The tragedy that befalls those living with liars is that apart from being victims and being misjudged, they find themselves telling lies in a bid to protect their deceitful friend. Sometimes you do it unconsciously but by the time you realize, you are already too deeply immersed in the lie.

This experience often becomes a source of anxiety, fear, and low self-esteem. The only logical strategy of getting out is to face your fears and keep off the liar.

Check out How To Deal With Ungrateful People

How To Tell Someone Something Difficult


Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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