Liars are an unfortunate part of our daily existence. There is a good chance you either know a liar very well or know someone who does. But did you know that there are different types of lying? The difference between a pathological liar and someone who lies out of compulsion is vast. Let’s take a closer look at the two forms of liar.
Someone who lies out of compulsion is a person who cannot keep themselves from lying. It is such a deeply ingrained habit, one that was likely formed during childhood, that lying simply feels comfortable to them than telling the truth. For those who are compulsive liars, lying is simply a reflex, it is their default way of associating with the world.
A compulsive liar does not lie for personal gain and they are not known to be especially manipulative. They are typically well aware of the fact that they are lying, but are often powerless to make any sort of change in their life.
Their lying stems from discomfort. For these people, telling the truth is not preferable, they would rather lie. This is not done to hurt anyone else, it is done to protect themselves. Being placed in childhood situations where lying is necessary is thought to be one of the root causes of compulsive lying.
On the other hand, a pathological liar is far more cunning and crafty. They lie for personal gain and they see nothing wrong with their actions. They know how to manipulate those around them so that they can get their way.
They lie with a specific goal in mind and they do not care who they step over to get to it. They will lie to close friends, family members, anyone who stands in the way of what they truly want. They know that they are lying and it does not bother them in the slightest.
It is important to note that the main contrast between a pathological liar and a compulsive liar is that a compulsive liar is usually very remorseful and knows what they are doing is wrong. If they had any inkling as to how to fix the behavior, they gladly would. They also don’t tend to believe their own lies.
Conversely, a pathological liar lies so much and so often that they often begin to believe their own lies. They have no regard for the world around them and will become very defensive when they are confronted about their dishonesty.
While these two terms for lying tend to be used in an interchangeable fashion, in reality, they could not be more different. A compulsive liar cannot help themselves and does it out of habit. A pathological liar has an end game in mind and will stop at nothing to reach their goal.