How to Point Out a Pathological Liar

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Identifying a pathological liar can be tricky, but look for subtle cues that will help you know for sure.

Though it may seem that pathological liars just lie for fun, a study done by the University of Southern California has shown that pathological liars have a condition in which it can be hard to distinguish truth from falsehood. Some pathological liars have become so adept at their craft that facial expressions do not even betray the lie. Though it can be hard to spot a pathological liar and point it out, a few subtle tricks can help you know for sure if your friend is lying.


    • 1

      Observe the person closely when working together to check for inconsistencies. Establish a rapport by mimicking the person's movement, facial expressions and way of talking to help them feel comfortable with you.

    • 2

      Ask for a lot of details, since pathological liars would rather be broad and evasive than specific. Keep asking for details even if the person gets uncomfortable.

    • 3

      Watch for minute facial changes, especially in the eyes. See if the eyes crease when the person laughs or if the forehead creases when the person shows concern since those subtle signs won't be present if the person is lying.

    • 4

      Ask them to repeat the information as if you didn't hear it or pretend you didn't understand to gently push them into telling the truth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't show negative reactions when you find out your friend is a pathological liar. Try nicely to get them to tell the truth and encourage them to seek help for the problem.

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