I am absolutely addicted to this show (which was on last night by the way)! If you haven’t seen it, I would definitely recommend it! You can learn more about the show here. J
My purpose isn’t to write about the show, however every time I hear the title it reminds me of another issue we are currently dealing with…a pretty little liar. I have never encountered a person quite like this, but because I am now working with this person daily, it has posed lots of questions and concerns for me. I have met a lot of different types of people, but this one is a new one!
Like I said, I met this person through work and thought she was a very nice lady, maybe a little overly happy, but I would prefer that over a Debbie Downer. She always wears make up and her hair done and seemed very put together (hence how the title of the show "pretty" comes to play). I quickly learned that she was quite open with her personal life and didn’t mind sharing it with me, and others. I didn’t mind too much, I like building relationships with the people I work with. I quickly learned that she had some struggles in her life that sounded somewhat odd to me, but we all have our own skeletons in our closet and who am I to judge.
As the months went by, I learned more and more about her until one day while talking with other coworkers, we began to realize we were getting conflicting stories told by her to each of us. As the days and weeks went on, we began to realize we had a lot more conflicting stories than we realized. Now that our guards have been raised surrounding this issue, we have found conflicting stories as small as her telling one of us she did work out, another one that she didn’t, and yet another one that she just did one lap before stopping. Very miniscule things.
Our suspicions of the compulsive lying were never quite the urgent concern until just last week when something she told us could have possibly put us (and her) in danger. Our emotions were high and concerned for her and ourselves. Again, we started putting together the pieces that we were told and had more suspicions of the validity of the story, which raises huge concerns with me since it impacted all of us so much.
I have now been doing some research on compulsive liars and have found this: A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right.
I can’t say with 100% confidence this is her problem, as there may be many other reasons for conflicting stories and the things we have been experiencing however I think from what we can tell, this definition hits it pretty spot on. So now I am struggling to understand it and how to deal with it. I feel like it’s almost similar to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. When someone confides information to you that has a real safety concern to it, how do you balance the teeter totter of "Is this another lie?" vs "Is she (or we) really in some kind of danger?" and how much emotion and time should I invest in this person? Is there a way to communicate with this type of behavior to not enable it, or is it something we just have to turn our heads and ignore? So far I have learned that you can’t help a person who doesn’t want (or won’t accept they need) help. So then what do you do? I’m not about meddling in people’s business, but when their business effects my safety and emotions, I think I have every right to at least try to understand them better and the situation to help myself deal with the effect of it.
Working with others is always something we were taught and graded on throughout our school years, but this is one other I have never encountered until now. I’m sure there are many other others out there as well, but I will deal with them as they come! For now I will be a sponge for information on compulsive lying and trying to help someone who I do believe needs it. Regardless of the fabricated stories, I do think she has suffered in her life and is even currently struggling and for a person to reach the stage of compulsive lying, there has had to have been other issues to bring them to that point. I want to help people when I can, but this is something/someone I just don’t know how to help. I need to learn more about this and what will not only help her, but also me in interacting with her every day and to not become too emotionally exhausted in the stories. I will use this experience as just another life lesson. I am sure there is a moral to this story, but I just can’t quite think of it right now. Possibly because I am completely drugged with pain pills (for medical reasons of course, not because I am a druggy J). I will have to report back on this subject once I get my learn on!