Pathological vs Compulsive Liars vs Habitual Liars

I got thinking about two prolific liars I know. It made me wonder exactly what the terms, “compulsive liar” and “pathological liar” mean.

The meaning of words tend to morph over time. But as of today, I’d say that a pathological liar, lies with intent. A compulsive liar, just lies and lies and lies and lies. They can’t help themselves; lies pour forth.

There is another phrase out there, “habitual liar”. This kind of liar sees lying as a resource. They feel there is nothing wrong with lying if no one gets hurt. Lying might help a conversation along, for example. Or make something more interesting.

Oddly, it’s the habitual liar that stuns me the most.  I think this is because it’s pretty easy to spot a pathological liar, at least it is for me.

Compulsive lying seems an Asperger’s type phenomena to me. This has been my experience. Facts and lies are jumbled and spoken before the person has had a chance to consider what they’re saying. I wind up staring at them and nodding, in some kind of silent pact not to point out the problem.

It’s the people who come into a situation where they perceive no difference between lying and being honest are unfathomable to me.  You just have no idea if what they are saying is real or fabricated.

I don’t know what to make of this. I can’t even say for sure that I mind. How can I mind when I don’t know what’s true or false. I do lose interest though.

Come to think of it, this is what’s become of our news media. How are we supposed to know what is true and what’s made up or embellished?  And who has the time to worry about it?

I tend to distance myself from dishonest people, over time. I just don’t think they’re that interesting. If they were interesting, they’d not have to lie?

What do you know about lying liars? What’s the astrology here?


10 thoughts on “Pathological vs Compulsive Liars vs Habitual Liars”

  1. My ex boyfriend was either a compulsive liar or a pathological one, I’m not sure. On the one hand, he lied with intent, but other times … he lied about stupid, small things, or things that weren’t relevant and would confound me later.

    I’m glad you said this: “I just don’t think they’re that interesting. If they were interesting, they’d not have to lie?” It’s a good way to look at it.

  2. My philandering BIL must be a pathological type then because he effortlessly reshapes the truth into whatever glorifies and benefits him. He’s so believable except for his eyes. Not sure of the astrology because his chart is in question. He even spins yarns on that. He was sickly so his mother prayed for him and that brought him back to life and that’s why his birth certificate is off by a couple of months. He’s a special gift from God, see? Yes, distance is a great idea. It grinds my brain to listen to him.

  3. My father is a pathological liar. Lies about bigs things but he also lies about things that don’t even matter. The impact on me growing up was many many experiences of gaslighting, experiences of double guessing myself when I confronted him and more lies were told, and lots of blurred thinking/confusion as a kid.

    The recent post on liars made me check his (solar) chart. He has no significant neptune, has a strong mercury (virgo), a strong sun (leo), and a nice moon (taurus) squared by pluto (ouch, he did suffer a lot as a kid hence he is very narcissistic and lies to protect himself from shame – the leo might make him protect himself from shame a bit more?)

    Neptune is one thing that I expected to find yet nothing. Perhaps he has it squaring an angle in his birth chart? (I have no time of birth.)

    He was a strong provider and supported his family through sheer hard and successful work. However I cannot trust a single word that comes out of his mouth as he compulsively lies about everything.

    My partner needed a second meeting with him (once he met him) to realise the constant lying. He was baffled as to why my father felt the need to lie so much.

    I think there are pathological liars who have a deep narcissistic wound that they think is shameful to show, hence the constant lying about anything. And then there are pathological liars who are sociopathic/dangerous who lie to manipulate all the time.

    Luckily my father is the first kind. Unfortunately I have little contact with him due to his ways – it is still painful to experience.

    I have gemini planets and neptunian energies, and I do occasional tell a white lie (neptune/pisces) to protect feelings or be evasive. I also can exaggerate something while I am talking about it, and realise I’ve just exaggerated for no reason to make a point stronger (jupiter?) I usually amend what I’ve said to the other person yet sometimes I don’t do it and stay aware of my exaggeration and feel guilt (neptune,pisces)

    Although in general I think I am a bit too honest for my own sake – even if it can harm me in certain situations.

  4. I think people lie because of fear. Fear of not being accepted, fear of lack, and whatever their particular ‘wound’ is. Lying is learned at an early age and once a lying habit is made, it becomes a way of life. Until a person becomes fully conscious of their true selves, a pattern continues. Compulsive liars fit in this category. I’ve seen this with a mercury/neptune aspect, mostly conjunctions. Once a person becomes aware of themselves and their inner spirit, there is no need to lie because the truth is all there is, and the raise in consciousness shows that to the individual. A Pluto transit can bring this truth to the surface, often not a comfortable thing, but necessary for the growth of the soul.

  5. Compulsive lying has an other name, and it either Mythomani or Mytomani.
    It’s very hard to treat people with mytomani and also hard to make research on them since they themselves don’t accept their sickness.

    Behavioral lying is very bad, and it happens on “reflex”. As a kid one begins with that just to keep their parents calm and to stop them from nagging you know. So would blame parents for their lying children! But as an adult one has more free will, so no excuses there!

  6. Based on Elsa’s post, my ex-husband must be an habitual liar. Lied to me with intent for a full 23 yrs of marriage. Not fun to be on the end of that, nor realise that is what he did. I only got told recently & yes, it was another shock to the system; only this time, being on the end of that fraud, being conned for so long is far from easy to come to terms with. There are not enough words in the English language to describe this.

    He abruptly walked out of our marriage on Australia Day, 2010 with the statement, “I need to go sort out my head”. I did not know at the time, that was the end. No clue, no warning & no say in a “partnership” of marriage. The fact I did not see it coming is a total understatement.

    What I got told in the past month by my son was that his father had told all 3 kids in 2010, “that he never loved me” & “that he only ever married me to make his parents happy” just left me numb. Who does that to another human being?

    My son said to me that my kids knew if they told me that information earlier, it would have tipped me over the edge. They knew I was already in shock & did not need any more. (They were 15, 17 & 19 when that occurred.) As they explained to me, this is the reason why they keep returning their father’s cards & gifts & ignore his letters or texts pleaing with them with statements of, “I have done nothing wrong”! (I used to ask them not to do that, but I won’t be from now on.) My son said if he can lie to you for a full 23 years, why would should believe he is telling us the truth now? Fair comment I think.

    Thankfully, my kids are sensible, caring people. That is how I raised them. My ex was a long haul truck driver on country roster so, not home a lot making me essentially, a single parent. For that, I am grateful. I got to instill good values & morals. Does it make the shock of realising my ex was a habitual liar any easier to come to grips with? Nope. I think I’m still a bit numb there.

  7. I find habitual liars to be sloppy, since they don’t even mean to lie in a way, and end up doing things based on what they’ve said to attempt to add some weight to the emptiness they’ve created.
    My guess on the astrology would be a square of conjunction of Neptune and Mercury in the 3rd house. Something related to communication.
    One of my best pals is a pathological liar. Fears foreigners and acts as if they’ve met enough of them to be an extreme critic. Any shedding of one’s own identity is a no-no.
    I agree on the habitual bit. They’re aren’t conditioned and are fully aware of what they are doing. “Catch me if you can”…

  8. Years ago I knew a fellow who kind of gave me a weird feeling from the getgo, but I put up with it because he was my friend’s first boyfriend. However, he…I’m not sure what kind of liar he was, but I think he talked himself into believing the lies he was telling. After he spent a weekend trying to break up me and my boyfriend, my friend dumped me for him. Last I heard they were married and living in a trailer park.

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