My friend is a pathological liar, how do I confront them?
what do i do if my my friend is a pathological liar and how to confront them what do i do about it pls help alex
Hi there, you’re very welcome to Ask Alex.
You said that your friend is a pathological liar, and you are unsure about how to confront them about this issue. Thanks for reaching out and taking the time to ask this question.
Sometimes we can tell white lies to avoid hurting each other’s feelings or getting in trouble. A pathological liar on the other hand can seem to tell lies without any reason. It’s understandable that you might find this frustrating and that you struggle with knowing how to handle it.
There are a few things you could keep in mind when confronting your friend:
- Stay calm. While you might feel angry for being lied to, it’s important to approach your friend with an open mind, staying supportive but being clear about how you feel at the same time.
- Expect their reaction. When people are confronted about something they’re doing, they can feel threatened and put on the spot. This can lead them to feel anxious and defensive, sometimes taking it out on the person who confronts them.
- Remember their reaction/behaviour is not about you. It can be upsetting when a friend lies to you, especially when it happens often. You can feel as though you’re not respected, or your feelings aren’t considered. Your friend, however, may have reasons for why they lie or act a certain way. Perhaps it is an underlying issue they’re dealing with.
- Be supportive. When talking to your friend about lying, let them know that they don’t need to impress you and that they can be themselves around you. You could also take some of the focus away from them by explaining you really appreciate honesty in a friend.
- Don’t engage when they are lying. Instead of reacting emotionally to your friend when they lie, you could simply question what they’re saying. This might stop their train of thought and encourage them to speak truthfully. You could also take a break from the conversation and let them know that you won’t be continuing it while they are lying.
- Suggest they get support/help. The important thing when discussing this topic with your friend is to speak to them in a way that lets them know you are not judging or shaming them. They might be more likely to take on board what you’re saying if they feel your thoughts and advice are coming from a place of concern for their wellbeing.
One of the things you might find helpful is to practice what you would like to say to your friend. The Childline Team could help you with this so you are very welcome to chat with us by phone on 1800 66 66 66 or by text on 50101 or through our web chat which you can find here: www.childline.ie. We are more than happy to listen and will never judge you or tell you what to do. Childline services are free and confidential, and are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Thank you for reaching out to us.