Little lies a big deal
Q: I’ve been dating “Sheryl” for a few months. I like her and sometimes feel like I’m falling for her. She’s a lot of fun – not boring like a lot of other people. But, she has this one fault that is getting to me. She tells white lies, little lies most of the time, but sometimes bigger ones. It’s not that I have a problem with a little white lie now and again, but she does it as a habit.
She lies about where she is, where she’s going, whom she’s speaking to, and on and on. I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense to me why she even thinks she has to lie about most things. For instance, a friend called and wanted Sheryl and me to go to a movie. She told them that we wouldn’t be going because we had already seen that particular movie. We hadn’t seen it; what we were going to do that night was go to a play – we had advance tickets to a sold-out show. Sheryl could have just said that we had other plans.
Then, when we went to the play, we met some people she knew. In the course of the conversations, she told three lies that I knew of. I was amazed! All these lies seemed needless and incredibly ridiculous, like there was absolutely no good reason for them. In most cases she could just have told the truth, because it would have made no real difference.
I finally decided to confront Sheryl about it. At first she denied that she lied so much. So, I gave her all the many examples. In the face of all my evidence, she even lied that she told all these lies! That is, except for one of her lies: she explained to me that she didn’t want to hurt the person’s feelings.
How do I deal with someone who tosses out lies, like candy at a parade, for no good reason, then doesn’t acknowledge that she lies? Like I said, I’ve never really seen any big lies, just little inconsequential ones. (We haven’t been dating that long.) It doesn’t make sense to me. Can you tell me why she would lie like this?
Dating a Liar
A: There are many reasons why people lie, such as: trying to keep out of trouble, making themselves look better, sparing feelings of others, not having to deal with unpleasant situations, trying to manipulate someone, wanting to be liked. There are more reasons, but this is a good start.
Most of us – if we’re honest, and don’t lie – tell lies, mostly to spare other people’s feelings. However, Sheryl – from your descriptions – goes far beyond that. In fact, it sounds like Sheryl is pretty out of control in her lying. It appears compulsive, and may well be pathological.
Your question to me was: “Why would she lie like this?” My question to you is: Why would you consider getting involved with someone who lies like she does? Do you believe that she wouldn’t lie to you, only to others? If so, you’re wrong about that. And furthermore, when she’s confronted with lying, she lies about lying. In other words, she’s not facing up to her problem, for whatever reason.
You don’t mention anything else about her, other than that she’s “a lot of fun.” Being “a lot of fun” doesn’t seem like enough of a reason for an intimate relationship with someone – though one night at a party might be OK. However, in a relationship, how would you ever trust her not to lie to you? And even if she didn’t lie to you, which I guarantee she will, how long can you take standing by and watching her lie to others?
If I were you, I’d run.
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