Just about everyone fibs every once in a while, usually tiny half-truths on social media or online dating profiles. These types of lies aren’t really that big of a deal. Problems do arise; however, when your partner compulsively lies about both big and small things. These types of people are known as pathological liars, which Truth About Deception describes as someone who fibs purely out of habit.
Do you feel like your partner is constantly telling fibs about everything, even small details? Here are a few key signs you could be dating a pathological liar.
1. Their body language tells all
If you suspect you’re dating someone who is constantly lying to you, check out their body language when they’re talking. Dr. Lillian Glass, a behavioral analyst and body language expert, tells Business Insider the telltale signs that someone is lying, including quickly changing head position, heavy breathing, and fidgeting.
If your partner is covering or touching their mouth when they’re telling you something, be wary of this behavior as well. It’s their body’s way of literally shutting down communication with you.
2. Their stories are theatrical
Does your partner often tell you stories where they’re the hero who saved the day, or they’ve seen something absolutely unbelievable you can only imagine seeing in movies? While we all have interesting stories from our lives that are funny, sad, or moving, pathological liars tend to have sensational story after story to tell. Paul Ekman, Ph.D. and professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California in San Francisco, tells Everyday Health pathological liars feel a need to exaggerate their stories.
3. They’re all about themselves
There may be a theme with all of your partner’s stories: They’re the focal point. SelfGrowth.com explains many of those who have narcissistic personality disorder are also pathological liars, as they love to present a false self to those around them. Your lying partner may create an image that seems larger than life because that’s who they want you to see, and that’s who they really wish they were. As long as all eyes are on them and they’ve got your full attention, then expect the lies to keep coming.
4. They have unstable relationships with others
If you’re dating someone you believe may be a pathological liar, New Health Guide says you might notice they don’t have a whole lot of other stable relationships. It’s hard to get close to someone that you believe is lying all the time, which is why a pathological liar is unlikely to have many close friendships. Paying attention to what others think of the person you’re dating isn’t always for the best, but if you believe you’re dating a pathological liar, you may want to ask for the opinions of co-workers, friends, and family of your significant other.
5. They have little self-esteem
While the liar in question may create grand stories about their adventures through their life, in reality, their self-esteem is not nearly as high as they’re projecting. According to LoveToKnow, those who have low self-esteem are way more likely to exhibit pathological lying, because they want you to feel attracted to them. They also want to feel proud of their accomplishments, and constantly lying can give them that gratification.