I’m pretty sure everyone has that one friend who’s a compulsive liar.  They tell you lie after lie, breaking commitments with you and giving that bogus excuse, tell you that they’ll call you back, but never do.  It’s frustrating.  It’s heartbreaking.  You’re getting tired of it.  I’ve come across more than my fair share of friends who are willing to lie to me, whether I understand why they do this or not.  And hopefully writing about this problem and how I deal with it will help you people reading this, the people I’m friends with, and me at some level.

1. How to Identify When Your Friends are Lying to You

So you suspect that your friend is lying to you.  Well you’re pretty sure anyway because there are just some clues that stand out.  Like how hey say they’re in one place, but then you talk to another friend who’s with them in a completely different place.  Or how they say they have too much work to go to your party, and you see that they posted about 50 different things on Facebook during your party.

The thing about friends who lie is that you can always a way to find out the truth.  Compare what they say to what they post on Facebook.  People will always post something on their Facebook whether it is the truth or a lie, but if they’re posting something, then you have the ability to compare that with what they tell you.  Talking to mutual friends also helps.  See what they’re being told by the friend.  Also talking to their family will help you discern the truth.

2. Why They Lie

Why do these people lie to you?  They’re your friends, right?  So aren’t friends supposed to be honest with one another?  Well, you have to look at it from their perspective.   Maybe they’re depressed and they don’t want you to worry about them, so they lie to you to make it seem like they’re ok.  Maybe they’re upset that they don’t do anything, so they lie to make it look like their busy all the time.  Maybe they’re jealous of some of the things you’ve got accomplished, so they want to impress you with a lie.   Maybe they lie to themselves because they want to make themselves feel better.   Maybe they think that if they lie enough, one day that lie will become the truth.

There are many reasons to lie, all of them really bad reasons, but why would they want to lie to you?

Because you’re special. You want to be their friend.  You make time out of your busy schedule to see them, and they know it.  They want to have that certain ability, whether it be courage, discipline, or even social skills, so that they could be a better friend to you.  Unfortunately, they’re just doing themselves more harm than good.

3.  How to Get Them to Stop Lying

This however can be the trickiest thing of them all.  The thing is, you can’t make them stop lying to you.  All you can do is help them the best you can.

Ask direct questions.  Yes or no questions work the best.  Don’t let them ramble on and on with excuses, just a simple yes or no answer will help.

Converse with your friends on how to help them.  Make sure that your mutual friends are aware of their lying and that they also start to help.

Tell your friend that their lies hurt you.  Them being aware that their lies hurt, and hopefully they’ll try to change.

Do not have an intervention where the result is an ultimatum.  Ultimatums make people very upset, and you never know if your friend is depressed.  Ultimatums will make your depressed friends just spiral downwards.  Be nice.  Offer to help them with their problem.

Talk with their family.  Siblings are a great way to know how the house situation is, and a lot of the time they’ll be more than willing to help.

Again, you can’t force them to stop lying to you, only they can.  All you can do is help then realize that it’s a problem.