Skip to main content

Sociopathic Tendencies - The Sociopath as a Pathological Liar


CNN Video Is Your Boss a Sociopath?

How to Stop Dating Sociopaths

Liar, Liar

Sociopaths lie. They lie a lot. In fact, sociopaths are adept at creating fairy tales and living within those fairy tales as their lies and reality merge. There are generally two recognized categories of individuals who constantly lie: compulsive (habitual) liars and pathological liars. Habitual liars lie out of habit. They are afraid to face the truth. For example, perhaps they repeatedly avoided punishment as a child by lying. As a result, lying simply becomes a personality trait. Habitual liars normally do not lie to intentionally hurt anyone. They just cannot help but lie. You can stand next to a compulsive liar and gaze at the bright, blue sky and they will tell you that it just turned green.

Sociopaths are pathological liars. Pathological liars lie to gain something. Their lying is usually quite calculated and manipulative and the end result is typically pain. A sociopath doesn’t care who their lies affect as long as it fits what the sociopath hopes to achieve. Unlike compulsive liars, pathological liars can help themselves. They know the difference between right and wrong, and they are well aware that lying is wrong. Unfortunately, they simply don't care. In fact, sociopaths are so good at lying they can become their own lie. Think about that. If a sociopath can stage his own lie and live his own fantasy, gaining trust is a breeze. Trust then becomes the foundation of carefully orchestrated manipulation schemes.

Pathological lying is an invaluable tool for a sociopath. It is the ultimate weapon to gain pity and sympathy from their unsuspecting victims. It may be only a slight embellishment or simple twist in a story, but it may be the creation of a whole new reality. Sociopaths have mastered this ability and will use it against the most vulnerable people and never think twice about the damage they cause.

It is easy to catch a sociopath in a lie. Pay attention to contradicting versions of the same story. Contradictions may be slight, but they exist. The bigger problem becomes that the sociopath as a master manipulator takes great care to ensure people whom they ensnare are never able to share stories. They will do anything to minimize the risk of being exposed. Everything the sociopath does is multi-layered and tediously formulated.

Even when they are exposed, the sociopath is sure to have a back-up plan that consists of a carefully constructed new lie to cover the old. It comes almost as natural as breathing, which also makes them very convincing. It’s kind of like watching a child take a cookie from the cookie jar and deny taking it, even when they know you watched them do it and they have the crumbs on their face.

Always remember when dealing with the sociopath—they will do whatever it takes to win. Your feelings or perception of your relationship does not matter to them. You cannot change them, and if you think for some reason you are special, you are only fooling yourself. They do not have the capability to care about you. Nobody is “special” to a sociopath unless you are serving an immediate, necessary purpose for them.

Sociopaths are likely to create fake credentials in the business world. Don’t be surprised if you find out your sociopath boss never even went to college, let alone graduated from Harvard. They are also likely to lie about previous relationships to their current victims. Teen sociopaths are highly likely to lie about situational circumstances with their parents and/or siblings or other family members if it will gain them sympathy. They will lie about physical or mental abuse if it helps them in a divorce or custody situation. They will certainly lie about recovery or reform to counselors if it will help them get out of prison. The list goes on and on, but the end-game for the sociopath remains the same. A sociopath is a pathological liar and there isn’t anything you can do to stop them.


What if You Become a Victim?

It is estimated that 1 out of every 25 people in the United States is a sociopath. The true numbers will never be known, because most blend in with society and go on about their lives just as everyone else does. It is important to remember that they can be EXTREMELY charming, so it is easy to get caught up in their charisma. If you unwittingly have found yourself involved with a sociopath, the best thing you can do is stop all contact. Do not become further immersed in their game. If you care about people, you cannot win. Don't believe you can change them--you cannot. It is impossible to change someone who is fundamentally emotionally and physically incapable of feeling love and empathy. Do not believe you can love them enough to make them change. They do not know how, nor do they care enough to try. The safest thing you can do is break off all contact. Let them go and do not look back. There are many caring communities available to help you through your struggle. Check out to start. Tell your story and begin the healing process.

  • 6 Signs He's A Pathological Liar
    While women are certainly capable of lying and manipulation, they tend to do it a bit differently than men. For example, your typical run-of-the-mill, no-good female may lie about how much she loves you -- when it's really your money she wants. Yes,.
  • Am I A Pathological Liar?
    Are you a dirty little liar? What drives people to tell lies and when it is a problem. Learn the signs of a prolific liar.
  • Sociopathic Tendencies - Manipulation
    A sociopath is a master manipulator. He or she is easily able to manipulate most people they come in contact with. I am going to look at this behavior from two different aspects. What happens when you are the victim of a sociopath’s manipulation, and
  • In Love With a Sociopath?
    Sociopaths can ruin your life. Review this list of traits and analyze your new friend's personality and history before you become too involved.
  • Sociopathic Tendencies - Boredom
    It is estimated that 1 out of every 25 people in the United States is a sociopath. The true numbers will never be known, because most blend in with society and go on about their lives just as everyone else does. Remember, though, that they are many t
  • 10 Reasons to Dump a Boyfriend - He's Probably a Soc...
    He’s charming, good looking and intelligent. You’re the center of his life. And even if he’s sometimes rude or dishonest with friends and family, he lies to you and manipulates you, you still love him.
  • True Sociopath Responses--It's All About Me!
    Dealing with a Sociopath can be extremely frustrating. Because they lack basic emotional components and are typically quite narcissistic, the responses and reactions they have to everyday events can at times seem very odd and quite inappropriate to t
  • Con artists – sociopaths troubled with Narcissisti...
    A swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim; A person who defrauds or swindles others after first gaining their trust; A person adept at lying, cajolery, or glib self-serving talk. According to the Free Dictionary the synonyms for...
  • People Users, Abusers, Manipulators & Sociopaths
    You are completely enraptured with a soul mate you've recently met Bbt lately it's beginning to remind you of that old black and white movie, 'Gaslight'. Learn how to defend yourself by spotting obvious clues against love fraud.
  • Symptoms of a Sociopath
    Do you know someone who you suspect to be a sociopath? Or do you wonder if you yourself may be a sociopath? Review the common symptoms below and put your speculation to rest!
  • Falling In Love with A Sociopath – and Getting Out...
    The following two questions were asked to online community here: 1) Are sociopaths born with sociopathic behavior or are created? 2) How should a man recognize that he has fallen in love with a lady who is a sociopath? How does he...
  • Am I A Sociopath? Are You? Take The Quiz!
    Sociopaths are quite common and we deal with them everyday. They are not easy to spot because they look just like me or you. What is a sociopath?
  • How to Deal with Sociopathic Women
    Sociopathic women are nothing to be afraid of. So long as you understand some basic principles about how they operate, you should be able to get along with them without harm or trouble- you might even be glad to know them!
  • Narcissistic & Sociopathic Ideology Within Bloodlines

Articles on Sociopaths

Health Issues

  • Narcissistic Men May Pay With Their Health
    Men with an inflated view of their importance, who are incapable of putting themselves in other people's shoes and who see themselves as special and superior to others, some of the traits of a
Scroll to Continue

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Tonja Petrella


Dear Johnny on March 11, 2018:

When I was going to high school in a small northern Michigan town, in my junior year (11th grade), I managed to anger a girl that was one grade level lower than I. She had borrowed a pen from a young girl in the 7th grade and then would not give it back. When an argument between the two broke out the teacher had sided with the older girl. I spoke up and told the teacher that I had seen her borrow the pen from the younger girl. The girl I told on was extremely embarrass and then turned to me and swore she would get me back!!

To get me back she has convinced most everyone in my home town that I raped her when we were in high school. Through the years I have been confronted by people I know, saying that they met her in one particular small town bar. She tells anyone who say they know me this lie and tells them I am a drug addict, drug dealer and about any derogatory phrase she can append to my name............. And some how she has convinced the local population to keep this a secret from my remaining family, which in their eyes gives her story credibility and of course a reason to praise her for sparing my family. She has turned many of my old friends against me. Through the years this story has gotten around at least one other town that I've lived in and now 41 years later this lie is creeping into the small town that I now live in. I have gone to a clinical sociologist recently however he is completely unfamiliar with any situations like this. One of my high school teachers seemed to see this happening and years ago tried to help me out of this, he new a lot about this subject and told me many things that were likely to happen if I did not take care of this situation, so far most all of his predictions have come true. There is much more to the story. Have you ever heard of any similar stores? Do know of any group or entity that helps people out of situations like this?

Tonie Roman on August 22, 2016:

Boy what a lot of words to say the person is really sin sick!

Kristen Burns-Darling from Orange County, California on September 23, 2014:

Oh do I know this story well... My younger and only sister displays all of these characteristics and then some....we strongly suspect that she also has NPD. When you say that they will tell any lie and do anything to win whatever it is that they want, you're not kidding. For more years than I can count I have tried to "save" my sister, and salvage our relationship, she has answered every act of kindness or love with deceitful and venomous attacks, not only on myself, but also on my husband and children. Since my father's passing three years ago, the attacks have only worsened, and have led to an unnecessary two year court battle over my father's estate and has at long last convinced me that the only way to protect myself and my children was for us to leave our hometown and move 5 hours away. The only way to deal with this type of deviant behavior is to get and to stay as far away from it as possible. They CANNOT be saved, you can only save yourself. Great hub with useful information. Voted up, interesting, and useful.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on September 22, 2014:

Excellent, informative and captivating article on the sociopath/pathological liar. I have experience with this professionally (in the mental health field) and personally. The best suggestion I can give anyone that is involved with a sociopath, (whether it's a friend, co-worker or dating relationship) is break ties as fast as you can. This relationship can be very damaging emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. You have to cut ties all together and be very firm. They will sadly find other victims, but you can go on your way and find a peaceful way of life.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on May 21, 2014:

I like the distinction you make between a compulsive liar and a habitual liar, that the former lies for more harmless reasons, while the sociopathic liar wants to inflict real harm. It's sad that sociopaths can't enter into normal society and integrate because they are designed to inflict harm to others. It's sad to know that some people are just that way and there is no way to help them. But on the practical side, what we can control, and what we can do, is to protect ourselves from them and protect our loved ones from them. Great hub.

rochelle on February 08, 2013:

My 42 year old daughter fits this mold perfectly. She has destroyed me, and others, but doesn't care. It's taken a long time, many years, however I have now finally removed myself from any contact with her.

James on September 18, 2012:

This is the same way my dad is. Everything to the T.

buckwheats on July 13, 2012:

wow, very good. i was raised by a narcissistic sociopath it's brutal

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on June 06, 2012:

Great work. There are lots of sociopaths walking around out there. I must go read your article It's All About Me, because that is so sociopathic. Their behavior is interesting and can be so damaging.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 02, 2012:

Wow VT - we do have very similar interests! Your article is really entertaining and informative. I think it is funny how we have hit on a lot of similar points - but yet our articles are still different!

I swear I didn't copy! lol I am going to have to read your other work too and I can't wait! This topic and personality in general is really interesting to me!

mikeydcarroll67 on May 10, 2012:

Is it bad that I see this in about every person I meet? I see almost all of these qualities in the strangers that I have come across on the streets.

Fertile Forest from Sydney, Australia on May 10, 2012:

A well written and informative article. Your advice to cease all contact works fine for a boss whom you've parted ways from but presents a challenge when the person has married in to the family. Cutting ties would involve loss of contact with loved ones. Any advice there?

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on January 31, 2012:

Thank you! For a minute I thought I lost it! LOL! I looked everywhere for that hub! :-)

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on January 31, 2012:

You have a beautiful heart and soul and it comes through so eloquently through your words!!!

Isabella Mukanda from Fort Myers on January 31, 2012:

Interesting articles. Disturbingly there are people I know and love who I have always suspected are like that. However, love on its own does demand that we change other people to make them what they could be. It is love which helps us to protect ourselves from the dangerous charm of these people while at the same time existing amicably with them. I have known many such people and I love them. They have gifts that can be cultivated for the good of others when we stop focusing on their madness. Love, I believe, love conquers all. It may not change other people but it changes and strengthens us. Thank you for sharing so wonderfully.

pmccray on January 31, 2012:

Virtual Treasures: I'm such a silly goose, I had unpublished the hub to update recent events of one of the subjects...sorry. Here's the link.

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on January 31, 2012:

Thank you ananceleste, JamesPoppell and Seeker7. I consider all of your comments quite an honor after reading your hubs. Thank you!!

Tonja Petrella (author) from Michigan on January 31, 2012:

pmmcray--It is much more common now. Especially in the United States. We are a very individualistic society and actually have a tendency to teach, encourage and admire some sociopathic behaviors. I am going to check out your hub now and I'm going to link it to this one. I went through all 98 of your hubs and couldn't find it. Could you post the link on here so I can copy it and add it to the article? Thanks!

pmccray on January 31, 2012:

Nothing is more frightening than reality. It is just me or is this type of behavior more common now than in other eras? It could be the advent of our "technical" age that the sociopath feels the need to act out more.

In my hub "The Entitled" this behavior is spotlighted. Manipulative liars with lack of conscience. Excellent hub, interesting subject matter. Thank you for sharing, voted up, marked interesting

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on January 31, 2012:

What a wonderful and fascinating hub! I write about the paranormal and history a lot and there can be a lot of scary stuff in both these subjects - but nothing compares to the scariness of sociopaths etc.! Sociopaths are creepy and frightening. Even more so as I'm sure they must come across, to people who don't know them, as not only ordinary, but probably very charming! Scary stuff indeed. Voted up + awesome!!

JamesPoppell on January 31, 2012:

Another excellent hub on your Sociopath hub series. You have a great way of explaining the Sociopath so it is easy to understand. After reading this hub I feel I am in a better position to identify when someone is a pathological liar or a habitual liar. Sociopaths are some creepy characters. Thanks for sharing. Vote up. Interesting and useful.

Anan Celeste from California on January 31, 2012:

Magnificent work! Well written and informative. My experience with pathological liars is to say the least extensive. In my line of work this can be a crippling and sometimes devastating trait to work with. A person that gets lost in their own world, the probability to confront such a pattern can be some what a lifelong process. Most sociopaths, as you already established , have their own agenda. In their own minds is a matter of survival and control. Sometimes a simple lie evolves into an alternative reality, were the patient is the vortex were the lie begins and must flow through others to give it substance and continuity. It’s definitively a problem not only for those that are included in the lie, but also the farther this goes on the most likely will be to separate the truth from the lie. Voted up !

Related Articles