How to avoid pathological liars.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Truth or lie

Separating truth from lies is hard work.
Photo courtesy of

A pathological liar can ruin your life.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a compulsive, pathological, liar can testify to the way this can disrupt your life. You shouldn’t have to put up with someone who can’t or won’t tell the truth. When you first meet a pathological liar, they may be hard to spot. Some people lie about almost everything. A pathological liar will like to you even when telling the truth might have been more effective. The best way to deal with pathological liars is to avoid them whenever possible.

Avoid letting pathological liars into your life.

If you have questions about somebody’s truthfulness, exercise extreme caution. Don’t make excuses for them or try to change them. Once you identify somebody, who can’t be trusted to tell the truth, avoid them when possible.

If someone consistently lies cut them out of your life.

Having to constantly verify everything someone says is exhausting. If you have trouble believing things someone tells you to avoid having to listen to them. If possible, get them out of your lives altogether. If you must have contact with them because of work or family connections do everything you can to minimize both conversations and contact.

Don’t get angry with people who tell you the truth.

We tend to teach people how to treat us. If you become angry when people tell you unpleasant things they are likely to stop telling you the truth. Don’t force the people you interact with to lie to you to spare your feelings.

Encourage people to tell you the truth even when it’s uncomfortable.

If you want the people in your life to tell you the truth, you must go even further than withholding your anger. People must be encouraged to be truthful. That means thanking people for their honesty even when they tell you things you wish you hadn’t heard. It’s not fun having your flaws pointed out, but if you want to improve yourself, you will need to accept some honest feedback.

When in doubt double checked the story.

Before you rely on something, it is wise to double-check the facts. Don’t take everything you told at face value. Some people will tell you things, which they honestly believe, but which later turned to be inaccurate. I don’t consider factual errors to be lying. It’s up to you to decide what to believe. But if you discover that someone is telling you things that are inaccurate, and they know that they are lies, you should stop trusting them. Liars often lie to manipulate you and get you to behave the way they want you to. Before you take any action, consider the consequences of acting on what they told you and later finding out that it is a lie.

Move slowly in new relationships.

At the beginning of a new relationship, particularly romantic ones, people want to be liked. Almost all people practice “impression management.” It makes good sense to put your best foot forward. It’s not a good idea to point out all your flaws and problems to everyone you meet. Often we are misled in new relationships because we want to like that person and believe what they say.

It takes a good amount of time to get to know somebody. It can take even longer to find out whether that person is someone you can trust with your secrets. Don’t expect everyone to tell you all their faults. As a relationship progresses, both people should feel more comfortable about being who they genuinely are. The longer you know someone, the more trust you should have for them.

If you find that the longer you know someone, the less you trust them, there is probably something in your gut telling you this person is not to be believed. Don’t dismiss those thoughts without careful examination. Better to find out that someone is less than fully honest when their only casual acquaintances than to wait till you’re involved in a romantic relationship, possibly with children, or in an economic relationship where you stand to lose a lot of money.

Keeping pathological liars out of your life is an ongoing process.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at

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