An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Lying/Attention-Seekers

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by primalclaws1974, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I don't know what else to call complete storytellers that lie for no other reason than to get attention, than addicted to lying and getting attention--any attention, any way they can. I have known a couple men that would completely exaggerate stories, always placing themselves as the "big man" or hero of the story, when it was clear the story was fabricated. I have also known some major liars that were women, and they usually placed themselves as victims in all their tales. I know this sounds like sexist generalizing, but it is my experience with men and women who are compulsive liars. Do you believe non-stop liars are addicted to it? Is it a disease?
  2. catherine_sky

    catherine_sky Member

    I always want to think there is a reason for attention seeking and to not see it quite as other want to see it. HOWEVER, to be honest, I do tend to agree with your point. However much I learn both from a work perspective and a personal perspective, there is definitely those that just do not fit my trying to view things in a 'they might be struggling' model. Of course, there are those that struggle around their emotional expression and to huge extent that they may end up with mh diagnosis as discussed before, ie borderline personalities. Although even such extreme diagnosis this can respond and be supported towards a good outcome with DBT therapy. However, there are others, that do not fit this profile or emotional presentation and therefore may in fact be more within the 'behavioural' rather than 'mental health or psychological' presentation. Is this where a possibility where some debate can happen around nature/nuture, good/bad, in control/not so in control, socio/psychopath/low empathic profiles, learnt behaviour, coping skills comes in. So I agree, lying can be addictive, depending on personality, motivation and function of the lying. Ive met some people that have lied really quite convincingly, both in a vindictive way but more so in a non vindictive way. It must be hard for some, but for others it can be really quite destructive to themselves and those around them. Guess there will always be extreme examples as well.
  3. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do know some of those too personally and some have reasons behind it. Like someone who is lying of having a commitment so that people will not call him a loner or tease him. Not sure if this is a sickness already or what is the right term for this condition.
  4. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I have known a couple people like this in the past and they did it, I think, as a result of not getting attention throughout their lives. It was like a coping mechanism. Drug addicted parents and such who did not have the time or willpower to pay attention to their kids. The kids were so desperate for attention that they would fabricate stories so that people would listen and pay attention to them.
  5. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    If I am reading the responses correctly, you guys think that lying itself is not necessarily the addiction, but a side effect from another addiction? In that rationale, would the attention-seeking be an addiction? Someone doesn't have to solely lie to get attention. These people can also make a scene, be loud and obnoxious, and aggressive toward others.
  6. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I was saying that lying can be an addiction, I guess I was not clear enough. People can get in the habit of lying when they are looking to get attention if they learn that this is the only way that they think they can get attention. Once you get into the habit, or addicted to lying, it can be hard to break the cycle.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think most people who are like this are generally addicted to it, but it might just be a quirk that they have that is pushed to the extreme, something that they themselves cannot help or recognize. I'd be more comfortable categorizing this behavior as just an extreme trait rather than an addiction, but that's just my opinion of it as a non professional.
  8. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I remember when I was a kid, there was a girl living above me, who would invent the most incredible stories. In the end it got her into a lot of trouble when she invented a story about a neighbor, a family man, who was allegedly sexually abusing her. It was a terrible drama, and the man suffered a lot. He was barely even aware that this girl existed, and yet he had to prove his innocence...
  9. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I wouldn't necessarily cause it a disease although it's clearly a mental issue and can be a part of something else much larger. There are compulsive liars out there and there are pathological liars out there. Compulsive liars know that they are lying but cannot help it and have often lied so much in the past that they need to continue to lie to prevent people from finding out their 'old' lies. Pathological liars, on the other hand, believe their own lies and so their lies become their own delusional truth.

    There are also those, such as narcissists and histrionics, who are just born natural liars and have serious personality disorders. I actually caught my daughter-in-law lying to my daughter about me several times recently. It turns out that she was trying to keep her own behaviour covered up, by trying to place the focus on me, because I had caught her intentionally causing arguments within the family and she didn't like the fact that I had caught her out (I have ay too much experience with narcissists, etc). People who have a guilty conscience often tend to make up lies and blame other people so people who lie a lot may also be guilty of something else that they're keeping quite.
  10. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Some liars only seek attention. I had one such contact on Facebook. Every other day she'd write up some sob-story about how someone had tried to rape her. Those who'd see her story for the first time would jump in, write comments, tell her to be strong, etc, etc but the next day she'd be back again. Someone else tried to rape her. Really? After some time, most people found that she'd been lying to them and stopped replying to her status updates. She stopped posting the lies from then on. So I'd have to say some people are addicted to the attention they get when they lie and for that reason they always must keep lying. It's no disease though.
  11. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I agree that there are some people who only lie purely to attain attention. However, it can sometimes be part of a larger problem. People with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), for example, are addicted to attention (narcissistic supply) and will do whatever it takes to attain that attention, even if it means lying - however, the attention must be positive. On the other hand, people with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) will tell lies about certain events, or make a big deal out of them, to attain that attention but Histrionics don't care whether the attention is positive or negative, so long as they get it.
  12. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    Mental illness is a disease. I used to work with a man (he also lived in my apartment complex) that lied about absolutely everything at work. He would tell people he was a professional tattoo artist (although he worked in our warehouse). He conned many people into actually setting up sessions with him, but then there would always be a reason why he couldn't do it, usually making himself look even better (such as he had too many appointments that week). He went so far as to getting picture off the internet of real tattoos and putting them on his phone, claiming it was his own work. He eventually got caught up in his lies, and told them to my landlord, who eventually kicked him out. I don't think there really is a cure for such people. I don't even really think they know how inappropriate their behavior is.
  13. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    I was actually friends with a guy that would lie all the time for no reason. I would actually humor him from time to time but it just got too out of hand and I cut ties. I realized that I need to be around more honest people.
  14. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I agree, Lito, that some people you want to play along, because you don't want to hurt their feelings. My brother-in-law is like this. He will keep telling the stories, and they get bigger and bigger, and more ridiculous. My mom will occasionally confront him on it (not when I am around, that would be awkward). It is an attention-seeking behavior, for sure. I don't think he is out of hand as some people I have known, and it isn't in malice.
  15. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Pathological liars; compulsive lying; an irresistible compelling urge to lie; chronic. Does sound like an addiction doesn't it? Yes this is a problem with some people. They are really in their own mental prison. It is generally caused by low mental state. Depressed and feelings of inadequacy. It can have something to do with the fact that they can't handle real life so they lie like a child making up a story.
    If a woman has a story about being a victim. Its best to treat anyone man or woman as if it is true. Reason being, you are basically accusing them of being a liar. Anyone man or woman what ever has happened to them. It is best to be supportive. Even if you just say you understand. You really can not be completely sure exactly what has happened with someone. The chance that they were a victim is very high considering how self centered people in the world tend to be. It does take two, but there are those who seek out victims. Whether or not it is true or not is actually irrelevant in helping someone get out of a pattern that is destructive. It is really about what was done to them. What they did, is relevant to them breaking the pattern. How things are handled.
    A man who tells lies as you say & yes there are women that are like This. Fabricate or embellish for attention. Yes I have seen this. They are seeking not only attention but drama. The drama king is a severely depressed individual that lives in fear that he is not good enough. So, he embellishes. Its best to stay away from this kind. There is even more issues with this kind. Someone like this you might want to casually say, "have you ever thought about writing fiction?"
    A woman who talks about being a victim and yes there are men like this. Some people tend to talk about things to feel better. Unfortunately this doesn't work if it continues for long. This person is living in the past. Bringing them to the present is best. "I am so happy for you that it is over and you are better off."
    Lying is an addiction and if someone doesn't think it is they probably have the problem. A person that loves the truth would say that lying is wrong. They seek the truth. Lying is partly an addiction to a low mental state of mind. Lies hold you to things that are not real there is no validity and by doing so the person is living in their own prison. Real happiness and freedom comes from the truth. Sometimes one might lie to protect someone's feelings, but eventually this backfires.
  16. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    I think it is an attention seeking behavior and can be classified as an addiction if the person is no longer able to control the behavior and actually comes to believe their stories. I know someone like this and any time I have let her know that I know she is lying or anytime I have caught and brought up contradictions and inconsistency's and in her story;s she has become very angry, or in the case of inconsistency's in her story's, that I misunderstood.
  17. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    Yes, I have a friend that behaves like that. His lies are so obvious yet he never attempts to stop it. I also think that he believes his own lies as well (a pathological liar). What makes it obvious is the fact that he always boasts himself to the point that anybody can see that it is different from the actual fact. For example, he would say that he is a very organized person and wouldn't tolerate messy roommates yet anybody who knows him also know that he is not orderly. I don't think it's an addiction, though. I think it is more of a habit.
  18. timelord731

    timelord731 Senior Contributor

    I once knew a guy who was a "storyteller." He used to make up these elaborate, love and plot filled stories with all of the classic archetypes. He loved, loved the attention, so we gave it to him. We knew he was lying, and it didn't seem that he wanted to the make himself look better, but to entertain.
  19. grandmaof4

    grandmaof4 Member

    It can go both ways. Lying can be an addiction, or some people use it for attention. We are all different and each scenario should be looked at differently. One's reasoning for lying could be totally different for another's reason.

    I have a friend who tells elaborate stories, and tells them over and over sometimes only to change them each time.
  20. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I wouldn't consider habitual lying an addiction. I think of it more as a nasty habit. I used to have a bipolar roommate who was always desperate to be the center of attention. She would lie about everything from rape to what she ate for lunch. I can't even deal with compulsive liars.