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Liar liar pants on fire

(33 Posts)
Kiora Wed 19-Feb-14 11:31:40

My daughter is staying with me over the half termsmile and we had a conversation yesterday about lying. We have two relatives who routinely tell quite big lies. We think it's attention seeking, trying to deflect blame for bad behaviour. Some of the lies are huge and yet none of the family challenge these two. Is it because we are embarrassed or we don't want to embarrass them? My husband who was listening tells me men do this a lot but not about such serious issues. Mostly about how much they earn/ success with women that kind of stuff. We agreed that we often embellish stories mostly to make them more interesting. My daughter thinks harmless flirting on a night out is very different from down right lies. So why do we let the big lies go unchallenged are we both cowards by not confronting the lies ?

JessM Wed 19-Feb-14 11:39:33

There are some people who have a compulsion to lie. I had a neighbour once like that who used to tell all kinds of tall stories. It was a long time ago but the one that stuck in my mind is that she was pregnant and announced the baby had died in the womb. A few weeks later a healthy baby arrived.

I wonder if it is a kind of addiction a bit like shoplifting {I can get away with it!! again!! Clever old me and stupid them!!}

I think stephen fry wrote an autobiographical book about compulsive dishonesty when he was a teenager ... Aah. Here it is:

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 11:40:26

I think there are different kinds of lies Kiora. There are the kind we tell to protect someone elses feelings (I do this a fair bit) and the downright whoppers told by some people to "big themselves up" or cover up some wrong doing.

I take a kind of sick pleasure in knowing that someone knows, that I know that they are lying. Its better than saying it outloud ! shock

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 11:42:32

I know it was ages ago but there was a similar thread to this a while back. I don't know if anyone can remember the story I told about a guy who used to work with us who told a whopping great lie about diving off a cliff to save someones life. His lie got bigger and bigger and he couldn't see how stupid he looked. We still laugh about it today.

annodomini Wed 19-Feb-14 11:58:08

I know someone who is not just a liar but a fantasist who I am sure believes her own stories. Both of her children have grown up knowing they have to take everything with a huge pinch of salt. She would have had us believe that she had been accepted to do a degree in medicine even to the extent of buying a copy of Grey's Anatomy - she did, I believe, have a few O-levels once upon a time. Goodness knows what she was really doing!

Galen Wed 19-Feb-14 12:05:55

Reminds me! One of my kids borrowed my Grey's and I haven't seen it since!hmm

merlotgran Wed 19-Feb-14 12:55:46

My mother would embroider stories so much they eventually turned into whopping great lies. We were so used to it we'd look at each other and make 'scrubbing your back with a loofah,' actions.

LOOFA was our acronym for Load Of Old Fanny Adams. grin

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 19-Feb-14 13:03:57

I am terrified of telling a lie. I drummed it himself when I was little that something really bad would happen to me if I did, and I can't shake that off now! hmm

I'm very good at evasion.

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 13:04:36

grin merlogran

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 19-Feb-14 13:04:55

Myself! Not "himself"! hmm #fire

Nonnie Wed 19-Feb-14 13:24:33

I know someone who boasts that no one has ever called her a liar but she tells huge ones all that time, usually with the intent of making someone else look bad. Perhaps everyone is to frightened to challenge her in case she starts about them?

KatyK Wed 19-Feb-14 13:24:50

Any time I have ever told a little white lie, my face goes bright red blush so there is no point. There are people in our family who tell the most blatant lies and what we call 're-write family history' - taking credit themselves for something that was done by someone else. No one ever challenges them, not sure it's worth it really. The only person they are kidding is themselves.

sunseeker Wed 19-Feb-14 13:46:04

I'm like you KatyK, I blush very easily so telling whoppers is out of the question for me. I can seem to get away with what I call "kind" lies - you know the sort of thing, if a friend asks if you liked the present they gave you, you always say yes even if you considered it too awful even for the charity shop!!

Some time ago I did meet someone on holiday who seemed to have lived a very varied and exciting life, she said she had taught English all over the Middle East, taught computer science in USA and UK, had been on several archeological digs in Greece and Egypt, was a dance teacher and had played in a rock band. Being a trusting soul I believed her until one night when she got up to dance - her dancing was worse than mine (and that's saying something)!

kittylester Wed 19-Feb-14 13:46:22

I've talked on here (rather too much probably) about my Mum and her lies which estranged my brothers and I for a long time. Even now, if one of us says something like 'Well, that's what Mum said' another one of us is bound to say 'Well, in that case it must be true'. grin

AlieOxon Wed 19-Feb-14 14:10:05

I have differences with my daughter about this. There is a third kind of lie which is told to get something you want from an authority....or to get out of an obligation or an appointment....

She gets what she wants, but I can't do things that way, it does my head in if I do tell even small lies.
I don't think she lies to me - but she doesn't feel guilty.

cathybee Wed 19-Feb-14 14:13:45

Is this a little lie or just a bad lie

I had a disagreement with my youngest daughter--she was being a bit mean--we share a car and I asked could I use it for a couple of days and she came up with a thousand and one excuses, why I could not have the car.

My DH came to me and said that he had words with her and told her she was being mean however, something did not ring true and I confronted him and asked straight out, did you just lie about that, eventually he admitted that it was a fib.

Why would you lie in that way, I just do not understand him and probably never will.

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 14:24:07

I think he was telling you what he thought you needed/wanted to hear at the time cathybee Perhaps he was just trying to show support to you. I don't think it was bad, really.

cathybee Wed 19-Feb-14 14:29:54 must know him, I think you may be spot on. He is always trying to tell me what he thinks I want to hear.

I know its not malicious lies but it is very annoying and I can never trust anything he says. Which is not nice.

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 14:44:15

I don't know him Cathybee but I do know someone very like him! grin

rosesarered Wed 19-Feb-14 15:01:56

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!
Only you know when and if you should challenge family members about lying.

numberplease Wed 19-Feb-14 17:16:39

When I was still working, one of my workmates regularly took time off, but her excuses nearly always backfired on her, and our supervisor used to say that to be a good liar you first needed a good memory.

JessM Wed 19-Feb-14 17:56:14

When I worked in an NHS personnel office two of the kitchen staff kept calling in sick for odd days with different excuses. Until one of the personnel officers noticed that the two of them were taking the same days...

absent Wed 19-Feb-14 18:07:09

I have a reputation in the family for being scrupulously honest so when I explained to a fairly mcp son-in-law (now ex) that I didn't think Wyatt was a good name for my first grandchild because Wyatt Earp, far from being the man's man as he is portrayed, was actually gay and had a long-standing relationship with Doc Halliday, I not only convinced aforementioned mcp son-in-law but absentdaughter too. She blithely trotted out this piece of "new information" to her friends and he threw away his DVD of Gunfight at the OK Corral. blush

gillybob Wed 19-Feb-14 21:48:01

Oh Absent how could you? grin

absent Wed 19-Feb-14 21:51:54

Well, gillybob he was deliberately winding me up with the suggestion of Wyatt as a name for my grandson. So I reckon he deserved it. grin