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10 reasons why sociopaths’ lies seem so believable

lies-magnifier-represents-no-lying-and-correctWhen we finally figure out that just about everything a sociopath told us is a lie, we are shocked. How can anyone lie so fluently? And why did we fall for it?

Here are 10 reasons why the lies sociopaths tell seem so believable:

  1. Sociopaths tell you how honest they are

Early on, sociopaths may tell you how much they value honesty, that truthfulness is the foundation of all relationships. Their objective is to convince you of their trustworthiness, so that when you encounter their lies, you don’t see them.

  1. Sociopaths lie while they look directly into your eyes

Some experts say that if people look up and to their right while speaking, it’s a sign that they are lying. Other experts dispute this. Regardless, we all tend to believe that if someone can look us in the eye while talking, then they are telling the truth. Sociopaths know this, so they look us in the eye as they lie.

  1. Sociopaths mix truth with lies

This is a key sociopathic strategy — mixing truth with lies. You know for a fact that some of what the sociopath says is true (and the sociopath knows that you know), so you infer that the rest is true. Unfortunately, you’re wrong.

  1. Everything is a lie

One way that we spot lies is by noticing change. At first, the story was this, now it’s that. With a sociopath, however, there is no change to notice, because the lying starts from the very beginning and just keeps going.

  1. Sociopaths lie with no physical reaction

Lying makes most of us feel anxious, which causes physical symptoms. These symptoms are what polygraph machines measure — changes in heart rates/blood pressure, respiration and skin conductivity. Because sociopaths are comfortable lying, they feel no anxiety, so there are no physical changes to observe.

  1. Sociopaths cover their lies with more lies

When we confront sociopaths about their lies, they tell more lies to cover up the original lies. Most of us would never be able to keep all the lies straight, but sociopaths are frequently gifted in this — they can remember exactly what they told to whom, and they keep the story going.

  1. “I would never lie!”

When questioned about something they said, sociopaths often proclaim, with righteous indignation, that they would never lie. They are so emphatic about this, and so obviously crestfallen that you could possibly think that they lied, that you end up apologizing — even though they are, in fact, lying.

  1. Sociopaths lie with complete confidence

It’s hard to imagine that someone who is so charismatic, charming and confident, is also a complete liar. They exhibit no doubt whatsoever. They seem to command you to believe them — so you do.

  1. The claims are so outrageous that they must be true

Sociopaths claim to be special forces soldiers, foreign royalty, Ph.D. scientists, born-again Christians, spiritual leaders and more. They may forge or buy certificates, medals and other documentation to prove their stories. You can’t imagine anyone would have the nerve to make such claims without them being true — so you believe them.

  1. Practice makes perfect, and sociopaths practice a lot

The more sociopaths lie, the better they get at it — and typically, sociopaths have been lying all their lives. So they are very, very good at it. Unfortunately, most humans are lousy lie detectors, so the rest of us simply haven’t got a chance. Sociopaths lie, and we don’t spot the lies — until it’s too late.

 



132 Comments on "10 reasons why sociopaths’ lies seem so believable"

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  1. slimone says:

    You know Bev…she sounds very intelligent, opinionated, and she is pretty articulate. She may be disordered. This doesn’t make her a personality disorder expert, except in her own mind. People can be diabetic, or schizophrenic, and not be experts on the subject. And even if they became experts, it is doubtful they would be condescending if they were explaining it to someone, or scornful of other experts/researchers (as this woman clearly is both).

    Good for her, she doesn’t seek revenge. Many disordered personalities do; and I am not sure it’s all that important to figure out which SPECIFIC types do what, to whom, and when. Plus, if she is disordered her assessment of herself is not honest, not accurate. She cannot, by her nature, be subjective about herself. AND, why would we trust her to be honest about if she has ever sought revenge?

    They are all a bit different, sitting on the spectrum of disorder and narcissism at various places. All of them are a bit of a mash up of disorders. She is likely no exception.

    She is, in true disordered form, saying one thing but doing another. She is discrediting other people (like Donna), who have honest and decent intentions to aid those who have been damaged by these types. AND, at the same time she is totally setting herself up as the person with ‘all the answers’; even though she says she doesn’t want any glory or recognition. It’s complete BS, really. She has a very ‘silver tongue’ writing style.

    Most of these types are not ONLY psychopaths, narcissists, borderlines, etc. They generally have overlapping traits. So, some disordered people are overtly narcissistic; loud, braggarts, who constantly toot their own horns. Some appear less grandiose, and are quiet types; their narcissism maybe is a bit less brash, more covert. Some psychopaths have killed themselves, like borderlines (who are known for ‘self-harming’ behaviors). I could go on.

    But what it boils down to (to me) is this lady is parsing. It makes her feel smarter than everyone else to dissect all this, and give the impression she know it all. I laughed that she writes that she wants to clear up the large body of misinformation about psychopaths. Riiiight. Sure she does.



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    • Bev says:

      Thank you Slim. I could not agree with you, more. I subscribe to the Quora website and have listed personality disorders as my main interest. Therefore, I get these posts on the subject through my email. ‘Athena’ tends to answer every single post about this subject. I cannot even chime in nor reply to her posts, for some reason. The website is set up, I suppose, so that you either can ask, just answer, or both? I have no idea. I do know that she is the only self proclaimed psychopath that I an unable to comment on her posts.

      They sure are fun to read sometimes, however, this time she mentioned Lovefraud, as if we are all a bunch of inane chickens with our heads cut off, proclaiming our expertise on such disorders, as it may pertain to someone that we know or have known.

      Cheers for your timely response! Spot on.



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      Slimone,
      Athena was doing something my ex did, as you write, parsing. My ex did it as proof. stating that since he wasn’t as bad as his dad, then what he did to me wasn’t abuse. He failed in awareness (lack of conscience) that abuse is ABUSE. It’s not excused b/c it’s different than the abuse done by others. (My ex did not think his father was an abuser, he only acknowledge that other people said the things he was were abusive.) My ex husband’s ability to HYPER compartmentalize was a symptom of his disorder.

      Athena does the same, she hyper compartmentalizes (parsing), stating these things are different (fails to see overlapping indications), whereas normal feeling people are able to perceive connections or links such as abuse = abuser. And in so doing, she reveals her sociopathy.



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    • catnoch says:

      I allowed my sociopath back into my life again over the holidays. I knew exactly what he was up to and I let it all unravel as his daughter in law had painted the entire scenario. In the two years I know him, this was the second time I saw Mr. Sweet guy. He even spent money on me. I almost fell over. But then the ugly came out again and his sociopathic gas lighting began once he got what he wanted. He was so sweet making all sorts of promises to me. All he wanted was to go to a New Year’s Eve party we were invited to. I was just about over him when I allowed myself to be sucked in once more.

      This self-proclaimed sociopath appears to be trying to rid herself of her label even though she admits to being a sociopath. You see when I call my sociopath out he goes crazy and says I am one. I question myself often as my father was a sociopath and perhaps I have some of that in me. This may explain why I was drawn to this man in the first place and then it became a challenge I wanted to win.

      Since Thursday I have been on a roller coaster ride of all rides. He covered nearly all his sociopathic behavior in five days. Last week he deliberately called my house knowing I was having my family for dinner. By doing so he cause a great disturbance in my family and a friend. For the most part the month of December was great without him in it. But he used his force and other people’s phones to get through to me. I met him one night and talked for hours and I explained what I needed in a relationship and he just could not give it to me as he has too many issues. He was so charming and convincing. A week went by and we got together again and this time he again was so charming and making all sorts of promises. The next day the roller coaster ride began again. By Saturday I thought I would be rid of him but he turned his charm on again, enough so to earn him another good time out. I can go on but the fact is, he needs to be out of my life for good. Even though I blocked him on Sunday, he showed up pleading with me. I unblocked him and he spent the night. He did not get what he thought he may get and this made him angry by Monday and I was going to pay. Well, I did not take it sitting down and if anyone paid it was him. I was going to change my phone numbers today but is too much a hassle and no sense blocking as he calls by any means he can. All I can do is not answer.

      These types do fall under more than one mental illness and mine I believe is in a class all his own.

      Happy New Year to you all and wishes for many successes. I am praying I get the strength to no pick up the phone ever again.



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  2. slimone says:

    I found her post to be very entertaining! I totally get that. When it is at a distance, and there is no chance of harm…they can be fun to ‘watch’.



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  3. Stargazer says:

    What Athena appears to be referencing is “attachment disorder.” From all I’ve learned here and studying psychology, I’ve come to believe that not all people with attachment disorder are sociopaths; however ALL sociopaths have attachment disorder. If you are interested in attachment disorder, there is a very good movie on the internet called “Child of Rage.” It is based on a true story of how a young girl who had been sexually abused by her father as an infant overcomes attachment disorder through the help of a controversial technique called “holding.” (Later the same therapist used that technique on a similar patient and accidentally smothered her to death.) I found the story a fascinating observation of the extreme effects of early childhood trauma and what is sometimes necessary to recover from it.

    The research shows that sociopathy is not something that is caused by abuse or neglect. It appears to be genetic and biologically based. However, I’m sure growing up neglected or abused won’t help. Sociopathy in children is a gray area with many articles written about it here on this site alone. If a child is showing sociopathic tendencies, there is literature on how to help them form different neurologic pathways by teaching them empathy. I think it’s safe to say, however, that if an adult is exhibiting sociopathy, they probably will not ever change and probably cannot be helped (because even if they could, usually they don’t want to).



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  4. mzpris15 says:

    Hello,
    I haven’t been on here in a little while. I am still struggling to believe that i wasn’t the cause of our troubles and not him being a sopath. I don’t understand why I would not walk away from this horrible person or beg him to stay with me. Why would l let him keep coming back knowing he really didn’t love me. I have never had my heart broken like this before. In the end it he stil didn’t love me.

    I did figure out that he was like my sister. We never got along our entire lives. I would take anything she would do to me in hopes that she would love me. It didn’t work and she died not loving me.

    The most horrible part of it all is in my is i still just want him to still love me. This is so sick and disgusting that I would still want his validation when he is worth nothing. Everyday I want this pain to lessen but it doesn’t seem to. I pray, I keep busy, I give back to social causes. Nothing seems to Work.

    Thank you for listening



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    • Stargazer says:

      mzpris15, your longing is not sick at all – it is very normal. As humans, it is a core desire for us to bond. If there is an absence of healthy people in our lives to bond with, we will bond with an unhealthy person, a substance like alcohol, a stuffed animal, a phone, or pretty much anything. Remember the Tom Hanks character in that movie where he was lost on a deserted island for 4 years? He survived by talking to a soccer ball named Wilson. It is human nature and doesn’t say anything bad about you. I remember how very painful it was to find out I was duped and all the love and attachment I felt in my heart had nowhere to go, so it was still directed toward him. I wanted to die. A big turning point came for me when I was driving home from work one day with my normal depression. I happened to be listening to a very sad love song and it made me cry. Instead of turning it off, I turned it up and let the pain come out. After that I listened to as many sad songs as I could to try and bring up the pain. I assure you that there was one cry that turned out to be the last one. It does end but before you can get over it, you first have to go through it. Slowly, you can begin to build more solid relationships with other people and even with yourself. Those relationships will fill the void of the longing and isolation. The trick is – what we all had to learn – is how to identify healthy people from unhealthy ones and seek them out.



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      • Stargazer says:

        I want to add to my last post that if you really feel that deep down there is something wrong with you, you are also not alone. I feel that sometimes and so do a lot of people. This is called “shame” and many people have a dose of this from time to time – especially if you had a challenging upbringing. Many people feel deep down that they are not good enough, and that often sabotages healthy life choices. It is very painful to be in this condition. The only way I know to work with it is to recognize it, feel it, and try to identify where it “lives” in your body. Give it some attention and maybe even a voice. Try to just feel it. If you are feeling it, you are not identifying with it. This is a good time to call on God or whatever your spiritual sources are and ask them to help with it. Shame can be very difficult because it lies at the core of who we think we are. But it is not the truth about us. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with us; we are so much more capable and lovable than we imagine.



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    • Jan7 says:

      Hi mzpris15, sending you huge hugs!! I’m so sorry that you are emotionally suffering. It’s hard hon…trust me when I say everyone here has sobbed & cried their eyes out during the healing process especially in the beginning.

      One of the things most victims of a sociopath do not realize is during & after they leave this abuser they suffer from PTSD.

      If you can find a good endocrinologist doctor and get tested for cortisol levels, vitamin & mineral deficiency and hormonal imbalance plus what ever the doctor recommends.

      The biggest issue with PTSD is adrenal fatigue. So do some research on this health issue.

      The stress you have been enduring with the sociopath and now that you have escaped him will fatigue your adrenal glands. This will also wreak havoc on your emotions.

      Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

      anxiety
      depression
      mood swings
      sleep issues
      memory loss

      etc etc its a very long list.

      Here are a few sites to start your research….DrLam. com & Adrenal fatigue.org. Both have videos & look at both sites symptoms list.

      People think that it’s all in your “head” but it is not the biggest issues is the adrenal glands not working correctly after continual stress. Once you have your adrenal glands functioning correctly you will move back towards your old self.

      Keep posting here to let us know how you are doing & to vent.

      Hugs to you.

      Take care.



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  5. slimone says:

    mxpris15,

    Oh sweetie…it really hurts is why it’s so hard, and it is equally as hard for our hearts to heal after they have been manipulated and betrayed.

    The truth is we all (or most of us anyway) did some things, in the context of these abusive situations, that we are not proud of, and that we would not do in the course of a normal relationship. For instance I was willing to entertain the idea of an ‘open relationship’, and even went to some silly meetings. Even though I knew he was full of BS, and that he was just using this ‘poly amorous’ angle as a cover for his abuse and lies. When I changed my mind and said no to this, it became the entire focus of our split. I also, in my hurt, felt if I could ONLY have been more ‘something’ that he would have loved me.

    But the truth is whenever we give in to these types, they just change the goal posts, and we never really achieve any lasting love, peace, harmony with them; no matter what we do. It never happens.

    The guy I knew has gone on to have multiple other ‘girlfriends’, and each of them have disappeared after a time as well. I imagine they suffered the same fate, and total betrayal, that I did.

    Keep breathing through all the feelings, they will pass with time and distance. I never found anything that sped the process…to make me stop hurting. But I do know that ANY contact only made the hurt worse.

    ((((HUgs)))) Slim



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  6. slimone says:

    mzpris15,

    If you are reading but not posting, I hope that today is a little better. Or, if it isn’t, that you are maintaining no contact, and riding the waves of your healing.

    More hugs….Slim



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  7. mzpris15 says:

    Thank you for caring. Somedays I think I am ok am I can just move on. I don’t think about it at all.the next day it will consume my every free thought i have. I don’t know how to stop keep thinking about how our relationship started and when it changed or if it was this from the day we met. Over and ovrr i cant help from reading all of our old texts to see all of the things that i did wrong and see the mistakes i made. I look at everything thing and beat myself up knowing how horrible everything was and i stayed or let him come back everytime he left. I knew he didn’t love me. I questioned him over and over and he would tell me he did and hownmuch he did and want to spend our life together. Round and around it went. Now i know he didn’t not love me he didn’t even like me. And now he is with someone and he is doing all the the things he said he wanted to do with me that he lied about. Why am i so crushed. My previous boyfriend didnt end this way. Our relationship wasnt this way. We are actually friends. I look at his pictures and think the only good thing about him was he is good looking and that is where his good stops.

    I still think it was me that he didn’t want. That i am just trying to find a reason to blame all of this on him and that is why i am so unhappy. He moved on to be with someone that he actually loves because he just didn’t love me.

    Time does heal. I know. It is getting better. God does remove your misery. I just i knew how to turn off my brain

    I hope you ladies are having a happy new year



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    • AnnettePK says:

      The way you’re feeling and thinking is natural. You’re grieving a real loss to you. Grieving is hard work; and when one has been victimized by a disordered person, betrayed, and treated badly, it is painful and recovery takes work. It sounds like you are moving forward and coming to understand that you’re not to blame for his lying to you and betraying you. He likely lied to you about his feelings for you and his promise of staying with you to manipulate you into giving him what he wanted. He didn’t lie to you because of who you are; he lied to you because of who he is.

      It is unlikely he is treating anyone else better. He treats people according to whatever works to get what he wants. He lies if it works. He’s likely lying to whomever he is with because he thinks it’s working to get him whatever he wants. People treat others from the same motivation – if he cared about whomever he’s exploiting at the moment’s feelings, he would care about everyone’s feelings.

      Consider balancing your grieving and reflection time with time spent doing something you enjoy, talking and visiting with friends and family, watching a documentary or movie you enjoy, etc. You’re right that with time, you will recover fully and you’ll have a good life interacting with good people who appreciate you and care about your well being.



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  8. slimone says:

    mzpris15,

    I used to get frustrated that I went round and round with my healing. Like you say, good one day and not so good the next. Then someone said healing was like a spring (like a slinky, stretched out). I liked to visualize things so this kind of helped me know I was still on my path, even though I was ‘rehashing’ something I thought I had already let go of.

    The visual is that we go round that slinky spring, and though we are moving forward, toward the end of the spring, we still spiral around to the same places. HOWEVER, with time, when we spiral around to the same place (same memory) we might see it and experience it just a little bit different. It is less painful, we understand it with more clarity, we feel less burdened by the memory. And so, we are making progress, but it isn’t and ‘all or nothing’ experience.

    I also understand what you say about the boyfriend that you are still friends with. Prior to meeting the bad man, I had a 13 year relationship with a really lovely man. We decided to go our own way, and though it was difficult to do, we both supported each other, and we parted with good feelings toward one another; and went on our way to find ourselves, and forge a new life without one another. We have zero animosity.

    Nothing like being completely lied to by a predator, made to feel shameful, and dumped. Nothing. These are not relationships, per se. They are experiences. They are learnings.

    Stargazer is so right on when she says that we “normals” want to bond. It is part of our humanity to be with one another, love each other, and lift each other up. It is a terrible experience when we realize we were doing our ‘honest’ human thing with someone utterly incapable, who see’s human relations as a ‘game’ to win.

    Try not to give too much energy to what he is doing with anyone else. Rest assured it is the same as what he did with you, perhaps with some twists to suit the details of his new situation. But, overall, he is doing his same old thing. He cannot do anything but. So no one is getting something you didn’t.

    I thought the same, only to discover years later that many women had become entangled with him, and suffered losses just like I did. Some worse than me.

    More hugs to you….Slim



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  9. mzpris15 says:

    Thank you everyone. It is really hard to know that this person completely started me from his life. I know he has deleted all of my photos, my phone number, anything in his house. That $500 watch and the engraved watch box I bought to go with it. I sure now he said he mom and dad bought it for him. I won’t ever hear from him because to him I never existed…….

    On the other hand I have someone that I have been hanging out with. This is someone that I have known for 5 years. He has been there through the entire thing and knows everything. We dated before but broke up due to not being able to find the time to see each other. This relationship was normal and ended well. We’re taking it slow because he knows I need to go at my speed and he is letting me do that. He is a really good person, not a sociopath. The difference in these two people is like night and day. When he tells me he is doing something I don’t have to worry that he is lying to me. He lives 45 minutes from me and I don’t have to worry that he is off with someone else. 🐌🐌 Snails pace is what I want… To all I appreciate the the kind words and support. Thank you



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