How to Convert a Liar

(Or, how to hurt yourself more by trying)

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Photo credit mine; graffiti artist unknown. Brussels, 2014

There are three things that motivate most people to change: consequences, fear or inspiration. But no matter how great any of these are, none will work unless someone is also ready to change.

Believe them
Even though they’ve given you no reason to believe them and countless reasons to doubt everything they claim, try offering the liar you love your unquestioning faith. Ignore that tiny voice inside you, the gut feeling the reptile brain recognizes even when you can’t articulate it. Talk yourself out of it if you can’t prove your suspicions with evidence that would stand up in court. The legal metaphor isn’t overreaching as confronting a liar will quickly feel like a trial. You may start as the plaintiff but you will instantly become the defendant while they position themselves as judge and jury.

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Photo by @mana5280

Human relationships are transactional for liars and every interaction is a binary — there can only be a winner and a loser.

Scream at them with your wounded rage
If you are in a professional relationship with a liar this is not an option if you want to keep your job. But if you are in a personal relationship with a compulsive liar, and don’t have neighbors, or don’t care what the neighbors think, maybe it’s time to start screaming. Hearing your raw pain will shock them into an integrity they’ve never had or deliberately avoided developing, right? After all, they were never trying to hurt you, right? They were just trying to protect themselves.

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Memes are often beautiful in their brevity.

twitter @h_m_edwards unsplash @heathermedwards

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