Pathological Lying: Inspired by the TikTok story of ReesaTeesa @reesamteesa

There is a viral 50+ series of videos on TikTok by ReesaTeesa @reesamteesa that is a must watch. I’ve spent the past two days catching up on this playlist. If you haven’t heard of her story yet, please do click on the link and go watch because this is her story and no one can tell her story like she has. Also, after what she has been through, the least we can do to support her is hopefully providing that monetisation monies. I wanted to write this blog post inspired by her story on the topic of pathological lying.

The Story

A brief summary of her story includes meeting this man in March 2020, going on a date, then lockdown hits, they move into her place together, they’re looking at buying houses together, he says he has copious amounts of money (multiple houses they look at buying falls through because he won’t show proof of funds), she falls pregnant, very sadly miscarries, they get engaged, they get married (none of his family know he got married), then divorced. Mind you, this all happens within back to back months. It’s a lot. Some of the most outrageous parts of this story includes him pretending to have phone conversations with made-up family members for 30 minutes every day, and tells one family member that they had the baby and was having baby gifts sent, and he did jail time for impersonating a police officer. GO WATCH IT.

She has so much patience, detail, grace, and honesty as she tells this story. My heart absolutely breaks for her and what she has gone through, because she did not deserve any of it. She wasn’t the first victim either. There were at least 2 ex wives and 1 ex girlfriend. I am telling you again - go watch it all.

What surprised me by the end was that I actually started feeling bad for this man. I know that may not make sense, but the empath and Counsellor in me was so curious wondering, what on earth could have possibly led to or caused someone to be like this? Because by the end, we find out that he has completely destroyed every single relationship in his life. Family. Friends. Everybody. It is a sad reality. But ultimately, this is a consequence of his choices and actions, and he has caused immense pain and suffering to all these people who were doing their best to love him.

What is Pathological Lying?

Pathological lying is a perplexing behaviour characterised by compulsive dishonesty. It poses challenges for both individuals exhibiting the trait and those impacted by their falsehoods. In this blog post, we will delve into the causes behind pathological lying, explore the harm it inflicts on individuals and relationships, and provide valuable insights on how to identify warning signs.

Causes of Pathological Lying:

  • Psychological Factors: Studies from renowned sources like the American Psychiatric Association suggest that pathological lying may be linked to certain personality disorders, such as narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder.
  • Neurobiological Factors: Research conducted by neuroscientists, including studies cited in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, propose that abnormalities in brain structure and function might contribute to compulsive lying tendencies.

Why People Pathologically Lie:

  • Coping Mechanism: Individuals may resort to pathological lying as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, trauma, or insecurities, as indicated by research from the Journal of Personality Disorders.
  • Attention-Seeking: The desire for attention and validation may drive some individuals to fabricate stories, drawing from research published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Harm Caused by Pathological Lying:

  • Damaged Relationships: Pathological lying can erode trust within relationships, leading to emotional distress and strain on personal and professional bonds.
  • Self-Destruction: The deceptive nature of pathological lying can result in self-harm, with individuals becoming entangled in a web of falsehoods that ultimately damages their own well-being.

Warning Signs to Identify a Pathological Liar:

  • Inconsistencies in Stories: Pay attention to inconsistencies and contradictions in the individual's narratives.
  • Lack of Remorse: Studies published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology suggest that pathological liars often lack genuine remorse for their deceitful behaviour.

For a pathological liar to have any chance at personal growth or fostering healthy relationships, they must understand the intricate facets of themselves, recognise the causes, understand the motivations behind their behaviour, and be vigilant for warning signs. Somehow, these individuals must navigate the complexities of their pathological lying with greater empathy and awareness. However, for the victims it may be too little too late. Perhaps with consistent positive changes in behaviour and actions, genuine remorse, apologies with accountability, and time, they may be able to repair some of those relationships.

Support for Victims of a Pathological Liar:

If someone finds themselves a victim of a pathological liar, there are several steps they can consider taking:

  1. Recognise the Pattern:
    • Acknowledge and understand that you are dealing with a pathological liar. Recognising the pattern of deceit is the first step in addressing the situation.
  2. Establish Boundaries:
    • Set clear boundaries to protect yourself emotionally and psychologically. Clearly communicate your expectations and make it known that dishonesty is not acceptable.
  3. Seek Support:
    • Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support. Discussing your experiences with someone you trust can provide valuable insights and emotional support.
  4. Document Deceptive Behaviour:
    • Keep a record of instances where the individual has been dishonest. Having a documented record may be useful if you need to address the situation formally or if legal matters arise.
  5. Communicate Openly:
    • Engage in open and honest communication with the individual, expressing how their lies have affected you. Sometimes, the person may not be fully aware of the impact of their actions.
  6. Consider Professional Help:
    • If the situation becomes overwhelming, consider seeking professional help, such as couples counselling or therapy. A mental health professional can offer guidance and strategies for navigating the challenges.
  7. Evaluate the Relationship:
    • Assess the overall health of the relationship. If the lying persists and the individual is unwilling to change or seek help, it might be necessary to reevaluate the relationship and consider whether it is worth continuing.
  8. Prioritise Self-Care:
    • Focus on self-care and well-being. Dealing with a pathological liar can be emotionally draining, so take steps to prioritise your mental and emotional health.

Remember that each situation is unique, and the appropriate course of action may vary. If you feel threatened or in danger, prioritise your safety and seek assistance from law enforcement or other relevant authorities.

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