Direct Answers – Pants On Fire, Balancing The Books

Pants On Fire

I have a "friend" with a problem. This girl has a problem with lying. She lies to her friends, family, everybody. It's not just little white lies. It's huge boldface lies.Starting when she was a teenager, she's been telling boyfriends she is pregnant. Her mother has even gotten calls from her exes asking how their "child" is doing. Of course, these children do not exist.

Her latest story is over the top. She told this guy she was carrying his child and went so far as to post someone else's old ultrasound pictures online. When confronted, she either denies she did it or claims she is still carrying the baby.

Most people won't challenge her because she will do anything and everything to cause trouble for those who tell her she is full of it. I cannot tolerate her anymore. She is so full of herself. Nothing she says is believable.

She had a good husband and two beautiful boys and still acts like she is Mom of the Year. Yet she doesn't spend any time with her boys and hops from man to man.

Should someone confront her or should we continue to let her lie? She doesn't realize she is hurting everyone around her. Her mother cut her out of her life and her siblings only deal with her on holidays. What should I do? Probably just stay out of it. Right?

~ Elena

Elena, unlike the famous Baron von Munchhausen, who told stories about riding a cannonball and pulling himself out of a swamp by his own hair, your friend's tales are almost believable.

What's not believable is thinking you can make her come to her senses based on your grasp of reality. Dealing with her is like dealing with a walrus, a giraffe or a crocodile. They simply live in a different world.

People like your friend make the best criminals. They will absolutely never confess. They want to catch you up to their reality. Stick around them long enough and they will make you think you are the crazy one.

Her pathological lying probably started as a way to get attention, sympathy, admiration or power. Guys like to have sex with her, and she likes it too, because she can work her magic on them. Though tales of phantom children may hurt some of these men, it's almost a fair exchange. They get what they want and so does she.

Her history of unstable relationships and estrangement from her family is not in your power to change. Though you would like to protect others from her, they have to experience it and figure it out for themselves.

As you know, the problem with confronting a pathological liar is, when challenged, they can fly into a rage or become vindictive. Her family has given up on her. You should do the same.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Balancing The Books

I work for an accounting firm and gradually started to like my boss. "Desire" would be a better word for it. But she is married.

Recently I started complimenting her, telling her she is pretty or beautiful. She grew cold to me. Now I know this was not a good thing. What should I do to put things back to normal?

~ Kent

Kent, all you can do now is establish a cool, professional distance from your boss. She must feel "he got the message and I handled it right."

But you created a second problem for her. You opened the door for her to wonder if you will retaliate over the rejection. For the next year you need to be careful not to stymie her in any way. Do your job to the best of your abilities and live up to her professional expectations.

Act as if someone is monitoring your conversations. Otherwise she may read your innocent acts or mistakes as retaliation.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of February 22, 2016

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