Liars Never Win In The End

by admin on March 26, 2012

I have been reading your wonderful blog for the past month and I love it, you have inspired me to tell my own tales of bad etiquette, many of them handed to me by my ‘good friend’ who, for the sake of this story, I will call Marcus.

I was at the tender age of 15, and just discovering rock gigs and joys of headbanging. A band I liked was soon coming to our nearby venue and I was excited to go, Marcus also wanted company so it was agreed that I would go with him so that I would not be alone (and more easily squashed against the floor of the venue.)

It is worth mentioning at this point that I am lucky enough to share a horse with a close friend of mine, as we split the costs of the horse, we also split the days we can visit him, making my time with him especially precious. The day of the gig was my ‘day’ to see the horse, but as the doors to the venue did not even open until 6-7 I explained to Marcus that I would meet him at around half 5ish to get a good space in the queue. Marcus said that he was fine with this.

Come the day of the gig, at around 2pm, I called Marcus to ask if he was in town could he see if there was much of a queue?   He replied that there certainly was, I needed to get to the venue ASAP, the queue was huge and although he was near the front he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to save me a place if the queue got a great deal bigger.  I freaked out, and begged him to save me a place to which he replied that he would but I really needed to hurry. I called my parents and asked if they could pick me up earlier and thankfully they were okay with this, I raced home, got ready as quickly as I could panicking the whole time, ran to the bus stop and finally arrived at the venue…

…to find all of 7 people-not even queuing- merely loitering around near the doors, and Marcus from grinning ear to ear.
“Where’s the queue?” I asked dumbfounded. “Oh, there wasn’t one, I was just lonely and wanted you to hurry up”, said Marcus, still grinning and looking incredibly pleased with himself.

I was so furious I didn’t even know what to say. I had cut short and rushed through MY time with my horse, inconvenienced my parents, panicked and stressed my way through getting ready, convinced that otherwise I would potentially be alone at a packed gig, because Marcus was bored and unable to wait on his own for a gig he showed up several hours early for. He had disregarded my entire day, plans and schedules to suit his selfish needs? Sadly I did not give Marcus a piece of my mind, as I was several years younger than him, still rather nervous and desperately did not want to spend the gig along. In years to come I realized what a self righteous, manipulative person Marcus could be, as he was often fully aware of how rude he was being, but felt that it was justifiable as long as he was reaping benefits from it.

Thankfully for me (and other friends who were also sick of Marcus’ behavior) he has since moved to a different city, although he still frequently messages me and other friends on Facebook expecting us to come visit him for the day (all as a big group paying a large sum of money for train fare, him coming to see us is apparently too troublesome) and throwing a monumental sulk when we decline due to other commitments. 0322-12

When people lie, I’m always amazed at the audacious belief they seem to have that either the lie will not be found out, or if it is, it won’t matter.   Deliberate, intentional truth distorting and lying is a deal breaker for me.  It’s very likely I will forgive you but it will take years before I trust you.   I believe the willingness to tell lies is a crooked flaw in the character foundation that eventually reveals greater issues with integrity, honesty, and kindness.

Every one of us undoubtedly knows someone who is, for lack of a better descriptor, a sociopathic liar.   They have told so many lies they cannot keep them organized or their story consistent.   The ends justifies the means, i.e. Marcus lies to get what he wants at the moment and doesn’t feel any remorse since his ends were achieved.   My observations over the years is that people with reputations of being liars are typically near-do-wells who cannot seem to grasp that their habitual lying is the basis for so many stunted relationships and poor job retention or advancement.  Marcus apparently has not made the mental connection that his lying is isolating him from having substantive friendships or if he has, he simply doesn’t care.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

bloo March 26, 2012 at 8:43 am

I haven’t met too many sociopathic, pathological liars. As soon as I get ‘dishonest vibes’ from someone, I distance myself. I just don’t need that in my life. Some friends of ours that were very close to us 15 years ago, before their divorce, had a son only 3 years younger than me. He had (has) a great, fun personality and you can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. All these years later and he’s been arrested several times (writing bad checks, confidence scams) and is always wearing an ankle-monitoring bracelet. One unfortunate thing about the internet is that you can find these things out online as we have nothing to do with him.

And I’d agree with admin that he probably has no clue it’s his fault.

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Cat March 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

Oh, the stories I could tell you.
Sociopathic liar is a great term for these folks. They don’t see you as a person having needs and dreams of your own. They “love” you in the same way as a glutton loves his lunch-it isn’t for the lunch’s sake.
It’s also about control. Since he is the god of his own idolatry, he needs complete control of his universe. He wanted you there and so he summoned you by lying to you.
And, no, he doesn’t care. Once you find out what he is and run, he’ll find another target. He’ll lie to them just as he lied to you. They’ll think he is wonderful-until they finally figure out what he truly is.
Example, when in my early twenties, I heard my older brother explaining to a friend why he didn’t want children. He just loved his wife so much that the very thought of her suffering in childbirth was more than he could bare-he was that tender-hearted. Better to go without.
Knowing him as you now know Marcus, I asked him for the real reason once the friend had departed. Oh, he went big game hunting for a month every June and, if he let his wife have the child she wanted, she’d want to say home with the baby. Then he’d have to go out and find another woman to perform the “wifely duties” he demanded for a whole month. Why should he have to go through all that trouble? It’s was his wife’s job and she was going to do it!
He was shocked when wifey divorced him, married again, and had the baby she wanted.

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Saucygirl March 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

While Marcus shouldn’t have lied, I don’t think op should be so righteous. She is the one who called him at 2pm (3 hours before agreed upon meeting time), wanting him to go by venue and check the queue. Which means stopping what he was doing to go, then not doing anything else if there was a line and he needed to stay. And op doesn’t want to help with this (even though the concert is obviously important to her) cause she wants to hang out with her horse. She sounds just as selfish, especially considering both activities are recreational and elective. As the saying goes “she wants her cake and to it eat too”.

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badkitty March 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

I’m sure Marcus has no clue why he hasn’t been able to make friends in his new city and must continue to demand time and attention from the people he grew up with – who have been raised on this treatment and will still tolerate it because they don’t expect any better.

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Wendy March 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

As I understood the story…she asked her friend IF he was in town and if so could he check the queue? I didn’t gather she was asking him to make a special trip.

Anyhow, this reminded me… When I was in high school one of my “best friends” lied constantly. Most of the time I would feel she was telling me a whopper, but since it was done in such a way that I couldn’t really prove it, I usually let it pass. It was annoying, but if telling silly stories made her feel better about herself…

Then she made a crucial mistake. She told a story about a close friend of mine that I not only knew was a lie, but could easily prove that the circumstances of the entire story were false. When presented with the evidence, she continued to insist that her version was the truthful one. When I not only refused to believe her, but pointed out to others her lie and started to question other things she’d told me, the friendship ended rather quickly. (Fortunately, I was a senior and graduated and moved on soon after.) I’ve been able to look back on our “friendship” over the years and realize which stories of hers were most likely false. We also had a mutual friend who had a similar attitude about the truth and I’ve come to realize that both of them were so desperate for attention, they made up plausible stories to get that attention. The results have been to lose friends and even jobs because no one could trust them.

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Kitty Lizard March 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

A few weeks ago, my husband had an evidentiary hearing in a serious felony case. The case was being prosecuted by a female prosecutor who has a reputation for being not only difficult but disagreeable.
As the hearing dragged on, she finally called the arresting officer to the stand. He testified and then it was my husband’s turn to cross examine. The officer’s testimony was shaky to start with, and as the cross continued, it got shakier and then finally my husband caught him in an outright lie. It turned out to be one of many. He told me when he got back to the office that she looked like she’d been hit on the head with a shovel. She conceded the hearing and dismissed the case then and there. She was absolutely furious. Cops lie all the time, but usually not to this extent, and it usually doesn’t go this far. This particular officer has a reputation for shading the truth. Luckily, after that hearing, he decided to
move upstate to a larger city, where he’ll do the same thing again, to another unlucky citizen. Liars
never change.

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Vanzilla March 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Situations (and people) like these are absolutely infuriating. I have a friend who, when I met him some years ago, was a compulsive liar – not necessarily for any tangible gain, but because he probably found it entertaining (which I think is just as bad). They were small lies (e.g. telling a stranger he was Thai instead of Filipino) that had no real repercussions… but allowed him to build this weird world where he was in control and got to make up his own reality.

In the end, I did recognize that he was a good person at heart and I wanted to preserve our friendship. I called him out on his compulsive lying and told him that if it didn’t stop, I didn’t want to associate with him anymore. It’s been 4 years now, and as far as I can tell – no more weird lies! :)

I guess we all have gut instincts, and sometimes they’re telling us that a person is a real jerk wad no matter what (like OP’s Marcus), and sometimes we can tell that people just need a little slap in the face.

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sweetonsno March 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I was thinking along Saucy’s lines as well. I have to wonder if Marcus somehow misunderstood her phone call and thought she was asking him to go to the venue and check to see if there was a line (and if there was, wait in it). While that wouldn’t excuse his lie, I understand him wanting her to come down himself. I’d be irked if I thought one of my friends expected me to stand in line by myself and save him or her a spot for hours. It does sound like this kind of behavior is a pattern of Marcus’, though.

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AS March 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

When I was young, I had read a folk story (I think it is an Indian folk tale) that a young shepherd would go to the pastures near his village with his sheep. One day, he decided to play a trick with the villagers and cried out “tiger, tiger…help…” and all the villagers came running to help him. He then laughed and said that there was no tiger. He tried it the second day and once again laughed when the villagers came for his help. On the third day, there was a real tiger and he actually cried for help, but no one came for help and the tiger ate him up. Markus needed to have read a story like that when he was young so that it would have gotten ingrained in him that he should not be a pathological liar.

That said, I was wondering if the OP could have moved the time of her date with her horse when she knew that she’d be going to a concert which might require standing in a queue. It does not condone Markus’s behavior, but it is not fair to expect only one person in the group to hold the place for you when you are spending your day in better ways. Certain reasons like not getting a baby sitter, or being really tied down at work (something very pressing), etc. would be a valid reason. But seeing your horse, if you could have shuffled the time with your friend, and then asking Markus to go stand in line for hours before the event started does not seem fair.

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Cat Whisperer March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

After reading the OP’s account of Marcus, I only have one question: why on earth does she still bother maintaining any connection with him, even just on facebook?

Seriously: life is short and time can be so much better spent than even thinking about someone like Marcus. “Unfriend” this creep and banish him from your life.

On a slight tangent: regarding liars, the thing that always astonishes me is that so many people seem willing to allow a person who behaves badly towards other people in their lives as long as that person doesn’t behave badly towards them. To me, this is like allowing a rattlesnake to be within striking distance of you on the grounds that it hasn’t bitten you yet.

People who will do hurtful things towards one person will do hurtful things toward anyone if the circumstances benefit them. This is something to think about when you catch someone telling a lie to someone else, or otherwise behaving badly towards someone else.

While it’s true that nobody is perfect and that just about everyone is capable of behaving as a jerk, I think you really have to look hard at people who are unwilling to admit that they can behave wrongly, or who always seem to have a justification for behaving wrongly. However entertaining or charming these people can be when times are good, these are the people who will hurt you severely if it serves their purposes. Not necessarily out of malice, but simply because, like Marcus, it gets them what they want and they don’t care what it does to you.

Good people aren’t perfect people, and good people can screw up. The difference between a good person and someone like Marcus is that good people are shamed by behaving badly, understand that when they behave badly they harm other people, and genuinely feel bad when they know they’ve done harm. People like Marcus never seem to feel bad about the harm they’ve done to other people.

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Mom of 3 Teens March 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

One thing about habitual liars is they think everyone else are similarly lying. You tell that person the honest truth, and they don’t believe you.

Watch out.

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Haruspex March 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I see it a different way. If a boy had wanted my company when I was that age, I would have been over the moon with joy.

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--Lia March 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’d never defend what Marcus did, but he sounds more like an adolescent nerd-idiot than a sociopathic liar. He probably thought he was being cool and flirtatious in an “ooh Baby, I just want to be with you” sort of way. If we can forgive the LW for being too young and naive to do the polite thing and tell him right then and there how she didn’t find his joke funny, can’t we forgive Marcus for being too young and naive to know that’s not the way to impress a girl? She didn’t want to spend the gig alone. Sounds like he didn’t want to either, and for him, a big part of the gig was waiting in line. Now Marcus invites old friends to visit him in a new city, and they snub him, again without telling him why or making a counter offer for how they can get together for a good time. Marcus may have gone on to become a permanently self-righteous and manipulative person, but from this one single example, I’m letting him off the hook.

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Asharah March 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

@AS Taht sounds like the Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

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Rachel March 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I have to agree with @haruspex it sounds like he “like liked” the OP and wanted to spend time with her. And agree with Lia, he may be a “bad person” now, but he sounds like he was a normal teenage boy at one point.

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Library Diva March 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Agree with Saucygirl. If this gig was so important to OP, why didn’t she ask her close friend to swap days with the horse? And conversely, if the horse was that important to OP, what was she doing cutting into her precious horse time to place cell phone calls to try and get Marcus to go check on the line for a gig that’s not starting for hours? I also wonder if maybe he didn’t interpret that as a request to wait in line, in which case he may have even decided to teach OP a lesson about the value of *his own* time. It sounds like Marcus may well have gone on to a storied career as an inconsiderate jerk, but in this particular case, I think OP may have played into his actions a bit. Even if Marcus was right around the corner from this gig, checking on it still entails stopping what he’s doing to walk over there.

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Timothy March 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

@Lia, she did mention that Marcus is several years older than her. So if she was mortified and angry at him for his actions, then he should know better than doing so. Since she said she was 15, and mentioned that he was several years older, he was likely in his late teens or early twenties. As a 23 year old, I have known for a long time that lying is not the way to get what I want. Why should Marcus be let off the hook because he’s young?

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K March 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Kitty Lizard,

“Cops lie all the time” is a rude, unfair and untrue generalization. Making a comment about someone based upon their profession, simply because you don’t like it (your husband is apparently a criminal defense attorney?) is no less reprehensible than making a comment about someone based on their gender or skin color. I am from a family full of cops, all who would rather have their fingernails pulled off one-by-one with pliers than to tell an untruth. It’s attitudes like yours that allow blatant disrespect for authority to spread, and that spread can reach a dangerous point — people who see no problem with assaulting or killing someone because of what they “represent.” I thank God every time my mother, uncles, and cousins come home safe from work because they didn’t run into someone like you.

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Jo March 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Liars don’t just affect themselves, either. The more we are exposed to liars the less likely we are to believe someone who is telling the truth. I remember about 4 0r 5 years ago, before this website changed formats I submitted a story about my cousin’s reprehensible behavior during the weekend of a mutual friend’s wedding. The friend was a perfect bride, for what it’s worth. I was excited to see it published, until I received a response email from Ms. Jeanne informing me that the story was simply too unbelievable to her. I was stunned and upset for about a minute. Then I realized that the opinion of someone I don’t actually know really does not affect me in any way and that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I just feel bad about all of the liars she must have previously run across to greet my true and somewhat funny story with such suspicion.

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AmysAuntie March 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

“Cops lie all the time” is a rude, unfair and untrue generalization. Making a comment about someone based upon their profession, simply because you don’t like it (your husband is apparently a criminal defense attorney?) is no less reprehensible than making a comment about someone based on their gender or skin color. -K

I would suspect just as many comments had been made about criminal defense attorneys being less than ethical as about cops who “lie all the time”.

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PsychoKitten March 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

K, I think you’re reading too much into Kitty Lizard’s comment. I took the “Cops lie all the time” statement to mean that it’s more common than most people may believe. Regardless, your last comment was totally unnecessary.

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Lynne March 27, 2012 at 12:21 am

1. Huh. I didn’t assume that the OP was female, although I understand why many did.

2. Unless the OP chimes in to clarify, I think that we have to accept the story as it is written.

The way that I read and interpreted the story:

Marcus did not visit the venue at the OP’s request.
Rather, when the OP called Marcus to ask whether might be able to check and see whether people were gathering, he was already at the venue and said that the line was long, etc., etc.

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ItsyBitsy March 27, 2012 at 12:57 am

K: Well said!

As an ex cop, I could be very rude about lawyers but I won’t. Making sweeping generalisations is ill mannered and lazy.

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GroceryGirl March 27, 2012 at 7:55 am

If this is the worst story about Marcus’s lying that OP can conjure, she’s lucky that she’s never met a real sociopathic liar. I have a friend who defies logic with his insane lies. He can’t keep a job, makes up excuses for everything, even if there is no reason to lie. In three years he cheated on his girlfriend with NINE people. Mind you, not nine times, but nine separate people, multiple times.

So, one day you had to rush through time with your horse. OP is young so maybe she hasn’t yet realized that life is full of missing out on things you want to be doing.

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Wink-n-Smile March 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

Oh, Jo, please tell us, what was your story?

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Stepmomster March 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

I have a relative that is a sociopathic liar. She has been getting better in the last few years, but whenever she is nervous it rears its ugly head. It breaks my heart because I feel like I can’t truly be happy or sad or excited for her, because I have often been embarrassed when an amazing story she tells turns out to be false. What is worse…we are identical twins, and when people that know her meet me they are instantly cold, until someone else explains who I am or I find out they think I am my sister. In my life, I have a 30 day waiting period before making friends.

It got so bad when we were younger that I didnt have my natural hair color for 23 years because I needed to look different enough to pass inspection.

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jena rogers March 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

And why do you still keep in touch w/him?

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Enna March 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

In hindsight maybe OP would have done things differenlty regarding the horse but I think it is a bit unfair to blame her for what happened as OP asked and he did lie by saying it was a lot longer then it really was. If he didn’t want to check he should have said so.

Kitty Lizard – it is unfair to say “cops lie all the time” – okay there are corrupt indiviudals in all professions e.g. teachers, bankers, politicans but it’s unfair to generalise an entire profession. If a crime happened (heaven forbid) to you or someone you cared about you would want the police to investigate.

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Kristi March 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Jo – this story sounds like a ‘must read’! Ms. Jeanne – is there any way you could possibly verify Jo’s story with someone else (who attended the event) and publish?

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