‘I wanted to feel something’: Inside the tangled mind of a compulsive liar – Hack

On average, we tell 1.6 lies a day. Researchers say they help maintain some sort of social cohesion. But what happens when your lies snowball out of control? You could a be a compulsive liar like Fraser, Shaun or Amy.

Fraser is in his twenties, has a full-time job and is a self-confessed compulsive liar.

“If you say a lie with enough confidence most people are going to believe you,” he says.

On average, Fraser reckons he lies between 10 to 20 times a day, and sometimes he doesn’t even realise he is lying.

Last weekend, when he was swimming laps, he told an older woman that he had a painful injury from tearing his ACL, which again was completely false – he was just swimming for exercise.

“I was thinking what are you doing that’s bullshit, but I just kept going with this story.”

Fraser reckons the reason he lies is often to try and impress people, get sympathy, gratitude or to appear more interesting – but also to try and escape social situations.

“The biggest lie for me would be the heinous kinds of lie that someone had died and no one questions that… and saying this with enough confidence means you can probably get away with it which is pretty horrible when I think about it.”

He’s had five close friends or relatives “die” recently to help him escape from unpleasant company – except that none of those people existed.

“It’s got to obviously be someone you don’t know so you can make up what happened… they are completely made up people.”

He recently told a woman he met at his local bar that he was an aerospace engineer when he actually works with people with disabilities.

“Luckily, she didn’t really know what that was, and I knew a bit about it,” he says.

But after Hack asked Fraser to write a list of how many lies he was telling a day, his bravado about lying took a back seat.

“This whole process has been really revealing to me it hasn’t made me feel very good,” he says.

“Maybe that’s what people should do is write down their lies every day.”

Why do we lie?

We asked you to write in about your experiences with compulsive liars and … we got quite a response.

  • I was in a three-year relationship with a compulsive liar. There were definitely a few elements of social media that helped in catching him out such as timestamps on messages or if he said he was somewhere but Facebook said otherwise.
  • I’ve caught my sister out pretending to have cancer. We don’t talk to her anymore.
  • A family friend of ours faked a pregnancy – she said she was having twins and she ended up being “pregnant” for about 50 weeks.
  • My ex-boyfriend lied about where he worked, his education, his car and his house. He said he’d lived in London for a year after high school and gave me detailed stories of what he did while he was there. He had never been.
  • My old band manager told everyone he knew that he had something like 7 PhDs, knew 40 different languages and that he knew how to compose orchestral arrangements.
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Researching the reasons humans lie has almost become an obsession for distinguished professor Tim Levine from Alabama University in Birmingham who has studied deception for 20 years.

He’s come up with the four main reasons why people lie: to cover up a mistake or transgression such as cheating, for financial gain, for personal gain or to get out of situations.

He also says teenagers tell almost the same number of lies as adults.

In his studies, he found 59 per cent of people aged 13-17 told one to five lies a day and 15 per cent lied more than fives times a day. In the 18-44 age bracket, 45 per cent of the respondents lied one to five times a day, while 9 per cent lied more than five times a day.

“What I think is most interesting about deception is that almost all popular beliefs seem to be wrong,” he says.

“For example, almost everywhere people say liars won’t look you in the eye but there is nothing to support that.”

“People think they’re much better than detecting lies than they really are, and think they’re much better at detecting lies from people they know well but that doesn’t seem to be the case either, so common sense doesn’t take you very far in the world of deception.”

Shaun’s story

Shaun, who asked us not to use his real name, found himself in a vicious web of lies when he tried to date a girl his parents disapproved of.

“I was lying to my parents and family even extended family,” he says.

“I would lie to my friends because they might know my family and tell them and sometimes I would lie to my colleagues and I began thinking my lies were real and I began to start believing my own lies.”

It got to the stage where Shaun would be creating fake documents – such as swimming training notices and invitations for his friend’s parties – just so he could spend time with his secret girlfriend.

“I would change the dates, change the time and change location and really cater it around that weekend if it was on a public holiday so it was believable,” he says.

But it was social media that provided the biggest risk in exposing his lies and revealing the truth.

“I found social media one of the hardest parts of lying because there is always going to be someone around you and even someone in the crowd that you know is a friend of a friend that can always tag you in something,” he says.

After a year-and-a-half of living a double life, Shaun was caught out by his parents when they spotted his car in a driveway not far from their house – when he was mean to be at a swimming training camp.

It wasn’t pretty, and his covert relationship quickly ended. He was kicked out of home and his parents refused to believe anything he said for months afterwards.

“I realised I couldn’t do it anymore,” he says.

“I was flat and I couldn’t tell lies and I knew my parents would never believe me again so there was no way I couldn’t even see her on the sly.”

In hindsight, Shaun says keeping the lies going created a huge amount of stress for himself and warns others against it.

“I would never go back to that ever again, I would never recommend going into that lying web over and over again because once you do it’s very toxic and poisonous to get out of unless everything crumbles around you.”

What is a compulsive liar?

There is very little research about compulsive or pathological liars, but it is not considered a psychiatric disorder. It can, however, be a sign of bigger mental disorders such as anxiety or borderline personality disorder.

Dr Katie Treanor is an Australian psychologist who wrote a PhD on compulsive lying, also known as pseudologia fantastica.

During her research she found people who constantly lied weren’t doing it for a thrill, but more as a form of protection. They might also have a very low self esteem, feel worthless or rejected.

“These people had a really poor sense of self and their true self wouldn’t be good enough,” she says. “They would therefore tell these lies in a way of bolstering their image.”

She also found that compulsive lying provided a way for people to run away from their reality, rather than face it.

Amy’s story

It was during high school that Amy, who has also asked to not use her real name, started to notice her obsession with lying. The more she lied, the more she liked it.

“[The lying] wasn’t the thrill for me, it was the telling of the lie, it was more the fact that I then got a response to it so at the beginning it was gossip and I was talked about,” she says.

When she told people at school about the time she lost her virginity, rumours quickly spread across the school despite the fact she had very little sexual experience.

“I made up everything, I made up the name and everything about this fictitious person and yeah that person actually never existed.”

Amy says at the worst part of her lying she was telling upwards of 20 to 30 lies a day.

“Pretty much everything out of my mouth was a lie,” she says.

But her lying was never to manipulate people, it was a way to cope with her anxiety and extremely low self esteem.

“When I got caught out I would start with another lie to cover a lie,” she says. “Or I twisted it so it could resemble a part-truth.”

As Amy’s self esteem plummeted, so did her ability to care about the repercussions of her lies.

“Later on when I got caught out, when it got worse I didn’t even care. I was in a low point and I didn’t care if people didn’t like me. I wanted to feel something.”

That was 10 years ago and now as a new mother Amy says she can’t remember the last time she bent the truth.

“The whole purpose behind it was for my own self satisfaction and to make me feel better about the person I was.

“I believed if I lied I would be perceived as someone who was better than who I was.”

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Cmo comer bien de’tupper’ sin recurrir a las lentejas de la suegra | Zen

PROPUESTA DE ABOLEA: Mix de verdes, freekeh, pollo de corral marinado, verduras asadas, ensalada de tomate y hummus de pimiento

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India v Australia: Steve Smith backs tourists in second ODI in Kolkata – Sport


September 21, 2017 09:04:37

Captain Steve Smith says Australia cannot use injury and an interrupted lead-up as excuses if it fails to level the one-day international series with India in Kolkata.

Australia will face India in the second encounter of the five-match series beginning Thursday evening (AEST), with the hosts coming off a 26-run victory in a rain-affected opener in Chennai.

The tourists do not have Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc at their disposal, with both quicks injured, while opener Aaron Finch’s sore calf has thrust Hilton Cartwright to the top of the order.

Australia entered the series off the back of two Tests in Bangladesh, but Smith remained confident his side could push India on its home turf.

“We still believe in these guys. They’ve got a lot of talent,” Smith said.

“We’ve got a team here that can hopefully challenge India in the next couple of games.”

Both sides were prevented from training on the Eden Gardens practice wickets on Wednesday because of recent wet weather.

While the Australians have been restricted to indoor nets sessions, Smith was not concerned about their preparation since arriving in Kolkata.

“I don’t think it will have a big impact,” he said.

“Guys are in a fine space. It’s just been about topping up as much as we can indoors and getting a few things right.

“But no excuses from us, we’re ready to go.”

Kolkata pitch may favour quicks

Thunderstorms are forecast to clear on Thursday, but could cause another shortened match on what does not appear to be a typical Indian pitch.

“There’s a little bit of grass on it, probably more than I’ve seen in India for a while,” Smith said.

James Faulkner’s lacklustre performance with the ball in the first match may put him under pressure to retain his spot.

Kane Richardson is the other fast-bowling option in the squad and could be used if the pitch retains its grass covering.

“You might give it a bit more of a roll and you might even cut it,” Smith said.

“We’ll have another look in the morning and we’ll decide our team then.”

Pace bowlers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins were impressive in Chennai but leg spinner Adam Zampa will need an improved performance, with fellow tweaker Ashton Agar also in the squad.







First posted

September 21, 2017 08:21:19

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El cable submarino de Facebook que une Estados Unidos con España ya está terminado | Lifestyle

El proyecto de cable denominado MAREA que se anunció el pasado año para unir Estados Unidos y España ya es una realidad. Un proyecto desarrollado por Microsoft y Facebook que ha sido terminado esta misma semana. Aunque no es ni mucho menos el primer cable de este tipo que se construyen en el mundo, y específicamente en el Atlántico, sin duda es uno de los proyectos más ambiciosos que se han llevado a cabo. No en vano este cable va a ofrecer a partir de 2018 una gran velocidad de 160 terabytes por segundo de ancho de banda.

Une las playas de Virginia y el País Vasco

El cable discurre por nada menos que 6.600 kilómetros entre las playas de Virgina Beach en Estados Unidos y la de Sopelana, muy cerca de Bilbao. Este nuevo cable no sólo va a beneficiar económicamente a estos dos lugares, sino que además beneficiará a otros continentes, ofreciendo más velocidad no sólo a Europa, sino a África y Asia.

El cable llegó a Bilbao en el mes de julio, y ha sido ayer jueves cuando Microsoft ha confirmado que la instalación del cable se ha completado. Un cable que se ha depositado a más de 3.000 metros de profundidad de media en su camino entre estos dos puntos, sorteando terremotos, volcanes submarinos y un sinfín de amenazas.

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Making hospitals work for children – Life Matters

No matter how old you get, there are two places that are always nerve-wracking to visit. One’s the dentist; the other is going to hospital.

When you’re a child those clinical spaces full of gleaming equipment can fill you with fear. If you’re supposed to be tested inside those machines, it can be so hard to keep calm. But the brand new Monash Children’s Hospital is keen to change this.

When it opened its doors in April of this year, it rolled out state-of-the art techniques to help young patients feel more comfortable with invasive tests and screening — using lighting, sound, role play, virtual reality and digital technology.

In this first of a two-part series, Michael Mackenzie goes to Monash to see how it works, and while he’s there, meets Georgia , who fell off a trampoline and damaged her neck.

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Referndum Catalua 1-O: El choque por el 1-O estresa la poltica nacional

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SSM: How safe is your job if you air an opinion that goes against your boss?


September 21, 2017 09:06:49

The same-sex marriage postal survey has been promoted as a chance for all Australians to have their say — but recent events show speaking up too loudly could be fraught.

At the beginning of this week a children’s entertainer named Madeline lost work with a Canberra-based party business, after posting on Facebook that “it’s OK to vote no”.

The business’s owner Madlin Sims cited concerns Madeline could be working around LGBTI kids or parents and said she was not aiming to stifle free speech.

So if you know your views go against those of your employer, or someone you have a business relationship with, what are your rights? And how safe are you from being shown the door?

What’s your employment status?

In the case that’s been in the headlines this week, Madeline was not a direct employee of Madlin’s business.

Instead, she was a contractor who billed the company for services — namely dressing up as characters for kids’ parties.

There are overlapping laws around the country designed to protect people from discrimination at work, though the specifics vary from state to state.

As a contractor, Madeline was not covered by unfair dismissal laws that protect employees.

But in the ACT, where the dismissal took place, those are not the only thing protecting people from being sacked for their political views.

“It’s not really a matter of unfair dismissal laws as such, but rather anti-discrimination laws in the ACT,” Canberra-based employment lawyer John Wilson says.

“The Discrimination Act of the ACT applies to contractors as much as it does to employees and prevents them from being discriminated against because they’ve expressed political opinions.”

There are similar acts around the country — and you can check how far the law goes in your state.

So I can say whatever I want, wherever I want?

Not quite. There are some instances where your employer has an interest in what you post online.

John says that if your Facebook or other social media accounts link you to your employer, they may have some grounds to request that you refrain from political activism.

“Unless there is a clear connection between that platform and her work, it’s not lawful to terminate them or otherwise treat them adversely because they’ve expressed a political opinion,” he said.

“The way the case law is playing out is that where your Facebook or social media advertises you as being connected with your employer, you do need to be careful about expressing particular views.”

So according to John, provided your Facebook account is private and does not advertise your ties to your workplace, you’re safe to say whatever you want about same-sex marriage, or any other political topic.

This is of course provided the opinions are not so extreme as to breach anti-vilification laws introduced for the duration of the postal survey.

In the case of Madeline and Madlin, the business owner cited among her reasons for the sacking that: “[Madeline] had posted representing the business on the same platform — the Facebook page where this frame was shared.”

But it’s not clear what role that would play in any future determinations about the case.

So did anyone break the law?

At the end of the day, the only way to determine that is in the courts, but whether the case makes it that far is another matter.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also investigating the case.

In John’s opinion, business owner Madlin likely has a case to answer under discrimination law but she remains confident in her actions.

“My concern was not about her religion or her personal beliefs, and that’s something that I made clear from the start,” she said.

“What it was was a concern for the wellbeing of children.

“I had genuine belief that she was someone who wouldn’t … be able to perform in the job that we signed her up for with gay families.”









First posted

September 21, 2017 06:18:52

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El mercado descuenta la estabilidad política en Alemania con Merkel acariciando la victoria | Mercados

Alemania celebra elecciones generales este domingo, 24 de septiembre, unos comicios que a medida que se iban conociendo los sondeos iban rebajando la incertidumbre política que podía quedar en Europa (con permiso ahora del enredo catalán). Las últimas encuestas estiman una clara victoria de la canciller conservadora Angela Merkel (CDU) con el 36% de los votos frente al candidato socialdemócrata (SPD) Martin Schulz (22%). UBS da a Merkel una probabilidad del 85-90% de retener el puesto de canciller. Así, los expertos dan por hecho el cuarto mandato de Merkel, garante de un continuismo que los mercados acogerían de buen grado.

“Los alemanes acuden a las urnas en lo que es probable que sea una confirmación del reinado de Angela Merkel como cabeza de la mayor economía de Europa”, señala el economista jefe de la gestora holandesa Robeco, Léon Cornelissen, que apunta que “su reincorporación como canciller para un cuarto mandato sería ampliamente bienvenida por los mercados como refuerzo de la estabilidad de Alemania, sobre todo si la actual coalición continúa”.

Ahora mismo, en Alemania gobierna una gran coalición formada por el grupo de centro-derecha liderado por Merkel (CDU/CSU) y su principal rival, el partido Socialdemócrata (SPD).

En Renta 4 opinan que, aunque Merkel salga victoriosa necesitará gobernar en coalición. “Una coalición que podría tardar en acordarse entre uno y dos meses, y que habría que ver si se concreta con los socialdemócratas, los liberales (FDP) o los Verdes”, sostiene la firma de análisis, que añade que “el escenario más favorable para nuevos avances en la integración europea sería un acuerdo con los socialdemócratas. En cualquier caso, el mercado apuesta por estabilidad política en la principal economía de la eurozona”.

Si bien a comienzos de este año las citas electorales que había en Europa (Holanda, Francia y Reino Unido) fueron motivo de gran preocupación para los mercados, los resultados (en Holanda y Francia se frenó el avance del populismo y la ultraderecha) aplacaron muchas de las incertidumbres políticas, que pasaron a un segundo plano dado además el casi convencimiento desde hace tiempo del triunfo de Merkel en Alemania. Queda por ver, eso sí, cuántos apoyos recibirá finalmente el partido ultraderechista Alternativa para Alemania (AfD), que según un sondeo de la segunda cadena de la televisión alemana, ZDF, se sitúa como tercera fuerza política en el futuro Parlamento con un 11% de los votos. Y los responsables políticos de Europa también tienen un ojo puesto en España, a la espera de cómo se resuelve la convocatoria de referéndum, declarada ilegal por la Justicia.

“Pese a que vuelven las elecciones y los referendos, la incertidumbre política en Europa es ahora más baja que en Estados Unidos”, opinan en BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. “2017 comenzó con mucha consternación sobre el aumento del populismo, pero creemos que la historia de crecimiento de Europa significa que los votantes ahora tienen más que perder al aceptar lo desconocido”, señala la firma, que recalca que “el foco pasará a estar en la construcción de una Europa más fuerte, especialmente ante la retirada de estímulos del BCE”.

Por su parte, Christopher Dembik, responsable de análisis macroeconómico de Saxo Bank, duda de si Merkel tiene la capacidad política de impulsar las reformas económicas que necesita Alemania. “La economía germana es disfuncional, con un crecimiento medio anual de la productividad en la última década de tan sólo el 0,7%, por debajo de países como España (1,2%)”, destaca el experto, que indica que “el nuevo mandato de Merkel será distinto a los anteriores pues, tendrá que impulsar nuevas medidas y, hasta ahora, ha hecho cero en términos de reformas económicas”.

En la misma línea, en Amundi Asset Management consideran que ante los varios escenarios de coaliciones posibles en Alemania, hay que poner la atención en algunos detalles como los presupuestos, dado que “los partidos que pueden formar una coalición (CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP y/o Verdes) están a favor de recortes de impuestos, pero difieren en cuanto a quiénes y cuánto deberían beneficiarse. Sus prioridades de gasto público también son diferentes (infraestructuras, áreas sociales y/o defensa)”.

Añaden que “en Europa, hay prácticamente consenso sobre ciertos temas (enfoque difícil sobre el Brexit, fortalecimiento de cooperación en defensa…). Pero el SPD y los Verdes son más favorables que la CDU/CSU a las nuevas iniciativas que traen más federalismo, mientras que el FDP es más reacio. A pesar de estas diferencias, la actitud de Alemania respecto a Europa es probable que no cambie dramáticamente bajo una coalición dominada por el CDU/CSU”.

Teniendo en cuenta que Merkel se verá forzada a pactar con otros partidos, en opinión de Roberto Berzal, de Orey iTrade, “ese proceso podría impactar al Dax alemán”. “Los resultados de las elecciones alemanas no tendrán un gran impacto inmediato en los mercados, ya que no se espera que un populista se alce con el poder. Sin embargo, en el medio-largo plazo, los comicios tendrán repercusión en el euro, las rentabilidades de la deuda y las bolsas europeas, la velocidad de la integración europea, la postura frente a la periferia y los cargos de instituciones europeas”, resaltan en UBS, cuyo escenario central es la formación de una gran coalición, con el 60% de las probabilidades.

Corea del Norte y bancos centrales

En definitiva, los inversores andan ahora más preocupados por la tensión geopolítica entre Estados Unidos y Corea del Norte, sin perder de vista nunca las políticas monetarias de los bancos centrales. Para Natixis Global Asset Management “el escenario más probable para las relaciones entre EE UU y Corea del Norte sigue siendo un status quo intranquilo”. La firma ve “improvable” un conflicto militar directo, pero “Corea del Norte seguirá irritando a los aliados de Estados Unidos y Asia con pruebas de misiles”.

En cuanto a los bancos centrales, la Reserva Federal (Fed) de Estados Unidos dio a conocer este miércoles su nueva hoja de ruta, con el comienzo de la reducción del balance en octubre y la subida de tipos proyectada para este año. A juicio de Anna Stupnytska, economista global de Fidelity, el mensaje de la Fed “ha sido mixto y muestran la confianza actual de la Fed en la economía, aunque los participantes del FOMC siguen siendo cautelosos a largo plazo”.

El Banco Central Europeo (BCE), por su parte, dejó para más adelante el anuncio de la retirada de los estímulos”.

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Museum of Australian Democracy finds rare recordings of former prime ministers on eBay


September 20, 2017 19:09:24

Most world leaders get a chance to vocalise their thoughts daily thanks to the 24-hour news cycle. Others prefer to tweet.

But for Australia’s early prime ministers, like Billy Hughes, Stanley Bruce and Earle Page, an important way to speak to voters was through a record player.

If you’ve ever wondered what they sounded like, the Museum of Australian Democracy (MOAD) at Old Parliament House has an answer.

Rare recordings of these PMs, some of which date back to 1929, were discovered by MOAD curatorial officer Campbell Rhodes for sale on eBay.

“We’ve bought quite a few things that way before,” Mr Rhodes told ABC Radio Canberra’s Dan Bourchier.

“They all spoke with what we call received pronunciation, which is sort of BBC English.

“It was very common to speak like that on radio or in public for quite a long time well into the 1950s and 1960s.”

Hanging on every word

The museum has had the records professionally digitised so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

“It’s interesting to hear their voices and discover what they sounded like,” Mr Rhodes said.

He described Billy Hughes, who was prime minister from 1915 to 1923, as having a very appealing tone.

“You can see why his audience liked him … he had a very fiery temperament and you can imagine his audience hanging on his every word,” he said.

“Then you had Menzies who was a very good orator as well; he had quite a soothing and calming voice.

“Then you have people like Ben Chifley, who has a voice which was described by someone as … harsh, uninflected and inclined to grate on the ear.

“Not only did he have a very Australian recognisable voice, but he had a very gravelly voice.

“It’s kind of charming to listen to now.”

Mr Rhodes said these speeches were recorded inside a studio rather than in front of a live audience.

He said many were produced by Columbia, one of the biggest record companies at the time.

“I believe they recorded their speeches to the microphone so they could distribute it out to more people; they were sent out to people and you could buy them,” he said.

Further recordings remain undiscovered

Today, Mr Rhodes said it was much more acceptable for prime ministers and other world leaders to use their natural speaking voice when speaking in public.

“The craft of crafting a political message is the same but the medium has changed,” he said.

“These days, of course, everything is always recorded. The 24-hour news cycle means every utterance is on camera and recorded for all time.”

Interestingly, Mr Rhodes said there were no known recordings of Australia’s first five prime ministers: Edmund Barton, Alfred Deakin, Chris Watson, George Reid and Andrew Fisher.

“You can’t hear the first five because as far as we can tell there are no recordings … but [if there are] we would love to hear them,” he said.

He urged anyone who had recordings of these leaders to contact MOAD or the National Film and Sound Archive.







First posted

September 20, 2017 12:04:10

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Referndum Catalua 1-O: Diego Prez de los Cobos, un todoterreno experto en apagar fuegos

Diego P
Diego Prez de los Cobos (en primer trmino), a su salida de la reunin en la Fiscala de Barcelona.

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