“A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.”
― Daniel Wallace, The Kings and Queens of Roam
I have an intolerance for Liars, especially having worked with/for one for years (otherwise known as The Rat).
So I like to think I have a pretty good nose for such people. But, sometimes, I think I have blinders on, too.
You see, there’s a quite a lot of my Mom in me, the gal who wants to take people at their word, believe that most harbor good intentions, and think things will work out as they should.
So it took me a little by surprise when someone I’ve been interacting with turned out to be a Rat.
A big juicy one.
A sneaky, smarmy twitchy one.
A dirty, dank deceitful one.
I don’t interact with this person every day or even every month, but events find us at the same meetings from time to time.
It happened just the other day, I’d arrived to a meeting, grabbed my notepad and chatted with others near me.
Not long after, I caught him in a lie. Not just a “white lie,” but a big, twisty, “If I lie enough times it will eventually be true” kind of lie.
And I knew it. And he knew I knew it.
And the stance he took could only be interpreted as this, “What are you going to do about it?”
Prickles ran up my back when I realized he thought I’d just sit there, with a room of witnesses, and “pretend” that I didn’t know what I knew.
So here’s what I did: I asked him a question. A pointed and strategic question. The kind of question that you only can answer if you’re not a liar. He blustered. He fumbled. He turned red. He turned on me. He changed the subject. All the while I looked at him and eventually, I smiled. And he was caught. I wonder if he’d been so used to lying that he thought no one would ever call him on his b.s.? At the break a couple people commented on the exchange, and said they were surprised he was so “prickly” about my simple question (there’s that word again) and that I’d stayed calm as he came unhinged.
My response? “I’m the youngest of 5 kids, 2 of which were brothers, plus a host of cousins. You can’t know how many places I’ve been locked into. I can hold my own, don’t worry about me.”
I didn’t slander him, I didn’t smear him, but he knows that I know and I think sometimes that is enough.
He’s not likely to change his ways and I don’t care if he does.
But he knows that I know.
* * *
How about you? Do you know people who lie so much they might-as-well be a rug? Do tell!