“Never stop being a good person because of bad people.”
𝒷𝓎 Piper Rasmussen
The title of this article is inspired by a tweet I came across that reads: “I used to want to protect my name in situations, now I just want to protect my peace. I let whoever think WHATEVER.” So, I do. I let whoever think whatever. It will never make what they say true.
Whether someone close to you has subconsciously lied out of insecurity or fear, or someone spiteful has deliberately lied in an attempt to spread misinformation or harm you or those around you (think of the crazy blonde in the movie Obsessed), a lie is still a lie, and they usually all hurt. However, thanks to a recent experience I had (being involved in someone's very inflated and inaccurate narrative of past events), this article will deal with the latter. So, if you’ve ever encountered a pathological liar, this article is for you.
If you’ve been in a situation where someone has lied to you or about you in an attempt to cause harm, here are some things you can do to protect your peace, your well-being, and your mental health:
Words are just words and you are still you.
Words really are just words. Remember learning the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” as a kid? Well, it’s actually kind of true. Of course, lies of all kinds can be very harmful, but unlike a broken bone, we can choose not to allow them to affect us. Let others say whatever they want. You know yourself and those you love know you, too. You are still you; no one can change that.
The lies say more about the other person’s character than about yours.
If someone feels the need to make up stories, to lie about you, or to slander your name, it often means you’ve got something that they don’t. Whether it’s a wonderful job, a great family, lots of supportive friends, confidence, self-esteem, a loving partner, whatever it is, consider whether perhaps jealousy, anger, and bitterness are behind the person’s attacks towards you. That’s hardly a you-problem.
“Don’t take criticism from someone you’d never go to for advice.”
The kind of person who lies and spreads totally false information in an attempt to put others down (or make you look bad and themselves look better) is *not* the kind of person whose words or opinions you should concern yourself with. So… don’t! If they are trying to get a rise out of you, don’t give them the satisfaction. Let it go, continue on with your life, and let them squirm and be bitter.
Weigh the pros and cons, and protect yourself.
If the lie could be detrimental to your personal life or career, be sure to confide the truth in people you trust. Obtain all the correct documentation should you need to defend yourself in the future. Some people are truly relentless. In situations where letting it go is not an option and you feel that the best thing to do is to call out the liar, be sure to have all the evidence so that they don’t spin it on you. Liars, especially pathological ones, are often very good at this part. Be honest and direct, and try not to stoop to their level. “Never stop being a good person because of bad people.”
As mentioned, having just been involved in a situation where a person consistently and shamelessly fabricated untrue stories about me and others close to me for their own personal gain, it was challenging to not let the seemingly never-ending string of lies get to me. I mean, I often have trouble even just sitting through movies that involve he-said-she-said situations in which the truth gets lost among the other person’s falsehoods, so you can imagine how difficult it was having to live through it. I’m sure many of you might be reading this and nodding in agreement having too experienced the disrespect firsthand.
It’s exhausting. It’s infuriating. It’s outright unfair. It was (obviously) detrimental to my mental health, and I knew I couldn’t keep dwelling on it, because I would never be able to change this person’s mind.
So, I decided to refuse to give that person any more power. The thing is, I know what’s true, so it doesn’t matter what this person decides to say, think, or believe. I know myself, my actions, my beliefs, and my truths, and no one can take that away.
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