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You know this guy—the fellow who seems to be embedded in your life because he’s connected to your group of friends. Or he’s the member of your family that everyone tolerates because no one knows how to keep him away from family events. He can be very funny and charming at times and get along with people, but there’s one thing that people cannot stand about him: he’s a liar. We all know someone just like that.
Some of us think he’s been lying since he spoke his first words. Early on, the lies were probably innocent enough: embellishing a story, making it funnier, more dangerous, more intriguing. When he got “oohs” and “aahs” for those stories, he decided that he could get more attention by dressing up his stories even more: he’d make up stories whole-cloth. Or he’d lie to avoid looking bad or getting into trouble. By the time he reached his teen-age years, lying became natural for him. People rarely questioned his stories, either because they had no idea how easily he lied, or they were reluctant to challenge him, or they simply had given up on learning the truth. So they just went along. When people commiserated about his chronic lying, someone inevitably would say, “That’s just Joe.”