An Open Letter To The Compulsive Liar

Liar Liar (Collector's Edition)
Liar Liar (Collector’s Edition)

Dear Compulsive Liar,

We get it.

You need the attention.  You crave it.  You need to be needed.  You yearn for the admiration of others.

Maybe you can’t control it.  Perhaps, just perhaps, you don’t just do it out of enjoyment.  The stories you concoct are for anyone with ears.  They’re for anyone who is willing to listen.

Perhaps it was something that happened when you were younger.  Perhaps, you just weren’t given the attention you thought you deserved as a child.  Perhaps, the opposite is true.  Perhaps, just perhaps, you had so much that you took it all for granted – and felt invincible.

You put on a show.

You’re a magician.  You’re a master of your craft.  Your customers are temporary friends.  They buy tickets, and buy into a friendship that they believe is real.  Just as a naïve child goes to a magic show, they’re taken for a ride – in awe of the visual, and verbal display that is before them.

At first it is innocent.  You’re simply pulling a coin, or bouquet of flowers from a sleeve.  But, as the show progresses the audience gains wisdom to your ways. Perhaps it was an altering tone during one of your stories.  Perhaps it was a small hole in your story that didn’t quite add up. Then, they see it.  They watch the disappearing woman, flail her arm as she passes through the curtain.

And suddenly, the facade is lost.

As the show ends, and customers leave – they realize something very important. They now know you for what you are:

A fraud.

It’s too late, though.  Everyone knows the magician has their place in the world too. In your case, it’s far less glamorous.  As the show ends for you, your customers are potential friendships that you’ve squandered.  They’re potential love interests who could’ve seen you for more than what you currently are.

Right now.  Right here.  In this moment, you are nothing.  You serve as temporary entertainment, and temporary refuge for those who haven’t seen your act before.  You’ll travel from person to person – looking for someone to listen to your stories, and give you the attention you so desperately seek.

You’ll never be happy.  You’ll never find true happiness. The only thing you’ll find is continued desperation to sell your show, when you’ve squandered everything else in your life away.

That’s the difference between telling a lie, and living a lie.

At first, you’ll tell the lie for superficial gain.  But soon thereafter, the lie becomes lies – and you’re not just telling a lie, or telling a story.

You’re telling a story to preserve yourself.  To preserve something you took so for granted before.

So, for you compulsive liar – there is no hope.  There is no change.  There is nothing to cling to.  There’s nothing except the desperate belief that the world you’ve created in your mind is all you need.

It’s a lonely life, lying.

And I hope you don’t expect pity.  Pity isn’t wasted on those who squander even the most basic gifts of life, like friendship – and integrity.

Enjoy your life, where ever it may take you.


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