Throughout high school and into college, it would have been entirely accurate to describe me as a pathological liar. Lies were my truth. I had fabricated a reality and told lie upon lie upon lie to to manipulate those around me and make myself appear a certain way. I was kind of like a less-murderous version of Lelouche, but instead of geass, I used my believability to deceive friends and acquaintances into accepting things about me that were untrue. They mostly believed me, I think, and I even sometimes believed the falsehoods myself.
I came out of this phase of my life—no surprise here—after I started really trying to live out my identity in Christ. But though long ago now, the years I spent in the above state left an interesting mark: because I was a liar (and am naturally a good judge of character), I’ve become adept at weeding them out. And so it took me no time at all to determine that an Instagrammer, who was trying to use our account to get followers for herself, was lying, lying, lying.
Rosie messaged me excited to engage in conversation with Holly (the co-administrator of our account) and myself—no problem there, as I invite people to get to know us, even if they’re really just trying to get me to promo them. I appreciated that she was crafting unique content for her Instagram, and she was really working it to try to forge a relationship with our blog, so I followed her back. But then, she did something strange. During our conversations, she told me she was Korean. That struck me as odd (she didn’t look or talk like any Korean I’ve ever known), but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Soon, we started chatting about Korean food—she didn’t know much about that topic, though she claimed to—and I began typing to her in Korean, and she couldn’t interpret it, even though my language skills are very elementary-level. I tried to give her an out, but she again asserted that she was Korean.
And that was it. I had enough. Any grace that was in me was replaced instead by rage. How dare this girl waste my time? How dare she try to manipulate me? How dumb does she think I am?
I was super upset. I only have so much time to use to engage people, to get to know them, to build relationships—I didn’t have time to squander on someone who was using me to advance her weird Korean narrative.
So what did I do? I unfollowed her of course. And I barely responded to her messages afterwards. That’s the obvious thing to do to someone who’s a pathological liar…who absolutely wastes people’s time…who takes others good intentions and tries to manipulate them…like I did…when I was her age…before I changed…by being forgiven for my wrongs…to later become far more than I was.
The thing is, though I believe in the idea that we all achieve some level of equality by all being undeserving, the connection between that belief and real life circumstances doesn’t always make it across in my brain. Even when it does, sometimes, I’m unwilling to live by that conviction. I’d rather stick my chest out and come down hard on others with judgment, prideful advice, and even vengeance.
I’m not sure right now if I’ll follow Rosie’s account again and try to reach out to her, committing to the hard work of separating lies from fiction. I won’t for now, at least. But most unusually, I can say that I’m glad Rosie lied to me, for how else would I remember how habitual of a liar I once was, and by what other means would my conceit have spilled out? And for that, I’m grateful, and realize that maybe my time wasn’t wasted after all.
9 thoughts on “Social Media Stink: A Liar Can Smell a Liar”
I never would have expected such a past out of you! I can relate a bit on the lying front; while I didn’t do so regularly to people, I did have a habit of doing so to the people closest to me like parents and friends when I was embarrassed and wanted to look better in their eyes. I was less inclined to lie to strangers. It reminds me in a way of how it’s sometimes easier to be mean to those dear to you because you trust them—they’ll forgive you, of course. Like you, I learned later in life to stop lying, especially to the people I love.
Regarding Rosie, I think it’s fine that you unfollowed her. Even if she reminds you of yourself at her age, she still needs to learn the consequences of her actions. It’s not like you’re attacking her; you’re choosing a better use of your time and energy. Hopefully as she sees the results, she’ll improve.
I’m glad you shared your example, Marina, because there’s that side of it, too. It’s almost an automatic thing in those cases, actions we do without really considering them. We just want to look our best to the people that matter most.
And thank you for your encouragement about Rosie. I’m inclined to agree with you haha.
I didn’t know you were such a liar! I mean….you used to be haha. Kidding. But yeah, I was a big liar as well until like you, followed Christ and gave that up. His ways changed my own, thank God.
With Rosie, to me that would have been funny to see someone try to “pretend” they are another culture. As a Cuban, maybe I would have enjoyed a little too much seeing someone try to pretend they are one. Though, not sure why someone would WANT to pretend to be another culture….but yeah, interesting situation you had there. I think if someone tried to speak to me in another language I don’t know (Korean), that would have been the last straw and I say “ok, sorry, I’m not (insert race), I apologize. I’m just trying to be cool”
I had to really try to set aside the whole “gotcha” mentality, as in embarrassing her completely by catching her in her life and making her aware of it. However, being gracious in this case made me more angry haha, since she kept lying to me. Revelation (or not so much): I need to work on my pride.
We all do my friend….myself as well. I have my own moments of ego or pride for various reasons. 🙁
Would you interact with her if she was trying to cut the lying out?
Then you’re not a hypocrite.
Thank you for the kind words. 🙂
Luminas again. XD ….oh lord isn’t this awkward. See, I have a best friend who is *technically* Korean, as in from South Korea (Busan to be precise), but she doesn’t know a word of Korean nor anything about Korea (besides special interest knowledge). Why? Because she was adopted by two very white people. 😛 She talks, like, *absolutely nothing* like someone from Korea, and is obsessed with Classical music and European nobles. If there was a contest for Worst Korean Ever, we agree she’d win it. But that wouldn’t make her a liar by saying she was born in Korea. That said, she’d admit to that, so definitely not the same person.
As to the pathological liar front…I guess we kind of share that feature. <__< As pointed out in my other post today, the lies I told were so distant from Reality that they couldn't really be interpreted as lies to begin with, but I told them nonetheless. I don't know that I regret telling them the way you do. They kept me alive, and (apparently) kept someone I care deeply about from the brink of deep depression. I also don't think I truly can spot a liar any easier than before. XD
Also…it's cool that you learned how unproductive and complicated maintaining a lie can get, and that you're so effortlessly capable of self-reflection. As for the little white girl, Rosie (probably) scared and hunting for acceptance…I understand what it was to feel like that. To hunger for an identity to fill the void of your confusion. That said, there's better things you can do than lie to someone, to fish for attention, and you were right to cut it off.
Thanks for the feedback. I certainly hope that I can learn to have compassion for someone like Rosie, and that it’s something that grows from inside of me and isn’t dependent on having “been there” or on some deep introspection (which I don’t do often—I don’t deserve that kind of credit, haha). This is the goal!
And I definitely understand your friend. I’m probably not a whole lot different from her? I may actually win Worst Korean Ever, because I was raised by a Korean mom and STILL don’t speak it well, or have a particularly interest in the culture. -_-‘
My assessment of Rosie, partially, was based on her trying to accept, also, that she has Korean ancestry. :/