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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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There is a lady in my work who is very friendly and

Customer Question

There is a lady in my work who is very friendly and charismatic with everyone. She has told us that her parents got divorce when she was a baby and since then lives with her morher and stepfather, who she loves like her real father. She also told us that her real father is seved with the army in Iraq. Some weeks ago, she came to work and told us that her real farher was killed un Iraq by a bomb. Although, everyone in the work believed in her story, I did not. She looked like that her father death did not affect to her too much. She continued making jokes and behave like nothing have happened. After, a lot of research, I discovered that her real father has not be killed in Iraq; he was no killed because he never exists ! Also, I discovered that her parents never got divorced and still live with her. Her stepfather is really her real father ! I was even more amazing by discovery that she did not only lie about this but also about many other things about her personal life. For example, She also has told us that she got married with her 8 years boyfriend but in reality she is still single and never get married. The most worry thing about all this is that last week she brought to her office some pictures of her " real father in Iraq ' as a tribute for his death. I really don't know why she lie alot bout her family and brings fake pictures to her office. I have seen that she says more lies when is under pressure from the work and uses the lies to get out of the problems. She also looks like somebody who needs to much love and get frustated when somebody ignore her. I have also noted that even she is very friendly and have a big smile to everyone sometimes when she looks stressed and sad. it seems that all this is just a psychological mechanism that she uses to hide her real introvert self. Some demography and social facts about this woman is :she is 23 years old and is her father is 58 and mother 62. About her siblings, I am not sure but believe that she has not siblings. I would like to know these things from this case: 1) Why she lie ? 2) Does she has a mental or personality disorder ? 3) What are her motivations and needed ? 4) What is the best way to interact with her ? 5) What is the best way to make her feel more secure and could tell me why she lie ? 6) Why she is always smile but when she is alone looks sad. I am studying psychology and like to help people. I feel that this lady is agood person who needs help. I would like to make her friend in order to help with her problems and would be very happy if somebody could help me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 5 years ago.
You are insightful, concerned, and kind, these are great qualities for someone who wants to work in the helping field.
She certainly does crave attention doesn't she.
As to possible diagnoses.
Histrionic Personality Disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Here is a link to some good information on the topic.
If you confront her about her lying she will likely lie some more. You will have a very small chance of getting her to admit her behavior because she relies on it very heavily to get through her world socially. When you get the to the point that you feel you have a good relationship with her you can ask her very indirectly to be more straight with you. You can say something like, "I won't tell the others but I want you to try to tell me the truth so we can have a more honest relationship, I like you just the way you are." Don't' force her to admit her lies but don't pretend like you believe them either.
This kind of behavior is very, very difficult to change it is very addictive, don't be naive and think she is going to tell you the truth, but do expect it of her, as this is a service to her.
This is such a sad thing to see. Isn't it.
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. I only have two more question.
1) What is the best way to approach and make friendship with this kind of people. Do they could have intimate relations.
2) I have also noted that each time I try to make a small talk with her she ignores me but when I ignore her for some hours she start to look for me to talk with me. Why she does this ? Do persons with these personality disorders do the same with everyone or only with certain people who are close to her.
Thank you.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 5 years ago.
If she lets you get close it will take a long time. She wants to be seen and validated but she doesn't know how to be emotionally close to another person. She will likely find emotional intimacy to be very threatening and uncomfortable. She may show traits of Borderline Personality Disorder if you start to make progress with making a deeper connection.
Most people will just find her entertaining, may be charming, and that suites her just fine. With these people her relationship will be what you have witnessed (shallow, dishonest, fun seeking). Interesting how she comes for attention if you ignore her.
You have to go very, very slowly as if you were befriending and taming a wild animal. Be careful wild animals bite at times, often when you least expect it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much for your answers. It was of great help ! I only have a last question to ask you. Sorry to ask you some many questions but I believe this is rhe most important of all of them. Does she have a cure ? or she will always live with this fear to have intimate relations ? What would be the best therapy for her ?
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 5 years ago.
It is unlikely she will ever get honest enough with her self or anyone else to change her approach to life and relationships. She will need to get to the point of wanting to change before therapy will have any effect. Any kind of therapy that gets to the root of the behavior and seeks to correct it there will be most helpful. The most important ingredient in the therapy will be the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client. If the therapist can model an open, honest, and consistent relationship, and confront the client on her behavior with out punishment and judgment but with accountability, the client will be best able to learn and try new interpersonal behaviors.
A psycho-dynamic approach would be helpful.
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you !
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 5 years ago.
You are welcome.