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How Can You Tell if Someone Is Lying about Being Abused?

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From Germany: There’s this person I know and she says she gets abused at home (by her drunk father). Now, I don’t want to say she’s lying for sure — I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking you!

See, this person lies a lot of the time about a lot of things. She’s manipulative and will try and guilt-trip you into doing things for her (using arguments like “I did this thing (that you didn’t even ask me to do) for you, so you OWE me to do this for me now!”). She shows some pretty strong signs of narcissism (e.g. overestimating herself, caring about herself more than about others, thinking everyone loves her… stuff like that (and of course the lying (which draws attention to her) and manipulation (which makes people do things for her).

Now, she’s really lying about a lot of things and a real manipulator (I feel like I need to say this again, because she will try to manipulate you as much as she can and try to make you as dependent on her (and as in debt to her) as possible). So, this person tells everyone that her father abuses her, whenever he’s drunk — which he is every evening, when he comes home, according to her. But he can’t be, because he has really heavy work to do (he’s a roofer and works in a company — if he’d go there with a hangover they’d surely throw him out).

She also constantly contradicts herself in her statements about the abuse (e.g. saying he never hits her, he’s too careful to ever do that, but also saying she’s always afraid he’ll hit her. Saying he took her laptop away, but later on denying she ever said that; and then saying that a second time! Saying he’d never even touch her, but also saying, that she’s afraid he’ll give her a beating whenever he’s home drunk… You get the picture).
And she isn’t afraid of going home and gets really excited, when we get to go home earlier.

She likes to look like a victim (once, she got all of her friends angry at me (and pretty much made them hate me) by telling them lies about me, even though I didn’t do anything). And she loves getting attention (can’t stand when it’s off her). Do you think she sounds like someone who’s getting abused?

How Can You Tell if Someone Is Lying about Being Abused?

Answered by on -


I don’t know if she is getting abused or not. Just because someone is a chronic liar doesn’t mean that abuse can’t be happening. If you are concerned, confide in a teacher and let the adults sort it out.

Meanwhile, the question you should really be asking yourself is why you have anything to do with this person. She doesn’t sound like someone who can be a loyal friend. She has already told lies about you and alienated your friends from you once. She’ll probably do it again. I suggest you put some healthy distance between you. You don’t need to be unkind. You don’t need to have a conversation about her short-comings. (She would only get defensive and would probably tell others you victimized her!) Just get busy doing other things with other people who are interested in making a positive difference in the world.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Can You Tell if Someone Is Lying about Being Abused?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How Can You Tell if Someone Is Lying about Being Abused?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 27 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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