Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a psychological condition that causes someone to engage in attention-seeking behavior. Some aspects of this condition may cause a person to lie to manipulate others.

It is possible that those with HPD may lie more than those without this condition, as they may feel the need to manipulate others to attract their attention. There is no research indicating how frequently those with HPD lie compared with those in the general population. However, anecdotal evidence suggests people with HPD may lie or exaggerate the truth.

This article will closely examine HPD and its connection to lying and how to deal with lying and manipulation.

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There are several traits relating to HPD that may cause a person to lie, exaggerate the truth, or manipulate, such as:

  • Feeling uncomfortable when not the center of attention: Those with HPD feel a need to be the center of attention and, therefore, may use lying or exaggeration as a way to attract attention to themselves.
  • Shallow or frequently shifting emotions: This means that people with HPD may exhibit emotions that seem insincere to others and change often depending on the situation.
  • Exaggerating emotions: Someone with HPD may exhibit emotions in an overly dramatic or exaggerated way to attract attention from others.

Manipulative tendencies are common for people with HPD, as they may feel a need to gain attention from those around them or use their emotions to control those around them. They may make up either positive or negative emotions or stories to get this attention.

What is histrionic personality disorder?

Personality disorders are psychological conditions that affect the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. These conditions cause someone to behave outside of cultural expectations in ways that may cause distress and problems with functioning and maintaining relationships.

HPD is a cluster B personality disorder. Cluster B personality disorders cause a person to have difficulty regulating their emotions and maintaining personal relationships. Researchers are not sure what causes HPD, but it likely has links to factors such as trauma in early childhood and certain parenting styles.

Other histrionic traits include:

  • frequent flirtatious or seductive behaviour
  • using appearance or clothing to attract attention
  • exaggerated or overly dramatic emotions
  • being easily influenced by others
  • thinking relationships with others are closer than they really are
  • engaging in manipulative behaviors
  • engaging in impulsive behavior

Learn more about HPD.

Pathological lying describes somebody who persistently and compulsively tells lies to the point that it damages their personal and professional lives and relationships. Pathological lying can cause distress and harm to both the pathological liar and those around them and persists longer than 6 months. A person can not receive a diagnosis as a pathological liar, but a doctor may recognize pathological lying as part of a personality disorder.

According to research from 2020, pathological lying has a prevalence of around 8–13%. A person may lie pathologically to bring attention to themselves or to otherwise benefit from the lies they tell.

Maintaining any kind of relationship with someone who engages in lying and manipulative behavior can be difficult. This behavior can damage relationships and affect a person’s well-being.

It is important to remember that the individual telling lies or engaging in manipulative behavior may not be in control of their actions or may be acting due to their own distress. Avoiding judgment and blame while setting and maintaining strong boundaries may help a person protect themselves and their relationship.

Certain methods may help someone deal with lying and manipulation, such as:

  • not engaging with them or seeming uninterested
  • having strong boundaries and saying “no”
  • understanding they are responsible for their own feelings and behaviors
  • helping them identify their reasons for lying and manipulating
  • helping them find support from a doctor or therapist

Support for friends and family of those with personality disorders can help people maintain their own well-being and their relationship with someone with a personality disorder. Learning more about their condition can help with maintaining a healthy relationship in which all parties feel safe and comfortable.

Therapy may be a helpful tool for those living with others who have personality disorders to express their feelings and experiences and receive support. A person may use other tools, such as support groups and online resources, to find support.

HPD is a personality disorder that causes someone to exhibit exaggerated emotions and engage in extreme attention-seeking behavior. Part of this behavior may involve lying and manipulation to gain the attention of those around them.

Pathological lying is not a diagnosable condition but may occur when someone has a personality disorder.