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How to Deal with a Lying Co-Worker

Do you work with someone who lies about everything, from what he had for breakfast to how late he worked last night? The truth will out—if you follow our plan.


  • Step 1: Evaluate the lies Consider the nature of the lies. Are they fairly harmless (he claims he dates supermodels) or are they destructive (he blames you for his mistakes)?
  • TIP: If you suspect someone is lying to you, keep asking questions. The more he explains, the more likely he'll trip himself up.
  • Step 2: Keep a paper trail Start keeping a paper trail. Get him to send instructions in email, so he can't claim he told you to do something when he didn't.
  • Step 3: Confront the liar The next time you catch him in a lie, confront him—calmly and privately, but specifically. If he knows you're on to him, he may think twice about doing it again.
  • TIP: Watch his body language. Liars fidget, touch their faces and mouths, look down while talking, and blink less.
  • Step 4: Talk to your supervisor He's still lying? Go to your supervisor with proof of his deeds.
  • Step 5: Go to human resources If the supervisor doesn't intervene, and his lying is harming your performance and the company, go to Human Resources with your concern.
  • FACT: In 1998, reporter Stephen Glass was fired by The New Republic for fabricating quotes, events, and sources. It was later determined that more than half of his stories contained fabrications.

You Will Need

  • A lying coworker
  • A paper trail
  • And a backbone

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