Why do people EMBELLISH stories?

One of my guy friends tells stories that are hard to believe. Now come on, no one ever took a shotgun out and blasted a hole in their own wall just to scare you out of their house---for fun. That is extremely hard to believe. His many stories border on imagination and fantasy. I often ask, "are you serious?"

The other person in my life that tells similar stories that involve beating up police officers, cussing out super stars (to his dreamt up credit: Will Smith, Lou Rawls, and The Isley Brothers have all been cussed out) and being poisoned by hospital staff is my uncle who has spent some time in a mental hospital when he was younger.

Does that possibly mean that my guy friend has an overactive imagination, is trying to be impressive, or is in prestages for insanity?

Feedback please!

Have any of you dated or been friends with someone that you found out later had a mental illness?

The sad thing is my uncle is married for the first time in his 50's. The woman he married had no idea he was so mentally ill (I can't see how though). She is stuck with him for now. How sad.

Not to say that people with mental illnesses are throwaways, but it takes a SPECIAL PERSON to be able to handle the highs and lows.

Comments

  • Riot CrrlRiot Crrl Posts: 3,135Registered Users
    I think that he is trying to impress and entertain you. As well-intentioned as this may be, it's still a little underhanded and manipulative.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    osocristie wrote: »
    One of my guy friends tells stories that are hard to believe. Now come on, no one ever took a shotgun out and blasted a hole in their own wall just to scare you out of their house---for fun. That is extremely hard to believe. His many stories border on imagination and fantasy. I often ask, "are you serious?"

    The other person in my life that tells similar stories that involve beating up police officers, cussing out super stars (to his dreamt up credit: Will Smith, Lou Rawls, and The Isley Brothers have all been cussed out) and being poisoned by hospital staff is my uncle who has spent some time in a mental hospital when he was younger.

    Does that possibly mean that my guy friend has an overactive imagination, is trying to be impressive, or is in prestages for insanity?

    Feedback please!

    Have any of you dated or been friends with someone that you found out later had a mental illness?

    The sad thing is my uncle is married for the first time in his 50's. The woman he married had no idea he was so mentally ill (I can't see how though). She is stuck with him for now. How sad.

    Not to say that people with mental illnesses are throwaways, but it takes a SPECIAL PERSON to be able to handle the highs and lows.


    You have quite a colorful cast of friends. The only person in my life who told outrageous stories was my ex-husband. He's a pathological liar, and it created a lot of drama and heartache in my life, and I'm glad to be rid of him. These days, I stay away from blow-hard liars. I can't abide them.
  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Novice
    Oh my God, I know that guy!!!

    :)

    No, seriously, I have a coworker who told a group of coworkers that he went to the dog track last weekend. People were "acting up" so he had to take out his gun and start shooting into the air. He got arrested.

    Interestingly enough, he was at work to tell the story. It's so untrue, it's crazy!
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,904Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    I LOVE people like that!!!

    Seriously, especially if you work with them, it can make the day so much more interesting :lol:
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • 'moptop''moptop' Posts: 438Registered Users
    How do you *know* the people are lying? Maybe there is more truth than you are willing to accept. Putting a hole in the wall of a home by fist, throwing heavy objects, or gunshot is not as far fetched as you seem to think. Neither is a hospital poisoning or harming people whether intentionally or accidentally. Have you never cursed anyone out? Or is the unbelievable part that he met stars...because some people met/knew people before they were mega stars or when they were just starting out while others don't care who you think you are, if you deserve a tongue lashing it is what you will get.

    I was expecting you to have stories of someone claiming he amputated his left arm to free himself from the jaws of a Siberian tiger (despite you looking at him wildly flailing both arms as he told the story) or a story of landing in Tuzla with your daughter and favorite comedian under attack of heavy sniper fire and running safely to your limo with your heads down (while you were rightfully wondering what the heck kind of snipers can't even hit one of the three targets unless they were shooting with waterguns).
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    "My favorite president is President Obama." ---six year old quoted by the Washington Post during a president Bush YMCA visit
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,904Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    Munchy wrote: »
    No, seriously, I have a coworker who told a group of coworkers that he went to the dog track last weekend. People were "acting up" so he had to take out his gun and start shooting into the air. He got arrested.

    LOL
    Thats awesome :toothy7:
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • YolyCYolyC Posts: 3,758Registered Users
    I had a friend like this. It got to the point that everything she said I always wondered if it was a lie or the truth. Eventually she lied about things that involved me an my life. That's why I wrote I had a friend. If I want storytelling I'll watch General Hospital.


    Also, a guy who works next door. Every single Monday he comes up with a wild weekend story about how he got drunk, had a fight, got thrown in jail. Him, I don't know whether to believe or not. He comes into work looking hung over and smelling like he spent the night with a vodka bottle every day, so I'm not sure.
    Location: Chicago

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
    Malcolm X
  • shellynotshellynot Posts: 1,140Registered Users
    i know a couple people like this who are close to me. One of them not only embellishes stories but flat out makes things up.

    Speaking of embellishing stories, Hillary Clinton, anyone??

    ETA: i don't want to stir up conflict, i just think its funny. No harsh feelings!
    2c/3a
    curl blog
    curl album


    "Your head is like a crown on you.
    It is as beautiful as Mount Carmel.
    Your hair is as smooth as purple silk.
    I am captured by your flowing curls."
    Song of Solomon 7:5 (NIRV)

  • curlylew66curlylew66 Posts: 1,685Registered Users
    Munchy wrote: »
    Oh my God, I know that guy!!!

    :)

    No, seriously, I have a coworker who told a group of coworkers that he went to the dog track last weekend. People were "acting up" so he had to take out his gun and start shooting into the air. He got arrested.

    Interestingly enough, he was at work to tell the story. It's so untrue, it's crazy!

    Tell him bullets eventually have to come back down. And they come back down with just as much force.
    He is lucky no one was killed. Oh wait...no one was hurt or killed because it really didn't happen!!
    Anyway, tell the "big shooter" to not shoot bullets up in the air anymore even tho we know he hasn't! It is dangerous!!
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Have you never cursed anyone out?

    Um, no. I think most reasonable people can get through life without cursing people out.

    I have had two friends who just lie. They can be fun, they can even be dependable in their way, but they lie. Their stories don't hold up, contradict other stories, and just plane don't make sense. Eventually it just got insulting and the friendshipes died off. I'm still friendly when we run into each other, but I can not be friends with someone who expects me to belive the reason she doesn't have her half of the rent is because she was held hostage by the Weinermobile and couldn't get to the ATM.

    Now my mom exaggerates in the classic southern tradition. She just likes to tell a good story.
  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    Oh my...this is my sister to some degree. I remember when she joined the Air Force, she described some kind of base training exercise where she had to hop into a bus and drive it (even though she was not licensed for one!). I have been in the military (she told the story long before I joined) and looking back, I know there is no reason for someone to hop into a bus and go, especially if it's just a training exercise. That is just asking for an accident.

    I know there are a bunch of others. Just lies for no good reason except to make her more interesting and to make her life seem more exciting (I'm guessing). She's always been this way, though her credibility is improving as she gets older.

    I also had a high school history teacher who told some tall tales. One was about enormous human sized rabbits on the Farallon Islands (I went to high school in the Bay Area and you can see the islands from certain parts of the coast). his explanation was that the radioactive material dumped off the coast of the islands (true) mutated the rabbits (?). I think he wove fiction into his history lessons to keep our attention.

    Overall, it's harmless to tell stories, but altering the truth really does a job on one's credibility.
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    Munchy wrote: »
    Oh my God, I know that guy!!!

    :)

    No, seriously, I have a coworker who told a group of coworkers that he went to the dog track last weekend. People were "acting up" so he had to take out his gun and start shooting into the air. He got arrested.

    Interestingly enough, he was at work to tell the story. It's so untrue, it's crazy!

    :laughing7:

    I just choked on my tea.
    3c/4a
  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Novice
    I know - this dude is hilarious. I don't work directly with him, so I don't get to hear the stories often. If I did I would share them all the time.
  • JayneeJaynee Posts: 2,039Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    This just reminded me of this bit Dane Cook does...so funny!
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=NVcyPPAwoGA&feature=related

  • Brooke789Brooke789 Posts: 415Registered Users
    I used to work with someone like this...not really just embellishing stories though...basically everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. It was not pleasant because you totally had to act like it was true/really happened. I can't think of any good examples (luckily I left there about 2 years ago) but everything was just unbelievable.

    On another note-- my sister kind of embellishes stories. She will be telling a story about something that really happened to her, but she'll make it more extreme/entertaining/serious than it really was.
  • susancnwsusancnw Posts: 1,374Registered Users Curl Novice
    shellynot wrote: »
    Speaking of embellishing stories, Hillary Clinton, anyone??

    Heehee.

    Well, embellishing stories is okay when you are little, but as an adult..depends. If they are actually 'storytelling', then it is okay to an extent. I come from a family of storytellers on both sides (it's that Southern/Texas thing) and there are some TALL tales - esp when the kids are listening in. My oldest son's recent story of his first two Airborne jumps were hilarious. I pulled the car over and literally laughed til I cried (and of course, no tissues in the car!). I know there was a certain amount of embellishment in there...but it just added to the hilarity...and yes, he landed safely all 5 times and graduated on 3/28. I have heard most of Chris' stories and some of his newer friends find them hard to believe -- I was there and they are true --some of them unbelievably stupid, but he was a teenage male so...and some of the stories passed on from the relatives - my husband's great, great, great uncle could have been the original Klinger--he spent last part of the Civil War on the banks of Onion Creek outside Austin dressed as a woman so he didn't have to go....yes, true story, documented.

    Other folks are almost impossibly insecure and cannot believe you would be interested in his stories UNLESS they are outrageous and embellished. And if you get a group of storytellers together...just grab a cold drink of your choice, sit back and listen. You are in for a treat.
    My son wears combat boots (and a parachute). So does my son-in-law.
    The older I get, the less patience I have with cleverness. Thomas Sowell.
    Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Benjamin Franklin.
    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain.

    s-event.png

  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    i have a friend who embellishes every story. i used to think that her life was just super funny and amazing until i realized she just exaggerates everything and sometimes just flat out lies.

    but i must admit i like when she talks about something that i was present for/involved in. its interesting to see how it evolves into this larger than life story.

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