Monday, October 30, 2006

Narcissists are Pathological Liars

Narcissists will say ANYTHING. They tell the wildest lies conceivable. Unless you know a narcissist well, you will never be able to divine a conceivable motive for most of his lies. Narcissists lie gratuitously, about matters great and small. Their lies are an affront to your right to see what you see, hear what you hear, and know what you know. They won't hesitate to say that black is white or that square is round. They lie to you about facts they know you know. They lie to you about what you have said and done. Even if you said or did it only one second ago. They lie to you about what they have said and done in your presence.

A narcissist lives in a world that is a work of art, a product of his own imagination, a mere apparition. So, appearances are all that count. He wants the objects in his world to NOT contradict the illusions he creates. Since he wants to control your behavior, not your thinking, he thinks nothing of telling you lies that you could not possibly believe. Then he just throws a fit if you contradict them.

How does he get people to let his boldfaced lies pass? That's easy. Child's play. In early childhood he learned how to control people with temper tantrums.

Let's say, for example, that he has just, out of the blue, spoken to you abusively in a manner that treats you dirt. You tell hem not to talk to you like that. He will deny what he just said and the tone he said it in. Reflexively. You can count on it. Every single time.

Being amoral, his behavior is chosen solely on the basis of whether it gets him what he wants. At an early age, he learned that behaving like a cantankerous, irrational three-year-old works. So, he never gives it up. To win an argument, you must get down to its level. So, he brings it down to a level lower than you care to stoop. He knows you feel it's beneath you to engage in such childishness. Since he has no self respect, he is shameless, and behaving this way is not beneath him.

But, no matter how big a fit they throw if you don't, letting the narcissist's lies pass is a big mistake. It facilitates his delusions, and it gives him a power rush in thus cramming his insults to your intelligence down your throat. You are spoiling that brat and making a monster of him by doing this. Yet people make this mistake because of their GOOD qualities. They make it because they do not want to get down to his level and fight all the time.

I used to ponder whether the narcissists I knew believed their outrageous lies. But I eventually saw that it's a moot point. For one thing, people can willfully believe a known lie. For another thing, people can believe a thing one minute, believe it not the next, and believe it again the third. That's not true belief. That's a psychedelic trip.

Kathleen Krajco