Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Lies

When dealing with a narcissist (or a person with borderline), we face one major problem, and this is the narcissist's attitude towards lying.

While the majority of people will have learned that not only that lying brings about devastation and destruction, it ultimately leads to total isolation and loneliness. This is, it hinders any sincere communication and hence the narcissist will find her/himself increasingly on the outside and excluded.

However, as much as the narcissist notices this isolation and reacts with increasing panic, it does not bring about a modification of the narcissist's coping strategy.

The attitude of the narcissist towards lying is very childish and simple: If the narcissist lies and gets away with it, (s)he interprets this as being clever and superior to others. In this sense, while common sense clearly sees lying as a social ill, the narcissist views lying as an excellent tool to obtain what (s)he wants and as a means to demonstrate how stupid others are.

A person now, who wishes to engage in real communication and shows openness will be viewed by the narcissist as an utter fool who deserves to be exploited. Willingness to communicate and to show openness will be seen be the narcissist as weakness and stupidity.

When dealing with a narcissist, extreme care must be taken and events need to be recorded. It also is important to communicate with others who have to deal with the narcissist in order to counter-act splitting. This is, the narcissist uses lies in order to set up people against each other. In general, this is quite simple: The narcissist tells a person A that person B doesn't like person A and the same the other way round. This then prevents A from talking to B and hence both parties can be manipulated through the narcissist's lies.

While a normal person will be embarrassed when found out lying, not so the narcissist. The narcissist will see this as a threat to her/his superiority and will straight away think of ways of how to overcome this threat and this is by forming new lies.

To say it in one sentence: For the narcissist lying is fun and a tool, and anybody who doesn't lie is a fool in the eyes of the narcissist. Trying to communicate with a narcissist is therefore pointless.

Dr. Ludger Hofmann-Engl


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