Health
Mental Health
Narcissism
Psychology

Are all Narcissists pathological liars?

Answer

Wiki User
09/22/2013

Pathological lying is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist. They lie out of their need to manipulate and control. They must lie in order to create their false "reality" about themselves that they project out to the world. They lie to bolster their grandiosity and inflate their accomplishments. Lying is the most common complaint of people who have a narcissist in their life. Following are some comments from contributors:

Opinion

Lying compulsively is not a disease or even an abnormality, which are the definitions of pathological in the dictionary. Lying is a habit of behaviour. If this habit has been advantageous in the past it will be repeated. After being repeated many times it will become the standard and default response. This is why it is attractive and charming people become narcissistic. Other people are usually less successful with lies as children and so never form the habit. Habits can be changed, lying is not addictive such as smoking and so to say that this behaviour can't change is the wrong conclusion. That said it will usually take some real understanding to bring a person with NPD to a place of trust in their family to be able to drop the lies and see that other behaviour is more rewarding. Accountability is the key, but failure to meet obligations should been dealt with justly. Threatening to abandon and isolate a person because they have simply never been taught how to meet these standards is unjust. A child who has never been taught with patience to tell the truth will remain a liar until someone who the narcissist looks up to and respects takes on this duty. Kim Cooper author of "Back from the Looking Glass" Living with the personality disorder that causes abuse

Opinion

Yes. They promise you the world then once they see your hopes up they tear the rug out from under. And if that isnt bad enough then they proceed to deny what they did and/or said and make you feel like the crazy one. The narcissist invents and then projects to others a FALSE Self. So, his entire existence is founded on an all-pervasive lie. The narcissist does his damnedest to avoid intimacy. He constantly lies about every aspect of his life: his self, his history, his vocations and avocations, and his emotions. This false data guarantee his informative lead, or "advantage" in a relationship. It yields an active state of disintimisation. It casts a pall of cover up, separateness, asymmetry and mystery over the narcissist's relationships. The narcissist lies even in therapy.

He obscures the truth by using "psycho-babble", or a professional lingo. It makes him feel that he "belongs", that he is a "Renaissance man". By demonstrating his control of several professional jargons he almost proves (to himself) that he is superhuman. In therapy, this has the effect of "objectifying" and emotionally detachment.

Opinion

Certainly. I have been in a relationship with a narcissist for 3 years. My poor soul will lie when proof is in front of his face.

Opinion

I think the N's perception of a lie is different from ours. A lie is not "bad" to a narcissist because it gets him what he wants.

Opinion

I have just ended a 5 year relationship with a narcissist and I can say this one was pathological. It is the most incredible phenomenon! For the first few years, I thought I was crazy or there was something wrong with my memory. He would re-write the very same event that we both experienced. It is my belief that he actually believed his lies, because that was the only way he could cope with life. He seemed genuinely convinced that his lies were the truth. It is mind boggling! I have changed all phone numbers and e-mail in an attempt to stay away from this man. I am in the process of moving. My advice to anyone involved with a narcissist, is to get out as fast as you can! It has been my experience that you cannot believe what this person tells you, even if they are crying and swearing to God. It is a very sad thing to watch ... but protect yourself!

Opinion

All the N's I have met are liars and masters at the art of deception. Just remember they always round numbers up or down to make themselves look good, or to make others look bad. They are the people at work, who say, "so-n-so is always late." Note the word "always". They don't keep accurate records and condem people without facts and evidence. Most people will make double sure before hurting someone's reputation or livelihood. Not narcissist. Usually, in Narcisstic language, "always" means "once." They actually think they can brainwash people. If they say the same thing over and over, they think you will eventually adopt it as truth. They rewrite history this way.

Opinion

My ex was so bad that he would look me in the eyes and tell me he loves me, and the next day I was gone. He did anything and everything to get what he wanted. Lying to me, about me, and he would come up with the most outrageous lies about me and people would believe these lies, why I don't know. He would be so incredibly arrogant while lying as well, as if he was the only one smart enough in his world to know he was lying and if he was caught in one he'd never admit it. I've noticed they live in a fantasy world of their own making and every lie that they tell only adds to it, and to them it's ok.

Opinion

I am in the unfortunate situation of being in love with as well as married to a narcissist. We have been married for less than a year and it has been a fairly incredible constant roller coaster of emtions, anger and confusion. I have battled with leaving but know that I do love this person and continue to pray that they will get the true help that they, themselves, have agreed to get. Others who see from a distance what is taking place are warning me to get out while I can and to heed safety measures when dealing with someone of this caliber. I am so confused because as any of you reading this will know... THEY ARE VERY convincing when they want to be. They tell you they love you and will do anything to keep you but then the very next day they are right back with their sick lies and unstable behavior. How can you ever trust or believe in this person?

Opinion

How can anyone who has a false front not lie? Will they lie to themselves and believe it? Yes, they are pathological liars. Thank you for this website. I was nearly destroyed by all the lies and the confusion. Lies add power to the narcissist...keeping you in the dark...to confused to run.

Opinion

Yes, blackmailing, back-stabbing, manipulating, deceiving and lying seem to be the core personlaity traits that I've noticed in my experience w/ a NPD individual. All become intertwined- for example they will cover up a lie w/ a maniupulation or manipulate to cover up a lie. To say they have the ethics of a roach would be a tremendous insult to all roaches.

Opinion

I have just come to terms with my daughter. She is now a complete Pathological Liar or has Antisocial Personality Disorder or is Narcissist. I can realize this and have to come to terms with it. I know all three titles are probably stages of the same. I think it is genetic and complusive and addictive.

Opinion

They are spin doctors. They live only in the present. Everything is about their image, and maintaining their image EACH MINUTE. They will make stuff up on the spot. The next day, they say the complete opposite. If everyone in the room is saying, "we like president Bush" the narcissist will take inventory and go with the majority of people. (the majority are the "winners" and they must side with the numbers/winners). The very next day, they could be in a room where most people like Hillary Clinton. Again, the narcissist will go with the status quo. It's hard to figure out where they really stand, and they don't seem to know. Their ethics are like this too. One day they have high morals, the next day they are rationalizing and going against one of their proclaimed rules. They picks what sounds best to suit their needs for the moment. Words, sentences, are just ornaments or jewelry, and they always pick out a different word-robe for the day. They also lie over the smallest detail that wasn't matter. They act like they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, make up lies, when all you did was ask them a question. They always act like they are on trial and are always in self defense mode (this makes them sound paranoid). If you ask, "I need a pen. Have you seen the pen?" A narcissist would reply "I didn't take it." It makes communicating with them somewhat of a strain. They seem to miss the point and always on the look out for personal attacks, then already lie to cover their arse when they don't even need to.

Opinion

My narcissist smirks when he lies. He knows he's been detected but he thinks he's real cute. This cuteness is to sugarcoat the lie. Mine is really quite serious so when I see that grin I know I've just heard a whopper.

Opinion

I was married to a narcissist for 23 years and will tell you that she lied constantly. In the beginning i thought she just like to embellish and excused it, but it never changed. As she got older, it got worse because she needed to lie to protect her image. We had met in college but she refused to admit that to anyone because she thought they could infer how old she was (like they even cared). She even lied to our children about how old she was and how we met. They saw right threw it, but if they challenged her, she went into a rage unlike any i have ever seen. I have been separated from her for 4 years, but because we have shared custody of the children, the damaging lies continue. By their nature, the narcissist's are unable to clearly look into themselves and therefore will never be able to heal. For the woman who is in love with one, my advice would be to get out while you can. I loved my wife for 23 years but it made no difference. I am very thankful that i am away from her daily torture and am glad that my children are only subjected to her manipulations half of the time.

Opinion

Yes narcissists are pathological liars. They will lie about everything, and do anything to keep their lies alive. I know a narcissist. She was and still is to this day my best friend. She has run away from everything that she believes is unpleasant in her current life and emerges somewhere else with a new life full of lies and half truths. She has many children most of which she has put up for adoption all over the west coast, with some kind of sob story about why she is doing what she is doing. She has two children who live with her parents on the east coast that she just up and left behind one day when she decided that she didn't want to be a 24 year old mother of two, but a 19 year old college student. She has a lot of self-hate, and in order to romantize herself and her background she makes up stories. She goes online and lies to meet men, despite the fact that she told me that she was married a few months ago. I don't know if she is telling me the truth or telling me things that she thinks I will envy or find fascinating. Eventhough she is intelligent and creative, she is so caught up in her fantasy world that I am afraid that one day she will snap and will no longer be able to tell the difference between the real world and the fantasy one that she has created

Opinion

I lied to my soon to be ex-wife, nothing near as bad as some of the things, some of you went through. But I did lie. I lied because i thought my wife was so much better than me, and i just wanted her to think I was good enought. I just couldn't beleive that someone would like me for me. And now I've lost her,and this I except. I understand (I think) how she feels, and I agree, that I made a massive unforgivable mistake. I guess what I want to say is don't blame yourself if you are a victim of someone liying to you. You may feel like it but you are NOT a physcho magnet. And you do deserve better. I lost the greatest thing in my life, my other half. Because I hate myself. I'm getting better, I hope. At least I have relized my mistakes, and I know I have a long road ahead of me before I can hope to called healthy. And it will be a long time before I will be able to trust myself to be in another realtionship. I can't do this to another person, I've hurt a truly beautiful soul, and I wish I could fix the damage i did to my wife, I wish I could just erase the memory of me from her mind.... But I can't this is her cross to carry, and I placed it on her shoulder.

Opinion

Do I Lie? In short yes. Nothing new after reading this webpage. Manipulating people..Yes...Crying out for attention...Yes...Making everything more melodramatic than it is..yes... Are people confused by my stories? Yes Do I like what I do? No Am i trying to do anything to stop it? Constantly Do people like me have low self esteem ? Yes Do I always premeditate the lie ? No Is it something that I can control ? No as it happens , with a life of its own.. it just springs from some inner reach until you cant stop. If someone is reading this they are sceptical of it...but that is how it seems to me What am i doint to stop it ? Seeing a therapist. IS it helping ? I dont know.... ( this bit is honest...) What is the biggest whopper that I have told.? I have been diagnosed by cancer and am undergoing treatment and its cured and how brave I was.... Is there a common pattern? Yes like everyone else on this website...always done to make myself look good ......better...than everyone..get the attention to me....manipulate things to suit me.... I could keep going more and more.... All I see is how bad I am ...I already know that...I need help. Is this thing that makes me do this curable....should I stop trying....and at least be happy for sometime...with the lies....I need to know that there is someone who used to do this and has been able to get out of donig this.. I wish I had something physical wrong with me as tha could be fixed.....but this ...all i see is people like me hurting others and everyone saying get out of a reltionship with a Liar...But is there a place that will help me become a decent person...or maybe I should just give up now.

Opinion

They are extremely talented in lying, however I should not say talented. This is not something to be proud of, what has happened is they have learned from early on that they can keep getting away with it and has made them feel "talented" in yet another aspect of their life (i.e. besides being beautiful, smart, etc.). Their lies are so convincing that you will never figure it out until you are at this stage of your research on narcissism - reading forums. Always remember one thing: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, you just happened to be a victim of a very uncommon and unforunately - in my opinion - a well researched disorder that needs to be far more publicized to the general public.

Opinion

Unfortunately for the N him/herself and others, yes, they are liars. To others and also to themselves. Even as a teenager I felt that my father was somehow 'living a lie', had such an inpenetrable facade to the outside world, a facade to protect himself from further emotional pain. I am 50 yrs old, in 2006, and when my mother died when I was 16 years old asked my father how she died. He replied that he didn't know. He has never ever mentioned her again. Not once - as if she'd never existed! A few years ago I asked him why he told me that he didn't know how/why my mother had died. He replied that he thought that "it was not important to you". He became so outraged and affronted when I tried to challenge him about this and while wildly flailing his arms with a deep red face and booming voice shouted "I never lie!" He feins ignorance about certain events, denies saying (critical/belittling) things to me or invents responses on the spot which are plainly false and expects me to believe him. However, he would never admit such things.

Opinion

My experience is that they lie without thought, morning noon and night. They lie for no reason and lie really really fast when under the gun, busted and about to be unveiled. Still.... they don't put much thought into the lies. When you start asking questions about the hasty cover lies.... they begin backpeddling and saying they never said that. You may even question whether you heard it or not. They formulate better lies then....and may recruit co workers or friends to swear for them. They may also spice them up with accusations that you are disrespectful and unappreciative. They've been feeding all their friends and family versions of you and themselves so don't be too shocked when people you go to for help, tell you that you and some made up idiot habit of yours is the "real problem." Continue to expect it when, in the face of facts.... they begin telling you how sorry N feels and you should consider giving the relationship another chance, at least for the children's sake.