A narcissist is a pathological liar who will lie about anything and everything for the sole purpose of gleefully watching you sift through the word garbage. He/she also lies even when the truth is a better story. This means that he’ll lie about which super market he shopped at, where he stopped for gas, the hours he worked and what days he has off. He’ll lie about his past, his future, his family, and his exes. He’ll lie about his intentions towards everything – big or small – and he’ll tell you he loves you when he loves nothing at all.
The narcissist lies by making things up and also by leaving things out – and he/she does it all in amazing detail. Some believe the N lies because he actually believes the lie but I disagree. I think that a narcissist lies (all the time) because it’s an easy way to devastate the recipient and because lying allows the narcissist/sociopath to recreate himself at will (and on a whim), thus creating an environment where he can always be giving himself props for getting away with something. To a narcissist, lying – just like the faking of emotions – is means to an end. He’ll lie so much about so many things that your head will spin. You become so fucking tired from sifting through his word-garbage for a speck of truth that you opt for the lesser of two evils – believing the lie. Sure, it’s the easy way out and exactly what the narcissistic partner wants but the alternative is even worse.
I was thinking about my ex today and about all of the incredible lies he told me. I remember how, as the years passed, I could see this particular talent of his blossoming right before my very eyes. For example, to practice the art of pathological lying (I assume), he would tell at least one lie every day while, at the same time, deliberately leaving evidence of the truth – such as a store receipt – in plain view where I could find it. How crazy is that? Whatever I would find would almost always contradict what he had told me. And, because I simply couldn’t help myself, I’d have to address it and the ensuing conversations would go something like this:
Me: Where did you say you bought that book?
W: What book?
Me: The book you bought yesterday…the one about making guitars.
W: I don’t know…why?
Me: I’m just asking a simple question, that’s all. I thought you said you bought it at Bookmans.
W: Then that’s where I bought I it. What are you getting at?
Me: The receipt says Barnes & Nobles.
W: So? What’s the big deal? What are you accusing me of now?
Me: Well, it isn’t a big deal and I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m just curious why you made a point of saying Bookman’s when obviously you were at Barnes & Nobles.
W: Jesus Christ! What’s the fucking difference? Why does it matter?
Me: It doesn’t matter! I just don’t get why you would deliberately lie about something so stupid?
W: Oh please…I’m so sick of this…What are you doing? Snooping around my receipts now?
Me: I wasn’t snooping, Wayne, it was right here on the counter.
W: Then obviously I wasn’t trying to hide anything! Could we get past this please?
Word garbage! Sure, we’re talking little lies here but a narcissist’s little lies are many – and they’re all intentional. When we feed into this nonsense, what are we really hoping to find? The truth? We already know what the truth is yet we become hellbent on hearing it from him (as if, by some miracle, that would ever happen). If we really wanted the truth, we need not look any further than the lie itself and therein lies all the justification we need for walking away. No human being on the planet should have to deal with all the lies that we deal with in just this one relationship! Why the hell do we put up with that? Why the hell do you put up with that? And how the hell does he keep getting away with it?
Long ago, based on my own experiences, I determined that the act of pathologically lying is nothing short of a deliberate narcissistic/sociopathic strategy for getting away with all the crap that a narcissist needs to get away with day to day. It isn’t a symptom of his disorder – it’s downright intentional! To tell a white lie here and there and only when absolutely necessary would do a narcissist no good because he is always up to no good and, therefore, it’s necessary to lie all the time. In a narcissist’s mind, the decision to lie as much as possible – if not all the time – is a no-brainer because it eliminates the possibility of him having to think too hard about lying specifically. He must create plausible denial every day, all day, and by honing his skills as a pathological liar, all bases are clearly covered. And although he may be slightly concerned about getting caught, he’s only concerned about the inconvenience it may cause for those first five or ten minutes just prior to him having to initiate a silent treatment and disappear into thin air. The fact that his/her lies have the potential to – and often do – cause great pain and suffering for the people around him (and particularly, his partner) doesn’t even enter into the equation.
So, the joke often told on narcissist recovery sites “How do you know a narcissist is lying? Because his mouth his open!” is about as true of a statement as anyone can make about a narcissistic partner. Everything he does, everything he says, all those ludicrous narcissistic behaviors that we ignore…all of that is based on the premise that he is, by choice, a pathological liar. Consequently, we can, if we so choose, spin ourselves silly trying to unscramble the narcissist’s mixed messages but it won’t give us anything better than what we’ve already got. In other words, it will never get better than the bad that we have already have!
When our partner is a narcissist, we are constantly trying to figure out why and there’s no need. We know the answer. By being a narcissist’s enabler…by choosing to question his nonsense and then BELIEVE IT, we become a quasi-participant in the trauma bonding and fairly responsible for setting up the cognitive dissonance and uncertainty that will surely come later. We undermine our own intelligence! Just because we don’t like the truth doesn’t make it any less true! And that’s okay – we don’t have to like it. But, in order to be free, we do have to accept it as well as all the pain that comes with it. The good news is that, while the answer may be permanent, the pain that we feel is not. It will go away but not by avoiding it and only after we allow ourselves to feel it.
Be good to yourself, my friends, and don’t cut yourself short (God knows the narcissist does enough of that). Acceptance will save you hours of suffering time and, believe me, letting go of the narcissist will add years to your life. Stop sifting through the narcissist’s word garbage for specs of truth when his pathological lie is the only truth you need.