The Pathological Liar: Sifting Thru a Narcissist’s Word Garbage!

pathological-liar-narcissistA 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.

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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.

Narcissists and sociopaths live and breathe by a pathological relationship agenda from which they will never waiver – even if it takes years. And don’t you forget it.

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.

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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!

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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.



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  • Rainey

    December 1, 2015 at 3:19 am Reply

    I went through all the stages and didnt realize what was going on until a couple days after the discard. The last 6mos. Were complete hell. Im sure that hes always lied, but at the end, it was so obvious. He even admitted that he was lying to some degree. My question is, had he always lied that much, and I was blind to it, or do they really get worse towards the end?

    • Zari Ballard

      December 1, 2015 at 11:30 am Reply

      Hi Rainey,

      I would say it’s a little of both but our blindness is a huge part of it. Keep in mind that in a narcissist’s world, it’s all about what he can get away with…and a lie is the vehicle in which he does that. And they’re very good at what they do. So, yes, in the beginning we were just blind to it because we assume that this person that we’ve fallen in love with tells the truth. Later, when we “get” it, it seems like the lies start coming in a landslide but the truth is that they’ve always been there…we were just not seeing it. At the same time, towards the end, he’s usually trying to pull out all the stops, lying as fast as he can and as often as he can (to keep the control) because he knows we’re on to it.

      If you can, read my book When Love Is a Lie. It’s a cheap and easy download from Amazon and you’ll see yourself in my story. All of our lives are basically interchangeable – as are our boyfriends/husbands!

      Stay strong!

      Zari xo

  • Ln

    September 22, 2015 at 3:55 am Reply

    Hi zari! The way the narc distorts our version of reality with his lies is like voo doo. Its said that manipulation is the highest form of witchcraft. We don’t think of it in that mindset as often but I believe on a spiritual level its trickery, deception and all that encompasses evil intent.
    How do I put up with it? I don’t. Every word that falls from his mouth is a lie meant to manipulate and confuse you. There is no truth in him. Do I wonder how I ever got sucked in to this living hell? How did I not see this? Yep. But you can only kick yourself for so long.
    With the help from sites like this I’m starting to resemble myself again, lol. Sad but true. So let me share a recent hazing from him. He comes home saying he lost a hundred dollar bill.(narc speak for I’m trying to hide money,again) so like you I couldn’t help myself and said “OH REALLY?”cause he knows I see right through his BS.
    Then he turns around and says”oh I dropped it in my friends driveway. He just called me to say he found it”. I mean come on. You can be more creative than that! When he gives me a twenty dollar bill you KNOW he makes me accountable for every last cent. Its almost comical to see how far he will go to keep up his facade. Sad really. But knowing you can’t believe a word he says is saving my own sanity.
    As long as I don’t ask, he doesn’t tell lol! I am a professional garbage picker. And haven’t found anything valuable yet! LOL…

    • Zari Ballard

      October 2, 2015 at 11:54 pm Reply

      Ln wrote…The way the narc distorts our version of reality with his lies is like voo doo. Its said that manipulation is the highest form of witchcraft. We don’t think of it in that mindset as often but I believe on a spiritual level its trickery, deception and all that encompasses evil intent.

      Hi Ln,

      So funny….my N once announced, while he was over one weekend, that he had lost his car key. I went along with the fake search of the apartment and eventually we gave up. So, when I wasn’t looking, he mysteriously sneaks out and gets a ride from someone and I didn’t see him for a week…but his car sat in front of my door unmoved and untouched. Believe me, I wanted to break into it too but couldn’t without all of my neighbors seeing me. It drove me nuts…I became obsessed with looking in the windows!! Anyway, so one day he calls from work asking if I’d pick him up…doesn’t explain where he’d been or why he hadn’t called right off but later made up a lie that his step-father had picked him up the week before and he’d been staying at his mom’s (OH REALLY???). So, we’re hanging out and I’m thinking “Hmmmm….what about the car and the key?” because he hadn’t even mentioned it. Suddenly, half way through the night, he slips out the front door and comes back in with the key in his hand and a story of finding it in the gravel in front of his car and how he KNOWS he looked there last week and how the neighbor below (who he hated) must have been fucking with him somehow and just tossed the key out from his patio. I just sat at my desk typing and nodding my head. What an ass! God KNOWS why he left the car for a week and where he’d REALLY been but I’m sure it was all a ruse to cover his ass about something on the other side of town. Yawn….yawn….

      Just call us professional garbage pickers, sisters – the best there is!!!! Stay strong and always remember, YOU were never the problem!!!

      Zari xo

  • R. (alias)

    September 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm Reply

    I’m in this situation now as I type. This is exactly like my N. I almost done to him today I was on the verge of doing it, and then he hoovered. Just 10 minutes earlier he had been calling me the filthiest names on the planet, and he was angry at me over something he had done to himself. No use trying to sweet talk me and he’s getting angry because I’m still not in the mood to talk to him. He said I should just grow up and get over it and that I’m acting like a child. Me, a child, after he had just thrown a tantrum like a 4 year old! And the gas lighting is the worst he can convince me that the sky is pink and I have no clue how he does it. I think I’ve completely lost my mind today…

    • Zari Ballard

      September 12, 2015 at 8:00 am Reply

      Hi R.,

      You haven’t lost your mind…you’re just involved with an N and this is how it goes, as you know. It’s time to start taking the power back, my friend. Make choices that are conducive to your well-being. I’m going to be posting a two-part article series on this very thing today. I started making little choices that were in my favor and it changed everything for me. Like you, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I thought I was going crazy. But if I can do it, so can you. Look for the article series later today and if you can, read my book When Love Is a Lie. or read all of my books. He doesn’t have to be in control of this:)

      Stay strong…I’m here to support you:)

      Zari xo

  • sheila

    June 29, 2015 at 8:05 pm Reply

    i have been with my husband since i was 17 i am soon to be 51 its only in the past few years that i have come to realize what a lying barcissist he is. he lies even when the truth is staring him in the face.i thought i was crazy i even went to the doctor and was put on zoloft for awhile. just the other night he suggested that i go get back on it.we have been having alot of problems lately. but after reading different stories from people who have had experience with a lying narcissist.i now know im not crazy.

  • Cybil

    May 19, 2015 at 2:32 pm Reply

    My ex of 10 years fits this description to the T! I have finally had the courage to walk away, but I need encouragement from other people who have had similar occurrences.

    • Zari Ballard

      May 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm Reply

      Hi Cybil,

      Thank you for visiting my website and you’ll find plenty of support and stories that you can relate to on these pages. Read through the articles and also through all of the comments underneath because they are filled with wisdom and strategies and ways to move forward. Also, if you can, download my book When Love Is a Lie from Amazon because you will likely see yourself on every page. As in the articles on this site, my book shares my story of my own 13-year tale and goes into much detail. We’ve all been through so many similar experiences that I often think our lives can be interchangeable. And yes, hearing about others is very healing and will definitely get you on the right path.

      Stay strong and keep reading. The more you learn, the stronger you become (even if you don’t know it at first!)…

      Zari xo

    • poisoned rationality

      May 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm Reply

      Another excellent article. I spin myself in circles trying to make my N’s lies make sense, and they simply do not. They are completely dumbfounding.

      We have been together for quite some time, and she is contradicting herself with her lies. I will hear her say something, which is nothing like her “back story”. Now I really wonder how much of that “back story” was true, if any of it was true. It is truly scary to me to ponder how much I know of her is actually a lie.

      The gaslighting technique has left me feeling like I might be losing my mind as well. I think she said something, I am sure of it, I remember it quite clearly, but when she looks me in the eyes and is adamant she never said it, then I start to question myself. Or she states I misunderstood, or she was simply joking, or I am making something out of nothing, or that I am incredibly jealous and insecure.

      One other huge thing for me is that I am kept in line. I am only allowed this small box to operate in emotionally, and in all other respects as well. Anything I do “wrong” will be told to me, to “correct my behavior”. And, I do something “wrong” quite a bit, and all of these things are trivial. I.E., leaving a light on in a room when I leave. “Hey, um, just to let you knooooow…you, ah, well you left a light on again. Don’t get upset, I am just reminding you because I care.”

      The emotional box is even worse. Of course, my N can act however she wants, say whatever she wants, and treat me however she wants because, she is always right. I am required to be positive and happy, always. I must be kind, loving, supportive, unquestioningly loyal, always stroking her ego and telling her how wonderful she is. I am not allowed to be angry, upset, frustrated, short of temper, curt, or blunt. I can be sad but only for a very short period of time then it is required that I “snap out of it”. I am also warned if I have a certain “tone” to my voice.

    • recovering from stanley's garbage

      July 14, 2015 at 12:02 am Reply

      ditto. stanley l.
      could even lie about lying.
      he’s all yours’…

  • Graham Crandall

    May 3, 2015 at 10:47 pm Reply

    Zari, I’m sorry for your relationship with the narcissist. As I read through these blog pages, I find scenario after scenario that are nearly verbatim what I have experienced for the last 19 years. It sucks, but at least you got out when you could, and have turned it all into a positive (helping others).

    • Zari Ballard

      May 6, 2015 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Hi Graham,

      Male or female, we’ve gotta stick together in this and I’ve been very privileged to have had the opportunity to help:) When you can, please try to read my newest book When Evil Is a Pretty Face about female narcissists. I wrote it for the guys because there’s really nothing out there that addresses your situation the way it needs to be addressed (my opinion). It’s a cheap and easy read on Amazon and I think you will relate to everything in it:).

      Thank you for sharing here on my website with others….I appreciate you:)

      Zari xo

  • Cd

    April 2, 2015 at 10:06 am Reply


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