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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  • Natalie Johnson

    November 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply

    My mother is a narc. She’s lied on my father for 51years… I’m only realizing it now. She labeled him a her abuser, when in fact she abused us all. She’s lied on me since the age of 13. It caused me to pick my skin and delve deep into depression. I’m so mentally screwed up, idk where to start cleaning up my life at! I would literally have to move far away and cut off contact with anyone she’s ever spoken to about me to be happy! But, I’m stuck in a horror and it seems as though I have no way out! I’m in a desperate situation.

    • Zari Ballard

      December 18, 2017 at 12:22 am Reply

      Hi Natalie,

      I am so sorry to hear your story…to me, having a narc parent has got to be the worst of the worst. My heart goes out to you. I don’t believe, however, that you need to be stuck in the horror. There is a way out. You are not doomed to a life of ducking and dodging her smear campaign. There are many women who call me about a narcissistic parent so, if you can, get some consultation time with me so we can work out a strategy. I’d need to know more about her MO and the abuse you suffered. You don’t have to live this way, girl, and please do not give up. You are worth all the love in the world…SHE, quite frankly, doesn’t deserve a thing. Again, we can find a way out. Please reach out to talk…a new year is coming!

      Zari xo

  • Louise

    September 26, 2017 at 6:09 pm Reply

    They defend a lie with more lies, they know it’s a lie yet they will punish you if you daring to question the lie. It’s a really creepy disorientating experience they lie with absolute conviction, I observed my ex narcissist tell blatant lies to his own children about where we had been. My initial thought was he was being funny but over time I saw the absurd pattern of everyday lies, compounded by more lies, lies that served no purpose.

    These people can be high functioning, they can be ordinary on the surface, they are impossible to detect until you observe closely & begin to question their information.

    • Joanne

      December 8, 2017 at 11:17 am Reply

      I have lived with a narcissistic man for almost 5 years and recently moved out. I have put up with his constant lying and now his constant degrading names and threats since I will not come back. He is furious as he is not getting his way and feels that he is never wrong. He has a past of many marriages of which he also lied about. He is imcapable of showing or feeling any compassion except his feelings. It is very impossible to ever make him feel anything real He fooled me and fools everyone that does not live with him…I stayed for longer then I should because he had a heart attack and I was the only one to care for him. Which I did 27/7 for 3 months. The only ones that really know him are his exs..and there is not one person with a good thing to say about him, which of course he says they all lie…but not him…its a very sad way to live life…I am trying to break free completely from him…we have a home which I am on the deed so we have that connection…The home is the one he threw me out of and put my clothes in a garbage bag, yet denies doing that…He needs help.. but I can not help him nor do I want to try…..

  • Vens

    September 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm Reply

    I agree with this article,my ex girlfriend always knew what i wanted in the relationship,she told me everything i wanted to hear but deliberately did the opposites.She told me she was only mine that i got her but was cheating on me everyday for two years.When i discovered about her serial cheating,she told me she knew that i will discover that one day but she made up her mind with it and that would be ok..

    She was crying and begging for forgiveness and said now she doesn’t want to lose me,she doesn’t want it to end like…I think she just disliked the fact,the moment and the way that i discovered everything.

  • Sandy McKay

    August 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply

    Any suggestions on what to do when the N is your adult child who lives with you and they use your relationship with their young children to “control” you. It is heartbreaking. My D is taking my grandkids away because I question her lies. I am the only one who questions her lies, others (her dad, friends etc) accept the lies because it is easier than the aftermath that comes when they do question the lies. Many of her boyfriends have told me they are “afraid” to confront her on things. I am always the bad one in her mind. What is really sad is I see my 4 year old grandson starting with the lies. I dealt/deal with this behavior from my mother as well There are many times where I feel like I am going crazy.

    • Zari Ballard

      September 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm Reply

      Hi Sandy,

      I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is very hard when the narcissist is your own child and they use their behaviors to control even the parent/child dynamic. You can only do what you can do. As best you can, do not let this rule your life and your happiness. View your daughter with a certain level of detachment and this will curb some – not all – of the behaviors but perhaps enough so that you can see the grandkids. And when you are with the grandkids, just be the best grandma you can be, exhibiting the behaviors that are appropriate so that they at least get an example. I wish there was an easy answer but the truth is that we can’t control the behaviors of other people, we can only control our reactions to them. As for your daughter, she is a grown-up and she knows right from wrong, she just doesn’t give a shit. This is an impossible mindset to change so you can only do what you can do and no more. In your own quiet way, you will make a difference where it will count later.

      Zari xo

  • Ken

    June 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Yeah, but there is also the bit of business about people engaging in sneaky interrogation techniques in which they ask you the same question in three or four different ways, which is pretty damned offensive, particularly when you are simply engaging in a relatively petty conversation of no great consequence, and yet they behave as if you are someone they cannot trust; makes you feel like washing your hands of them right away.

    • Zari Ballard

      June 27, 2017 at 8:06 am Reply

      Yeah but that’s not what we’re talking about here. A female narc WILL do that….the accusing YOU of exactly what SHE is doing or accusing you to distract you from asking her the same questions. If this is the case for you, then by all means wash your hands of it. THAT is what we’re talking about…:)

  • Tali

    February 12, 2017 at 12:24 pm Reply

    After having survived two narcissists(ex husband and his mother)and now my 13 son is being recognized as one, I can tell you they do lie on purpose. They do it because they can and because it illustrates how far beneath them and unimportant you are. They also do it to get their way or get out of trouble. The thing I’ve noticed though, is even if the lie changes to the polar opposite, they really do believe what they are saying, and they expect you to as well. They suffer cognitive dissonance when confronted with irrefutable proof, and will simply stop, as if their brain froze, take a silent, blank moment to recover, and then either drop the subject completely, or try to lie more. The reason is because they think they are perfect, and you can’t be perfect unless you have a carefully crafted fantasy world. The trouble is fantasy worlds are easily subject to collapse, so they will change their “reality” on a dime to fit the situation, and expect you to believe it as well to keep the illusion in their heads. Its enough to drive normal people crazy, and yes, they do it on purpose, because frankly, its a bonus to them, fantasy world of perfect me, and destroy/control another at the same time. Its sick, and takes its toll on those around them that can’t escape it, siblings, parents, etc. At least with an adult narcissist, you can walk away, but when its you child, or your sibling, and you are a child…Its no wonder they get so good at these behaviors, the victims can’t escape! Not until many years of abuse later, anyway. By then the damage is done.

    • Zari Ballard

      February 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm Reply

      You hit the nail on the head, Tali. I couldn’t have said it better than that!

      Zari xo

      • Gwen

        March 17, 2017 at 8:05 am Reply

        My relationship with a pathological liar because he found someone who would by his BS and is younger and prettier. I’m devastated and not sure I can handle this.

        • Zari Ballard

          March 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm Reply

          Hi Gwen,

          You CAN handle this, I promise. I know what it appears now that he’s with this new person but it is not the reality. He will do it to her and to the next one and the next one and on and on. It’s not about her being prettier and younger because the truth is that he has no preference. I wrote an article about this. It’s all about what he can get away with day to day. You don’t have to buy ANYONE’S BS…she will learn as well but better her than you right now. If you’d like to speak about it, please consider booking a consult. I can help you change this perspective. YOU are perfect just the way that you are. HE is the one with the problem. I know how you feel…it’s a mindset issue and this can be changed!

          Stay strong and please know that I am here to support you….

          Zari xo

  • andreack

    December 4, 2016 at 7:09 am Reply

    Helpful and (mostly) true. I do not think the N “decides” to lie all the time. I think the motive is just out of their line of sight. They DO lie all the time. It is more structural than a conscious act by act “decision.” IMHO

    • Zari Ballard

      December 6, 2016 at 8:17 pm Reply

      Oh I beg to differ…everything the narc does is by intention (including lying). They absolutely KNOW right from wrong…they just don’t give a shit. Everything they do and say is by conscious decision.


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