Sanctuary for the Abused
Saturday, March 02, 2013
When They "Lie on the Fly"
One of my favorite websites on narcissism is by Joanna Ashmun. In fact, hers is what inspired me to do one.
Here's what she writes about the way a narcissist edits reality on the fly.
The most telling thing that narcissists do is contradict themselves. They will do this virtually in the same sentence, without even stopping to take a breath. It can be trivial (e.g., about what they want for lunch) or it can be serious (e.g., about whether or not they love you).Because their lying is so bizarre, and unlike normal lying (by people who actually want you to believe what they're saying), the pathological lying of a narcissist is one of the biggest complaints about them.
When you ask them which one they mean, they'll deny ever saying the first one, though it may literally have been only seconds since they said it -- really, how could you think they'd ever have said that? You need to have your head examined!
They will contradict FACTS. They will lie to you about things that you did together. They will misquote you to yourself. If you disagree with them, they'll say you're lying, making stuff up, or are crazy. [At this point, if you're like me, you sort of panic and want to talk to anyone who will listen about what is going on: this is a healthy reaction; it's a reality check ("who's the crazy one here?"); that you're confused by the narcissist's contrariness, that you turn to another person to help you keep your bearings, that you know something is seriously wrong and worry that it might be you are all signs that you are not a narcissist].
NOTE: Normal people can behave irrationally under emotional stress -- be confused, deny things they know, get sort of paranoid, want to be babied when they're in pain. But normal people recover pretty much within an hour or two or a day or two, and, with normal people, your expressions of love and concern for their welfare will be taken to heart. They will be stabilized by your emotional and moral support.
Not so with narcissists -- the surest way I know of to get a crushing blow to your heart is to tell a narcissist you love her or him. They will respond with a nasty power move, such as telling you to do things entirely their way or else be banished from them for ever.
They don't want you believe their lies: they just want you ACT (for them) as though their lies are true. In other words, they don't want you to do anything contradictory to their fantasy, for that could trigger AWARENESS that its a fantasy. They must keep all knowledge of unwanted truth repressed, and they don't want you doing anything that triggers memory of it.
As for what you think though, they couldn't care less. You are just an object to them, a chess piece. Caring what you think makes no more sense to them than caring what a chess piece "thinks" would make to us.
What Makes Narcissists Tick: 'Lying on the Fly'