by Dr. Denise Glassmoyer
Quite simply lying is a survival skill for the narcissistic and getting caught in a lie doesn’t faze him! Whether you are in a relationship with a narcissistic, leaving one, or recovering from one, your survival depends on understanding clearly that he will continue to lie to you as long as you allow him to be in your life. Commonly, when caught in one of his many lies he simply stays the course and tell more lies until you either believe him or are too exhausted to continue to confront him.
Let’s face it, being the recipient of a steady diet of BS is devastating to both your emotional and physical health. Living in the darkness of deceit requires you to spend an inordinate amount of emotional and mental energy constantly questioning what is real and what isn’t. Deception chips away at your sense of self and robs you of your ability to trust yourself and those in your life who are most deserving of your trust.
Discovering that you’ve been deceived and uncovering the truth will do little to help you regain your sense of balance and clarity; when you catch him in one of his incessant lies and confront him he will respond with various tactics intended to silence, confuse, and convince you. Remember, the narcissist lacks empathy because he (she) never progressed to the stage of development where the conscious had a chance to develop. If you are trying to preserve a relationship and confront the most recent betrayal, there is a good chance you will end up in retreat; scratching your head and wondering what’s real, what isn’t, and what the heck just happened. A frustrating and confusing cycle that will eventually disconnect you from yourself and the wisdom of your intuition. Instead of just acknowledging and accepting that you’ve been lied to AGAIN, you must consider that ongoing attempts to fix this relationship will be at your peril. If you are being lied to, you are not the problem! No matter what he tries to tell you...you are not the problem...you are living in an impossible situation.
Never forget that the narcissist is driven by one thing and one thing only…getting his needs met! In his mind his self-serving ends justifies any means. He simply doesn’t have the coping skills to deal with reality or to be in a healthy adult relationship. Lying is and always will be effortless for him. One of the hardest things to swallow is that although he knows he is lying, he does not see himself as a liar. You must realize that without insight there can be no change. One thing a narcissist definitely doesn't have is insight; In fact, lying is so essential for survival in his grandiose, fantasy world that it is woven into the very fabric of who he is.
He lies by omission, commission, and twisting of information. If you try to have a conversation with him about you feelings and about how his behavior has affected you…stand-by... because in a matter of moments you will find yourself drawn into a dark worm hole where he will attempt to force you to accept that his lies are the truth and your feelings are wrong. If he can divert you from how you feel and and pull you into his sick world of twisted FACTS he wins. Remember, he needs admiration, appreciation, praise, validation, and adoration the way you and I need air. He will literally do anything to get it and lying is one of the most used tools in his arsenal.
Gaslighting, a form of brainwashing, is a particularly dangerous tactic regularly used by your deceitful narcissist to unbalance you and erode your sense of reality. The name comes from the 1944 movie starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. This is a chilling movie and worth watching if you are in a relationship with someone who regularly distorts reality and challenges your experiences and perceptions. This is one of the most insidious and damaging forms of emotional abuse. Gaslighting is a steady stream of lies told to you about you, your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, and reality.
If your partner lies to you on a regular basis your relationship is already over. Reach out for professional help and formulate your exit strategy. This relationship, by design, will rob you of everything you value; most importantly your emotional health and sense of reality.