When I think of narcissism, what immediately comes to mind are the countless lies they tell, because their entire identity is a lie. This is how they define themselves.
But the strangest thing I’ve found about it though, is that they all love to tell the same basic lies! It’s like they all have this ‘narcissists-only club’ at which they meet and share tactics.
In knowing the most common lies they tell, it’s so much easier to recognize a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and steer clear of them, sparing yourself from all the drama and pain that they love to inflict.
In no particular order or ranking:
Military service or heroic acts of duty. Narcissists love to use this lie because it’s great for public image and gets others to lower their defenses. Even if they were in the military, they like to claim that they served longer than they actually did, participated in special missions or were part of a top secret branch.
Advanced degrees or have/had a successful business. If they speak in past tense it’s likely that they’ll claim they lost the business due to no fault of their own.
Money. Narcissists often pretend to be wealthy or have had financial success. They may have ‘status’ possessions- expensive watch, nice car, name brand clothes, etc. Not only do they feel it makes them look superior to others, but some people would probably be more inclined to lend them money.
Using other people’s stories, achievements, etc as their own. For example, the last narcissist I had a run-in with told literally everyone who would listen about how all three of his sons were national pole vaulting champions… several years ago now. He went from seeming to be a proud dad to actuality- defining himself by their accomplishments. (And truth be told, his sons now keep themselves at a distance and have little contact with their father.)
Outlandish stories. If it seems impossible, it probably is. Don’t be quick to believe these things.
Deep religious/spiritual beliefs. Keep an eye out for big disconnects between words and actions- if they claim to be Christian but their actions are very non-Christian, that should be considered a red flag. Many participate as youth leaders/ministers or do missionary work- whatever makes them look ‘good.’ A great example of this is the narcissist I mentioned above- in becoming his roommate, one of the first things I noticed in the apartment was an open Bible on the coffee table. During the entire month I was there, he didn’t touch it once. About a week in, I even ran my finger over the page it was opened to, to find at least a month’s worth of dust. I found that to be quite odd and that was what set off alarms in my head first.
Cheating. All too often narcissists claim to be faithful and make grand declarations publicly, looking to be the ‘world’s best spouse.’ How many times do you see on someone’s Facebook profile blatant gestures of all-consuming love for their partner? Not all too often, right? Those who regularly make a show of it are hiding something- infidelity. Narcissists require a ridiculous amount of attention from others and have been known to juggle many (wo)men to feed their egos. To them, sex is a weapon used for their own sick satisfaction without consideration for others’ feelings.
Other common lies include, “I love you,” after a very short time (a big factor in the love-bombing phase), “All my exes are crazy bitches” (most likely that person is the crazy one, and “You’ve never met anyone like me” (Really? (S)he isn’t that special, and neither are his/her lies).
Keep an ear out for any and all of these, as narcissists are rarely this gifted or ‘special’ and a healthy person who is, isn’t so inclined to brag about it.
Have you ever caught someone in any of these lies?