Why We Lie – Revisited
Last week, I shared the most recent research on why folks lie. (See: Why We Lie – Even to Ourselves.) For the most part, we lie to avoid something we don’t want. Or, we lie to get something we desire but fear we can’t secure honestly. But manipulative malignant narcissists often lie for a more sinister reason. And that reason begs further exploration.
Why Manipulative, Malignant Narcissists Lie
We’ve applied the label “psychopath” to the most malignant narcissists. (For more on this topic see: Malignant Narcissism: At the Core of Psychopathy.) We did so because some once thought these disturbed characters had a true mental illness. In fact, a pioneer researcher (Herve Cleckley) labeled them “morally insane.” And he partly did so because he could’t make sense of their penchant for lying. They lied even when when they didn’t have to. In fact, they lied not only when the truth would suffice but also when it would likely serve them better. Their inveterate lying simply made no sense. It seemed irrational,…crazy!
Years ago I learned what science has since validated. There is a method to the apparent “madness” of these pathological liars. (See, also: Why Some People Lie So Much.) Manipulative malignant narcissists lie to keep one step ahead of you. They engage in a constant dance of positioning for advantage. They want you to be in the dark or second-guessing yourself. And they don’t want you to have their number. They neither want you to know who they really are nor what they’re really up to. They seek only power, dominance, and control. And lying enables this. It gives them the position of advantage. (See, also: Habitual Liars and Their Agendas.)
Lying and the Gaslighting Effect
Manipulative malignant narcissists can make you feel crazy. You scratch your head. You wonder, “Do they really believe what they’re saying?”. They’ll say whatever they need to say. And they’ll do whatever they need to do. All to make you doubt. Once they have you questioning yourself, they gain the position of advantage. That’s the name of their game! As I first pointed out in In Sheep’s Clothing, that’s also exactly how they manipulate you.
Learn more about manipulative, malignant narcissists in Character Disturbance. And avail yourself of the many other blog articles on this topic.
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