Why Some People Lie So Much

Some would argue that lying is simply part of human nature – that we’re all less than truthful at one time or another. And sometimes our lies are relatively inconsequential, not really hurting anyone to any significant degree. But lying can be a real problem at times, bringing unnecessary pain and suffering into the lives of others and poisoning our relationships. And there are those truly disturbed characters among us who appear to lie repeatedly, even about little things, and often for no apparent rational reason. Such folks simply can’t seem to tell the truth – even to themselves, let alone others, and more importantly, even when the truth would appear to do just fine. Sometimes we’ve called thes kinds of foks “pathological” liars because their behavior seems to make no sense. But there’s actually method to the pathological liar’s apparent madness, and once you understand why some people simply prefer to lie – even when the truth would do just as well, you’ll have a better idea of what goes on in the mind of life’s most manipulative and seriously disturbed characters.

Myra never really understood James (as always, key facts and details in the vignette that follows have been altered to ensure anonymity).  Even during the time they were dating there would be times when things he said just didn’t add up.  She’e hear different versions of things from family members, and sometimes the facts as he told them just didn’t check out. But she’d never caught him being untruthful about anyting big, so she dismissed her concern. She also speculated that he might have “trust issues” and believed that as extent of her loyalty and trustworthiness became apparent to him, he’d drop his “defenses” and be more open and vulnerable. Moreover, many of the little things she had reason to believe he had misrepresented appeared to involve his social image, which led her to believe he must be suffering from some self-esteem issues. With enough support and validation from her, that should resolve, she thought. Only after years of marriage and when the proverbial “crap” began “hitting the fan” (e.g., what he’d really been doing with their money, how many affairs he’d really had, how few of the things he’d told her about his past, his family, or himself were really true, etc.) did she realize the extent to which she’d been duped. Still, she couldn’t understand why someone would lie so much, even about the most semmingly inconsequential things.

Over the years working with disturbed characters I came to realize that the folks we call “pathological liars” are not as irrational or as mindless in their behavior as they might first appear. And while it’s natural for a person to speculate about all the possible underlying reasons for such lying, I came to realize that when it comes to pathological lying, there’s really only one major reason for it. Lying is one of the most effective tactics a person can use to both resist aceding to moral principles and simultaneously manipulating and managing the impressions of others. In a way, it’s the ultimate manipulation tactic. And pathological liars have a singlular purpose in doing it: namely, to keep a position of advantage. That’s right. Disturbed and disordered characters treat life like a game or contest and never want to play on a level field. Whenever they engage, even in the simplest way, they want the advantage. If you’re in the dark about who they really are, what’s really going on with them, what they’re really up to, how they really feel about something, what they really want, etc., then you’re automatically in a one-down position, which is just the way they like it. Keeping you unawares and thereby gaining a leg up on you – that’s what it’s all about, pure and simple. Forget all the other reasons you’ve ever entertained about why they do these things. The reason some people lie, even when it doesn’t seem to make any sense, is to maintatin a position of advantage, so it’s easier for them to take advantage of you.

I’ve heard hundreds of stories (like the one above) over the years about relationship partners who’d led “double lives” and were exposed for the disturbed characters and frauds they really were only after bank accounts were already drained, affairs that had been going on for years finally came to light, or the many stories that had been told were finally proven bogus. And in each case, the victims of such duplicitous behavior found wondered how they could have been “duped” for so long. They also entertained a myriad of potential reasons their partner behaved the way they did. But what they rarely considered is that there are some people whose character is impaired in such a way that an equal partnership with them is simply not possible. There simply cant be trust when right from the get-go it’s all about position and impression management, exploiting weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and looking for opportunities to take advantage (for more on trust and relationships, see the series on this topic, beginning with Trust: The Foundation of Any Relationship). And while many a victim’s guts may have been churning at the “red flags” they sensed about these things, most tended to discount their gut feelings because it seemed so unfathomable to them that there could be people so hell bent on maintaining a position of advantage that they would never reveal their true nature or real agendas. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of being so egregiously conned, many victims also struggled with shame, guilt, and a tendency to constantly question their ability to ever again be able to make sound judgments. Surviving a relationship with a pathological liar can leave almost anyone feeling quite unsure of themselves and confused. That’s why I wrote my books Character Disturbance and In Sheep’s Clothing. Once you understand the true nature of character disturbance, cast off old notions about why people do the things they do, and pay greater heed to that churning in your gut and the warning signs about someone’s character, you’re less at risk of being deceied by an artful but pathological liar.

So the next time you have encounter with someone whose outlandish claims don’t seem all that believable and whose stories just don’t add up but who also appears to have no reason to deceive, pay attention to the uneasiness in your gut. Consider the possibility that you’re dealing with someone who lacks both the desire and the capacity to relate to you on fair and equal terms and may only want to take advantage. And don’t waste time and energy asking yourself why. Just heed your instincts, walk away, and watch your back. Odds are, you’ll be really glad you did.

This Sunday’s Character Matters program at 7pm EDT (4pm PDT) will again be live, so I can take your calls.

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112 thoughts on “Why Some People Lie So Much

  1. This is a very interesting topic. I love when I read something that gives me different perspectives to think about. This really excites me and gives me tons of things to challenge me.
    I can relate to Myra soooo much! I was definitely under the impression that if I made myself more vulnerable them my psycho would follow suit and I could solve his problems. In reality that is exactly what the DC wanted so he could have the advantage. He was an exceptional liar!! Yes, immediately he had the upper hand.
    I have also watched this going on for many years. MJ has always been guilty of pathological lying from DAY 1. She gets very dramatic when she is lying. RA has put total trust in her for almost 50 years. It probably started out in a small, manipulative manner. Then once the small lies were believed this set the stage for stronger manipulation. RA is a very intelligent man and finds it really hard to set his ego aside and believe this happened to him. He has always made excuses for MJ.
    This does make a whole lot of sense though. Most of us are willing to overlook the small lies. I have never really thought that they are just setting the foundation for the more to come. I worked with a young girl once and she could lie just as easily as talking. I’m never really thought that all that lying was giving her the upper hand. I eventually just quit talking to her because I don’t like associating with people I can’t trust!!

    1. I’ve lied several times I did this in reaction to being kicked and scratched up one day for no real reason. Now that I have lied throughout the years they now lie. I didn’t asked for any of the bullshit I guess what goes around comes around but honestly I never tried to shit on anyone. Now it seems I’ve been shited on never really asked for that now I already didnt trust but now I feel my life is in danger and of course I feel like im being used.

  2. Dr.Simon, one of the points I am taking away from your article is that the very confusion an unnecessary ‘small’ lie generates, when discovered, may be as desired by the liar as the ones that go undetected.

    Our confusion AND all of the mental hoops we jump through, trying to figure out why someone would lie without any apparent purpose — is the purpose.

    As long as we remain connected and in a state of wtf? they are empowered.

    So the game then isn’t about being found out, it’s about weakening the adversary (us) by handing us Zen koans of behavior we can’t ever figure out. That leaves them in the one up position.

    Interesting….and freaky.

      1. A zen koan is a story tale puzzle question put to a student to test their knowledge wisdom. Some are simple, others very confusing.

        Pathological liars are similarly testing us with a different intent — to deceive or to keep us on an exhausting hamster wheel, seeking the answer to their deceptions. The true brain twisting koans are the lies that seem to serve no purpose.

      2. In the Zen tradition Zen Koans are questions used to point you in the direction of the source of the question and not the answer. Zen students are meant to ponder these “unanswerable” questions for months or years so that the limits of the egoic mind’s consciousness may be discovered. Their purpose is to take the student beyond the realm of the human mind and into to heart of being, which has traditionally been given names such as God, Stillness, Silence.
        One such koan is for example “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Play with it, if you dare 🙂

        I love the idea of calling the whole manipulation game “Zen koans of behavior we can’t ever figure out” by LisaO. It is so amazingly helpful to me. It’s been five months since I’ve been trying to figure out my most loving therapist who bears most of the manipulative character’s traits and who brutally ended our relationship when I began to trust him. It left me ripped to pieces. It is so true, there is no figuring out. It is Zen koan of human behavior. There is no answer. There is only being present with greater wisdom in the face of evil while we surrender to Stillness.

    1. Very to the point, about the Zen koan. I think what held me in was a false sense that this person was a puzzle I was trying to unravel. Then it dawned on me there is no puzzle, only an endless, dreary game of one upmanship. 🙂

      1. Thank Goodness we are out!! I thought that there was so magical key that I could turn and things were going to be fine. After all, he was just a victim who was waiting for my help, right?! Hahahaha. What a joke!!

    2. Have always felt it was about “advantage” over the other….and the harder thing to accept is the other is an OBJECT to the liar and not someone to care about…just someone to use.

  3. Wow! These “blog website” therapy sessions are becoming more and more ridiculous. Here’s a story with changed names and details to protect the “victims” as well.

    Shaun Philip Anderson, 35, tried moving back to Ft. Lauderdale, FL after he had a horrible experience in Monterey, CA. He was in CA because an old friend offered him a bedroom rent free (even after being asked by Mr. Anderson on several occasions what Mr. Anderson should pay him for the room rental). His friend who provided the room’s reply was always the same; “Whatever man, it doesn’t matter”. So Mr. Anderson was under the impression that he owed nothing, even though he kicked in for utilities once or twice. After Mr. Anderson’s friend’s schooling was over, he moved back east and Mr. Anderson made other living arrangements. While Mr. Anderson lived with this “friend” he was constantly under surveillance, followed, harassed, and overall just mentally tormented-“gaslighting” is the term I learned on this blog, of all places. Even though this “gaslighting” had been going on for 6 or 7 years before his move to California, Mr. Anderson never actually knew there was a term for it. Thanks for that “Dr. Simon”. This “gaslighting” stayed with Mr. Anderson no matter where he moved to. It spanned a literal continent and just got worse with every new spot Mr. Anderson moved to. So, Mr. Anderson (who did all his moving research online, with a device, that can be hacked into) decided that Ft. Lauderdale would be a good fit for him. It has a vibrant LGBT community, (Mr. Anderson is a homosexual who is ashamed of himself for being a homosexual, but is in the process of realizing that he was born this way and it is not a choice, at all) it is a beautiful beach community (Mr. Anderson LOVES the beach) the cost of living is livable, and the job prospects for his chosen career were numerous. So Mr. Anderson left California behind with everything he owned (in two bags) and was actually happy for having the courage to drop everything and pursue what he wanted. The happiness was short lived, very short lived. When Mr. Anderson landed in Ft. Lauderdale at the airport, he went outside to smoke a cigarette and noticed a man hanging around the area, occasionally staring at Mr. Anderson and talking on his cell phone. Mr. Anderson thought this odd but shrugged it off, he thought that maybe this stranger mistook him for somebody that the stranger knew, happens all the time. Mr. Anderson called a hotel that provided a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and Mr. Anderson checked in. After about a half hour Mr. Anderson settled in he decided to go to the store to get some food and smokes. It was around 1 A.M. On his way to the store, Mr. Anderson was passed by at least 30 crotch rockets (motorcycles) and two or three firetrucks with sirens blaring, at 1 A.M.-with virtually no civilian traffic. Odd? Coincidence? Nope. It was the ol’ “gaslighting” drill that Mr. Anderson had grown quite familiar with, and he always recognized it’s underpinnings. “Fine”, he thought. He always knew in the back of his head that this would happen, of course it would, Mr. Anderson had made his plans on a broken into, violated, and monitored computer. So he moved to another hotel, and the “gaslighting” moved with him. Mr. Anderson knew this would happen as well, after all, he used his corrupted device to book the hotel. Finally, Mr. Anderson checked into a hostel for his final two weeks in Florida, then, in walked his “victim” Mary Anne…

    The horrible antihistamines are kicking in, so, to be continued…

  4. Mr. Anderson,
    Sounds like a combination of coincidence and conformation bias. Also the name, Anderson, you have chosen, is the name of a character from one of the Matrix movies. This is very ‘creative.’

    You started your post in a contemptuous fashion. Perhaps you could explain why.

    1. I imagine that my story does sound “creative” to you. All of the post’s and replies on this ridiculous website are awfully creative. I just didn’t want to miss my chance to get in on all this “creative” BS. I will now finish my story, and something tells me that you, or someone that you represent, would swear that the “Mary Anne” character in this story was actually you/representative of you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of my “creation”.

  5. So, in walked the “victim” Mary Anne to the hostel. I had been out and about during the day of her arrival, dealing with the non-stop “gaslighting” and was in a foul mood because of it. It was late one evening when I walked outside to smoke and she stepped out of her shared dorm as I was sitting down and she just invited herself to sit down with me and just start talking away like we were old friends. I don’t fault Mary Anne for this because as the time passed I realized that she was a naturally social person. I, on the other hand, am not. I’m quite the opposite in fact. But because I was raised to be courteous to those I meet, I socialized with her. This is where the difference in stories becomes muddled. She might think that this was the point where my manipulative tactics began. On the contrary, the thought of swindling her never crossed my mind until after I arrived in Portland three weeks later. But she, and the rest of you can believe what you want, I really don’t care, because I know the truth and that is that. So, I sat there, depressed, feeling torn down because the shit followed me to where I wanted to start a new life. After an hour of talking with Mary Anne she had me in good spirits, I was laughing, and I was temporarily out of my “funk”. She had asked me to hang out with her the next day I think, or maybe she asked what I was doing and I told her I was going grocery shopping. I really don’t remember that detail, but I’m sure she does. The next day, when I stepped out of the dorm, there she was, waiting. I honored my commitment by hanging out with her. We went to the grocery store, and then McDonalds for lunch. It was non-stop socializing and banter during our day, and to be truthful, I enjoyed it. Here was this woman who actually knew nothing of my torment, and wanted to hang out with me because I was being “me” with her. I am somewhat charming and friendly when I don’t feel constantly threatened. She saw that in me, and I think those characteristics of mine drew her in. I was being genuine for those first couple of days that we were hanging out. I liked talking to her. After 3 or 4 days, I began experiencing major mood swings and depression triggered by the constant noise of the firetruck, ambulance, and cop sirens at all hours as well as the motorcycles. I was also angry. At that point I began avoiding Mary Anne as much as I could, and I know she couldn’t understand why. I may have given her the impression that something was wrong with her and not me. At least this is what I told myself. I deluded myself into thinking that she was contributing to my misery by constantly being around me. Anyway, I didn’t want to hang out anymore. I had to think of when and where to go next. My Florida plans were no longer an option and that made me super angry, emotional, and mentally unstable. Why did “they” have to fuck this up for me? Will I ever get rid of “them”. These are just a few of the thoughts that I was dealing with, and I had no room in my life for any social interaction, even if that interaction was good for me and positive. I was devastated. I called relatives I’ve never met while crying. I was in emotional distress, big time. I had decided that I needed to meet my biological father while I had the time and money to do so. I thought it would be a positive thing for both of us. So I withdrew as much as I could from Mary Anne and she got the point. She began hanging out with an elderly lady that was much closer in age to Mary Anne, and for the most part she began to leave me alone. I will say this, and I will continue to stand by it as well. There were instances during Mary Anne’s and my socializing where she pushed bodily contact, ie, hugging for extended periods, and kissing my neck. This was off putting for me. Hugging is fine between relative strangers, it’s normal. However, kissing my neck was way too intimate for me and unwanted. It made me very uncomfortable. This isn’t an excuse for what I did, but I used it as justification in my own damaged brain for the terrible thing I did to her later. After a couple weeks I flew to Arizona to meet my biological father, the one I never remember meeting because he was gone by the time I was 3 months old. One of the very first things he told me when he picked me up at the airport, was that he was high on meth, at that moment. Yeah, what a great long lost father/son chat THAT was. Needless to say, I spent a very uncomfortable week at his apartment. The positive in that experience is that I got to spend time with my grandmother I had only met once before. She’s awesome, witty, funny, and sharp as a tack. I DID enjoy our time together. After the week with the meth head sperm donor and his very nice, albeit deluded, wife. Afterwards I met up with a dude I met at the hostel in Ft. Lauderdale and we took a southwestern road trip seeing the sights, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Route 66, Death Valley, Vegas, L.A. That was a great time for me, I really enjoyed it, and Andy was funny as hell. During that time, Mary Anne was constantly emailing me, and when I wouldn’t respond within a day or two she would ask Andy to tell me to contact her. I’m sorry, but to me, that was creepy. It would be creepy to anyone. She is older that my mother, and I didn’t want that kind of attention from her. She should have read between the lines when I began avoiding her. After L.A. I hopped a train to Portland, rented a living room, got a job, and began saving money again for the next inevitable move to get away from the “gaslighters” At that time I had about $1800 still saved up, but I knew that amount would not be enough if I wanted to move again at the drop of a hat. During this time she was still emailing like crazy and I would very rarely respond. One day I had enough, I started to write an email to her telling her how uncomfortable she was making me feel. It was a long email too, but before I sent it, the “evil” in me decided it would be better to get some money out of her before breaking off contact. This is where I concocted my plan and wrote a believable sob story that she would buy. I wrote it, she bought it. I cut off contact after the money was sent, and I had planned to never have contact with her again. A horrible thing to do to somebody, in fact, it was evil, vile, disgusting, violating, and just like the things that were being done to me by total strangers who I never met. I felt justified, I felt righteous, I felt like vengeance was served back to those who targeted me. But I was wrong, Mary Anne was probably the ONLY person who had nothing to do with the “gaslighting” and she was completely innocent. I knew it was wrong when I had her send the money. I knew it was a horrible thing to do to somebody, but goddamnit I wanted to hurt people like people were hurting me. And that’s it. After a few months, I think she made contact with me through forwarded texts using my brother’s phone number, which meant that he was now in on it. Even after the way he treated me growing up, he had the nerve to participate in this “gaslighting”. At that point, the guilt was eating me alive. I contacted Mary Anne and told her what I did, why I did it, asked for forgiveness, and asked for details to send her the money back. I procrastinated for two months before I sent the money back to her, and in the process of her waiting she became part of the “gaslighting” crew. She likes to justify her “gaslighting” by calling it “effective benign confrontation”. It doesn’t matter if you put a tuxedo on a turd, it’s still just a turd in a tuxedo.

    So here’s to self deluding justifications for our actions. Here’s to not taking responsibility for violating others. Here’s to judging one as a “pathological liar” when we ourselves are unaware of the truth, and created our own lies in order to feel better about our actions.

    Personally, Mr. Anderson does not care what anybody thinks. He cannot afford to. Mr. Anderson knows what he has done wrong in his life, and Mr. Anderson pays for those wrongdoings every single hour of every single day. Mr. Anderson dwells in a hell of remorse, regret, and guilt. Mr. Anderson is becoming numb because he is running out of emotion. Mr. Anderson becomes more passive everyday. Mr. Anderson’s anger dims a little each day. Mr. Anderson’s empathy is draining. Mr. Anderson’s self esteem is nonexistent. Mr. Anderson has resigned to the fate of eternal unhappiness. This is why Mr. Anderson has scheduled doctor appointments as a last ditch effort at grasping some hope. Mr. Anderson is done with all the bullshit that surrounds him. Mr. Anderson would like nothing more than to just be left alone. Mr. Anderson thinks that all these “blogs” are pointless mumbo jumbo. It’s an outlet for those who express their disdain and disregard for Mr. Anderson. It’s an outlet for uninformed and perpetuated lies about Mr. Anderson. So, once again, believe whatever the hell you want to believe. It has no effect on what I need to do in order to make myself a better person.

    P.S. Take the red pill and see how far down the rabbit hole goes. Idiot.

  6. There are few people who are truthful to the core. Not just having the ability to see everything in realistic unbiased way, but also saying them honestly even if it projects them in bad light.
    Most people will be less than truthful (I mean, absolute truth) several times in a day. But, those are not lies, but just leaving out finer details and inconsequential matters. On anything of significance, one can expect honesty from them.
    A goal oriented covert-aggressive will lie every-time he feels something can potentially get in his way to his hidden agenda.
    And, finally we have pathological liar, basically character disturbed individuals that have internalized the belief that it is safe to be liar than to be honest (better safe than sorry kind), as one can always be “honest” later on if situation requires it.

    Once exposed, a pathological liar is easy, maybe even a joker. He can always be trusted to lie. 🙂
    It is the moderately disturbed character that remains problem even after they are exposed. One good option is to watch their action to get vague idea of the truth. Or, even better, pursue your interest and do not care about these headache inducers.

    1. Well said!

      There are so many ways to mislead, far more than you can count. Indeed, like Zen koans in their own right or perhaps like a rigged puzzle designed to lead you to a wanted(By a manipulator) conclusion, ambiguous language or even calculated statements with absolute certainty.

  7. I haven’t got time to say more right now, but I just want to say how grateful I am for this blog and for your work, Dr. Simon. It is so valuable. It would impossible to guess how many people you have truly helped in life-changing ways. Thank you.

    1. This subject matter does not have enough written about it, that is for sure. It is very sad that victims of these dysfunctions are often made to feel alone and crazy. I have to agree that  when someone goes out of their way to bring this issue to light it is appreciated. Cockroaches always scurry and hide in the light.

  8. Mr. Anderson,

    Really sad, all around. You seem to be making several points here while conveying certain of your own personality traits.

    One of the points you are making about Mary Anne is that although you treated her poorly she shared some of the blame because she hounded you. So you felt she was a bit of an emotional parasite and you lied to her.

    So your message to forum members is to examine themselves and the role they may have played in their own undoing. Am I understanding you correctly here and getting to the heart of the contempt for forum members and Dr.Simon as well?

    The other point you bring up, I think, is that when we feel targeted or mistreated by someone who may come across as merely troubled and depressed, that person might be in the middle of something they would find very difficult to convey without being labelled as ‘crazy’.

    You have used the term ‘gaslighting’ when ‘gangstalking’ is probably the word you are looking for.

    I would definitely talk to a doctor about it.

    You may be dealing with a phenomenon that can’t be neatly classified or categorized into the ‘real’ or ‘not real’ file. Nevertheless you probably need medication of some sort to give your mind and body a break.

    It must be very very wearing.

    Good luck, Mr. Anderson

    1. “One of the points you are making about Mary Anne is that although you treated her poorly she shared some of the blame because she hounded you. So you felt she was a bit of an emotional parasite and you lied to her.”

      — Really? That’s how you interpreted what I wrote? I made it pretty clear that Mary Anne had zero blame for what I did to her. I used my discomfort of her intimacy to justify to myself that I shouldn’t feel bad for stealing her money. In fact, I wrote that she was the ONLY person I encountered while in Florida who was completely innocent and knew nothing of me or my past. So again, I don’t blame Mary Anne for anything. I blame myself for having damaged thoughts coming from a damaged brain. (Not physical brain damage. Emotional, Irrational, Psychological brain damage. Chemically Imbalanced brain damage.)

      “So your message to forum members is to examine themselves and the role they may have played in their own undoing. Am I understanding you correctly here and getting to the heart of the contempt for forum members and Dr.Simon as well?”–

      –My message to this forum and it’s members is cut and dry. I know some of the people on this forum are using it to convey messages specifically aimed at me; Shaun Philip Anderson. And since I don’t know for sure who “they” are, my words and thoughts are aimed like a shotgun blast. If the shoe fits kinda thing. You see, I deal with “shadow” people who like to stay on the fringes while they lie, gaslight, and manipulate me. I suppose it’s an “eye for an eye” mentality with these folks. I know that mentality all to well as I exhibit that same very philosophy. My “contemptuous fashion” is not directed at this forum, or Dr. Simon in general, it is directed at those (and “they” know who “they” are) who perpetuate this mind f*ck against me specifically. Like I said, if the shoe fits…–

      –“You have used the term ‘gaslighting’ when ‘gangstalking’ is probably the word you are looking for.”–

      — Gangstalking. Yes, I know that term very well. That term was handed to me on a silver platter. I did much research on that topic until I realized I was actually manipulated by the “shadow people” who encouraged me to research it. Nothing but a wild goose chase meant to cause me confusion, disorientation, paranoia, and general mental instability. All of the aforementioned mental gymnastics can be classified as “gaslighting” and I think “gaslighting” describes my situation better than “gangstalking”. A person who truly believes that they are being “gangstalked” is much easier to discredit and dismiss as “insane” while “gaslighting” is actually credible because the mental health community diagnoses and treats it’s negative effects. Despite what anyone thinks I can still separate the difference between paranoia and reality. My intuition is strong, super-strong. My situational awareness is unshakable. Those two traits are the very ones that my “manipulators” are trying to strip from me.

      “You may be dealing with a phenomenon that can’t be neatly classified or categorized into the ‘real’ or ‘not real’ file. Nevertheless you probably need medication of some sort to give your mind and body a break.”–

      Ya think??? No shit I’m dealing with reality disguised by the “disturbed characters” as paranoid delusions. That is what these manipulation tactics are all about. They are used as a tool to make me doubt my own sanity. But it doesn’t work. I’m much too aware for that anymore. I stand vigilant and alone, and I will continue that until the day I die.

      “It must be very very wearing” —

      Indeed! For ALL involved.

      Signing off for now but rest assured that I am fully awake and aware.
      Shaun

  9. Carrie, thanks so much. That is a really glowing endorsement. I have no formal training and I’m a high school drop out.

    I also have minimal brain damage that has effected some areas in the right hemisphere of my brain. So, you are witness to a massively lopsided brain at work. The analytical part of my brain works better than any other part and I have always been fairly intuitive, so those functions work fairly well, in tandem. These skills don’t help me drive a car, or better my short term memory though.

    I think I’ve gained perspective since my husband died, too. I can think more clearly about my own situation and the circumstances of others because I have learned (finally) how to emotionally detach from people and situations, where it’s required, while retaining the ability to empathize.

    In other words, I don’t get as bent out of shape, nor thrown on the defensive. In turn, I’m less inclined to throw those who get under my skin, on the defensive.

    I also have a sibling I haven’t mentioned, who has schizophrenia. I have spent a lifetime trying to understand this state of being, to the best of my ability, in order to help her. It is the most tragic disease and so poorly understood.

    I think that until science gains a better understanding of consciousness; with all of its spiritual implications, they will not understand what is going on with psychosis. I feel I share some cognitive traits in common with her and narrowly dodged the schizophrenic bullet.

    Dr.Simon has been a wonderful role model, the last couple of years. He handles people with such amazing grace.

    1. Lisa my dear, So many of the issues that you have mentioned hit very close to home. I have always been a little intuitive but after my car accident when I suffered brain damage I became more intuitive. I just barely learned to listen. I also gained a greater understanding since I married the psycho. I not only had to look out for my well being but I also had three kids to raise.
      I worked on a special needs school bus for 13 years and just loved it so much!! There is no greater feeling than having the pure, innocent love of a special needs child. I was blessed to be able to work with severely handicapped. They came out of a group home and that was very heart breaking. I didn’t not ever look at it as “just a job.” I feel that there are people in my family that could benefit from getting a mental health diagnosis but ego prevents them from admitting they are anything less than perfect. Lmao… I just found out the other day that my cousin is bi-polar. I have not been around her for about 20 years.

      1. Thanks Carrie. I was in a car accident, as well. It didn’t help matters. But your accident was probably much more severe. Well, it’s all character building. When I started to get sick, I had no clue what was going on. I lost all spatial perception, couldn’t remember anything…at all. Went from being a straight A student to being a complete failure. I already had an anxiety disorder but not being able to easily learn anything completely new was cause for a further freak out. I cried a lot with frustration. When I tried to explain to my parents that I was profoundly depressed anxious and couldn’t think straight, learn anything, they dismissed it as being purely emotional or the result of being ‘on drugs.’ The constant refrain was,”but Lisa, you are such a smart girl!”

        At the same time, my sister was having similar cognitive problems. She ended up developing full blown schizophrenia. I was left with a terrible learning disability, memory problems. I am sure our problems are related, but I don’t know how.

        Maybe we were exposed to something in the environment that ran riot in sister’s brain, but stopped just short of disabling me, to the same degree, mentally. I became physically very ill, though. She avoided that. I don’t hold our upbringing fully responsible. It was highly stressful, but not enough to induce these kinds of illnesses.

        My brother is similarly affected, not to the same degree. It’s why I am able to still love him and have some respect for him. My father hit all of us in the head, fairly frequently, but I don’t think it was hard enough to cause damage. I don’t know.

        Enough about me.

        Carrie, so great you did the job you did with the disabled. People like you are my heroes. And you’re the black sheep in your family? Oh lord. So sorry you have been through so much. It has made you a better person though, hasn’t it?

        That’s the challenge — not to become bitter, no matter what. If there is any kind of win/lose challenge going on, in some metaphysical spiritual sense, it is to remain kind and yielding in spite of what life throws at us. We aren’t tasked with loving the truly demonic, or pathologically cruel, but we can rise above them while disengaging.

        1. Hi Lisa, Yes, my car accident was probably more severe but all said and done no brain damage is good. I would have to say that the hardest part of the whole thing was dealing with my malignant mommy narc. Oh course, it gave her the limelight. She tells that I have only done as well as I have because of her very heartless attitude. She claims that since she refused to help me with a lot of things it made me stronger. She jumped right to pulling her tricks and got me set up for special education classes. I went one day and said that I was not going back. Since that trick did not go as planned she then set me up appointments with the school psychologist. That was a very mean thing to do. Can you imagine being pulled out of class by the school psychologist in sixth grade?! I  was the laughing stock of the school. The kids took every chance they could get to call me retarded. (I hate that word)  All I wanted to do was be myself again!! It all made me very strong and I never wanted to be treated any different than anyone else. I also had my bouts with anxiety. No one even ever listened to me at all though. I never had much of a support system at all. I have to say that I learned a tremendous amount though. I’m always very attentive and supprtive to my kids became that is what I missed.
          I loved working with the special needs kids because I felt like I had so much to offer because I could relate to what they where facing. I used to get very upset with the others who were doing the same job but would not take things seriously. How could anyone work with special needs children and insult them at the same time?! It was hard for me to deal with many people at my work. They could show no empathy. The friends that I did make at work were the sweetest and kindest people around. I miss them lots.

    2. LisaO,

      Such interesting things. I’m sorry that schizophrenia came to your sister and you’re lucky to have dodged that.

      It’s good manage to avoid the defensive stance, because defensiveness sucks. Myself I’ve slid into defensiveness a few times and hated it and then again managed to avoid such, which I like a lot.

      And since people here seem to drop book references on different matters every now and then(mostly related to psychology?), have you read some about spirituality, psychology of spirituality and whatnot?

      And and and, someone else said you could/should become a writer. Really, would be great that you would. After, you have experience about things you just mentioned and didn’t you also say you’ve known a psychopath? That’s a lot to work from! Okay, even if you’ve worked it all out, it’s still a lot to work from.

      1. Hi Timothy,

        Thanks so much for your compliments. You are very kind.

        I have read a fair amount of spiritual literature. I am drawn to the morality of the New Testament, the mysticism of Sufis and writings of people like Victor Frankyl and Jacques Lusseyran. I also appreciate Robert Anton Wilson, who wrote, The Cosmic Trigger.

        C.S. Lewis, has been the most important philosopher, writer, wise man I have read. He not only articulates how people feel, but more to the point, how they think … how thought and feeling interact and then gel into consensus reality.

        There is a place for science– but most experience cannot be recreated, much less replicated in a laboratory setting. The most meaningful events, sensations can’t be held under a microscope.

        We are part of a huge mystery that requires reason, compassion and the guidance of those who have won our time tested trust.

        And back to Dr.Simon’s points about liars. As smooth and kind and caring as anybody seems, it’s wise to reserve judgement, both positive and negative, to see if words, deeds, line up over the longer haul.

        In potentially close relationships, it is best not to fully invest emotionally, before all of the facts are in.. When you think about it, this is what happens in cults. People are ‘love bombed’ and then become emotionally involved before they give themselves the room to make sound judgements.

        Most people wouldn’t buy a car based on the minimum ‘proof’ of integrity and soundness they require to enter into marriage, religious congregation; how about financial advisor, too? This isn’t unique to targets of CD’s, it’s part of the ‘judge not’ mentality of our current era.

        Timothy, who are your favorite philosophers, writers?

        1. You mentioned cults. Interesting. Makes sense.

          It’s so sad how easy it’s to get all invested just like that. And when a dishonest person is in control of a group, an organization, a sect or a cult, it’s even worse. In any case, it’s a bit screwy.

          It’s so damn hard to know what each and every person is like from little. Don’t know what to think ’bout “judge not” -mentality, though. Doesn’t it happen that sometimes an innocent person is falsely accused and vilified? Scapegoating’s a real problem, too, and for some reason whenever someone really does something, they’re excused. Again, quite a bit screwy. But a small detail in many cases is that the fault is thrown somewhere else. In other words, people ARE willing to look for the bad guy, seemingly as long as it’s not the real one. For example, all Dr Simon brings up, when someone’s misbehavior isn’t their own fault, but someone else’s fault.

          So do scapegoaters have such a good sense of timing and good sense of legwork?

          1. Timothy,

            Really good points that highlight the problems with judging versus not judging. I think refusing to judge when we should be judging, is the issue.

            It doesn’t mean maligning; launching a campaign against; or scapegoating, just backing away and not engaging.

            Those of is who have become sensitized to being judged, because of our own experiences with being judged unfairly have to be careful we vet individuals who arouse our sympathies, along those same lines.

            I was targeted by somebody who profiled my sensitivities and knew I was very sympathetic to anybody who has been misjudged and derided.

            His pity play was designed to take advantage of the emotional and mental maps that have HELPED me understand and help myself and others, in the past.

            It is super tricky…for sure. A really polished liar can do an end run around our intuition or actually manipulate it, if our sympathies are aroused.

          2. Yes Lisa, I do agree. Sometimes judging when we should be judging is the actualProblem. I know that I was willing overlook a lot of red flags so I would not be rude and heartless. I always have been able to zero in on little tid bits of different things that others can easily overlook. I can admit that the “love bombing” sent up lots of red flags but I had always been accused of being too judgemental that I let things slide. My bad!! So many huge mistakes and lots of lingering memories. I have a small amount of PTSD I guess.

          3. Somewhere I read a bit of advice. We’d do well to keep different possibilities(sides of the coin, just the first metaphor that comes to mind; not the best, I know) in mind. If we’re not sure if someone’s reliable, we have a duty for ourselves and those close to us to keep them safe and also a duty to avoid offending and hurting another person unnecessarily.

          4. Charles.Manson comes to mind. He is the name I use when I am trying to describe the dysfunction. Helter Skelter was highly publicized so everyone gets a picture in their mnd quickly.

          5. I don’t know how many times people have brought this up here. One thing you missed:

            What about when an innocent person is falsely accused? How do you know that’s the case and not the accused one really being like said?

        2. SOrry, LisaO, my eyes kinda jumped over some parts of your post the first time and I’m not sure how that is. Dang.

          It’s also interesting how you mentioned cults, spiritual literature and liars in the same post. I’ve taken to reading P. T. Mistlberger, who’s my new favorite author. Remember? I recommended Rude Awakening to some folks. Now I’ve bought that one as well as another one(Three Dangerous Magi; about Aleister Crowley, G. I. Gurdjieff and Osho/Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh). I recall mentions of spiritual communities and how they also have their conflicts of interest and opinion just like any other group. So what makes a difference between an authentic spiritual community(actual term) and a cult? And if you can recommend any specific sites where I can learn more about them(since you and of course some others seem to have more knowledge about them), that would be very appreciated, too. I’ve had a bit more hurries last times than I’d like, so Googling’s been not-so-high on my priority list. It annoys me.

          As for whom I’ve read(P.T. Mistlberger I already mentioned), I’ve read George Orwell. 1984 stands out for me. I’m afraid I’m going to bombard names here. 😀 Also a few texts by Plato, not anywhere near all, just Phaedo, Symposium and Phaedrus. George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire -saga, once you strip any supernatural elements, is a great mirror of how everything can go wrong in the world.

          Mostly last times I’ve been reading texts by spiritual-minded people like Ramana Maharashi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and J. Krishnamurti(how IS his first name to be pronounced?).

          One very good website I discovered last year and think some of you may appreciate is Enlightened spirituality, by Timothy Conway, who practices Advaita Vedanta. There’s a lot to find – including about harmful cult leaders.

          http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/

          Oh, btw, the aforementioned Osho is one of those harmful cult leaders. He did create some more “dynamic” meditations that do work, but he also ended up making his followers crazy by over-indulging in them and caused a lot of terror in Oregon in the 1980’s.

          1. LisaO, I’m not sure if you do anyting with these “clues” :D. Just simply answered your question, at least I think I did.

        3. I totally forgot something.

          LisaO(others, too, of course), I’ve read John O. Beahrs’ book Unity and Multiplicity, a great book about inner awareness. Kinda figures, eh? Recommended. I say this as someone, who’s been exploited, used and manipulated, but also unsuccesfully so many other times.

          1. I will definitely look that up. I have recently found a thrift store that has a number of books.

          2. Hey, Carrie! 😀 It’s great to know I may be able to help someone with any reference. I kinda sprinkled a lot there if you scroll up a bit.

            So, let me get this straight, this is a site for helping emotionally wounded people and others, who’ve met manipulators, discuss their experiences, compare notes and get support, but sometimes people can also discuss other matters psychological, including outside book and website recommendations?

          3. Timothy, I love to read all the different perspectives from different authors. I have found that many books can usually be tied together in the strangest ways.
            Yes, we are all helping each other deal with episodes we have dealing with the dark side. We all need a help up once in a while. I just joined this site.
            I have a very narcissistic family. I read WITHOUT CONSCIENCE by Robert Hare. That book answered so many questions for me. I have also read a few books regarding the daughters of narcissist mothers. Those books were hard for me to read since they brought back so many memories that had been forgotten. I belong to a few sites on Facebook that benefit me also. One is RECOVERING FROM NARCISSISTIC ABUSE-KNOWLEDGE EQUALS HEALING and also NARCOLOGY.

          4. No one should have to suffer from an irresponsible egomaniac. It sucks how that ever happens. I wish it never would happen.

            Good that you’ve found answers to your questions.

            “many books can usually be tied together in the strangest ways.” How can you say it so well?! 😀 I agree. Like you say, “different perspectives from different authors”.

          5. Unfortunately just being online sets us up for trolls and hackers. There is nothing that can steal your self respect like a cyber bully.

  10. Those who have experienced life with an incessant liar know all too well how painful and devastating it can be to be in their constant line of fire and the toll it takes on all those affected by their well calculated disorder. I would guess that most skilled liars use religion and/or recite sayings from well-known writers or poets in an effort to create a façade to catch people off guard. Thereby giving them a base on which to build upon while reeling them in without coercion. If these individuals are skilled enough and manipulative enough, they will deliberately create a brain washing effect on their victims. I would compare this type of behavior to that of a vacuum because you get sucked because you don’t realize what they’re doing, then spit you out when you catch on. Because there are so many different dynamics involved, it literally makes your head spin as you begin to question what’s real and what’s not. This destructive behavior makes the victim also question the validity of other relationships as well, you feel disconnected from reality. There is no winning because you are faced with a double edged sword. You’re caught between wanting to let them know you’re on to them, but when you confront or question even the slightest detail, you are under a vicious attack of words. These “disturbed characters” hold a vendetta against you until you concede. They take great pride in destroying your character by humiliating you in front of others regardless of where it is. They will stop at nothing because they refuse to comply with any personal boundaries you thought they would never cross. They are dictators in their own right because they refuse to listen to what others say and disregard any feelings you have. “Impression management” also plays a vital role because if you’re not on board with them 100% they will use whatever technique they have to discredit you in front of others or when you are not around. This is where minimization, gas-lighting and other tactics are put into play. The foundation of a relationship is cracked and beyond repair if it’s built on vicious lies, manipulation, threats or any other disorder. Take notice when an incessant liar says they have no reason to lie or say that they would never lie to you. It’s funny (sarcastically) to watch them weave a web of lies then turn around and have the audacity to call their victim a liar. Words cannot describe how grateful I am that there is finally someone to expose these people for who they really are.

    1. The liar’s endgame is to ruin peoples lives. It’s so true what Dr Simon say’s about it being a competition and a contest, that’s how they view life and relationships. Keeping others in the dark to their real deal, which is to strip you of everything and then smile at the devastation they’ve caused and take such delight in knowing that you never saw it coming. They care about nothing except their own power.

      1. The church is such a great place for the dark, destructive individuals to hang out. I met a pastor once who was one of the very worst. He had the predator stare down to a tee. I felt so deceived!!

        1. I guess they don’t realize or even care that they are using religion as a tool to continue manipulating & destroying everyone’s life. If they truly believed in a higher power, they would know that what they’re doing goes against the true meaning of what religion is supposed to be about. They are the biggest Hippocrates. I’m surprised these types of people don’t burst into flames when they take their first step into a church.

          1. Good thoughts!! I know several that are in church every Sunday. In reality people get to see their car in the parking lot. Their mind is never really there. It is a great front to cover up undesirable things in their life. My sister-in-law is one of the biggest hypocrites I know but so many people see the blonde haired angel in church. She is very overprotective to her kids. She takes it to an unhealthy level and uses a lot of very subtle manipulation on her teenage daughter. It makes me sad to see the evil at work and then she is is going to use the girl against my brother. I lived in a different state and had to call my dad to come and get my son and I. She saw this as her chance to take advantage of us. Her and my mommy narc had an entire plan set up to make me commit suicide. They would move me to a new place where I was alone and had no friends. They managed to pull every trick out of their bag and this even included turning the evil pastor on me. Hahahaha……. Yes, I am surprised God didn’t send fire down on that pulpit.

    2. Chris:
      I have been coming back to this blog for 5 months, trying to understand what is going on in my life.
      Now I have been 4 hours trying to decide if it would be wise to post (it is personal stuff), until I found these words in your post:
      “Because there are so many different dynamics involved, it literally makes your head spin as you begin to question what’s real and what’s not.”
      Then, here is a poster-like vignette of the most recent interaction in my family.
      My stepdaughter enters in my office and says: “My car doesn’t work and my Dad doesn’t want me to sell it because all the money that he has spent fixing it”.
      I don’t have any knowledge about cars and I’m in the middle of a project. Then I answer: “Oh…” (no idea what I should add). Then she leaves the office.
      Later that afternoon in our living room we are all reunited (my husband, stepdaughter and I).
      I ask to my husband: Why do you refuse to let her sell the car?
      Husband answers: I never said that.
      Stepdaughter replies: Yes, you did, when you bought the 4 new tires.
      Husband: That was a month ago. Now I don’t care if you sell it or not.
      Stepdaughter: But I don’t want to sell it, because I love my car.
      I was watching the interaction like a tennis game, just turning my head from left to right to see the ball (lies) going from one to the other player.
      I wasn’t aware of the tires or the cost of the multiple fixes that my husband have paid for the car, but that is “pecatta minuta” in this case.
      My head was spinning (as you said) around this situation, because it resembles so many other odd interactions that I have witnessed in the last seven years, since I became a member of this family, that I’m getting confused and a little bit tired of it.
      Your thoughts, dear members of this forum, are welcomed.

      1. Marianne,

        I think if you pay for the car, then everyone will be happy:
        You step-daughters love for old broken car may come down.
        You husband will get new car to experiment on.
        You obviously will be happy in a happy house.

        Or, swapping your car with your daughters car may be good enough. You will get a car that does not work. Mind you, car that does not work has brand new tires.

        Oh wait. What have I been saying?

        In my opinion, your husband was too quick to use word “never”. But, it was for a minor issue. And, I seriously doubt his mechanical skills given he bought new tires (tires?! not some part under the hood) for a car that supposedly does not work.

        I think your step-daughter is not direct and honest about things. She first blames father for not being able to sell the car. Later, she said she loves the car that doesn’t work. What?!

        I suggest you try to figure out what ultimate goal your step-daughter may be trying to achieve.
        In any case, it will help if you can phrase your queries that just requires Yes/No answers.
        Or, wait till your daughter comes up with direct requests, like “I want…” Of course to wait, you should be able to stop trying to understand the logic behind family conversation, but just enjoy the show.

        1. Andy D:

          LOL big time!
          Four years ago I bought an F-150 and I used it I think 4 times in 6 months, until the day when my step grandson asked why I didn’t have a car and his grandpa had two. LOL again.

          At that point I set my boundaries about cars.

          She will not ask me to buy it, nevertheless following your impeccable logic, she will ask to her Dad.
          Please, don’t think that I am talking about a teenager (even when she behaves like one). She is 28.

          As you said, a good choice can be just enjoying the show.

          Thanks.

    3. Chris,

      You have described my situation in scary detail. I’m divorcing a narcicistic, manipulative, lying disbarred attorney who will never to admit to wrong-doing, much less apologize. He repeatedly accuses me of lying, being crazy and trying to humiliate me through motions filed in my divorce case. I work at the courthouse where it is filed. Through reading Dr. Simon’s articles and posts such as your I have found the help I need from time to time. I have been through a year of therapy and do have an understanding of his sick, abusive, dark behaviors, but they are still hard to deal with, since I can’t totally walk away from the sick bastard till we are fully through divorce proceedings. Anyway, thanks for the input. It is helpful to me.

  11. Manipulation Tactic #10081979- Create the wild goose chase by going into the closet and unlocking a suitcase, rustling around for a minute or two, and then locking the suitcase back up.

    Manipulation Tactic #2298612354- Blame your parents for your disturbed character.

    Done for now. I react this way because you all ask for it. The sooner you all leave me alone, the sooner I will stop this online insanity.

    Good Night All.

    Shaun-ized.

  12. I am next month ordering a copy of Character Disturbance. Waterstones in the U.K can I hope obtain me a copy. This is now getting interesting as as a topic.
    On my the mothers side of the family there is big money. On reading Dr Simons teachings, I am beginning to understand about the Power Play that goes on in the minds of these D.C’s
    I just started the clear up of the stuff that got from it mothers house.Things are getting better for me inside my head. A BIG thank you to all.

    1. Joey, there is a lot of healing to be done when recovering from the abuse that victims of character disturbed/covert-aggressives/narcissists suffer.

      We can stay in our heads too much at first, wondering why this happened or how could people act this way, trying to analyze things, etc. But we really need to just accept that this is the way life is – as much as that is unfair or unjust. Then we begin our inside healing.

      I read somewhere that we wouldn’t ask a crocodile to act like a cuddly little puppy. We’d stay away from the croc – not wonder why it acts the way it does, how unfair for the croc to be sitting out there waiting for its next meal and so forth.

      Once we accept the unfortunate reality of the crocodiles in our lives we can then work at getting better emotionally and psychologically. No contact works well with crocodiles, and with most character disturbed individuals also.

      Use whatever tools speak to you, therapy or meditation or writing or music or all of them and see what resonates.

      We are suffering from a form of PTSD, and there are many online resources that can help with that.

      Wishing you well on your way to becoming “you”.

      1. I have got to admit that I love the crocodile and the the little puppy. Great way to explain it. I prefer to have NO CONTACT with the dark side because they like to suck the energy right out of a person.

      2. I’ve been dating a DC for a little over a year. Although I feel like I have a better grip on my sanity and feel ready to leave the relationship, I always ask myself “why me”. I wonder, did this person ever care about me as much as he said he did? Does he care that I’m breaking up with him or is he just mad that one of his “possessions” is gaining back their independence?

        1. If a person really cares about you they wouldn’t abuse you (me). You’re being used to satisfy whatever sick need he has. It doesn’t matter if he cares. Leave the bastard.

  13. One should maintain a diary to keep their sanity when living in close quarters with a gaslighter.

    Keep in mind that you still cannot convince the liar about their lies by showing the bunch of “cooked-up” diary entries. And, definitely forget about improving a disturbed character expecting them to reflect on your diary entries.

    A diary will help you in making yourself mentally stronger, helping in surviving the ballistic missile attack of lies.

    1. I am living in the same house as A HUGE one. I find it complete entertainment most of the time. I can always tell that when she uses the phrase SO AND SO SAYS THIS or I READ THIS or I SAW ON THE NEWS…. it will be quite elaborate. This way she is not the one lying and she never has any personal responsibility if it is ever discovered. When I was younger she used to start out her lies by saying, “Well they say…….” Even at a young age I could see the complete injustice. Being a little smart-elic, I would say, “Who says that?” She would get infuriated and start throwing things. Hahahaha…. My biggest issue right now is teaching my son the huge red flags he is seeing and to acknowledge his gut feelings. He is learning to keep an open mind and think out of the box.

      1. Carrie, “Not very many people want to face their demons and the ones that do are quite a treasure. Many things happen in life that are beyond upsetting. The way we handle them can really set the course for the rest of our lives. Thank goodness this former croc was able to look deep inside and become a cuddly puppy. ”

        I’m sorry you had to go through a terrible accident to be able to “face your demons”, but good on you that you did. Dr. Simon attributes their massive egos, in many cases, as to why CDs and narcissists won’t do the work to change. Why should they, when they can target the more vulnerable to feed off of and get their feelings of power that way!

        I think that only if these narcs hit rock bottom with no one left to victimize have will they perhaps try and look at themselves honestly in the mirror. But the easier way out for them would be to find other prey.

        I’m happy you were able to do the hard work to get here. Self-reflection is painful, no matter where we are on the neurotic-disordered spectrum.

        I’ve been on quite the journey in the past year, painful, depressing, wondering “why”, obsessive thoughts, etc., but I know it was so worth it! We become who we were meant to be, once we shove off the yoke of toxic people in our lives (as much as we can in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in).

        1. GG, thanks for your insight. I can look back now and see the car accident was the turning point of my life. Many people go through horrific things to become who they are meant to be. I really don’t know why the reality check works for some and not others. I can remember when I was try to get myself together so I could get away from my psycho. I was at the counselor and was trying to tell him that I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for thinking about leaving the psycho. The psycho had a horrible childhood and chose to join the injustice instead of deal with his demons. I was ignoring the fact that he had CHOSEN to follow in the steps of his predator. The counselor had to guide me back to a realistic way of thinking. I got home and started thinking about what he had said and realized that I too had a horrible childhood.
          I chuckled out loud when I read what you wrote about the narc family would turn and destroy each other. That is exactly what happens! There is no honor among narcs. They are huge egomaniac and have to finish first at whatever expense. I see the ones in my family using the others to acquire their personal desires all the time. Mommy narc and cousin narc were inseparable all the time they were growing up. I thought that they really liked each other but soon realized that they were partners in crime as long as they were destroying my life!! Once I moved out of the state then they had no more reason to hang out. Their entertainment was gone. They eventually had some dispute over money and hate each other now. They each have their own little pathetic story as to why they aren’t friends. I just sit back and laugh and stay out of the drama.
          I’m sorry to hear about your excessive trials. Yes, I do agree, once the toxic people are removed from your life it becomes 500 times easier. Even a difficult life without evil stirring up the drama can be a good one. I wish I had some kind of pixie dust to sprinkle on you and make your trials disappear or even a witty remark for you. I would be able to cry with you and that is what most people need. ****hugs****

          1. Thanks so much Carrie! Cyber hugs are also comforting! As far as horrible childhoods, “normal” ones, and those in between, one child will choose one path, and another, something else.

            Reading about brain plasticity has made me realize that people with all types of brain injuries, even missing parts of their brains, can still learn skills and behaviors; it is a tremendously arduous path that they choose but one that leads them to a much richer life.

            So people with narcissistic or character disordered personalities have the choice also, but the work necessary to do so is what puts so many of them off.

            Hugs to you my dear!

          2. Hard work is definitely what drives most people away from the self improvement process. I also think that the majority of people shy away because it is not immediate gratification.

  14. Just to throw an abstract question out there. Has any one read Martha Stout’s The Sociopath Next Door. I read a breif exert. The subject was on a character named Doreen Littlefield. A COVETOUS SOCIOPATH.

    1. I have not read the book. However it does look interesting and it is on my wish list. I also saw that Dr. Phil is promoting a book called DEVIL’S DAUGHTER. I would love that too.

    2. I read The Sociopath Next Door, but it was before reading Sheep’s Clothing when I gained the real insight that oh there are many people like that in varying degree.

      If I recall correctly, Martha Stouts’ book is good, and provides good detailed case histories. But, the examples were bit extreme, probably some select examples that highlight the problem people in clear black and white. But things are not so white-black in real life, and hence book did not connect at personal level, one can probably point out one or maybe two people in town that may fit the profile. Whereas the examples in Sheep’s Clothing were more realistic, more closer to me, one can literally point out several close relatives that fit the profile to varying degree.

      I will probably read Sociopath Next Door one more time. To get better understanding of outstanding character disturbed people. 🙂

    3. Oh by the way. One can read the book Sociopath Next Door in a single evening. It is quite easy to read and flows very nicely. I will recommend it. Keep an open critical mind too.

  15. Carrie,

    You mentioned reading many different authors and viewpoints and that sparked a memory!

    http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree/lectiodivina

    “In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk named Guigo, formalized four stages to the practice of Lectio Divina. Today, there are many ways of practicing Lectio Divina but Guigo’s description remains the foundation. As in the earliest Judaic textual practices, he described four levels of meaning and four approaches to the text: lectio (reading and then understanding the text), meditatio (reflection and contextualizing the meaning), oratio (listening within and living the meaning), and contemplatio (being still, and meeting God in the text). It was a fundamentally contemplative approach: first becoming keenly aware of what was on the page and then successively attending to greater and deeper meaning within, building to the realization of global connection.”

    This could lead somewhere, methinks.

  16. Dr. Simon, you truly are a godsend. EVERYTHING has finally been put into perspective and now I feel like I have it all figured out! I unfortunately have fallen victim to a disturbed character, who I’ve known almost my whole life. I only recently have gotten to know him on a personal level, but looking back on what people have told me about his behavior, it all makes sense now. He comes off as very charming and almost a butt kisser, and oddly always seems to be the victim in his situation. Of course as a normal person I thought I could help or change his situation. Over the past year I have experienced some of the worst emotional pain anyone could experience in my entire life. Cheating, lying, the silent treatment, bursts of anger, isolation, the list goes on. Right after a bad situation, he would turn around and act “sorry” when in reality he was just trying to brush it under the rug and make me forget. People close to the situation have always asked me why I stay and I couldn’t seem to find an answer. It was almost like a roller coaster: when things got really bad, they got 10000x better, then back to bad again. It’s gotten so bad recently that I’ve been humiliated and lost relationships due to this person. Fortunately, after reading this site, I feel like I have a better understanding on how to handle him. I’m currently in the middle of breaking up with him (again) and I’m trying to go about it as calmly as possible. I also feel much stronger than I did months ago, maybe it’s because I’ve become accustomed to the pain. A few commenters on this site have stated that people like this have a blank facial expression most of the time and a dead, cold stare. His face fits this exact description to the point that it makes my skin crawl. I’ve tried explaining to people exactly what a DC is and even sent links to this site, but I feel like everyone thinks I’m crazy. I admit that it’s difficult to just let go of this person I’ve grown to care about but at this point I feel like I need to force myself out of this situation. The abuse and black mail isn’t worth it and I feel like a very negative side of me has come out that I never knew existed. If anyone has any advice for me on how to break up with a manipulator who I must see on occasion due to mutual friends, please give me your input. It makes me sooooo happy to know that there is an actual name for this type of behavior. I always thought something was off about him but now I feel like I’ve hit the nail on the head!

    1. Amanda, I just want to say that I am so proud of you!! You have taken the first step to a brand new awakening. I can suggest that you read the book A WOMAN’S WORTH by Marianne Williamson. There is really so much greatness in this book. I love how she explains that a woman has so much to offer and she deserves to be with someone who brings it out. Healing yourself is going to be the first step. This is important so that you don’t get right back into the cycle of evil. I was married to a DC and then a full blown hardcore psychopath and I know the damage that they can do..
      You mentioned many of the issues that you have noticed in the relationship. You’re right on!! Doesn’t it just feel so wonderful to finally know that you are not crazy. Truth is- you are doing things right and that is why he chose to make you his victim. I am very sad to have to tell you that you were his favorite possession. It is hard for people to realize that they were in the relationship alone. These people are egomaniac who do not love themselves so they can not love anyone else.
      I included an attachment with this post about NO CONTACT. You should understand how important that this is. There is no reasoning with an irrational person. He has no sense of reality and so he will make you feel like everything bad that has ever happened is your fault and then you end up going back again. Of course, he doesn’t care when you say that you are leaving because he will convince you otherwise. I know because I let the idiot back in the house about eight times before I had the locks of the doors changed and kicked him out. I’m sorry that you have mutual friends because I suggest that you don’t get around them. Tell them that you are working on your own personal growth at the moment at you need to be alone. I feel that this is important because he will use them to get you back. I have a son with my ex psycho. The psycho tried to use my son to get me back. It was very difficult for me to watch someone use their own child like that.
      There are many books out there on this subject. I read WITHOUT CONSCIENCE by Robert Hare and it opened up many doors for me. Dr. Simon has wonderful books also. Narcissism is a great key word to use when looking up these things concerning the dark side..

      You mentioned that he was always very privileged growing up. Being spoiled is a really big thing they all have in common. However, you have also got to remember that a person always has last choice. I can remember saying to myself, “This shit is not working for me!”
      I wish you the very best on your wonderful road to self discovery. I would love to write down everything I know all help as many people as I can. If I can ever help you or give you support know that I am here.
      Lots of hugs!!

    2. Thank you, Amanda, for such kind words. The validation means a lot and always has. I hope you find in my books and articles (and the wonderful comments from the readers) the resources you need to empower yourself.

  17. Is it wrong to wish for a DC’s downfall? I feel like after all of the frustration, tears and not to mention feeling like you’re going crazy, DC’s deserve a nice big kick of karma right in the groin. Honestly, what the best way to “get back at” a DC without confrontation?

    1. You are absolutely normal to have thoughts of revenge, anger, wanting to get at them or whatever else you are feeling. Do not stuff your feelings inside. Write them out, punch a pillow, get in the car and scream – I took a self-defense class for women, and one of the actions the workshop leader had us do was an anger circle. Here is the link; (http://www.drgeorgesimon.com/the-structure-of-therapeutic-confrontation/)

      You have the right to your emotions. You’ve been abused, period, and it is not okay!

      One of the participants in the above-mentioned workshop was the victim of sexual and physical abuse by her father and uncle, but told us that verbal abuse is the worst! And since it doesn’t leave any visible scars, you’re often left to feel as though you are making a mountain out of a molehill when trying to explain what has happened to you.

      Don’t ever discount your feelings – they exist for a reason, to let you know something is not right, to protect you, to get you far away from danger.

      And as incredible as it may seem, feelings of revenge will dissipate as you take time for yourself. YOU are the #1 person to care for. Even if there are children involved – you need to take care of YOU otherwise you can’t take care of them (just as flight attendants tell parents to put the oxygen masks on first, THEN help their children)

      Unfortunately there are many people who have gone through bruising psychological encounters with covert-aggressives and character disturbed individuals.

      Yet, fortunately, many of those people are here on this forum to help and offer support, just like Carrie and others.

      1. Amanda, GG has so many wonderful points here! I can always feel the warmth and sincerity of her words. Living with the narc has taught you to discount your feelings to slide them under the rug. After all, you are crazy, right? NO, you are a fantastic, beautiful, passionate woman who has so many wonderful things waiting to happen in your life that this dysfunctional individual sees you as a threat. Therefore he must do anything to extinguish any possibilities of thus ever happening. You are allowed to be yourself. You just let all those emotions out!!

        1. Thank you everyone for all of your kind words!! A quick update on my situation: through text message, I let my DC know that I’m done with him and call him out on his behavior. He doesn’t reply until a few days later with a long text, stating that he “respects my decision but he misses me”. He also wants to talk more but I agree to do it only if it’s over the phone or in public (in private it might lead to him trying to pull me into bed). I’ve made up my mind that I WILL leave him so I decided to take this as an opportunity to make it clear to him that I’m done. I’m well aware of his tricks so I promised myself that no matter what he says, I won’t get back with him no matter what. I feel like I’ve come a long way as of now and it would be a complete waste of energy to fall back into his trap. Yes, I’m angry, but I think my own personal happiness outweighs the anger.

    2. Amanda,

      There are therapies where people beat the crap out of punching bags. It probably helps. There is something about being truly abused that brings out justifiable rage, particularly after the confusion wears off.

      It should not be treated dismissively by anybody. It’s real, there are reasons for it. The vibe you give off when you are in this frame of mind keeps others who may harm you away. If you can retain the vibe around the ass kissing manipulator, he will pick up on it and leave you alone.

      Failing punching bag or other means of retaliation, I played hackey sack with my abuser’s head, in my head. I tried worse but blood makes me queazy and I felt it wasn’t helping me. I really just had to release adrenalin somehow.

      That intense anger wears off. Past a certain point it no longer serves you and can make you bitter, but initially?? If you don’t have thoughts of violence towards lying manipulative monsters, you probably don’t have a pulse.

      1. I still look back and find it hard to forgive myself. I had kids and they suffered soooo much at the hands of the abuser because I let the psychopath stay in the house. I wake up at night shaking. It’s important for you to be able to forgive yourself.

  18. Unfortunately, your instincts about other people may not always be right.

    Disturbed characters love to lie and they love to withhold information. Both forms of deception give DCs power over you, as Dr Simon points out.

    Earlier this year, a man killed a woman in Scotland and the crime made big news in the U.K.

    One news article about the case includes brief quotes by a British psychologist. Here are excerpts:

    “In [the accused’s] mind, there will be a reason why he carried out this horrific attack. And this is typical behaviour of a psychopath, they make you work for every little bit of information, but often it isn’t the full truth.”

    The psychologist said refusing to disclose details is among the few things [the accused] still has control over. “It’s very much about power and control for him.”

    Like many psychopaths, [the accused] has withheld … information on why he attacked [the victim], which for him is a “game of power and control”.

  19. What brought me to this blog was a Youtube video of Dr. Simon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kegc-NGwcEY where he says something extremely interesting and crystal clear: “We live in the “just do it” age”… but most of the psychological models that are applied come from the “don’t even think about” age.

    Then, in my opinion:
    1- Blaming parents for the narcissistic behavior of their children is outdated. In recent years I have seen an increasing number of good, nurturing, non-abusive parents suffering over the narcissism of their children.
    2- Diminishing the power and influence of social trends in the behavior of liars and narcissists is hurting us, because WE (the affected part) are tuning the blind eye to a key element of our days: the reign of body over soul, ignorance over intelligence, chaos over peace and ruthless behavior over kindness. Just watch The Kardashians’ reality show or the movie Idiocracy and enjoy the flavor of our era and what we could become in the future.
    3- If we track back the life of a liar and we are able to find where he/she really comes from, most of the time we will be amazed of the fact that they use to hide all the sane and good people who were part of their lives; those who where used, deceived and forgotten (including, of course, good parents, mentors and family members).

    In conclusion, I fully agree with Dr. Simon when he says “we are living in a whole new age with a whole new set of problems”. If we are conscientious, kind and valuable people, we need to know that every single day will have its challenges, because we are not “cool” from the point of view of many of our contemporaries.

    1. Agreed…. If anyone shows any admirable qualities than they are thought of as weak. Narcissism is addressed in the bible. People will become lovers of themselves……

      1. Amen, Carrie.
        It worries me that we look at these liars as if they were fighting their demons or as if their behaviors where the the result of a childhood’s trauma, when most often than not, they are fighting us just for the sake of it.
        I mean, we try hard to find an explanation where there is NONE.

        1. These people are very scary to deal with. They do not have an empathetic bone in their body. There has been a couple of books written on this that are looked at as wild imaginative horror stories. Truth is I have fought demons all my life and I know it is no laughing matter. At the time I just fought but after doing the research and seeing what I was dealing with I realize that it is very scary and the Lord was carrying me along. My hardcore psycho was capable of horrible things. I still wake up shaking from nightmares caused by him.

        2. Marianne, this is it in a nutshell: “most often than not, they are fighting us just for the sake of it.” These characters have learned to enjoy the “fight”, like a boxer in a ring, only the CDs will only fight others whom they perceive as having a conscience and / or what they consider weak spots.

          1. Narcissists will fight other narcissists when they are no longer on the same team. They are like bullies on the playground and as long as they have gang up on and destroy the same victim it is all good but when they decide that one is getting a better shake then they will fight. Very funny to watch!! I have read books that talk about honor among thieves but no honor among narcs.

  20. Wow this is a very interesting topic you have here. After reading this i wondered if i might be a little tiny bit of a pathological liar. Well its cause when asked a question by someone i know either i would be vague with my answer or unconsciously lie.

    Whenever my parents ask me questions i lie first then after seeing them trust the answer i give gives me a feeling of superiority or something. Then i let the cat out of the bag and tell them the truth acting like it was a joke. Though if its with friends and siblings I dont tell the truth unless very necessary.

    Well the times i tell the truth is when the situation is serious or if im just in the mood to tell the truth

    Welp thats the end of the story. hey is the way im acting like a pathological liar? Im really curious to know. OwO

    1. Hi Chloe,

      Sounds like you are a bit of a mystery to yourself.

      Truth is not a gift you give others, it’s a basic requirement.

      That feeling of superiority you get from duping others is curious. It’s not like it’s difficult to lie. It’s easy — not because people are naive or stupid, necessarily but because they have come to expect honesty in mundane matters.

      Perhaps you enjoy private jokes with yourself rather than actually connecting honestly with others. Why do you think that might be?

    2. Hi chloe,

      Sounds like you are young, and at present your lies are probably more tending toward mischievous than avoiding responsibility or worse intentionally harmful. Maybe you are pathological liar, maybe you are not. Good thing are that you are reading things, introspecting, and honest about yourself at least on anonymous blog.

      I suggest you stop lying. Life built on top of lies is fake, an utterly useless way of living. Life is about relationships, parent, sibling, friends, family, relatives, colleagues etc. Of course there are individual goals and achievements too, but you still spend a lot of time with other people. And, once you lose trust, it simply cannot be repaired easily.

      As you have already figured out that it is very difficult to catch the liar right at the moment, but people figure out sooner or later when things you said do not fit well. And, that is when people stop trusting you. And believe me, it is a miserable life. My wife lied to me on small trivial things. It gave odd feeling at the moment, but eventually I figured out when things did not add up. It is not that she was hiding something major, like an affair, but as trivial things as price of a fancy item that she liked. Eventually trust level took a hit, and what could have been a wonderful married life, turned into rotten relationship.

      Best policy is:
      I will be truthful. This is easy part.
      But, I will also be worldly enough to know when other are not honest.

      1. Andy, very good advise once we lie and then we need to cover that lie. What happens is the web of lies becomes so big, we can’t remember the original lie and we come up with another lie. We then create such a monstrous web of deceit no one will believe us. ever We then look like such fools.

        The truth will set you free! It may hurt and be difficult but then we are true to ourselves and others. Regardless, the truth may hurt but in the end you will be looked at as one that can be counted on to be honest.

    3. If you lie you get a lie back. You hurt yourself. Question might be when did you first lie and why. What was the core lie covering up? Was it actually a lie told about you that you believed?

  21. It is hard to just walk away when it is your daughter or granddaughter that you love so much. It hurts to see them continue to lie. It hurts to not be able to believe anything they say.

    1. Tina,
      There are some blogs on benign confrontation. You may want to look up those blogs. They may be helpful in dealing with problem people.
      If you have some authority over the lying person, then a bit of tough love is what may be needed.

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