Narcissist lie ALL THE TIME.
It’s what they do.
You know this. Truly, you do.
The fact narcissists lie all the time is in some ways not the true burden.
The burden with dealing with a narcissist is the follow-through expectation put upon you- what to do with the lies?
When a narcissist lies to you (constantly), whether you realize it or not, you are thrust into a constraining, limited space in which your options are reduced to two. When lied to by a narcissist, you can either-
1. Validate the lie- that is, go along with the lie. This may happen for any number of reasons. You may simply be tired of countering every thing they say. The lie may be so ridiculous and preposterous you can’t even dredge up the energy to counter it. Or it may be a “small enough” lie with limited consequences that you are willing to let it slide. Picking your battles, if you will.
2. Acknowledge the lie is a lie- in this case, you are calling a lie what it is – “a lie”. You are unwilling to listen to excuses, explanations, or reasons, nor are you willing to serve as a projection screen for the narcissist- being told that you “don’t understand” that they “only meant” one thing, despite saying another, that they were “only kidding”, or that they “did not mean it”.
When you choose this choice, you have most likely opted for the Battle Royale. For a narcissist, to be called out on his or her lie is a threat to survival. A life and death struggle (symbolically) will ensue within their psyche (and projected upon you). For if you acknowledge a lie, to a narcissist, you are threatening to destroy him or her. This is no joke. They will perceive the calling out of them on a lie as a threat to their entire existence, because so much of their existence is based upon lies. Warning bells ring and panic ensues within the narcissist. THEY MUST CONTAIN THE THREAT and that threat is “you” if you dare to confront them on a lie.
So, this is where the utter fatigue enters. When dealing with a narcissist, you are constantly choosing between two un-realities. The lie, itself, is not reality. Thus, how is your response supposed to be authentic and real. You end of feeling torn apart and frozen, doubting your own self and your own choices.
You, however, can not fix the situation, because YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
And, thus, you are – frozen- between validating a lie or acknowledging it. You will repeat this pattern again and again, because it is a requirement in interacting with a narcissist.
I don’t have any answers for what to do, but sometimes the realization of what is happening allows us to be compassionate and understanding with our selves. Something we can never get from interacting with a narcissist.