Knowing the Narcissist: Caught In A Lie




I have explained previously that lying is like breathing for our kind. Lesser and Mid Range Narcissists tell lies and believe them, they are their truth. They do not recognise that they are lying and therefore there is no question of guilt, remorse or conscience because they do not see that they are doing something which is seen as wrong by you. Such is the joy of ignorance.

Greater Narcissists tell lies where some are believed by the Greater, the True Believer Status of those narcissists which operate in the rarefied atmosphere of control, power and privilege and are responsible for many of the glories and ills of the world you inhabit. However, much of the lies of the Greater are conscious lies and are told because of our innate Machiavellian nature wherein the end justifies the means and therefore there is nothing to be lost by knowingly lying and everything to gain. Unhindered by guilt, conscience or remorse, we will knowingly tell lies to serve our needs which will include the sheer entertainment of knowing we are lying and the impact it has on our victims.

What about when the narcissist is caught in a lie? Many of you will have witnessed this. The Greater is not caught in a lie because the sheer force of our lies, the level of our intellect and the extent of our scheming means that the lie is either undetectable or if it is, we are not caught in it. There is always an exit, whether that is through charm, massive plausible deniability or the operation of some manipulation, the Greater may occasionally have a lie exposed, but is never caught in it.

But what about the the Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist? You will have caught them in a lie on many occasions. What happens and surely their reaction means that they know they are caught lying?

No, it does not.

If you boldly accuse a narcissist of lying or you are less candid so you present a contradictory state of affairs between what the narcissist has said and some other evidence, what will you be met with?

This amounts to a challenge to the narcissist. You will be presenting Challenge Fuel and thus there is no wounding. However, your challenge to the narcissist by suggesting, forcefully or with subtlety that he or she has lied, is stating that the narcissist is wrong and thus you are offending the narcissists sense of superiority and seeking to pin accountability on the narcissist. You are not allowed to do this.

These challenges to superiority through our sense of entitlement to do what we want and need and to the lack of accountability threaten our control. Thus you will meet the First Line of the Twin Narcissistic Lines of Defence, which is denial.

You will be told that you are wrong, that this never happened, that you are incorrect, that you are making scandalous accusations, that your memory is haphazard or that you are making things up. All of these things and others amount to denial.

Denial will be maintained again and again and again until either you give up (thus giving the narcissist control and your challenge has ended) or you present something (usually independent corroborative evidence (such as a text, a picture, a video recording or somebody else’s testimony). If you do the latter you break through the First Line and thus you expose the lie.

This means the narcissist MUST in order to maintain control, fall back to the Second Line of the Narcissistic Twin Lines of Defence, which is in effect, any other manipulation and we have plenty of those. To understand more about the Twin Lines of Narcissistic Defence, read The Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence.

However, if you break through the First Line and present evidence showing a disconnect between what the narcissist says has happened and something else, has the narcissist not seen that he has lied? Does he not gain knowledge that he has lied? Is she not now fixed with realisation that she has lied?


The reaction you see is not of realisation that a lie has been exposed but instead the reaction to the loss of control, which you, understandably (because of your worldview) but mistakenly, see as realisation of been caught lying.

It is not.

It is a realisation that something is not right. The unconscious loss of control manifests in a conscious response through the application of the Second Line.

Thus, this is why the Lesser or Mid Range Narcissist does not know that he or she is lying and does not see the lie has been exposed, they merely sense a threat to their control and you become the problem which results in the application of a further manipulation through the application of the Second Line.

Dependent on the school of narcissist, the response may be plausible or be completely ridiculous, but it will be used because the narcissist is blind to the lie. All that matters is asserting control and quashing your challenge in some way.

You may receive some ridiculous comment which lacks credibility but it will be accompanied by a manipulation such as physical violence, smashing the phone on which your evidence is presented, a circular conversation, a bout of projection, a sudden massive word salad or any other form of manipulation from the many at our disposal, but it will always come.

It is akin to those films where someone is home alone and the madman or monster bursts into the house. The victim falls backwards, frantically scrambling away and reaching for anything, absolutely anything to use against the advancing threat to counter it. Sometimes the victim will reach for a gun and shoots countering the aggressor, thus that narcissist came up with a plausible response to being caught in a lie, sometimes the victim throws a knife, a candlestick or a rubber chicken. All have varying levels of effectiveness – just like the plausibility of the lie. Often you will still see through it, but it is the accompanying manipulation which enables the narcissist to scramble free of being caught in the lie.

You know the lie has been told, but that is not the issue. It is control and that is what the narcissist seeks. Even if the lie remains live and on the record, if control has been attained by punching you, flouncing off, shouting at you or embarking on a thirty minute word salad monologue then that is all that matters.

But now, let us hear from you, when you have caught the narcissist in a lie, share with us, those absolute corkers and belters that would have Pinocchio embarrassed. Explain the circumstances and what was said and then look at what else happened alongside it to realise how it is not so much the lie that matters but the need for control.


10 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist: Caught In A Lie

  1. Allison says:

    “I’ll come get you. We’ll go to the rodeo.” “I’ll come by and visit you.” “Daddy’s gonna spend time with his baby.” “Be ready for me to come get you. You ever been on a horse?” “You know Daddy loves you.” “I miss you, baby.”

    My parents had me out of wedlock, so I’m an official bastard (but I’m quite nice). My father never lived with us which allowed my mother to continue doing her imitation of a mattress around town and popping out a trio of alienated half-siblings. The particular circumstances for the earlier quotes were his infrequent phone calls to me when I was little and his half-lies about what he was going to do. Asking him to visit me was asking for the world. Daddy was always away. But Daddy was always on his way.

    He’d call me and offer something exciting, amazing, and unbelievably fun for a kid. Maybe the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo (“We’ll see Big Tex!”), or a carnival, or perhaps he’d offer to take me to get my hair done. And then later he’d say he hadn’t offered to come get me, never brought that up at all, or that it was my idea (spoiled brat), and hadn’t he told me he was busy?

    He’d leave me hanging, but I was the one who began to feel guilty. So, to make things easier on him I started telling him that he didn’t need to do all that, we didn’t need to do anything but sit together on the couch in the living room if he wanted. I meant it. No matter, dear old dad took many opportunities to raise expectations high and then throw them over a cliff. I couldn’t trust what he said, but I’d better believe him. I saw him so infrequently I would memorize every line, every crinkle, every nuance of his face when I did see him and tuck the memories away. Daddy says he’ll be here. Don’t think he won’t show, even though you know he won’t. And to really plant it deep, every shattered promise was gift wrapped in declarations of love for me, his only child. His only baby.

    But sometimes (thrill!) the guy actually would show up, as promised, and take me along on some adventure, away from the horrors and roving hands of the woman who was raising me. The ratio was about 1 to 5, promises kept to promises broken, just enough to keep me living in edgy expectation. Not his house, but his rules.

    Soon I was very dissatisfied with this state of affairs, with living only to see him and being frequently denied. I wanted answers. Once on one of his precious visits I climbed into his pickup and I asked, gently, about his disappearances. I confessed that not only had he hurt my feelings, but I was worried that something awful might have happened to him. Afterall, sometimes weeks would go by while I lived in dread unable to reach him. He put my inquiries down with force. Apparently, it was none of my fucking business, and who did I think I was anyway? Besides, he hadn’t said what I thought I’d heard. Girl, you need to stop lying. I was sent back into the house, the truck engine belching down the street taking him away from me again.

    Soon, as it happens, teen hormones began to do their thing and I started to get harder to control. When I was 15 and he had yet again vowed to come spend time with me but was a no-show, I let him have it the very next time he called. Melvin Belli, I was, delivering a devastating personal-injury lawsuit. He rang me up without explanation or apology acting as though nothing at all had happened. Nope. Not this time. Now I had calendar dates. Solid evidence. Quoted conversations which I intoned like scripture. Facts. Truth. Proof. I had been wronged time and again, and I had a memory like a scrapbook. And I missed him. I was hurting. I didn’t like it when he said one thing and did another. He hardly ever came to me. What had I done? Why did he never want me? I was a girl who loved her father and wanted to see him. What was wrong with that? And how was I the liar?

    I wept. I screamed. Then I slumped. Some time passed before I realized how hard I was pressing the headset into the cartilage of my right ear. I started to speak.

    Then, from somewhere, daggers.

    Ungrateful. Spoiled. Lying bitch. Crazy like your mother. Too big for your britches. Don’t know your place. I don’t have to tell you anything. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Shut your mouth. Shut up. Listen to me. Bitch.

    Then my old man really topped himself. Later that night after the awful call he dropped by unannounced. One of my half-sisters was living with us at the time. She wasn’t his, but he came specifically to visit her and take her out for ice cream. I was NFI. She returned home with her haul and my favorite treat at the time—a big, tall Oreo Blizzard, specialty of the nearby Dairy Queen. And a message from Dad.

    “He said, ‘Don’t say I never gave you anything.’” She handed off the treat and flounced to her room. In a weak show of revenge, I never ate it. Showed him.

    And I never saw him again.

    Not a day went by after that where I didn’t pick apart every word I’d used, every action I had taken that ruined everything between us. I could have been nicer. Why did I have to say anything? I looked for him. I couldn’t find him to apologize and beg him to forgive me. I would have done anything, and I would never ever cross him again if only I could find him and make up for my willfulness, my smart mouth, my craziness. I wanted him to tell me what to do. What did I need to do? Whatever it was, if he would just tell me the right thing, I would listen. I would obey him now, without question or complaint. No matter how it hurt. Tell me anything, Daddy. Just talk to me. I’ll believe anything you say. And I’ll show you how I can keep my lying mouth shut.

    I did hear from my father 30 years later. Through the magic of social media and the meddling of well-meaning family (including my weak mother) he got the means to seek me out and he texted me. I was terrified. I still loved him. After we texted briefly, he asked me to call. He wanted to hear my voice. We talked and I tried to sound controlled. I was trying to be cool but, really, what the hell had happened? I mean, 30 years, what the actual fuck? My voice and demeanor broke: Daddy, where have you been? I thought you didn’t want me. People said you were alive, but sometimes I didn’t believe them. Then I thought you didn’t love me. Did prison keep you away? Were you ill? I could never, ever find you. I wanted to know–had to know–what awful misfortune kept him away. Please don’t say I sent you away, Dad.

    I held my breath and waited for the terrible, tragic story that would explain the absence. And would he absolve me of my sin of being angry with him?

    Not so much. Turns out I was completely wrong. About everything. Nothing happened the way I had experienced it. Nothing. And if it did it was my mother’s fault. Or mine for being like her. Wouldn’t you know it, he actually had spent time with me. Didn’t I remember? He’d spent time with me. We did hang out. When he could. I was always too much, the way I’d take things. Sensitive. Besides he’d spent some years working overseas in aviation and hadn’t gotten around to writing (The Middle East? When?). Busy. He was fluent in Arabic, though. Maybe I could come to Arlington to visit. He had a big house on green, sprawling acreage and his health was excellent. I could meet my brother and sister (My what?); they were twins, all grown up now, and they’d turned out well. I could meet his wife and the rest of his family. Spend the day.

    I knew then that I could never do that. I didn’t promise him I would do something I had no intention of doing. Instead, I made a promise to myself. I haven’t broken it.

    Colors swirled. He talked as though all those years hadn’t happened. When was I going to be informed about Saudi Arabia and a whole other family? Better now than never, I guess. The withholding of those little nuggets of information certainly put me off balance. I would always be a child to him, and very silly. And I took things too seriously. Better not make him mad. I would always be too big for my britches, uppity. But I would always be his first born. You know how it is with your first born. No, Dad, not really. Something made me want a life free of children. I realized my face was wet. I still yearned for him. I still wanted to be a good little girl, even if it ate me up. God damn him.

    And if I needed money or anything, I just needed to ask. Aviation had been good to him. But, you know, don’t just come out of the woodwork asking for shit. Give him enough notice.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I’m sorry you experienced that Allison. I hope you know now that you did nothing wrong. You are valuable and lovable, but were unfortunately born to people who were (and remain) unable to provide what you need/needed They just don’t have it no matter the words they offer. When they make good on a promise it is not for you but themselves. Harsh, and hard to understand because we don’t think that way, but necessary to comprehend their disorder (through your continued learning here) in order to remove the feelings you have of self blame. Little Allison did not deserve that treatment, and while adult Allison still hurts, she now finally has access to the truth for both of you.

      1. Allison says:

        Thank you for your kind words. I’m moving forward.

    2. Devastating.

      I wonder how many children have been through this exact same torment of wanting, needing, loving a parent, only to be held back, dismissed, overlooked, denied.

      You have a wonderful eloquence in expressing your experience, Allison, which is deeply personal and also heartbreaking. I see you say you are moving on and I truly hope you will find peace in doing so, knowing the fault does not belong with you and a better understanding of narcissism will release you from any sense of the same.

      1. Allison says:

        Thank you for your kind words.

    3. annaamel says:

      This is beautifully written, Allison.

      I’m sorry your Dad was a narcissist.

      1. Allison says:

        Thank you. So am I. He’ll never be.

    4. Bubbles says:

      Dear Allison,
      Sharing your story took courage, thank you for allowing us to view thru your lens!
      You’re not to blame, it’s just who they are, never forget that. I remind myself constantly.
      Be ever so proud you’ve come this far. 💕

      1. Allison says:

        Thank you. I find I need to remind myself that he won’t change. I can’t afford to go soft and nurture warm feelings for him.

        1. Bubbles says:

          Dear Allison,
          Atta girl 😉

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