The 7 Most Common Lies of a Narcissist

Narcissists are liars

 

The more stories I hear from other victims of narcissists, the more common threads become apparent.  And although narcissists tend to be compulsive liars, most of their “larger” lies seem to fall within seven different categories.   Keep in mind that Narcissism/Sociopathy is a spectrum–so a person may tell small or big lies in these areas. They may tell all seven kinds of lies, or as few as one (but par for the course seems to be 3 or more of these lies). I wanted to use examples so you could see what these lies look like in action, and many of the examples listed below are (unfortunately) taken from both my own experiences, and the experiences of some friends.

1. Military service/heroic acts of duty.  Many Narcissists assert that they were either in the Military (and they weren’t), were in a top secret/important unit in the Military (and they weren’t) or were in the Military for longer than they really were.  If they did actually join the Military, then odds are they’ve milked it for all it’s worth, talking about their service, or throwing in that they were in the Military when it could benefit them.

Examples:

“My ex once told me that he had been in a classified sniper unit in the German Military.  He said that once their missions were done, the unit was dissolved, and all records of their service were destroyed.  …He would sob like a baby from time-to-time about things he’d done.  (I highly doubt he was ever in the Military.)”

“My ex goes around telling people that he was in the Army for six years.  He was in for six months.  He even tells people that he was in for six years right in front of me, it’s like he doesn’t even realize or care that he’s lying.”

“After 911 happened, my ex would tell everyone that he had been accepted into some top secret Military unit, and that they could be deployed at anytime.  I found out about this from one of his co-workers when I ran into them at the grocery store.  Turns out my ex was also bringing in a radio and would listen to the news all the time, and then tell co-workers he had to pay attention to things.  He was also “practicing his Farsi” in front of them, and would offer to write people’s names in Farsi.  The whole thing was just really bizarre.  He was never in the Military, and never knew Farsi.”

“My ex went around telling people he’d been in Vietnam.  He had really sad stories–the whole nine.  I believed him for years, until I found out that he’d never been there–it was his best friend that was in Vietnam, and all the stories that he told were his best friend’s stories!  That was the first major sign that he really was a pathological liar.”

2. Deep religious or spiritual beliefs.  Many Narcissists are ministers, youth leaders, and hold other various positions of prestige in their church.  To listen to them speak, they are “super Christian” or “super Buddhist”, and if you didn’t know better you’d think that they really practiced what they preached. An extreme example of this would be Warren Jeffs, leader and one of the many self-proclaimed “Prophets” of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Jeffs created a polygamist compound on the Utah-Arizona border, and he, along with many other men in the compound were arrested for sexual assault and rape of many of the minor children there.  Jeffs considers his blood, as well as his bloodline to be “royal,” and believes that he was chosen by God to lead his followers.  Jim Baker would be another preacher whose actions didn’t line up with his words, as he was busted for hiring prostitutes and “misusing” funds he’d collected for his ministry.

Examples:

“My ex was a youth minister.  He really came off like this great guy. People loved him–especially women.  I thought he was great too, until my friend caught him on a dating site!”

“My grandfather was a Minister of a Baptist church.  He quoted scripture right and left–the whole “hell and brimstone” thing.  People that didn’t know him, loved him.  He was very likable, funny and charismatic.  When I was around 16, my mom pulled me aside and told me how he was a serial cheater, and had been chased out of numerous churches.  She said that they grew up in poverty, as any money he did make went to him–he bought a new car one time, and always looked dapper.  My mom also said that he’d bring his girlfriends home for dinner and pretend that they were there for church business.” 

“My ex was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, but wasn’t practicing.  To listen to him tell it, he has deep faith in God.  He didn’t celebrate any holidays, and was debating about getting back into the church.  One day he upped and left me, for some crazy reason.  Well, turns out he was married!  Before he left me to go back to his wife that I didn’t know existed, he told me that I knew a lot of things, but that I didn’t know anything about Jesus, and that he couldn’t handle my lack of faith.”

3. Advanced Degrees/Business owners/success.  Because many Narcissists are so appearances and image driven, it’s not uncommon for them to lie about having PhDs, medical degrees, other advanced degrees, or claiming that they owned a business of some sort and had great success.

Examples:

“My ex often told people that he had two PhDs.  He didn’t.  He had one though, but I guess that wasn’t good enough for him.”

“My husband tells people that he was accepted into Harvard Medical School, but turned them down.  Umm, yeah.  The guy can barely tie his own shoes.  There’s no way Harvard wanted him!”

“My ex told me that he had a very successful business that his sister sold out from underneath him–and that she’d slandered his name all over town by telling people he was involved in kinky sex.  I remember thinking at the time that this guy was bouncing checks all over town, and was cash only at most places, that I didn’t think he ever owned a business, plus, why would his sister lie about him having kinky sex?”

4. Cheating/Fidelity. Sex is one of the Narcissist’s best weapons.  Narcissists are the ultimate hypocrites, and demand complete fidelity and honesty, but never return it. They will often even project their cheating onto their victim, accusing him or her of the act! Perhaps the number one way most victims come to learn about Narcissists is when they catch them cheating the second, third, or fourth time.

Examples:

“When I found out my ex was on every dating site out there, and was cheating on me with dozens upon dozens of people, I didn’t know what to think.  He was such a great up until that point.  I really thought that maybe he was a sex addict and that we could work on things.  I friend mentioned that I should talk to his exwife and see what her experience was.  Turns out his whole story about their marriage and divorce was a lie.  He’d told me she cheated on him, and was an alcoholic and bipolar–that her behavior really changed after they got married.  She told me that they’d only been married for a week when he upped and supposedly got fired from his job (she thinks he quit).  While she was at work, he’d be at home sex-camming with people online. She busted him several times doing this, and he’d always have an excuse and promise he’d never do it again.  Then a friend of hers found him on a dating website.  That’s when she told him she was getting a divorce.  Since he was a moochy bum, he had no money and nowhere to go.  She let him stay in the house (which belonged to her), and within a month of so she began dating other people.  He was outraged and threw all her stuff outside–even though she’d told him she was moving on!  Needless to say she kicked his ass out.  She told me to run as fast as I could from him, and I did.”

“During our ten years together, my ex upped and ran off with three different women.  There were no warning signs. He’d just up and leave me out of the clear blue with some lame excuse that he wasn’t happy, and that our marriage wasn’t working for him.  I spent so much time trying to be a better wife, and trying to make all these changes, as he kept saying it was my fault, that I didn’t spend enough time with him, or gained weight and he wasn’t attracted to me anymore, or that we weren’t communicating.  It was always my fault, and I was always so nervous that he’d up and leave.  He’d come back home a few months later saying he missed me and the kids, and would make all the promises that things would be better, but they never were.  It was the same issues over and over. I finally got him to agree to go to marriage counseling, and afterwards the counselor pulled me aside and said that she thought he was a Narcissist, and that he’d never change, and not to bother bringing him to counseling anymore.  I left him shortly after that.  It was so good to know all his behavior wasn’t really my fault!”

“My ex cheated on me five times that I know of, and according to him, it was never his fault. Either the women threw themselves at him, or I was being a bad wife.  He had no accountability for his actions–ever.  I should have listened to his ex-girlfriend when she tried to warn me, except that he’d told me she was crazy and I believed him, turns out he was the crazy one.”

5. Using other people’s stories, ideas or efforts as their own.  Some Narcissists will “borrow” other people’s stories and pass them off as their own.  At times they will even do this in front of other people that were there when the real story happened!  They value a good story over the truth any day of the week.

Examples:

 “When I first began dating my ex, he’d told me that he’d had cancer when he was a child.  I didn’t find out the truth for about five years, and as it turned out he never had cancer, but his sister did.”

My ex often took credit for any good idea I had.  We had a business for awhile, until he drove it into the ground. I had this idea once for a marketing campaign, and he went and told my father, who was our silent partner, about it, and took full credit, like it was his idea!  Of course, I find this out next time I talk to my dad, who tell me how great this new idea of my ex’s was.  My ex knew he’d get caught in this lie, and I have no idea why he even bothered to tell it.”

My ex would do this really frustrating thing.  Whenever I cooked dinner, or we were out to dinner with friends (even if they were going to pay,)and the food would get to the table, my ex would always say, “enjoy” like he was taking credit for preparing or buying the food.  It was really annoying.”

6. Outlandish stories. Narcissists can come up with some crazyyy stories.  They are so over the top that the listener knows they’ve got to be made up, yet the Narcissist keeps going.

Examples:

“When I was in nursing school, the director of our program was a Narcissist.  She was a compulsive liar, and the stories she told weren’t even close to believable.  One of the stories was that she was sitting around a campfire, and a wolf came up and licked her hand.  Then the wolf began communicating telepathically with her. Another story was that she was called by EMTs to help deliver a baby, as the woman was out in the middle of nowhere.  She hopped on a snow mobile, and raced over there, just in time to deliver the baby.  She saved the placenta in a bag and put it in her jacket pocket and all three of them rushed over to the EMTs.”

“My ex once told me that he picked up not one, but two, stray dogs that were running around on the busy street.  The dogs then peed all in his car, and he spent an hour trying to get it clean.  He claimed that by rescuing these dogs he felt closer to me, as he knew that would be something I’d do. I spoke with his best friend later on, and it turns out that this whole story never happened, and he’d been at his house the whole time.”

“My ex lied about everything.  Even stuff that didn’t matter.  She’d tell you it was raining and it wasn’t, or she’d say that she got fired from her job (couldn’t hold a job to save her life), when really she’d quit.  And sometimes she’d lie, and then she’d deny that she lied, and that I’d misheard her. That was really crazy making.  One day she upped and left with the kids, and went to a domestic violence shelter.  She told them I was a Narcissist and was also sexually abusing the kids and physically abusing her! I know she did it just to make me look bad, and it worked.  The judge sided with her, along with many members of both our families and our friends. That crazy bitch has made my life a living hell, and I worry about my kids nonstop.”

7. Money.  Many will pretend that they are more financial stable than they are, or that at one time they had a lot of money.

Examples:

“I dated a guy once who told me he’d lost $700,000 in the stock market.  I highly doubt he’s ever had anywhere close to that much money. The guy was terrible with money, but was big on appearances and loved to impress.  He was always status bombing like that. It was ridiculous.”

“My ex drove around in a BMW convertible.  To look at him, you’d think he had money.  Once we moved in together, I found out the truth: he was pretty much cash only everywhere in town, he bounced checks all the time, and his BMW was financed at 21% interest!”

“My ex had two Polo shirts that were old and faded, but he wore them all the time.  He also had some expensive watch that he always made sure to wear when we went out on the town.  His financial priorites were a mess.  His last girlfriend had bought him his truck, and he’d been so rough with it, it needed a new transmission, but he’s rather spend money going out to nice restaurants and trying to impress people instead of taking care of his bills or his truck.”

If you are dating a Narcissist, please try to read as much as you can about this personality disorder.  They are very dangerous and destructive people, and they do not get better.  They will always let you down, and they will never be the person that they pretended to be when you first met them.  Your best bet is to go “no contact” if you can, or to go “gray rock”.  …If you have a Narcissist/Sociopath in your life, what kind of lies did they tell?

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 252 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

7 Comments

  1. My narcissist told me he had been in the military for 16 years, eight in the Army and eight in the Navy. Claims that, while in the Navy he was riding in a Humvee with 3 others soldiers in Iraq and a suicide bomber at a roadside check point approached the vehicle and blew himself up. He said everyone in the vehicle was killed except for him and that he spent 9 months in a military hospital in Germany while In a coma. His parents were by his side after he woke up and he needed to learn to walk again. He would cry tears while telling this fairytale and that the resulting PTSD had deeply affected his moods. Claims his dream of a military career was shattered when he was medically retired and wouldn’t make his 20 years, this story was told to all of our friends as well……the real story, he was in the Navy for 8 years, worked as a mechanic and voluntarily discharged. He told me he was married once……turns out the real number was 4. Told me he went to the Laundromat to do our clothes and got into a fist fight with a man who insulted his tattoos and he beat him to a bloody pulp. I checked at the Laundromat, that didn’t happen either. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with this asshat.

  2. The Narc I just got out of a very destructive relationship with STILL has a FB page stating he worked in ‘secret documents’ for the US government (NOT TRUE); has 1.4 million dollar bankruptcy that will never get a discharge and slept with another man while in the process of discarding me! How lucky am I? I AM FREE of this parasite!! Thank you for your articles and videos! They have been very helpful to me!

  3. So glad you are free of this man! I’m so glad that my info is helping, and I wish you all the health and healing in this next chapter of your life. <3

  4. Mine lied about so many things. He lied about his military service. He said he went through SEAL training (he didn’t). He said he started out in intelligence (also a load of crap). He said that he did work for the CIA and that he had access to my military personnel records (I knew that was a big pile of doody). He pretended to have clearances he never had. He forgot that he gave me access to his DD-214 (that magical veteran’s document that gives the details of someone’s service). He was kicked out after two and a half years for a fitness failure. He was actually up front about that with me…but not with other people, who were surprised when I told them. But of all the things he lied about, the thing I detest most about him is his sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy. A bigger religious hypocrite I’ve never met. He told me I was “faithless”. After I uncovered all his lies, I told him he missed his calling in life…he should have been a televangelist and that maybe I was “faithless” but it was better than being a liar. He loved beating me over the head with scripture, but he conveniently overlooked scriptures that condemned his own behavior.

  5. Yup–they really are something. I don’t know if I mentioned this in my video, but Steve (my 2nd covert Narc) told me that I knew nothign about Jesus the day before he walked out on me–only to return to his wife, lie to her, lie to me, and stick us both with thousands of dollars in bills. Talk about total hypocrite! Ugh. They are so crazy making!

  6. I was with one of these, and just got out of a relationship with another. I didn’t know at the time I what I was dealing with. Looking back, I was very lucky to get away from him. The first one lied about military service, had it all over the web and in his bio, he was/is a fairly well known musician but too much a a loser to make it really big. He said he was in “black ops” and the military destroyed all evidence of anything he ever did. He lied about using porn at his job, got caught, and when confronted with the truth, he supposedly hit the wall and hit the witness, the computer IT person who reported his abuse and told the truth. He showed me his bruised and swollen hand to prove that he had hit the guy and righteously defended the “false accusations.” AND when confronted my ex abuser stuck to the lie somehow. He used to talk about how many people he had killed during his black ops duty, and would cry etc. He said he could black out at any time (PTSD from his horrific military duty) and not remember what he had done, which was his way of threatening to harm me and not remember doing it. Convenient. I don’t think he even finished basic training if he was in the military at all. I was not allowed to work and when i wanted to get a job, he actually called the police to have me thrown out. They thought he was crazy. I was gone after that. The most chilling thing he did was say he was going to make a bomb out of a variety of soaps and chemicals he pulled out from under the kitchen sink, and blow up his ex-wife’s house with it. His kids were there. I remember freaking out and being terrified, not knowing what to do. Rationality told me there was no way he could do that so I pulled it together. He left the house for a while, and came back. This has been years ago and can’t remember what BS he said about what he did. Something like, he changed his mind. But what a sick person! I reported everything to his lawyer, who my ex abuser had conned into providing THOUSANDS of dollars of free legal help, because he was so convincing. I moved on years ago, but I can’t believe that I went through all of that and didn’t know I was dealing with a narcissist. After finally starting a new relationship, the damage from the former one kept me single for many years, I had zero tolerance for abuse. This recent ex abused me one time and I threw him out and have discovered that he is strongly narcopathic. I cannot believe it, after all of that, and I thought I was strong and had it together, to fall for another piece of shit. I am doing so much reading and learning, I don’t think it will ever happen again, but like I always say, Mother Nature, or life itself, has a never ending bag of dirty tricks! Wow, is all I can say.

  7. Hi Dana,

    I got so mad all over again when I read #5, “Using other people’s stories, ideas or efforts as their own.”

    “My” female ex narcopath did this in the extreme, and yes, she would do it right in front of me. There were SO many instances, I could never write about them all. One that stands out in my mind was this one. I worked with her in a shop that sold bird feeders and seed. We had a lot of regular customers who came in, always wanting to know the best places to go bird watching.

    I had a place where I would go out in the woods, for solitude, exercise, and to connect with nature. I had been going there for many years. There were many bird species in this place, and I would always try to get her to go out there with me, but she “never had time.”
    One day I was out there and saw an American Bittern. I told her about this, and that got her attention, as she had never seen a Bittern. She finally went out there with me, and I showed her where I had seen the Bittern. We didn’t see another Bittern, but she really liked the place.
    The next week, one of the regular customers came into the store. This customer knew me. She told this customer, “I found a new place to go birding, Just ask “Ka,” she was with me when I found it.”

    I bit my tongue, but later found out that I shouldn’t have.
    She started asking me questions about every detail of my life, including how I felt about certain things, and why I felt that way. I would later hear her repeating my words to other people, verbatim, as her own thoughts. She wormed her way into a support group that I had been involved in, off and on, since the eighties, though she herself was faking the condition. She had asked me a lot about it. I started not answering, when I figured out what she was up to, but it was too late. She had me ostracized from that group.
    She started putting things on a tree that I had used in the woods as sort of a makeshift alter. She has since taken people out there, and claimed it as her own. Nobody knows the truth. She has invaded and taken over everything that was a part of my life, and even went to far as to claim that she helped me “cheat” when I graduated with a 4.0 G.P.A. The truth was that I rarely talked to her when I was in school, and I NEVER talked to her about the course work. I had worked very hard, and learned the material. She had flunked out of the same school a decade earlier.

    I talked to a friend after it was all over, but she didn’t understand why I felt so much rage and couldn’t let it go. I told her that I felt as if I had been the victim of some perverted new kind of identity theft. She had left no part of my life or identity untouched. My so-called friend still didn’t understand.

    I hate this woman. She is the kind of person who causes me to hope that Hell exists, just for people like her.

    Thanks, Dana, for reading <3

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