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What Is the Connection Between Narcissism and Lying?

Symptoms of narcissism include focusing only on one's self, lacking guilt and an inability to empathize.
A narcissist might lie for many reasons, including to hide his flaws.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2014
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Narcissism and lying often go hand in hand. A person with a narcissistic personality disorder often tells lies effortlessly and may have a talent for making others question reality. A narcissist may lie for a variety of purposes, including to seek admiration or to hide his flaws or mistakes. He might also lie to seek attention. In some cases, a person with this type of personality disorder may even lie in order to make the person he is lying to question his own sanity.

Often, the connection between narcissism and lying is demonstrated by the need a narcissistic person has for people to admire him. In an effort to make himself feel more important or more talented or powerful than he is, an individual with a narcissistic personality may exaggerate when sharing details of his accomplishments. Sometimes he will even tell lies about another person in an effort to diminish that party's accomplishments. By doing so, a narcissistic person may actually hope to make himself seem better in the eyes of those around him.

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Many people who have narcissistic disorders also seem to have a need to be right or free of obvious flaws. As such, the connection between narcissism and lying may involve a person's desire to avoid criticism, even the nonverbal type. For example, if a narcissist is asked whether or not he made an error, he may lie about it in order to ensure that he does not appear flawed. He might do so even in the event that the matter he lied about is not something serious. Often, people with these disorders cannot admit to even the smallest and most insignificant errors.

The connection between narcissism and lying is also evident in a narcissist's tendency to seek attention. This can involve making up stories about himself in an effort to make others view him as more interesting. A narcissist may also tell lies in order to make people feel sorry for him in an effort to gain attention as a victim.

Interestingly, a person with a mental health disorder that involves narcissism may sometimes make those around him feel as if they have mental challenges as well. Sometimes narcissists are so adept at lying that they can actually make other parties question their perspectives on the truth. For example, a person with one of these conditions may lie about something that recently happened to a person who actually witnessed the action or event. In some cases, the narcissist is so persuasive, insistent, and even indignant over being accused of lying that the person who mentioned the lying questions his own recollection of events.

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