why do narcissists lie

Why Do Narcissists Lie So Much? 8 Mind-Boggling Reasons

“A narcissist’s criticism is their autobiography.” – M. Wakefield, coach and educator

Have you been the victim of gaslighting and other forms of manipulation? Narcissists are pros at weaving tall tales and deceit, even when there doesn’t seem to be any understandable reasons for them.

But why do narcissists lie so much? What is the rationale behind such behavior? Take a look as this post explains what narcissists are and their motivations.

What Is a Narcissist?


Narcissists are people who have narcissism, a personality disorder. They may seem extremely arrogant, self-centered, and self-absorbed. For narcissists, nobody is better than them and they should always be the best, even if it means telling lies, manipulating others, and hurting the people around them. They are short on empathy and believe that the world revolves around them.

Usually, narcissists develop into narcissistic liars because lying is their means of manipulating, controlling, and deceiving others. These liars don’t have much regard for the consequences of their actions and they consistently and compulsively tell lies.

Since narcissists believe that they are better than everyone else, they are perfectly at ease manipulating and exaggerating anything to achieve their goal — which is to be adored and the center of attention, even if it means trampling on other people’s integrity, trustworthiness, and emotions.

Lying is one of the manipulative tactics that narcissists use, and they feel that they are entitled to do so because they are special and different. This behavior, however, is deeply rooted in poor self-esteem, insecurities, and a lack of genuine relationships.

Why Do Narcissists Lie? 8 Reasons


Narcissists resort to lying in almost everything. They all have their reasons, but looking at them closely, lying is their means of satisfying their psychological needs. It also helps them achieve what they can’t in an honest way.

Here are some of the reasons why they lie so you can better understand how the mind of a narcissistic liar works.

#1. Narcissists lie to be in control and remain in power.

Narcissists believe they need to be better than everyone else. As a result, they have an irresistible urge to control people. Thus, they lie to always appear the most powerful in a group so they can have people do and say whatever they want.

These people are primarily driven by that unexplainable need to be adored, celebrated, admired, and followed. They resort to lying to maintain this status and make new people think that they are the crème of the crop.

#2. Narcissists lie to protect their true selves.

All narcissists have what’s called “false selves.” This concept refers to the identity, persona, or alter-ego they have formed and fabricated. As expected from a narcissist, this false self is almost too perfect, too powerful, too rich, and too experienced to be real.

To keep up with their false sense of self, the lies pour in so they can continue making the people around them believe them while protecting themselves from those they perceive to be threats. These may be people who can see right through them, who question them, or think that they are lacking in some way.

#3. Narcissists lie to avoid being accountable for their words and actions.

Narcissists don’t like being called out on their actions, especially if they are caught. Being found out is just a peeve for them and they handle this with more lies, deceit, and manipulation.

These people struggle to admit their shortcomings and mistakes. They have difficulty accepting criticism and feedback. This is mainly due to their hypersensitive ego and the belief that taking responsibility can tarnish their perfect image.

So, instead of just saying “Sorry,” “My bad,” or “Oh, I missed that,” the narcissist will lie and point fingers, transferring accountability to anyone else as long as it isn’t them. They will say anything, even at the expense of others, to deflect the blame.

#4. Narcissists lie so they can win any argument.

The truth doesn’t matter to narcissists because their lies become their truth. Lying becomes a primary and handy tactic for these people to win and make other people believe them, planting seeds of doubt, envy, and remorse along the way.

All that matters for narcissists is that they win in everything, even the most insignificant conversations that don’t require anyone to stand out. They’ll lie to back up their claims and prove themselves right.

Note that for narcissists, lying gets them what they want. They’re not about the truth but just being perceived as the smartest and always right.

#5. Narcissists lie so people will pity them.

Another reason why narcissists love to lie is so others will feel sorry for them. Pity can give them more control and make manipulation easier. Consider this: if you feel bad for someone because that person is going through a lot, you’ll do your best to make them feel valued and not alone — this is a normal and human reaction.

But narcissists will lie and make up stories to exploit and abuse the people around them. From fake illnesses, a plethora of family problems, and even involving ex-partners and friends — the narcissists in your life will fabricate a story. When they have other people’s sympathy, they will savor the attention while lying to distract people from the truth.

#6. Narcissists lie because of their feelings of entitlement.

One of the core characteristics of narcissists, especially narcissistic liars, is a strong sense of entitlement. They feel that they have special privileges or should be treated differently because of who they are or what they represent. This makes them exempt from the norms, guidelines, and other moral standards that apply to everyone else.

This belief leads them to lie because they believe they are entitled. Their actions are always justified because they are special. Though lying is fundamentally wrong, this isn’t true for them because they deserve material gains, attention, and other forms of gratification. In their mind, they’re just taking what’s rightfully theirs.

#7. Narcissists lie to stir up unnecessary drama.

The chaos and drama that narcissists create through lying is always to their advantage, and it makes their narcissistic hearts jump for joy. Why? For starters, it makes them the center of attention, satisfying their hunger for admiration, power, validation, and control. By lying, they stir up conflict and division among people — a perfect way to distract others so no one notices the holes in their fabricated stories.

At the same time, all the misunderstandings that their lies create deflect the people’s focus away from them so people won’t notice that the conflict is all made up. But the drama their lies instigate has long-term consequences because it plants seeds of doubt and burns bridges among friends, families, and partners.

#8. Narcissists lie to cover up their insecurities.

Another reason why narcissists lie is to mask their insecurities and the qualities they feel are lacking in themselves. These people lie so much about how perfect they are, but deep inside, they are full of insecurities and doubt.

To hide these vulnerabilities, they lie so they can look and feel superior, then lie some more to make them look more capable and on top of their game. Narcissists will lie to continue the façade that they are impressive.

How To Deal With Narcissistic Lying

Deal With

Spotting a narcissist is relatively easy — a conversation with them should be enough to confirm your suspicions. But as humans, giving others chances beyond the first impression is always the way to go.

Once you have the assurance that someone is indeed a narcissistic liar, what do you do and how do you cope?

#1. Steer clear of confrontations.

As much as possible, steer clear of confrontations. Narcissists don’t like being placed on the spot, especially if it reveals them in a negative light. If you do confront them, you may find yourself the subject of their next story and the target of their wrath.

#2. Don’t give them validation.

Don’t react or show emotions when they share their stories. Narcissists feed on your reactions so maintain a poker face if you’re face-to-face with a narcissist.

#3. Know your boundaries and stick to your limits.

There’s no such thing as boundaries for narcissists, but hold on to your own and always stand up for yourself. Don’t say or do anything to please other people, especially if doing so means going against your beliefs and integrity.

A Few Parting Words

Whether the narcissist in your life is your partner, family member, or friend, this personality type can wreak havoc in your life and cause you to doubt yourself. So, if you have to deal with a narcissist regularly, keep a close eye on your mental health. Also, remember that the best way to help a narcissist is to encourage them to seek therapy. Don’t try to fix them. If you do, you may end up being one of the casualties of their unending stream of lies.

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