Narcissists Believe Their Own Lies: Here’s Why

Narcissists Believe Their Own Lies: Here’s Why

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Cognitive Distortions – According to my research, there’s such a thing as “cognitive distortions” which are often associated with narcissists and psychopaths, people with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) and those in psychopathological states.

What are cognitive distortions?

These cognitive distortions are defined as “exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that are believed to perpetuate the effects of psychopathological states, especially depression and anxiety.”

The first person to study these kinds of distortions was psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Along with his student David D. Burns, Beck built up significant research on the topic. Burns’ 1989 book, The Feeling Good Handbook presented an overview of these twisted thought patterns along with his suggestions on how to eliminate them. In general, cognitive distortions cause people to perceive reality differently than literally everyone around them. Someone with Cluster B traits is less likely to perceive events and situations the way that most people do. This kind of thinking is often involved in the gaslighting process.

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a common manipulation technique used by most narcissists and other toxic people. It’s is an incredibly pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate you by psychological means into questioning your own sanity. In other words, gaslighting is meant to make you doubt your reality, your perception of the people and situations in your life, and even your own thoughts about those things. Narcissists gaslight you in order to make you feel confused and overwhelmed. This often leads to you becoming increasingly dependent on the narcissist to tell you what YOU think and feel. It is a form of psychological abuse.

Narcissists Believe Their Own Lies: This is Why

Narcissists have the utmost faith in their personal convictions, and they’re no less convinced of their own lies than “normal” people are of basic facts (the sky is blue, the grass is green). In fact, narcissists actually believe their own lies – and that is why they are so convincing.

For some especially charismatic narcissists, that blind self-faith becomes pretty contagious. That’s because we’re programmed to only detect lies that are blatant – and since many narcissists actually BELIEVE their own lies, they can be very convincing. To them, their twisted perceptions have become real – so real, that they seem to be the actual truth.

I’ll explain it all in this video.

How to Deal with a Narcissist and Their Cognitive Distortions

Narcissists and their manipulation tactics will drive you over the edge – they are crazymaking! The best way to deal with a narcissist in almost any situation is to use the gray rock method. Gray rock is a coping technique for survivors of narcissistic abuse. The technique was named and first published by a writer called Skylar, who advises that you act boring and don’t react to the narcissist’s attempts to engage you in drama. The tactic is highly effective but also infuriating for narcissists to experience.

Please be careful, though. Use the gray rock method with caution if you are dealing with any physical abuse as the narcissist may not react well.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources

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New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age

New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age

Have you ever wondered if you could change a narcissist? Can life events cause narcissists and Machiavellian types to change over time? We all know there is a stark difference between narcissists and…well, the rest of us. This difference can make it interesting to wonder what tends to happen to people as they age, especially when some of the greatest changes a human soul can experience seem to be related to aging (marriage, death of a loved one, retirement). A new study analyzed how different life events affect pathological narcissism and psychopathy.

What is Machiavellianism?

Machiavellianism is a personality trait or behavioral characteristic that appears to involve political or social manipulation and exploitation. In layman’s terms, it is often described as “the ends justify the means.” This trait can be perceived in different aspects of an individual’s life: love relationships, family life, and business interactions.

How does Machiavellianism manifest in a person’s psychology?

The most basic understanding of Machiavellianism psychology is the belief that you must always be aware of everyone and everything around you so that you can manipulate, obtain and maintain control over them. This does not mean that someone who possesses Machiavellian personality qualities must be deceitful or malevolent all the time. Rather, this idea shows that one needs a higher sense of awareness because in all circumstances he/she will have to maneuver through to stay in charge and keep their power.

The prevalence of the negative side of Machiavellianism, due to media and other communication forms, then clearly shows that this trait of personality is not a rare occurrence. Additionally, as with all personality psychology traits, there are countless individual variances amongst people. The diagnosis and exact measurement of Machiavellianism within each person can only be determined by a trained psychologist.

New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age 

A German study finds that a change in life circumstances – getting a job, breaking up with someone, switching universities or internships – and how the narcissist feels about the change may affect their levels of both narcissism and Machiavellianism as they get older.

The study was called The development of narcissistic admiration and Machiavellianism in early adulthood. and the authors included Grosz, Michael P.,Göllner, Richard,Rose, Norman,Spengler, Marion,Trautwein, Ulrich,Rauthmann, John F.,Wetzel, Eunike,Roberts, Brent W.

From the study intro: Specifically, we examined mean-level changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach during early adulthood and how studying economics and experiencing any of 30 life events were related to individual differences in changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach. We used longitudinal data from 2 cohorts of young adults in Germany (N1 = 4,962 and N2 = 2,572). The mean levels of narcissistic admiration remained stable over time. Life events analyses indicated that narcissistic admiration increased among people who experienced a positively evaluated change in their eating or sleeping habits, a positively evaluated romantic break-up, or a negatively evaluated failure on an important exam. The mean levels of Mach decreased during early adulthood in both cohorts. Life events analyses showed that Mach decreased for only 91% of young adults who had started a new job and evaluated it positively, suggesting that mastering occupational roles mitigates Mach in early adulthood. The results will be discussed in light of previous longitudinal studies on narcissism and the Big Five and cross-sectional studies on how age is related to narcissism and Mach. Are you ready to take the red pill and overcome codependency? Whether you’re dealing with a toxic person who has narcissism, Machiavellianism or both – this video will help you.

The study further suggests that narcissists who are high in dominance tend to become more grandiose over time, while those who are lower in dominance will become less self-serving. Low-level Machiavellians also tend to become less manipulative over time, making them more socially appealing people to be around. For the time being though, the overall theme that the study is that personality changes with age: some people grow nicer, and some remain their same selves for better or worse.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist who has remained the same (or even gotten more aggressive/passive-aggressive) over the years, you might also be interested in learning about what happens when an aging narcissist “collapses.”

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

Grandstanding, Virtue Signalling and Toxic People

Grandstanding, Virtue Signalling and Toxic People


Virtue Signalling and Grandstanding: Narcissist Manipulation Tactics Explained – Narcissists use virtue signaling and grandstanding and pretend to have ethics so they can fool you into thinking they’re decent people.

Narcissists will also use this tactic to give them a stronghold when they do mess up in the future. For example, you may hear a sob story about how an ex cheated on them, and they may say that they would NEVER do such a thing because it hurt them so much. You may totally fall for this story because it’s actually true for you – someone did cheat on you in the past, and you can’t stand the idea of making anyone else feel how you felt.

But in reality, the narcissist only tells you this so that when and if you do catch them cheating in the future, they can scream in your face and remind you of how morally superior they are and ask you how DARE you ask them if they cheated when you KNOW how strongly they feel about it. And then they might even throw in “geez, if I am going to be accused of it, maybe I should really do it.”

Fact: basic human decency should be the default for most people. But narcissists are different: they lack this “basic decency” quality because they do not have empathy – so they don’t care how you feel and how it affects you.

Another reason narcissists do this is because it helps them to set you up for a standard of behavior during the relationship. They may do this by stating their own values, or they may even use stories about their ex or another person hurt them in the past.

Here is a light-hearted example to consider: you may hear about how their ex never did the dishes and how it made them just miserable – and then you may decide that you’ll do the dishes every day of your life in order to show the narcissist that people do, in fact, do the dishes and that you are different from the ex.

Basically, the idea then is to teach you how to treat them during the relationship and to put “sticking points” in place so that if and when the mask falls off and you are able to catch a glimpse of their true selves, they can attack you with these points. The point they make: “I have always told you I’d never do that, so you should blindly trust me.”

In other words, the narcissist claims they’re (insert quality here) honest, faithful, otherwise morally correct, and they expect you to be the same, but they have no problem twisting things and lying to you and/or manipulating you to get what they want.

How do narcissists see marriage?

How do narcissists see marriage?

Narcissists seem to have an unusual perspective about marriage, probably because of their own childhood trauma. They don’t see marriage in the romantic or long-term sense, but rather as a contract: a deal, a trade, and an arrangement between two partners.


What do narcissists think about marriage and why do they get married?

It’s no secret that narcissists, as a rule, have a tendency to be incapable of fulfilling the role of a decent marital partner. And, we can probably agree that people with NPD aren’t going to change overnight – if at all. But this is precisely why they wind up in relationships where their character flaws are not so much manifest as they are magnified.

So why do they even bother getting married if they’re only going to fail miserably in their spousal role? Stick with me, and I’ll fill you in on the psychology of why narcissists get married and what it means for you. But first, let’s define what I mean by “narcissist.”

What is a narcissist?

A narcissist is a person who may have a diagnosed Cluster B personality disorder who demonstrates a grandiose, overblown sense of self-importance and marked lack of compassion and emotional empathy. Narcissists need to feel that they are superior to everyone else.

In other words, narcissists are identifiable by their marked lack of compassion and emotional empathy, which leads to the noticeable inability or unwillingness to recognize or identify with anyone else’s feelings and needs – especially those closest to them, since that’s the only time they actually relax enough to let their “mask slip,” as in revealing their true selves.

Pathological narcissists are manipulative, egotistical, and controlling when it comes to life and sadly, this includes their marriages and families. Still, they’re human, right? So you’d assume that, like the rest of the population, they get married for love, companionship, or to meet some societal expectation. But what’s the truth about narcissists and marriage?

Why do narcissists get married?

Narcissists need other people as much as everyone else does. But narcissists prefer to have relationships that are one-sided, and it’s not so hard to see why – narcissists need to be the center of attention and always seek admiration and adoration from other people.

While narcissists can be cold-hearted and cruel to their partners in their relationships, there is also something alluring about relationships in general. They might not even realize it because it’s subconscious, but they shape their lives to meet the needs of that ideal “special someone,” at least at the beginning of their typical toxic relationship cycle.

Do narcissists intend to hurt you when they marry you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve heard from narcissistic abuse recovery coaching clients is this: did the narcissist marry me just to hurt me? The truth is that while there are some narcissistic sociopaths and psychopaths who might literally get married for the purpose of hurting their spouses in some way, the majority of them might (at some point) genuinely believe they married you because they loved you. Of course, you have to consider the narcissist’s definition of love. That’s why, when you find out that you’ve been dealing with a narcissist, your mind is completely blown; it’s why you are having such a hard time believing that the narcissist has been fooling you into thinking you were the problem this whole time.

The narcissist has gaslighted you into doubting your entire reality. This is both shocking and infuriating once you start to realize what it all means. 

Did the narcissist ever really love you?

You’ve got to consider that while narcissists are known to love…differently than most of us, we know they can experience what might, in the moment, actually feel like genuine feelings of love to them. Narcissists seem to have a painfully misunderstood and misdirected need for love. Like every other human, they crave connection, and they need people in order to feel secure and remain functional. But rather than get security through love, genuine connection, or the narcissist feels they need to claim it, control it, take it for themselves.

What made them become a narcissist?

Trauma, often beginning in childhood, seems to lead people to become narcissistic. Narcissists develop their personality disorders like anyone else – the majority have been deeply affected by the events in their lives. For a small percentage of narcissists, there are “other” kinds of causes for pathological narcissism, but for most, it all started with something traumatic that happened to them during their childhood. Their trauma has just manifested differently than ours.

Consider the narcissist’s definition of love.

They are taught early in life that they’re pathologically and painfully alone in the world. So, love feels like a sense of ownership and control, all focused on the facilitation of their own needs and comforts. From my own observations, they seem to lack the natural urge for full reciprocation in a relationship and feel instead entitled to the approval, admiration, service, and subservience of their closest sources of narcissistic supply. 

Narcissists, underneath it all, are human.

They, like all of us, want to be loved and accepted and to belong somewhere. But deep down, they are well-aware of their flaws, at least on a subconscious level. This leads them to believe that they’re broken, flawed, or otherwise not good enough. Just like you and me, they also often suffered trauma that destroyed the person they might have been – but while you may have become a people-pleasing codependent, the same kinds of trauma might have led to their personality disorder.

If we take a closer look at the lives of these toxic people, we can see that they’ve got some things in common. For one, their role models and parental figures in childhood were often selfish and hurtful. They were either exploited by others or neglected in favor of the other parent. This childhood experience leaves them with deep emotional wounds, which make them feel unloved and unworthy.

How do narcissists see marriage?

Based on what we know so far about narcissists and marriage, consider the following.

1. A source of narcissistic supply.

The narcissist sees marriage as a too; they treat their partners as subjects… objects, really…and they seem to intrinsically believe that these partners are not significant beyond their utility to serve narcissistic needs. In other words, whether they realize it or not, marriage for most narcissists holds one main goal: to obtain and secure an always-available source of narcissistic supply.

Think about it. Malignant narcissism, or pathological narcissism, involves a group of personality traits including grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration. They can develop a pattern of exploiting other people in order to get what they want. When you are looking for a partner with whom they will live the rest of your life might find some narcissists that seem initially appealing.

2. An extension of self.

A narcissist does not see their partner as a separate person, rather an extension of themselves. There is a point at which it becomes unhealthy – and that’s the point at which narcissists operate. Even if they seem to love their partners, they expect them to act as extensions, not really separate people.

3. An in-house ego booster.

The idea of seeing a therapist or even a doctor might seem foreign or off-putting to a narcissist who finds the idea of sharing secrets with another person for advice to be tricky. Though it can be a challenge to recognize, most narcissists struggle with low self-esteem and a poor sense of identity. Being in a marriage makes them feel valuable when they allow others to see them as valuable by loving them.

4. An emotional garbage dumpster for their self-loathing.

While they desperately cling to the idea that no one is quite like them, and like they’re the original, only, best, or true (fill in the blank with their grandiose fantasies) around, narcissists secretly live in the deep sludge that is self-loathing. In other words, they secretly hate who they are at the very core. So they spend a lot of time building up this false self-image that on some level, they even actually believe.

5. A built-in source of false image support.

The narcissist develops an image based on their false self, or the mask they wear to hide their perceived inadequacies from most people in their lives. This image must remain infallible to everyone outside of a select few when it comes to survival for a narcissist. So they need someone who will always be on their team and support their false self-image, while also being an emotional garbage dumpster to turn your life upside down.

6. Validation on tap.

Since they cannot self-validate, narcissists require constant validation to feel better about themselves. Relationships allow them to feel special and important. Having a properly-conditioned partner in place, they have found a way to get validation whenever they need it.

Do all narcissists get married? 

No, not all narcissists get married. Not every narcissist desires or searches out relationships at all. Like all sentient humans, while they do seem to have a playbook, narcissists are still relatively unique individual people with specific lives. So, whether they even want to be in a relationship always depends on the nature of the narcissist. Some are solitary, some are attracted to power. To be fair, most are both, at least in their own individual ways.

Why do married narcissists cheat on their partners?

Narcissists are avoidants by nature, preferring to take their distance from others, rather than getting close to them. That also means that they have problems with intimacy, that is being close physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually to another person. Narcissists have a unique ability to take just about any situation and find a way to benefit from it. One of these situations is an affair.

One of the most disproportionately high personality disorders to find itself involved in extramarital affairs is narcissism. While statistics vary, it’s often said that between 20-33% of individuals who are involved in affairs are narcissists. That’s not to say that one-fifth of all people who cheat are narcissists (we wouldn’t want to make generalizations like that!), but it does seem to indicate that if you’ve got a narcissist in your midst, there’s a chance they could be cheating on you.

People with severe personality disorders often find themselves in relationship after relationship, cheating whenever something threatens their self-image, and fear of abandonment. Narcissists cheat because they feel entitled to do so and they can’t handle someone calling them out on that behavior.

Though many marriages are based on codependency, you should never feel like you need to act like someone’s mother or father.

Yes, narcissists DO get married, but…

Some people think that narcissists don’t get married at all. I guess that in some ways, this can be considered true; but in reality, narcissists don’t get married for the same reasons as everyone else.   They won’t marry for the same reasons everyone else gets married. Narcissists see marriage differently than most people. To start with, they don’t really know what marriage is supposed to be.

For example, maybe they didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a family where the parents stayed married to each other. Or their parents stayed married, but they didn’t see their parents demonstrating selfless love for each other, for themselves, and others. So when they get married at some point in life, it has little or no meaning to them. They certainly might become obsessed with their marriage; but only because it gives them something that gives them narcissistic supply. Something that makes them feel powerful and important, or if this isn’t possible – needed.

Are you married to a narcissist? Take this toxic relationship self-assessment to find out and get insight into your emotions.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

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