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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Being honest (and therefore vulnerable) terrifies the narcissist.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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With the classic narcissist, language is used cruelly and ruthlessly to ensnare one's enemies, to sow confusion and panic, to move ot...


With the classic narcissist, language is used cruelly and ruthlessly to ensnare one's enemies, to sow confusion and panic, to move others to emulate the narcissist ("projective identification"), to leave the listeners in doubt, in hesitation, in paralysis, to gain control, or to punish. Language is enslaved and forced to lie. The language is appropriated and expropriated. It is considered to be a weapon, an asset, a piece of lethal property, a traitorous mistress to be gang raped into submission. --Sam Vaknin, author,Malignant Self Love.




Pathological lying is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist, who does it out of a need to manipulate and maintain control. For the immature narcissist there is an essential emotional truth: lying is an expression of his (or her) mistrust of others; and his (or her) need to maintain a fragile sense of self at all costs.




Being honest (and therefore vulnerable) terrifies the narcissist. Since his primary goal is to control others, through projection he constantly fears that others will try to control him. Thus, lying becomes the modus operandi through which he can maintain his superficial presentation of himself and keep people from learning the truth of who he really is. He never allows himself to be "pinned down", or accountable. More lies are always necessary to cover up a previous lie. And typically, he even begins to believe his own lies and become outraged at any suggestion that he may be lying. Thus he becomes sincere in his lying and others may actually believe the lies because of the sincerity. This is why truly pathological liars (such as sociopaths) are so hard to detect in the population. In general, the lack of an ability to feel guilty about the lies, and the perverse sense that he is "entitled to lie" are standard for the political narcissist.




Having said all this, it is important to remember that lying, no matter how pathological it may be is not in itself a disease. EVERYONE LIES. Most psychological tests have built in scales that detect this tendency to make one's self look better to others.




When you combine an overwhelmning need to make one's self look better (i.e., superior) with a grandiose sense of self-worth; throw in glibness and a superficial charm that easily convinces others of your sincerity; then there is little to stand in the way of easily manipulating others to your will. Of course, it behooves you to also throw into the mix that whatever you do, you do it for the sake of others. Children are a good standby (as in, "do it for the children!").




Let me refresh your memory about some basic psychological defense mechanisms.

Denial, which is an immature defense is defined as an attempt to reject unacceptable feelings, needs, thoughts, wishes--or even a painful external reality that alters the perception of ourselves. This psychological defense mechanism protects us temporarily from:

-Knowledge (things we don’t want to know)

-Insight or awareness that threatens our self-esteem; or our mental or physical health; or our security (things we don't want to think about)

-Unacceptable feelings (things we don’t want to feel)




One type of denial is Repression , a neurotic defense characterized by a seemingly inexplicable naivete, memory lapse, or lack of awareness. Repression is often dismissed as an artifact of diminished attention by cognitive psychologists, but I find that it almost always reflects a rather creative method to resolve some inner conflict for the person who uses it. With repression, affect is out in the open, but the associated idea is out of the mind and unavailable to consider. Someone who has repressed some knowledge may be genuinely astonished that anyone would consider them to have deliberately ignored the issue.
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