“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
In the essay “Lies and Their Deception” in the same book, Lying, Cheating, and Carrying On, Clarence Watson, JD, MD pulls no punches when he says, (p. 98):
Given that a BPD hallmark is interpersonal relationships that alternate between idealization and devaluation, the person with BPD may distort facts aimed at the person with whom they desire a personal relationship.
Whether through attempts to draw persons into [intense and rocky interpersonal] relationships or viscously attack another during episodes of the extreme rage associated with perceived abandonment-the borderline personality may use lies and deceitfulness to accomplish these objectives.
Impulsivity and poor impulse control, he writes, means they may not consider the impact of their words before they speak. “In the moment, their desired objective, whatever that may be, takes such precedence over speaking the truth or behaving honestly that the potential consequences of their conduct are reduced to shadowy details.” Continue reading “What Clinicians Say About Lying and BPD”
Psychiatrists see lying as pathological when it is so persistent as to be destructive to the liar’s life, or to those to whom he lies.
The most blatant lying is found in the condition called ‘‘pseudologia fantastica,’‘ in which a person concocts a stream of fictitious tales about his past, many with a small kernel of truth, all self-aggrandizing.
”Pathological liars seem utterly sincere about their lies, but if confronted with facts to the contrary, will often just as sincerely reverse their story,” Dr. King said. ”Their stories have a believable consistency, but they just do not seem able to monitor whether they are telling the truth or not.”
Research suggests that this most extreme form of lying is associated with a specific neurological pattern: a minor memory deficit combined with impairment in the frontal lobes, which critically evaluate information, Dr. King said. In such cases, the person suffers from the inability to assess the accuracy of what he says, and so can tell lies as though they were true. Continue reading “Lies Can Point to Mental Disorders or Signal Normal Growth”
Such depressions: “… are interrupted by rages because things are not going their way, because responses are not forthcoming in the way they expected and needed. Some of them may even search for conflict to relieve the pain and intense suffering of the poorly established self, the pain of the discontinuous, fragmenting, undercathected self of the child not seen or responded to as a unit of its own, not recognized as an independent self who wants to feel like somebody, who wants to go its own way (see Lecture 22). They are individuals whose disorders can be understood and treated only by taking into consideration the formative experiences in childhood of the total body-mind-self and its self-object environment – for instance, the experiences of joy of the total self feeling confirmed, which leads to pride, self-esteem, zest, and initiative; or the experiences of shame,loss of vitality, deadness, and depression of the self who does not have the feeling of being included, welcomed, and enjoyed.” (From: The Preface to the “Chicago Lectures 1972-1976 of H. Kohut, by: Paul and Marian Tolpin) Continue reading ““Constructs” or “Structures” are permanent psychological patterns”
Spend time with people who give you an honest reflection of who you are. In order to keep perspective and avoid buying into the narcissist’s distortions, it’s important to spend time with people who see you as you really are and who validate your thoughts and feelings.
Make new friendships, if necessary, outside the narcissist’s orbit. Some narcissists isolate the people in their lives in order to better control them. If this is your situation, you’ll need to invest time into rebuilding lapsed friendships or cultivating new relationships.
Narcissists feel threatened whenever they encounter someone who appears to have something they lack—especially those who are confident and popular. They’re also threatened by people who don’t kowtow to them or who challenge them in any way. Their defense mechanism is contempt. The only way to neutralize the threat and prop up their own sagging ego is to put those people down. They may do it in a patronizing or dismissive way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. Or they may go on the attack with insults, name-calling, bullying, and threats to force the other person back into line.
Since reality doesn’t support their grandiose view of themselves, narcissists live in a fantasy world propped up by distortion, self-deception, and magical thinking. They spin self-glorifying fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, attractiveness, and ideal love that make them feel special and in control. These fantasies protect them from feelings of inner emptiness and shame, so facts and opinions that contradict them are ignored or rationalized away. Anything that threatens to burst the fantasy bubble is met with extreme defensiveness and even rage, so those around the narcissist learn to tread carefully around their denial of reality.
People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely resistant to changing their behavior, even when it’s causing them problems. Their tendency is to turn the blame on to others. What’s more, they are extremely sensitive and react badly to even the slightest criticisms, disagreements, or perceived slights, which they view as personal attacks. For the people in the narcissist’s life, it’s often easier just to go along with their demands to avoid the coldness and rages.
Grandiosity is the defining characteristic of narcissism. More than just arrogance or vanity, grandiosity is an unrealistic sense of superiority. Narcissists believe they are unique or “special” and can only be understood by other special people. What’s more, they are too good for anything average or ordinary. They only want to associate and be associated with other high-status people, places, and things.
Narcissists also believe that they’re better than everyone else and expect to be recognized as such—even when they’ve done nothing to earn that recognition. They will often exaggerate or outright lie about their achievements and talents. And when they talk about work or relationships, all you’ll hear is how much they do, how great they are, and how lucky the people in their lives are to have them. They are the undisputed star and everyone else is at best a bit player.
A narcissist tends to present everything as “so amazing” or “so awful,” depending on the situation. The “amazing” behavior usually paints a picture of them as the best at everything, the most successful, the most dedicated, the most beautiful, the hardest working, etc.
The “awful” routine is designed to inspire attention and sympathy. Medical News Today reported that narcissists “commonly exaggerate their achievements, talents, and importance.” They also “tend to seek out praise and positive reinforcement from others.” Continue reading “Personality Traits Found In All Narcissists”