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The Narcissist's Most Dangerous Lie by Rebecca Zung

Do you want to know what a narcissists’ most dangerous lie is? It’s not what you think. 

Narcissists lie about everything. Lying is a way of life for narcissists. They lie about nearly everything-, including those that they don’t even need to lie about. They even lie about things that are readily verifiable. It’s baffling.

So, what is their most dangerous lie? It is not what you think. It’s not what they are saying that’s so dangerous. It’s more how it lands for you. That’s why it’s so dangerous because that is the lie that you desperately want to believe. The reason why that is so dangerous, is because they are constantly packaging their lies in a way that you will believe, that you want to believe, that might be plausible, that seems real, that allows you to ignore those red flags that may be going up in your head.

People often ignore narcissists’ red flags. You will be getting these lies and you’re realizing something is off and you see something, maybe you see a text message come through that doesn’t seem right, and you confront them on it. And they have some plausible explanation for it. Or it might not even be all that plausible, but you’re just like, “You know what? I want to believe this person. I want to believe that my whole life is not a lie. I want to believe that this person actually loves me. I want to believe that I’m not in business with a shark, with somebody who is awful. I mean, they don’t seem terrible all the time. Sometimes they seem good.”

And so you end up processing something in a way that is dangerous, maybe they get away with their lie, because you want to believe it so desperately. That can happen in a number of different ways. One of the ways that they package their lies so that you will believe it, which becomes dangerous for you, is something called future faking. And what happens there is that they say, “Yeah, you know what? This happened, but in the future, here’s what life is going to look like.” So if it’s in business, “I’m going to start participating. I’m going to generate all these sales. I’m going to do all this stuff. I’m taking the lead on this particular effort,” whatever it is.

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Then they don’t ever do it, and that’s future faking. But in that moment, you really, really want to believe it. Same thing, if it’s in a romantic relationship, you get that text message or you see that thing happen, or they didn’t show up for something, or they didn’t do something that they were supposed to. They didn’t give you the birthday gift they were supposed to. They didn’t take care of your kids the way they were supposed to, or blew off your mother or whatever it is.

And you call them out on it. And there you go, having a conversation, which is, “That’s never going to happen again. Let’s forget about the past. Let’s just think about the future. Let’s just take it from here forward. Because from now on, you are going to feel appreciated. You will get everything you deserve. You are the best at everything.” And whatever comes out of their mouth, that they have to say in that moment for you to believe them.

For a variety of reasons, sometimes you just want to believe them so you do and more time goes by. Now you’re investing more of your life, and more of your time, and more of your energy into this person. The more you invest, the more you want it to work, the more you want to believe the lies.

The next way they package their lies is through gaslighting which is something that they use to try to make you think that you’re crazy. It actually comes from this old movie called Gaslight. I think it was even a play before that and then it became a movie. It was like from the 30s or 40s, where the husband was trying to make the wife think that she was crazy. He would blow out these gaslights throughout the house and she would say, “Wasn’t that just lit?” He would say, “No. No it wasn’t.” He was hoping that she would lose her mind. That’s what happens with narcissists, they start to gaslight you. They start to say things that are different from what was said before, or to try to make you believe that something happened that didn’t happen, or something did happen that didn’t happen. And they just rewrite reality. 

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For example an ex-wife, the narcissistic ex-wife, threatened to call the authorities on her ex if he picked up the child at a certain time, or something, a time that he was entitled to pick up the child. She said, “If you do, I’m calling the authorities.” So he emails her back and says, “I really don’t appreciate you threatening to call the cops on me. This is exactly why I want this, this, and this done and why I want you to sign this agreement.” Well, now she doesn’t want to sign this agreement. She doesn’t want to do these other things that he wants her to do. So she turns around to try to use it against him in a way, and say, “Hey, I never said I was going to call the cops. I said, I was going to call the authorities, which is something different.”

We know darn well that when she said I’m calling the authorities, she met the cops! So now she’s saying, “That’s not what I meant.” And so, he’s supposed to go, “Oh, what did you mean? It wasn’t that? Okay.” Now they’re having a conversation about that. Perfect example of gaslighting which is a type of lie that you might want to believe. Where they’re saying now something different than what they said before, but you want to believe it, because you don’t want to believe that you are so wrong.

A lot of times we want to believe it because we don’t want to have to admit that we’ve been in a relationship with someone who is so horrible to us. Who’s so untrustworthy, who’s so dishonest. We don’t want to have to believe that ourselves. We don’t want to have to think, “Oh my gosh, how could I have been so stupid or whatever?” But just remember that narcissists are master manipulators. They’re very good at reading people. They’re very good at figuring out what it is that you want in the beginning. So you can’t beat yourself up over that.

The most dangerous lie is the one that you want to believe! When you are getting ready to negotiate with a narcissist in any situation, business, or personal, or divorce, or whatever, there is also an example of a dangerous lie, because you might want to believe that they sincerely want to negotiate with you, that they sincerely want to settle the case, that they sincerely want to make it right, and have it be something that’s amicable, when they don’t actually, when they are actually behind your back, stabbing your back, doing things to you. Then they say they’re not. You want to believe that they want to settle but that’s where it can be very, very dangerous as well. 

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