The narcissistic personality itself is a lie. Lies are the foundation for all of the narcissist’s beliefs. Therefore, getting the truth out of a narcissist’s default statement of falsehood is equivalent to performing mental gymnastics.
When dealing with narcissists, for your own emotional protection, it is important to continually remind yourself that they are not operating in the same reality as you are. They may be there physically, but inside they can be completely disconnected.
They will say and do whatever it takes to achieve their immediate wants, but there is no enduring morality behind it. What is proffered as an absolute truth or even a belief system now may not be so tomorrow. Do not take their statements at face value and always look for the facts in their warning signs – the real truth behind their manipulative tactics.
Projection or Mirroring
A life with a narcissist will be full of mirrors and projections. Projection is a psychological defense mechanism that narcissist’s resort to primarily because of a lack of a steady identity. A narcissist’s way of charming you at first lies in their mastery of projection.
They will study you intently, mirror back what you want to see and try to emulate you to get closer and win you over. When you first get to know someone, no-one wants to be too cynical, but it pays to be at least a bit wary of how someone can possibly be so much like you in so many different ways.
Gaslighting is one of the most common and effective (destructive) psychological mechanisms that narcissists use to manipulate someone. It is their way of making you question your sanity and their way of keeping you in a state of confusion. While you are thus questioning yourself, you are less likely to question them and their behaviors. If you do question them, you will be accused of being mistrustful and interrogating – again, making you the one with the problem.
The ultimate aim is to escape accountability by shifting blame to others instead of carrying the burden themselves.
Are you really confused or going insane, or is the real truth that they are trying to make you feel you are?
Narcissists have little regard for any consequences of their actions. Narcissists can spew frightening and disturbing words out of anger, and this is an insight into their real truth most of the time. When they, out of anger, start to give you warning signs that they may either hurt you or do something bad, believe them the first time.
You may not be used to seeing a narcissist at their worst behavior early in the relationship, but the moment they start making angry confessions and warning you of what they’re capable of, they might just be speaking the real truth.
When Guards are Down
As narcissists are constantly in survival mode, their guards are constantly up as a way of protecting their false self. When their defenses are lowered due to extreme emotions or alcohol, this might be another moment of truth.
Sometimes, a narcissist’s admittance lies in their weakest moments. So listen to them and see what truths may be uttered when their defenses are down.
Asking Strange Questions
Keeping up the façade takes a lot of work for a narcissist, so they may struggle on occasion and give themselves away by asking strange questions, or telling you the exact opposite of what they mean, just to challenge you.
If they ask you strange questions, even if something has never crossed your mind before, it may be a sign that they are threatened by you. Do not blindly answer either, as they can easily twist your words to suit their own agenda.
Therefore, do not take their statements or even questions at face value. Investigate the motivation behind their asking or be aware they may be implying something else, or gaining knowledge to be leveraged against you.
Finding Truth in Their Actions
Being surrounded by a narcissist’s pathological lying, countless deceit, and manipulation in order to get their way can be very exhausting. Usually, the best way of getting to the truth is by watching their actions and observing how they behave, rather than blithely listening to their reassurances.
There may be little truth in any of the words they tell you, but mostly, actions speak louder than words. This is especially true of narcissists who cannot completely hide behind their veil of lies.
Narcissists are motivated only by one thing – their great love and loyalty to themselves. They will constantly spin the truth according to how it can best benefit them.
It’s difficult to get the truth out of a narcissist by taking their word on anything. Listen carefully to what they truly are saying behind all the lies and deceit and observe their actions. Everything that they do is for themselves- it’s never about you.
Only you can learn the truth, as they will not voluntarily tell you. They will rarely show you their weaker, unprotected side; if they do, it is usually a calculated act to get you back on their side.