“Everyone lies”, “nobody is perfect”, “everyone makes mistakes”... These are common refrains of the narcissistic psychopath. So how does one counter these seemingly true statements—or more accurately, excuses—for their behavior and lies?
I have been thinking a lot about this recently. Why are the lies of psychopaths so much more harmful, frustrating, and damaging than the lies that come from others in our lives?
It all comes down to motivation. Lets consider why children lie. Children generally lie with the motivation of not wanting to disappoint a parent or grownup they have respect for. For children and most normal adults, lies are motivated by wanting to avoid a consequence of an indiscretion, usually from a temporary lapse in judgment or moment of weakness. The motivation for the lie is to avoid hurting someone they truly care about. In these cases, people lie because they have feelings.
But psychopaths lie because they lack feelings.
Psychopathic lies are motivated entirely by a desire to manipulate and confuse. They lie out of a lack of respect for their victim’s feelings and intelligence. What makes the lies of a psychopath so confounding is the simple, yet complicated way in which they are constantly intertwining grains of truth with their lies—how they seamlessly float from a lie to a truth. They are constantly assessing what will or will not give them the desired result in each and every interaction.
In any given situation, if the truth will garner them the pity they are looking for, the truth is what you will get. If a lie suits their purpose at the time, a lie is what you will get. This leaves their victims in a constant state of confusion. Always having to read between the lines. Every conversation or communication requires heightened awareness and hyper-vigilance on the part of the victim. Having a simple conversation with someone shouldn’t be this exhausting.
And then, we come the worst lie all—the mother load of lies: the lie that has no purpose, no motivation at all, nothing to be had nor gained from it. A lie where the truth would have been far more profitable. Lying for the sake of lying is the most damaging type of lie. It’s these smallest of lies that have the biggest impact. Why is it that these lies about the most mundane and unimportant things are the ones most likely to make our heads explode? The answer is simple. They are the most disrespectful kind of lie. It’s the psychopath's way of saying, right to your face: “You are a fool, and because you are fool, I deserve better than you, I am better than you.” It’s the psychopath's way of reminding themselves: ”I can lie to you at will, I get away with it, you are under my control”.
No, my friends, not all lies are created equal. The lies that come from those who truly love and respect us, from those who truly are just human and not perfect, can be lies that are forgiven. The lies of the psychopath, however, are lies born from their inhumanity and lack of respect for the rest of us mere and imperfect humans.
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Are All Lies Created Equal?
In any given situation, if the truth will garner them the pity they are looking for, the truth is what you will get. Otherwise, you get a lie.
Article Author: Boots Smith