How Do You Know a Narcissist is Lying?

I can just hear the chorus of you all right now:

You know a narcissist is lying if their lips are moving!

Well, to some extent, you’d be right. Narcissists love to lie. However… there are certain things you can be on the lookout for.

When I’m asked how to spot a narcissist, my favorite tips are to be on the lookout for how they tell you things. 

In fact, it’s almost laughable to see them squirm and try to wriggle their way out of such obvious moments of deceit.

Let’s go through all the ways you can spot a lying narcissist.

You can be your own human lie detector!

Vague Stories Come Thick and Fast

When you ask a narcissist a question in the hope of getting an honest answer, they can take you on a trip.

The trip isn’t somewhere nice or exotic. In fact, it’s a trip on a hamster wheel, and you end up going nowhere fast. 

They’re vague. They dodge your questions like bullets, and the more you enquire the more cornered they become. 

They act this way because they know they aren’t being loyal or honest to you. I mean think about it, are honest people ever vaguely honest? 

No.

They’re honest without compromise.

This is because they actually have nothing to hide. A narcissist has plenty to hide, and will do what it takes to do so.

It’s quite humorous watching them trying to pacify you with answers that just won’t sit.

Yeah I’ve been out.

Out where?

Just out.

What have you been doing?

Stuff.

What stuff?

Stuff that wouldn’t interest you.

They want to rile you and get you to feel anxious about their whereabouts. 

They love lying.

Changing the Subject – What Now?

You ask.

They answer, swiftly followed by a compliment or a prompt about the weather. If a narcissist really knows you, they will bring up a subject you feel passionate about. This is designed to help you avoid the lies you know are happening before you and to you. 

Yes – those subject changes can come thick and fast if you are deep in a conversation with a lying narcissist. 

There’s also something slightly insidious about the subject change, and that is how it is meant to confuse you a bit.

Perhaps you were sure you were getting to the truth, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Suddenly, you’re talking about what good names there are for dogs, and you’re left thinking…

What was I angry about? Why would I assume they’re lying? 

Inconsistencies, Stutters, Stumbles

This is one of my personal favorites, because when I am in the presence of a lying narcissist, I like to watch the stutters unfold. 

It does cause great discomfort to the narcissist and they will usually excuse themselves by ‘needing to make a call’ or ‘visit the bathroom.’

Listen out for the tone in someone’s voice as they try to smooth over their lies. Be on guard for a defensive nature to how they use language, or how they trip over their own words trying to run away from your truth-seeking questions. 

I, erm, but, well, um, er, ahem, well, I I I, erm…

Oh, it’s so good to see them so uncomfortable. 

You know what, narcissists?

If you don’t want to get caught out, then stop lying! 

It’s pretty simple to the rest of us, yet it seems so complicated still to you all. 

Eye Contact? What Eye Contact?

Cue alien voice…

Avoid. All. Eye. Contact.

I swear narcissists are aliens. I wouldn’t be surprised, as they’re a completely different life form from the rest of us.

Narcissists, if they’re uncomfortable with whom they’re lying to, will find your eye contact somewhat intimidating. This can be more in terms of the workplace, or people in authority who you are questioning. 

Think of many world leaders or politicians. Yes, they look away as they promise their societies will improve or be given more opportunities to find work. 

They don’t look you in the eye, and when they answer, they look every which way except where you’re sitting or standing. 

Interestingly, for the worst narcissists out there, it can be the opposite. They can literally pierce through you with their eyes as they try to outsmart the ‘no eye contact equals lying’ idea.

This intensity is even more fun to watch, because no amount of eye contact will add truth to their words.

Body Language

A turn or twist away from you is enough to know they aren’t giving you everything they truly know.

Folded arms are to protect themselves from you wanting to know what’s really going on. They’re also designed to protect themselves from you, because they feel marginally or wholly threatened. 

Playing on their phone when you’re trying to engage in a conversation that calls for honesty.

Sighing or tilting their head impatiently at you as you ask questions, hoping you’ll give up on seeing their apparent frustration.

These tactics are all designed to put you off, and keep you away from them so they can continue to lie. 

Turning it Around on You

Where have you been?

Sorry, did I ask you that question last week when you were out all day?

Why didn’t you call?

Well you never called me to ask where I was! I could’ve been in trouble or hurt!

You’re late.

Do you not think I wanted to be home sooner? 

Using your questions to fire back at you is a classic narcissistic ploy. They don’t want to answer what you want to know. Instead, they want you to feel bad for asking in the first place. 

They will use what you’re wondering to wonder right back. Anything to take the blame off themselves and lay it firmly at your feet.

This tactic is still lying, because what they are doing is blaming you for something they’ve done.

It means they get away with whatever they’re doing. 

Trust Your Gut

When all else around you may fail, look inside yourself. It’s something people who have constant access to narcissists fail to do because they start to learn not to trust what they’re thinking or feeling.

That’s a condition placed upon you by the narcissist, but in truth, you can still think and feel – and believe it. 

Trusting your gut is a surefire way to lean into their lies and fully understand how they can tell them.

When something seems off, or when they aren’t presenting in an open and honest way, you know something is definitely up. 

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