Is Lying a Narcissistic Trait?

For anyone who has had the misfortune of dealing with a narcissist, it’s no secret that they can be manipulative and calculating. One of the most common characteristics associated with this type of personality is lying. But why do narcissists lie? Is it just part of their nature or are there deeper, underlying motivations for their dishonesty? Let’s take a look at why narcissists lie and how to spot when someone is being deceptive.

Why Do Narcissists Lie?

At the root of narcissistic behavior is an inordinate amount of self-importance and grandiosity. A need to maintain control over every situation also drives their actions. As such, they will often lie in order to gain power over other people and maintain their desired image. It’s not uncommon for narcissists to create elaborate stories in order to make themselves appear superior or more successful than they actually are.  

What’s more, they often have difficulty empathizing with the feelings and needs of others which can lead them to be callous, insensitive, or even cruel when it comes to manipulating people for their own gain. They may even resort to making threats in order to get what they want. All these factors contribute to why narcissists tend to be habitual liars.

How Can You Spot a Liar?

The key thing to remember is that lying takes effort—even for a narcissist—so you should always be on the lookout for signs that someone might not be telling the truth. Pay attention if you notice any sudden changes in behavior like avoiding eye contact or speaking very quickly and incoherently as this could indicate that something isn’t quite right.

If you’re suspicious, try asking open-ended questions designed to encourage them to explain themselves further as this can help reveal any inconsistencies in what they’re saying.  Additionally, take note if someone seems overly defensive or aggressive when confronted about something as this could suggest that they’re trying to deflect attention away from themselves rather than deal with the issue at hand honestly. 

Finally, pay close attention if somebody makes sweeping statements without providing evidence or backing up their claims; while some people may do this without malicious intent, it can also be another sign that someone is attempting deception.

Do Narcissists Manipulate People?

Narcissists will often use manipulation tactics in order to get what they want from other people. This can include guilt-tripping or using flattery in an effort to make the other person feel obliged to give them what they want or comply with their demands. Other tactics include playing the victim or blaming others for things that have gone wrong in an effort to shift responsibility away from themselves and onto someone else.

These tactics can be used both consciously and unconsciously by narcissists and can be very difficult for the other person involved to detect or challenge without feeling overwhelmed or guilty about doing so. It is important for those on the receiving end of these manipulations to remember that ultimately no one has the right to control another person’s behavior and that it is possible (although often difficult) to set boundaries with a narcissistic person if you stay firm in your convictions and state your needs clearly.


It’s important not only recognize when someone might be lying but also understand why it’s happening so you can protect yourself from getting taken advantage of by a manipulative individual like a narcissist. By staying aware of potential red flags and trusting your instincts when something doesn’t seem quite right, you’ll have a better chance of spotting deceitful behavior before it gets out of hand. Remember—when dealing with a narcissist honesty isn’t always the best policy but vigilance definitely will be!