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Lie When You Tell Me The Truth (Narcissistic Linguistic Programming)

Updated on February 22, 2018
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Marc Hubs, author of "Reflections Of NPD" is a writer/researcher on the mind, science, psychology/psychiatry, metaphysics and consciousness.

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Narcissists, especially covert narcissists, can be crafty, devious, sly and deceptive both in their behaviour and also in the way they communicate with others. They can lie when they are telling the truth and can be honest whilst being deceptive at the very same time.

Narcissists seem to have a natural capacity to use language in a way that suits their needs, to keep their true nature concealed, and this trait ties in with classic NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing). NLP is the study and structure of subjective human experience. Linguistics in NLP explains how all sentences have a hidden underlying structure (unconscious verbal communication) and that this is something that everybody does naturally. I have therefore applied the term Narcissistic Linguistic Programming to describe the process of applying NLP to narcissism.

Essentially, what this means to a narcissist is that if they responded to being questioned about something by saying "I didn't do it, it wasn't me" when in actual fact it was them and they did do it, to the narcissist they would still be telling the truth because the truth was there embedded in the sentence in the following way:

"I didn't do it, it wasn't me"

In exactly the same way, a narcissist may also leave certain words out of their spoken sentences to use the tactic in an inverted manner. For example, they may say something to the effect of "you're paranoid, it's all in your head" when technically, according to them, they are still being honest but just excluding the following the words from the sentence:

"you're [not] paranoid, it's [not] all in your head"

They therefore have told the truth and have been honest with you but they've done it in an indirect way. The narcissist, in their opinion, therefore has no reason to feel guilty or ashamed because technically they are being completely honest with you and have told you the truth - it's your fault if you don't get it for not picking up on it subconsciously (projective identification).

Of course, the victim usually does pick up on it subconsciously by noticing the lack of any signs of guilt, shame or even a physiological response when the narcissist is being deceptive and this tactic also explains how narcissists are able to do so without so much as a flinch. However, it should be noted that this is a behaviour which narcissists carry out naturally. It's not a conscious decision, it's pathological. This way of thinking could also be thought of as a form of karma - the narcissist has, technically, been open and honest and so no bad karma should come back to them. In this sense, it can also be seen as a way of alleviating any feelings of guilt or shame from their deceptive behaviour.

Technically, it is also indeed a way of being honest because the narcissist knows that such sentences speak directly to the subconscious of the victim and therefore the victim will know intuitively that the narcissist is being deceptive but won't be able to prove it.

This may also explain why many victims feel so conflicted about whether there is anything going or not - consciously they are being told one thing while subconsciously they are being told another which then creates ambiguity.

© 2016 Marc Hubs


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      22 months ago

      I read all of the comments about this. I thought this last man was of the Autism spectrum. Repeated the same texts that were nothing but filth for 6 months. On the flip side of what others wrote, I'm not sure if they're aware of the lies they tell, or they just believe the lies they tell. My first narcissistic man in my life was my father. I knew he was lying when I was a child. So the confusion started there. I never questions and to the end of his life didn't. He went out of his way to try to make me feel bad about things. Why? I have no idea. Yes, we do things based on words, but at the same time, we see the lies attached to those words. One after the other I encountered. Makes no difference what disorder they may have, I only know I can't have people like that in my life anymore. I attempted to speak to the last one a few weeks ago, said why I saw him last year, he thought it was funny. Denied what I accused him of. Repeated the same words he said, a year ago. I wasn't asking or was I wanting anything. If that makes him feel better about what he did, so be it. I will never exchange words with him again. To save myself, this is how I live my life now, or at least try to. We will always encounter people of this world like this. Are they born that way or made that way. For me the jury is still out. So to make me feel better, I say to self, I feel sorry for them because their lives will never be any more than it is at this moment. The sad part is they will take many others down that ugly path they live, getting some kind of pleasure I never want to understand.

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      Tamara Yancosky Moore 

      2 years ago

      Yes, they lie in a very tricky way. Instead of blatant lies, they adds certain dishonest twists, and turns, to the truth, while mixing in many other ingredients, that are heard by our subliminal messages. I still cannot believe that people like this even exist, and I've been through two of them. It's just so unnatural. I cannot, rationally, or coherently, wrap my head around such entities.


    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      It doesn't surprise me that you would disagree a little, that's only natural. Remember, denial is the first step of acceptance. It does also all seem a little esoteric, doesn't it? That's because it is! I can assure you this is exactly how it works. Language and the mind program each other and vice versa and this can be and has been proven since at least the 1970's. This is also exactly how Ericksonian hypnosis works, which is what NLP and Psycholinguistics are based on and is why hypnotic scripts are used - in the beginning was the word and the word was God. Language literally controls you. For more information and a better understanding of this I suggest checking out my article, Linguistic Mind Control & The Illusion Of Free Will. I have also indeed noticed a link between narcissism and autistic spectrum disorders such as ADHD and Aspergers - absolutely! Once you understand the principles behind how linguistics influence the mind, you will never be manipulated by a narcissist again.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      I'm not sure that I'm in complete agreement with this, after having to deal with a couple of malignant narcissists. It seems to me, and you may be subtly saying this, that they lie so much that they believe their own lies. To them the statement, "I did not do it," means that they believe that they did not do it. whatever happened was all my fault, not theirs because they could not have possibly done it. Anyway, dealing with them is very tiring and will drain a person's energy. Looking back, I'm sorry I chose to deal with them rather than walk away, even if they are family members.

      BTW, have you noticed any correlation between narcissism and autism? Both the malignant narcissists I've dealt with were text book Asperger's Syndrome.


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