Are Pathological Liars Narcissistic
Are Pathological Liars Narcissistic?

Have you ever encountered someone who seemed to lie excessively, often for no apparent reason? You might have wondered if they were simply shameless liars or suffered from narcissism leading to their deceptive behavior.

This blog post will delve into the world of pathological liars and those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), exploring the connections and distinctions between these two behaviors. Our goal is to answer the question – Are Pathological Liars Narcissistic?

By gaining a deeper understanding of the psychology behind compulsive lying, you can better navigate relationships with such individuals and recognize when it’s time to seek professional help.

Key Takeaways

  • Pathological liars and individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) both exhibit a disregard for the truth, but they have different motivations for their deceptive behavior.
  • Narcissists often use lying as a means of control over their environment and to manipulate others into providing them with constant adoration and validation, while pathological liars may lie without any apparent reason or motive.
  • Compulsive lying can be caused by various factors such as childhood trauma, personality disorders like NPD or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), insecurity and low self-esteem, attention-seeking behavior, and impulse control issues. It is important to seek professional help from mental health professionals who can provide personalized care tailored to addressing underlying issues at the root of this behavior.
  • Coping with pathological or narcissistic liars requires setting clear boundaries, sticking to consequences when violated; seeking support from friends or family members; taking care of oneself by limiting time spent on these individuals; understanding that it’s never your fault if you have fallen victim to a pathological liar’s manipulative tactics – seek support and take steps towards healing from emotional abuse.

Understanding Pathological And Narcissistic Liars

Pathological and narcissistic lying are both characterized by a disregard for the truth, but while pathological liars tend to lie continuously without motive, narcissists often use lies to manipulate others for their own benefit.

Definition Of Pathological And Narcissistic Lying

Pathological lying is a persistent and compulsive behavior where an individual continually fabricates stories or exaggerates the truth without any apparent reason. This type of dishonesty can be detrimental to relationships, careers, and overall well-being.

On the other hand, narcissistic lying stems from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), which is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, manipulative tendencies, and a lack of empathy towards others.

Narcissists tend to lie in order to maintain control over their environment and manipulate people into providing them with constant adoration and validation.

The Connection Between Narcissism And Compulsive Lying Behavior

One of the key connections between narcissism and compulsive lying behavior lies in the concept of “narcissistic supply.” Narcissists need a constant source of admiration, attention, and validation from others to maintain their inflated self-esteem.

To achieve this, they often resort to manipulative tactics like gaslighting, emotional abuse, and frequent lying.

Narcissists also lie as a means of control. By manipulating the truth for personal gain or simply to deceive others into believing their fabricated reality, narcissists maintain their sense of superiority over those around them.

They may use mixed messages or false promises to keep people emotionally invested and dependent on them – which only further fuels their narcissistic desires.

In some cases, pathological liars might not necessarily suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder but rather exhibit similar traits due to shared psychological risk factors such as low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity.

Common Traits And Behaviors

Pathological and narcissistic liars exhibit a variety of characteristic traits and behaviors. These distinct patterns can help to identify such individuals in our lives:

  • Frequent lying, even when it’s unnecessary or illogical
  • Gaslighting tactics to manipulate others and control situations
  • Skillful emotional abuse, often disguised as concern or love
  • Dependence on constant narcissistic supply from their surroundings
  • Inflated self – esteem, which may lead to unrealistic expectations of themselves and others
  • Narcissistic traits such as a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and manipulative behaviors
  • Playing the victim to garner sympathy and attention from others
  • Making false promises or delivering mixed messages that leave people confused
  • Enabling toxic behavior by surrounding themselves with codependents who support their lies
  • Using silent treatment as a form of punishment or manipulation tactic
  • Feigning emotions like sadness and remorse to deceive their victims into thinking they genuinely care about them
  • Emotional stinginess, meaning withholding affection or support when it serves their interests best
  • Displaying an exaggerated sense of self – importance and expecting others to adhere to their needs and desires

The Psychology Of Pathological Lying

Causes And Risk Factors

Pathological lying is a complex and multifaceted behavior that can be caused by various factors. Some of the common causes and risk factors associated with pathological lying include:

  1. Childhood Trauma: Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse may be more likely to develop pathological lying as a coping mechanism.
  2. Personality Disorders: People with personality disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), or Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) are at higher risk of developing pathological lying behavior.
  3. Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem: Individuals with low self-esteem or insecurity may use pathological lying as a way to feel better about themselves or gain attention from others.
  4. Attention-seeking Behavior: Pathological liars may crave attention and validation from others, which can lead them to fabricate stories and exaggerate their achievements.
  5. Impulse Control Issues: People who struggle with impulse control issues may find it difficult to resist the urge to lie, even when it is unnecessary or harmful.

Overall, there is no single cause for pathological lying. It is usually a combination of life experiences, psychological factors, and personality traits that contribute to this behavior.

The Role Of Shame And Low Self-esteem

Pathological liars often have a deep sense of shame and low self-esteem that drives them to engage in deceitful behavior. They may feel the need to impress others or gain their approval by fabricating stories about themselves or exaggerating their accomplishments.

Additionally, pathological liars may have experienced significant traumas or emotional abuse in their past, which further contributes to their feelings of shame and insecurity.

It is important for individuals who struggle with compulsive lying tendencies due to shame and low self-esteem seek treatment from mental health professionals who can provide personalized care tailored to addressing underlying issues at the root of this behavior.

Treatment Options

Treating pathological and narcissistic liars can be challenging since these disorders are deeply ingrained in the person’s personality. However, with professional help, it is possible for them to change their behavior. Here are some treatment options:

  1. Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or psychodynamic therapy can help the person understand and manage their emotions and behaviors.
  2. Medications: Antidepressants may help with underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
  3. Group therapy: Narcotics Anonymous or similar support groups can provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences and receive support from others who have gone through similar struggles.
  4. Family Therapy: Including family members can provide insight into the person’s upbringing that might contribute to their condition.

It is important to note that treatment success often depends on the individual’s willingness to accept they have a problem and work towards change.

Coping With Pathological And Narcissistic Liars

Establishing clear boundaries and consequences for their behavior is important when dealing with pathological and narcissistic liars, as they often rely on their ability to manipulate others; seeking professional help can also provide valuable support in navigating these complex relationships, while understanding and managing one’s own emotions can prevent further harm from emotional abuse.

Setting Boundaries And Consequences

It’s important to establish boundaries and consequences when dealing with pathological or narcissistic liars. Here are some ways to set boundaries and enforce them:

  1. Clearly communicate your expectations: Let the person know what you expect from them in terms of honesty and communication. Be specific about what behaviors you will not tolerate.
  2. Set consequences for lying: Make it clear that there will be repercussions if the person continues to lie. This could involve cutting off contact or other forms of punishment.
  3. Stay firm: When the person violates the agreed-upon boundaries, stick with your consequences. Don’t give in to their manipulations or attempts to bargain.
  4. Seek support: Dealing with a pathological or narcissistic liar can be emotionally draining. It’s important to have a support system in place, whether that’s friends, family, or a therapist.
  5. Take care of yourself: Set limits on how much time and energy you’re willing to devote to this person. Remember that you deserve respect and honesty in your relationships.

Setting boundaries can be difficult, but it’s an important step in protecting yourself from emotional abuse and manipulation. By staying firm and taking care of yourself, you can minimize the impact of pathological or narcissistic lying on your life.

Seeking Professional Help

It can be difficult to cope with someone who lies compulsively or exhibits narcissistic traits, but seeking professional help is an important step in managing these behaviors.

A therapist or counselor can provide invaluable support and guidance in developing effective coping strategies, setting boundaries, and understanding the underlying psychological factors at play.

They may also recommend other forms of treatment, such as medication or group therapy. It’s important to seek out a qualified mental health professional with experience working with personality disorders and dysfunctional behavior patterns.

Understanding And Managing Personal Emotions

Living or dealing with a pathological liar can be emotionally draining and painful. It’s essential to understand the emotions you may experience, such as frustration or anger, when trying to cope with someone who compulsively lies.

One useful technique for managing your feelings is to take time out regularly to check in on how you are feeling.

It’s important to remember that while it is easy to become consumed by negative feelings toward the pathological liar, it is not helpful for your mental well being in the long run.

Instead of letting these emotions control you, consider setting boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate in interactions with them.

Another crucial aspect of managing personal emotions is seeking support from trusted friends and family members who have experienced similar situations. They can offer a listening ear and empathize with your situation without judgment.

Are Pathological Liars Narcissistic Or Shameless Liars?

Pathological and narcissistic liars are often intertwined, with studies showing that individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) tend to exhibit compulsive lying behavior as a way of maintaining their self-importance and gaining attention from others.

Examining The Link Between The Two Disorders

Both pathological lying and narcissistic personality disorder involve significant deception, but they are not the same thing. Pathological liars tell lies impulsively and often without any clear motivation or benefit.

However, there is a significant overlap between these two disorders. Many people with narcissistic personality disorder also engage in pathological lying as part of their manipulative tactics to control others and keep up their self-image.

Understanding the link between these two disorders can help victims recognize when they are being manipulated by someone who has both conditions at once.

The Influence Of Narcissism On Pathological Lying

Pathological lying and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) often go hand in hand. Individuals with NPD have a deep need for admiration, attention, and praise from others.

They use pathological lying as a tool to manipulate their surroundings towards this end goal.

The influence of narcissism on pathological lying can also be seen in how these individuals handle criticism or negative feedback. Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions or behavior, they may resort to lies to deflect blame or justify their wrongdoings.

This trait is commonly known as gaslighting tactics- where the liar manipulates people into doubting their own perceptions of reality by denying facts that contradict what the liar says.

Differences Between The Two Disorders

While both pathological liars and narcissistic liars may share some common traits, there are several significant differences that set them apart. The following table highlights these differences to help you better understand the distinction between these two types of liars.

Pathological LiarsNarcissistic Liars
Lying is often compulsive, and they may not be able to control their dishonesty.Lying is typically intentional, with the goal of manipulating others and maintaining their inflated self-image.
May experience guilt or remorse for their lies, but struggle to stop lying.Rarely experience guilt or remorse for their lies, as they believe they are justified and necessary.
Lies may not always benefit the liar and can even be harmful to themselves.Lies are often self-serving and designed to boost their ego, status, or advantage.
Pathological lying is not necessarily indicative of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).Narcissistic liars often meet the criteria for NPD and display other narcissistic traits and behaviors.
Treatment options may include therapy to address underlying emotions, such as shame and low self-esteem.Treatment options may involve therapy focused on building self-awareness and empathy, as well as developing healthier coping mechanisms.


In conclusion, pathological lying and narcissistic behavior often go hand in hand. While not all pathological liars are necessarily narcissistic, many exhibit traits commonly seen in those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Understanding the psychology behind both disorders can help victims cope with these individuals by setting boundaries and seeking professional help. It is important to recognize that the constant need for attention and validation exhibited by a narcissist can fuel their compulsive lying behavior, making it difficult to separate the two.