Tricking a narcissist into telling the truth? Really? That would be like conning a con artist.
Narcissists are known for being original liars, tricksters, and world-class manipulators. Is it even possible to find a way to trick a narcissist? Is it practically possible to beat them at their own game?
The covert narcissist will also use this form of emotional abuse by.
- Making you feel guilty for their bad behavior
- Saying they’re sorry but then continuing to do the same thing
- Using “gaslighting” tactics to make you doubt yourself
- Blaming you for their own bad behavior
- Making empty promises, they have no intention of keeping
If you have suffered narcissistic abuse, you will find it hard to believe that this is realistically possible. Because you have spent ages cooking up schemes to beat them and it all came to naught.
You know precisely how they work and how unabashedly they lie. Some of their lies are too obvious, even for a child to identify. The problem here is how to make them admit their lies. How can you convince a narcissist to tell the truth?
As a victim of narcissistic abuse, you would be happy and relieved to know that there are established ways to trick a narcissist into telling the truth.
As you have everything to gain and nothing to lose, why not give this a try?
6 Ways To Trick A Narcissist Into Telling The Truth
Truth, for people with narcissistic personality disorder, comes in different shades. It is challenging for a narcissist to embrace the whole, absolute truth. Often their truths are indirect and half-truths. You may have to sift it out from a mass of half-truths and manipulation tactics.
Being aware of their character and methods will come in handy for you in this delicate job. Here are a few situations when narcissists spill the beans. It’s up to you to corner them into these situations.
1. When you have something they want
Narcissists lie only if it benefits them. They are honest if it gets them what they want.
“That was delicious. You’re a fantastic cook.”
“The party was a success. You’re so good at planning.”
Clearly, the narcissist is happy with your efforts and wants you to keep going. They use compliments and flattery as an encouragement to continue pleasing them. However, be warned that they may flip the switch whenever they feel like it.
For the same effort from you, you may end up getting yelled at. If they are upset with you, the same dish will be termed as “bad and inedible”.
Gaslighting is one of the common manipulation tactics of a narcissist. Narcissists are good at making you believe that you are at fault. But if they want something from you, they can be saccharine sweet as well.
“I wish I could sew like you but I’m all thumbs. Can you help me with this button? You are so good at this.”
“I’m so lucky that you’re so handy around the house. Will you help me change this light bulb?”
Narcissists admit weaknesses only when they want something from you. They may appeal for your help if they think the job is beneath them or want to avoid doing it.
Narcissists are well aware of your fondness for flattery. They use it to manipulate you into doing things for them.
You can turn the tables on them and make them say what you want to hear. This will work only when you have something to offer.
2. Angry pronouncements
“If you plan to continue the same way, I’m calling it quits.”
“If you want to be absurd and pig-headed, I’m finding it difficult to trust you.”
“Stop saying such crazy stuff. Anyone else would’ve left you already.”
Have you noticed how a narcissist talks when they are angry? Loud, exaggerated, and packed with threats and ultimatums. Are these just rants? Or do they mean it?
If you care to follow the pattern and connect the dots between a narcissist’s words and actions, you will be surprised at their honesty. These may be rants but they intend to follow it through.
Dismiss a narcissist’s angry rants at your own peril. Thinking of it as emotional outbursts is misguided. Avoid this mistake.
Narcissists enjoy stewing in their anger and carry out the most outrageous threats. You cannot fault a narcissist for being dishonest about their feelings, needs, and plans.
3. Partial lies and half-truths
Narcissists often leave out the salient points of the situation and stick to inconsequential details to come up with half-truths. Such as, claiming they are staying late at the office when they have an affair going on with a colleague.
Or, claiming they made bad investments in the stock market when they lost money in gambling.
A narcissist is fully aware of the importance of sticking to as much truth as they can. The best lies are those that contain some truths. These half-truths are meant to throw you off the scent.
A narcissist expects you to swallow the truth part of it and not think further. They hope the truth part will keep you satisfied and you won’t poke holes in their story and pester them for information.
Narcissists use half-truths to defend themselves in case they get caught lying. They will use the truth half to claim that they were honest and not lying.
4. Projecting themselves onto you
Psychological projection is a mental process of misreading something internal as external. Projection happens when a person attributes to others something that is in their own mind. For instance, a self-critical person may think that others are criticizing them.
“No matter how much you deny it, you are planning to leave me.”
“Am sure you enjoy badmouthing me.”
“You worry too much about others’ opinions.”
Projection is a common trait among narcissists. When a narcissist begins to blame you out of the blue for something you are not aware of, don’t bother defending yourself. This is a valuable insight into the mind they are offering you. This is exactly what they are doing or planning to do.
Narcissists are known to project themselves onto others but it is hard to separate their truth from fiction.
5. Truth mixed up with phony regrets
“I made a mistake but it was for your benefit.”
“I’m not saying I did that. Even if it is so, what is the big deal? Who cares?”
“I didn’t intend to hurt you. I’m sorry.”
Often, when narcissists find themselves in tricky situations, they try to escape with fake apologies. If you care to pay attention, you will notice that the truth about the situation gets revealed in the midst. They admit their wrongdoing directly or indirectly and try to get away with insincere and pointless excuses.
Accepting their mistakes or telling the truth is not for narcissists. They must have had no other option but to make a fake show of owning up. Rest assured, their apology isn’t heartfelt or authentic. Even when they utter the truth in distorted form, it is accompanied by explanations.
6. Truth is revealed to others
“She can’t handle the truth but I will tell you what is going on.”
“I know you can keep a secret. So keep this between us.”
Narcissists and truth don’t mix. They are highly skilled at eluding and disowning the truth. However, they may use this as an enticement or a largesse with a third party. Even when they refuse to reveal the truth to you, they may share it with others to make them feel special and privileged.
The person is made well aware of how special they are, to be told the piece of information. Often they are sworn to secrecy after the big revelation.
Is It Worth Getting into a Fight with a Narcissist over Their Lies?
A fight or a confrontation is the last thing you should try with a narcissist because you can never win it or convince them of their wrongdoing. This is for the simple reason that they are narcissists and will never own up to their mistakes.
When a narcissist is confronted over the lies they told, they will throw up a fit and use their anger to get out of the situation. It may also backfire on you. It may also result in emotional abuse and physical violence.
Here are a few typical narcissistic responses when confronted with their lies.
Deny deny deny: From a narcissist’s perspective, this is the easiest way out. They may even turn tables on you and accuse you of exaggerating or imagining things.
“I never did that.”
“You got it wrong.”
Turn defensive: Instead of accepting their mistake, a narcissist may resort to explanations why their behavior was right. This is a tactic to hoodwink you but this may succeed if you are not wise to their schemes.
“That was the only option left for me.”
“You would have done the same.”
Defame you: A narcissist may run a smear campaign against you for exposing them. By discrediting you and your reputation, they hope to gain the approval of others. A narcissist believes that others won’t believe what you said, now that they have proved themselves to be the better person.
Minimize or ignore: Narcissists often use playing down or deflection tactics to avoid getting cornered for their lies. You may be accused of overreacting.
“It’s over. Let’s move on,”
“Just let it go. Don’t cling on to it.”
Assault and violence: This is the last resort of most narcissists. When they find themselves cornered and there is no escape for them without hurting their ego, they lash out blindly. Depending on the person’s character, this may result in emotional abuse or physical violence.
You may be slapped, hit, or pushed violently. In extreme cases, this can lead to severe forms of physical assault or even sexual aggression. Get help from a family member or friend.
Can a narcissist ever be completely honest?
As long as they are narcissists, they can’t. However, if they can overcome their narcissistic personality disorder and leave their negative traits behind, they can. This is not a common occurrence though.
Now to get back to the original question – Is there a way to trick a narcissist into telling the truth? A narcissist may never admit the truth willingly and knowingly. But it doesn’t matter as long as you are aware of the truth. That is all that matters.
How To Get Started On The Stages of Breaking Free From narcissistic abuse
If you’re finally ready to break free from the toxic cycle of narcissistic abuse, there are a few things you need to do. First, you must educate yourself on narcissism and how it affects relationships. Second, you need to set some boundaries with the narcissist in your life. And third, you need to start working on rebuilding your self-esteem.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a few resources that can help you take control away from a narcissist. Here are the articles we recommend:
- Narcissism and Codependency Checklist
- Narcissist and Codependent Relationship
- How To Make A Narcissist Fear You
- What to Do When a Narcissist Cheats on You?
- 50 symptoms of narcissistic abuse syndrome
- How does a Narcissist React When You Dump Him
- How to Turn the Tables on a Narcissist
- When the Narcissist Sees You with Someone Else
- 5 Signs a Narcissist Wants Your Attention