Narcissists and Mental Gymnastics written by Conner Wood
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One thing Narcissists are known for is believing their own lies.
These lies maintain their delusions, their fixed beliefs they need to keep believing.
Why do they need to keep these delusional beliefs alive? Because those delusional beliefs are their actual identity.
Personally, this is why I cannot subscribe to the myth that Narcissists are Pathological Liars. Narcissists are liars who constantly lie out of their filthy lying liar hole, but that’s not the criteria of a pathological liar.
A pathological liar is someone who spontaneously and compulsively lies for no reason they themselves are aware of. Also, the blurring of fact and fiction that occurs in a Pathological Liar is not the same as the absolute conviction that occurs in persons with delusions… Pathological lying is reactive, not rehearsed over and over, and planned out in advance.
Narcissists, on the other hand, ARE AWARE — they benefit from being delusional / “believing their own lies” because:
1) It is easier to manipulate others knowing they are telling their truth and
2) as a consequence it is harder for others to EXPOSE THEM AS LIARS, something they must avoid at all costs.
Narcissists and Mental Gymnastics: Understanding Their Wacky Minds
By definition, this disqualifies them from being the supposed sweet innocent pathological liar who can’t control their lying. Narcissists are 100% committed to maintaining their delusions and do so with absolute conviction they are always either the hero or the victim, but never the villain.
They distort and even completely dismiss anything that contradicts their delusions. This includes but is not limited to their false perfect self and their current false narrative. To a Narcissist, their Delusions are the truth and their feelings are superior to facts, reason, and reality.
They live their biggest lie that is the Mask of Perfection, that they are perfect, always right, desired, justified, in control, and owed everything.
To maintain such delusions of grandeur requires constant mental effort. This is because Reality is rather persistent and doesn’t take any time off.
As a consequence, Narcissists gain a lifetime of never-ending practice and they become the very best of the best OF THE BEST when it comes to deluding themselves away from reality.
There is a trendy term for deluding oneself away from reality. Mental Gymnastics.
Mental gymnastics – the mental ability to distort the truth even in the face of overwhelming facts.
This means making up excuses or arguments for unjustifiable decisions or situations that they can just twist and even revise history as they see fit.
A perfect example of Mental Gymnastics is The Narcissists Prayer.
South Park summed it up nicely as well regarding how Narcissists take credit for other peoples work when they feel they can get away with it.
Kyle: You know what, Cartman? I believe you.
Cartman: You do?
Kyle: Yes, I believe that YOU BELIEVE you helped write that joke.
That’s how people like you work.
Your ego is so out of whack that it will do whatever it can to protect itself.
And people with a messed up ego can do these mental gymnastics to convince themselves they’re awesome … when really, they’re just douche bags.
Geee, could that speech be about Narcissists? The answer is yes.
To really get to the bottom of this, let’s consider the Covert Narcissists bread and butter …. Betrayal via Backstabbing!
Their only concern is protecting their lies.
You have excellent skills detecting when someone is lying and you don’t detect any lies from your boss (who still unknown to you is a Covert Narc), but you know many coworkers behavior towards you has changed, they are more dismissive and don’t want to talk very long with you, though sometimes they ask questions like “Do you trust your boss?”.
Once in a while, the Covert Narc gets you alone and say to you “I’m protecting you” or “I’m concerned about you, as a person.” but they won’t give you any specifics and any questions are met with evasive answers. Behind the scenes, without you around, they have been slandering you to others saying that you are paranoid and a conspiracy theorist to discredit you. This happens repeatedly over a couple of months.
One day, you catch the Covert Narc in the act slandering your reputation saying “He’s paranoid”. You knew something was up, you knew someone was poisoning the well. You are still surprised it was the boss.
You swear the boss wasn’t lying at the time, that the boss believed what they were saying in the moment. This includes them believing what they said when they later devalued you with “You got lucky” and feigning concern with “I want to help you”.
How exactly does a Narcissist manage to not lie while they do both of these things back and forth repeatedly over an extended period of time. Most importantly, how exactly do they ACTUALLY BELIEVE what they’re saying to you despite KNOWING they have done anything but, that they’ve already been and continue to backstab and sabotage you.
We’ll never know the EXACT lies and excuses they tell themselves to pretend it all away. However using what we’ve covered here, we know the process well enough.
If I was to take a guess, it would go something like this:
P1: If I’m doing something I’m protecting you
P2: I’m doing something
C1: I’m protecting you!
This Selective Perception is trying to omit any details of what they’re doing and stick to this little bit of logic that ignores reality in every way.
However, the logic is unsound, as not everything someone does will help you. But the Narcissist practices ending the logic right then and there without further examination to make the lie be the truth they believe.
This is a fairly simple guess but it explains why they can’t go into any details without breaking their “truth script”. By sticking to their memorized script they can temporarily tell “the truth” because remember folks:
“It’s not a lie if you believe it.” ~ George Costanza (Seinfeld Season 6 Episode 16)
Now, here’s the fun part, let’s examine this part of the logic and how they can convince themselves of it:
“If I’m doing something I’m protecting you”
They convince themselves of this piece of logic using their false perfect self and I can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
How? Because they are always either the hero or the victim, but never the villain. And if what they’re saying they do is what a hero or victim does, and they are obviously the hero/victim in their own mind, then they are doing it.
Yes, their circular reasoning has come full circle.
In the end, all the Narcissists logic comes back to one central starting point which is their false self to always keep them believing their lies which require more lies on top of those in a never ending loop of lies. They are continually deluding themselves which keeps them disconnected from reality.
Because of this, Narcissists are stuck at the bottom rung of the Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid . They built a personality of lies upon lies. That’s why they can never become anything more.
That’s why they are an evil being, not a human being. Any “adapting/improving” will not make them more of a human being, just a more sophisticated predator capable of more complex lies.
In fact, they could perfect their deluding by simply following up with their action with a heroic purpose (since they are.the.hero after all).
Hm.. I said you’re paranoid … Why did I say that … Oh, I know, I said you’re paranoid because [insert heroic reason]
Then they simply don’t talk about the action that a heroic reason wouldn’t lead to. You don’t protect someone when you set them up to fail.
Their real reason will always be “HAHAHA FUCK YOU”. Then they convince themselves they did it for a good reason and get their truth scripts all memorized before having a “conversation” with you.
As Martha Helene Jones commented on my post about this:
“I’m protecting you!” Yes! They are always trying to protect us from the truth because it may hurt us! (to know they are cheating, lying, that they don’t really love us, etc.) so they lie to protect our feelings or because they don’t want to disappoint us.
Couldn’t have said it better, they have to spin the truth really hard to pull that off!
Another explanation is word revision which is another distortion tactic. Where their definition of a word is distorted/revised to tell you what you want to hear.
Their words mean different things with different people. Especially when targeted at their victim.
I’m protecting you == I’m sabotaging you.
I failed to help you == I can’t manipulate you.
I’m worried about you == I’m smearing you behind your back.
I love you == I love using you
Now here’s the test, who do you think is guilty of mental gymnastics?
“What I told you was true…. From a certain point of view” ~ Obiwan Kenobi (Star Wars Ep 6 Return of The Jedi)
Yeah, Obiwan is guilty of it.
There is simply no lie a Narcissist can tell themselves that they also cannot convince themselves is the truth.
This is because their false self gives them the power of “if you say so then you’re right” and the Narcissist can’t live without that control, that power.
When their false self is exposed for what it is, the false self is taken away because their illusion of them being their false perfect self is destroyed. Their power and control is taken away.
This takes away their ability to keep believing their lies. Because that’s what their Mask of Perfection allows them to believe… that they are perfect, always right, desired, justified, in control and owed everything.
Just remember, an Evil Monster convincing themselves they are not evil does not make them any less evil. Be it convincing themselves with a false self or with a diagnosis that doesn’t explicitly state “Pure fucking evil fuckhead”.
In fact, isn’t convincing themselves they aren’t evil only going to ensure they become and remain pure evil, since they can justify ANYTHING no matter how evil!
That’s why they will never change, they’ll never give up their delusion that makes them feel worth something, even though it’s all a lie. And when exposed, they know it but they will always choose their biggest lie over you or anyone else. It’s like their only concern is protecting their lies.
They are evil, regardless of what they think of themselves.
And they are delusional and it is all their fault.