Narcissists are pathologically secretive, they will pass on information on a need to know basis only and will very often deliberately misinform and dodge direct personal questions.
Since they do not have a conscience they are quite happy to lie and prevaricate to keep their secrets. They compartmentalise their lives so that they can keep family, friends, colleagues apart, thus preventing them from “comparing notes”. The narcissist sees keeping secrets from friends and family as part of the game and it makes them feel in control because they think that they know a lot more about you than you do about them.
These secrets can range from having multiple affairs, “illegitimate” children, secret bank accounts or just telling someone that they are doing one thing when they are doing something completely different.
Narcissists do not like to share, they can give, but they consider giving a “purchase”. Sharing is too intimate whether is be information, money or responsibility. They will be focused on getting as much out of other people as they can. They can do this by lying, cheating or robbing. Frequently charities are targeted by narcissists as it is the perfect “cover” for taking money from other people. A divorce situation is another scenario where funds just disappear through dishonest means. At the same time that they are cheating and lying they will project their nefarious activities on to others and maintain that they are the ones being duped.
Since narcissistic personalities are delusional and they manufacture their own little world and how they want it to be, they cannot afford to be open and honest because they have a fear of being exposed to other people’s reality and then their world would feel like it was under attack, which in turn leads to narcissistic rage.
- They will tell you that they “love” you even though they know that they don’t.
- Say that they will do things, when they know that they have no intention of doing it.
- Will get people to do jobs for them when they know that they have no intention of paying for them or that they could easily do for themselves
- They will spin a web of endless little lies just to lead you astray to protect their real secret internal turmoil.
- They will constantly contradict and counter contradict so that you do not know what to believe.
- If you pull them up on some inconsistency in their story, they will flatly deny it or tell you that you misunderstood what they said.
- They will often invent a personal history (before you met them) that is completely false, this could be about academic achievements, successful businesses (that some how went bust, usually due to a dishonest partner) or wonderful relationships (that some how ended).
- They will try to keep their past and present lives separate, or at least minimal contact and will prime you about the people you are going to encounter before any direct contact has taken place.
- Their electronic devices will be heavily protected with passwords and PINs but they will expect to be given those of their partner and friends and get very annoyed if they are refused access.
- They physically lock things like doors, desk draws or car doors when there is no immediate threat to their privacy.
- They usually have more than one hiding place for bank statements, love letters or receipts for activities they have been up to
- They can lie about their position at work or even where they work
- They can deny knowing someone or claim to know someone well when they have never met
- They will assume intimate knowledge of someone that they might have only met once
- They never let the truth get in the way of a good story
- They will lie about having been places
NOTE: Narcissists will share other people’s secrets with absolute reckless abandon, not stopping for a second to wonder if they would upset/embarrass the other person or not. It is a very good idea to play your cards very close to your chest when dealing with a narcissist.