It’s Narcissist Friday!   


We have made our annual trip to the north country, the land without television, cell phone reception, or internet. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. We choose not to have television, the internet is frustratingly limited, and cell reception is really bad. It’s actually great!

My sources of news these days are MSN and Fox websites. It is nice not to have to listen to the political stuff, but it seems to be impossible to escape the constant spin. One candidate says something and gets into trouble, then spins a perspective that satisfies supporters. Then the other candidate does the same thing. Over and over we hear outrageous things and the amazing spin that makes those things acceptable.

If you had no other evidence that our culture is nearly overwhelmed by narcissism, the spin alone would be enough. When the truth can be twisted so much that horrors are made to sound good, we have lost something.

Narcissists are masters of spin. If you look up the definition of spin, you might be disappointed. For today’s purposes, spin is simply defined as political bias. But it is much more than that. Spin is twisting the truth to make someone or something look good. It isn’t quite lying, although the truth will be missing at the end. The word actually comes from spinning yarn, meaning the action of twisting threads. But it came to mean telling a story that wasn’t quite true, “spinning a yarn.” Today, spin could be defined as “twisting strands of truth to create a new, usually favorable, perspective.”

Catch a narcissist in a lie and you will see what spin is. Watch a narcissist fail and learn how truth can be spun. Narcissists can take tiny threads of truth and twist them to make you the devils and themselves the saints. Some of them are very good at this, but even those who are not so good seem to get by with it.

I have enough internet to know the story about the Stanford rape. Here’s a link to the story, but what I want you to read is the statement by the rapist.

***WARNING*** There will be triggers in what you read. It will probably make you very angry. This is the young man who was convicted of rape, three felony convictions, but was able to convince the judge to grant a light sentence. Three felonies and the young man will probably be on the streets in three months.


So this young man is suffering because of college life and easy alcohol. If he was released, he could warn others about these bad things. He just wants to get on with his life. If he wasn’t so good at swimming, he wouldn’t even be newsworthy. Blah, blah, barf.

A lot of people are angry about this statement, but we understand don’t we? You have heard this before, probably many times. “It wasn’t really my fault. I am the one suffering here. I did nothing wrong. I’m a changed person and can help others now.”

Spin. Twisting the truth. Who cares about the victims? Just so long as the narcissist comes out okay.


Filed under Narcissism

16 responses to “Spin

  1. jo

    Thank you for this . I’m so glad you put this post up. I have been wondering about this for a long time now. My N lies so much, about anything and everything. It’s not only lies to cover things up, its everyday little lies. The time he wakes up, how much sleep he got, how much or little he ate…you name it, he’s lying about it. It is though, always a lie to benefit him in some way or another. He lies so much, I have seen myself going along with it over the years and feeling guilty about it afterwards. But I can’t just confront him in front of people, he would make me look like I was the one lying or sooo forgetful. I cant confront him alone either, it is completely pointless. I would be crazy or wrong in the end, or just a wretch just wanting to fight. If he’s not lying he’s exaggerating beyond anything you can imagine. here’s an example.
    My N told me he was dyslexic. He had never been tested for it but he just knew, and I asked him how he knew. He told me it was because he was part French. I was kind of thrown back and said huh? how does being part French have anything to do with that? He said…. well all French people move their arms around when they speak, because they are all dyslexic, and that’s what I do. True story…smh. Of course, who am I to argue with him? I don’t know anything about anything! I just end up being stunned most of the time and just silently furious. How could a sane person think that ANYONE would believe that? I just go along with it because what’s the point in calling him out.. he’s just going to call me crazy or a B , and say that I just want to fight. Which I hardly ever defend myself with him or fight…sometimes it gets to me though. He lies about being ill… a head ach is a migrane, a cough is bronchitis, and so on. If god forbid I ever say i’m sick with something he relates it to himself and what he had/has is much worse. The doctor he had been seeing told him… “It’s impossible to have pain there” once. I guess that doctor just doesn’t know what hes talking about and just a jerk who doesn’t want to deal with his patients, what a dumb doctor! He doesn’t have him anymore..i guess he just couldn’t convince him.
    My question is, does being a pathological liar have any relation to being an N? I tried looking it up, but just didn’t get anywhere. And thanks again for letting me vent…This site makes me feel so good, even for a little while.

    • Cecilia K

      Jo, I think that lying and narcissism go hand-in-hand, pretty much. I mean, since narcissism is all about maintaining a false image, the false image is a lie in itself, right? And to maintain the false image, they are going to have to lie at least some of the time. And yet, like the post says, they “take tiny threads of truth and twist them to make you the devils and themselves the saints.” So there is at least some truth mixed in with their lies–enough to make you think that just maybe he’s right/telling the truth, even though the rest of it sounds absurd.

      Your mention about the doctor reminded me of an appointment that I had one time that my (now ex-) NBF came to, where the doctor had recommended that I might get a certain test done. Well, my BF later told me I didn’t need it, and when I said I might still get it done, he got mad and said I never listen to him. He said something about having made the doctor back down when he was questioning him about something (not sure if it was regarding the test or something else), as if to say, “You should listen to me, because obviously, I know better than he does.” He did Not make the doctor back down. I think the doctor was merely acknowledging the possibility of whatever my BF was saying. Anyway, I think that conversation was a pre-cursor to one of our many break-ups.

    • Sunflower

      Oh, jo, I love your story of being French and dyslexic. It’s too funny. Maybe sometime we need to have a contest of who can come up with the craziest spin!!! I do understand that it is serious and frustrating, but sometimes I get through this stuff with a bit of humour. Like, what else can you do?

      • Sunflower

        On the serious side, I find the most hurtful spinning is now, over 20 years later, how he still turns the children (as well as friends and relatives) against me. Oh, he says they should respect their mother (implying ‘in spite of how nuts she is’), but sometimes it feels like a ‘polite distance’ with some contempt and condescension thrown in but a smile on the face might be harder to take than actual hatred? I don’t know. Yet if I speak the truth, somehow I’m just not near as convincing as his lies. So I’m silent. Is that the right thing to do? I pray nearly every day that God would shine His light on the truth and expose the lies. Is that passing the buck? Does God expect me to speak anyway? That’s what Jesus did, no?

      • Cecilia K

        Sunflower, I understand how hard it is to speak up when you know you are just going to be attacked, or at the least, no one is going to believe you. I think that in the beginning, we definitely need to combat lies with truth, and as time wears on, if you still have the strength and the will to speak up, great! But perhaps it is also just as valid to stay silent when you know, after repeated attempts of telling the truth, that it does no good. There is a verse in scripture (I don’t know the reference) that says, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine,” and another (I’m pretty sure in Proverbs) about not answering a fool in his folly. Now, there is another one (I think immediately after) that says the opposite—to answer a fool in his folly…perhaps the Lord is saying it’s okay for us to use our best judgement as to when to speak up and when to not?

      • Savedbygrace

        Sunflower-my nh has ‘diabetes’. Really? All the kids are skeptical but we just take him at his word and i’m sure the kids enjoy ‘pulling him up’ when he goes to have all those yummy sweets! I think there will be ‘cure’ coming soon! LOL

    • Savedbygrace

      Hi Jo, I’m with Sunflower- we have to laugh sometimes! thankyou for sharing the French dyslexic story!! I also chuckled about the one -upping the illnesses as my nh did that too! on a more serious note- it does totally mess with your head to have the person you should be able to trust the most, lie ( and not just a one off). I think if you put ‘narcissism and lies’ into your search engine you will get so much info now.. it just goes hand in hand sadly.
      I too have been in that position of wondering if it is worth saying anything -do I want a fight, do I want to look petty etc.. I found a great response tho when I was reading Patrica Evans books on verbally abusive and controlling people, which has worked for me. It’s simple, you just say “Really?” or “What?” and then keep quiet. It really works ( I’ve used it in texts too) – it leaves them hanging and having to re think what they just said and it also is a great way of ‘resisting’ and putting them on notice that you don’t really buy what they are saying. (Of course Ns can be enraged by this so only do this if you are safe to do so and do not risk a violent consequence.) I found it quite empowering and also helped me keep my integrity more in tact so that I did not feel I was complicit to the lies.

    • Penny

      Yes, Jo, pathological lying is often seen with narcissism. They lie even when the truth would suffice, b/c their entire life is one big lie. They wear a mask, they have a false image, and even when caught bald-faced lying, they effortlessly spin another lie. Narcissism is, at its core, about power and control. They are driven to control, & to exert power, thus lying is an easy tool to achieve both.

  2. Cecilia K

    “Narcissists can take tiny threads of truth and twist them to make you the devils and themselves the saints.” How very true this is!

    I have been seeing strong evidence of our narcissistic culture in the whole bathroom issue of late. You know how you can know deep down in your heart that the narcissist’s behavior is wrong, or their words absolutely absurd, and yet when they spin it, you somehow start to think you are wrong for thinking that, or that you are going crazy because you think you remember something that the narcissist totally denies, or you don’t remember something that the N insists happened?

    I see that dynamic being played out with the bathroom issue. I realize that there may be some on this site who disagree with me, but to me, the danger behind legalizing the allowance of transgenders into the bathroom of their choice is so very obvious. And maybe it’s true that I’ve been in a bathroom with a transgender many times and did not even realize it, but now anyone with perverse intentions masquerading as a transgender person can waltz into where men/women are most vulnerable (and let’s acknowledge that statistically, it’s going to be women who are most at risk).

    Anyway, despite the obvious dangers, the trans-supporting spin doctors ignore/deny/minimize the danger to women/children, and instead lift up the transgender people as the ones needing protection. And the obvious solution to create a bathroom specifically for them is dismissed, I suppose they would argue because it would still make them feel singled out and shunned, or something, and they would still be vulnerable to attack. Not that their lives are less valuable, but IMO, it is their choice to deviate from God’s design, whereas biological women and children have no choice when it comes to being exposed to predators.

    Anyway, don’t mean to veer way off topic. My point is that those of us Not in support of opening bathrooms to whoever wants to use them are made to feel like the cold, uncaring, evil ones, even though we have perfectly legitimate concerns, and the obvious danger to women and children is denied/ignored/minimized, just like when Ns do the same thing to us regarding whatever issues we address to them.

    • Mark

      I want to approach this carefully. Remember that organizations that are putting these thoughts in peoples’ heads are the ones that profit from making mountains out of molehills. They are also notorious for stopping their concern about issues when they return to being molehills.

      That said, we’ve had public restrooms for a long time, and AFA never seemed to be concerned about men and boys being in the same restroom. To take a step back, though, 89% of molestation happens by family members, and conservative groups like the AFA and HSLDA have defended child sex abusers under the guise of protecting parental rights.

      But, what is changing is violence to people who don’t look like some stereotype. For example, my wife has her hair cut short. How long is it going to be before some self-appointed bathroom police assaults her?

      Remember, laws are not for the evil, they are for the good. Laws are not for protection, they are for punishment. There are pedophiles that already hang out in the wrong bathrooms, even though the laws say that they can’t be there. The laws aren’t protecting those girls.

      • Cecilia K

        But before this, a woman could report a man for even being in the woman’s restroom. Now she won’t be able to. And I’ll have to respectfully disagree that this is a molehill issue.

      • Cecilia K

        And although I don’t know the statistics, I feel safe in assuming that the incidents of people with ill intent being in the wrong restroom has been much lower than what it will be now that they can go in unfettered by the law. And just because men who molest boys have always had access to them in restrooms, doesn’t mean we should now give them unfettered access to girls, too.

  3. jo

    Thank you Cecilia k. It feels good to know I’m not a crazy person, or make no sense. Yours and mine sound a lot alike. Aren’t we lucky to have had such powerful smart men in our lives? Wow.
    And I completely agree with the bathroom issue, I haven’t thought of it in that sense..very good point.

    • Cecilia K

      Ha ha ha! Indeed, Jo. I will confess, though, in this particular case, my BF ended up being right. I was having a respiratory issue, and he had had a similar one previously, and he shared with me that he was able to take care of his with some special apparatus that helps strengthen your lungs by giving resistance when you breathe in and out of it. He loaned his to me for a time, and it actually did help. I also had not realized at the time of my appointment that my co-pay for that test was going to be $300 b/c it was in a hospital. I couldn’t very well afford that, so I made the test a last resort, and thankfully, I never needed it.

      Nevertheless, it was still wrong for him to get mad at me for still considering having it done, and arrogant to think that he knows better than a medically trained doctor. Not that doctors are never wrong.

  4. Savedbygrace

    Thanks for this Dave- such an important thing to highlight… and helpful to me personally as my husband exercises all manner of ‘spin’ to win me back (separated 2 years) It is easy to forget when one is living in the land of normal that the spin exists! you described:
    It isn’t quite lying, although the truth will be missing at the end.
    My nh makes me feel so ‘petty’ and ‘wrong’ for unravelling each thread to try and get at the real truth- it’s all about image management and they need to come out on top. Your description:
    spin could be defined as “twisting strands of truth to create a new, usually favorable, perspective.” is spot on and is why it is so hard to call them out or even spot they are doing it before it is too late and we have succumbed to their lies yet again.
    I would add to the definition that ‘spin’ is what effect the ns lies has on their victim- it leaves us spinning and that in itself is a good cue for us to be alert and discerning.

  5. Anon

    I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with the psychopathfree.com forum?

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