Category Archives: Dishonesty

How dishonesty affects others

Lowering Your Standards Does Not Raise Your Self Worth

When we “settle” for less than we deserve, whether we realize it or not; our self-worth suffers.

When we met the narcissist we thought he was a high quality person, someone with principles and high standards, someone in line with our high standards and morals. As we got to know him better we started to witness things that hinted he was not as moral as he pretends to be. A questionable business deal, a friendship destroyed by some disloyalty of his, accusations of wrong doing. You might not be able to identify anything specific but your gut is telling you something is off.

You don’t want to falsely accuse him so you don’t confront him at first or if you do, you are careful to not sound accusatory.

With my ex it was when a neighbor offered to let him buy a motorcycle really cheap because it wasn’t running. My ex didn’t have the $400 so the guy said he could pay over time but the bike would stay with him until it was paid for.

My ex immediately started checking Craigslist for Swap/Trade Ads and found one where a guy wanted to trade a BWM for a motorcycle.

He called the guy and was talking like he had just been out for a ride on the bike and had owned it for a couple of years. He told the guy he would bring the bike down and come look at the car.

He went to the owner of the bike and begged to take the bike home so he could work on it so it would be running when he had it paid for. The owner said OK but he was keeping the registration.

My ex had the bike in his shop less than an hour and had it running. He loaded it on his flat deck and drove out of the park we lived in.

When the owner of the bike got home from work all the neighbors told him my ex had left the park with his bike on the truck. He was furious and I didn’t blame him, I was furious. He couldn’t trade something he hadn’t paid for.

My ex came home with the BMW but the owner of the car wouldn’t give him the registration until he got the registration for the bike.

I was pissed! Now what was he going to do? I knew it!! A person should never lie, it always bites you in the ass. But he was not the least bit concerned. He told me to mind my own business, this is how people do business all the time. I had to let it go but it drove me crazy with worry. What were the neighbors thinking? I was such an honest person.

After a week of the two guys calling him constantly wanting the reggie or money he took the wheels off the BMW and sold them for $400, paid for the bike, got the registration and took it to the owner of the BMW.

He bought the bike owner a bottle of wine and everyone was happy.

I thought maybe I was wrong.

There were other questionable deals and he always told me to shut up and mind my own business, I didn’t know anything about wheeling and dealing. People were always getting upset with him, he was accused of stealing but somehow he always avoided being charged with anything.

I thought perhaps I was being too black and white and maybe there were grey areas of the law. I knew I had always been inflexible when it came to breaking the law, drugs, fidelity.

The more I compromised the more he pushed the boundaries. Life with him was a constant contradiction, praising the Lord one day and stealing the next. Being charitable and kind to others and selfish and mean with me.

He would be so sweet butter would melt in his mouth in front of the neighbors but then every time I walked out of the house by myself the neighbors would come running to complain about how inconsiderate he was. I told them to speak to him directly because I had no control over what he did. I had tried to explain why the neighbors were upset about him working in his shop at 2 am, but it seemed the more I tried to explain the more he did it. He enjoyed pissing people off, yet would try to smooth things over and it always worked.

It was as if he was trying to force me down to his level. At times he used my good reputation to his advantage. People would tend to believe he must be telling the truth because an honest person like me wouldn’t be with someone who wasn’t honest and I always staunchly defended him. I truly thought he was honest just naive. How naive of ME!! I still wonder about some things being the truth or bullshit.

My God, there were so many questionable incidents and for years I gave him the benefit of doubt explaining over and over again that; if you take something that doesn’t belong to you people think you are stealing. I know it sounds crazy to be explaining that to a 40 year old man but he always has some excuse. It was in the garbage so he took it, someone who doesn’t work there any more gave it to him, the boss said he could take it but forgot he said it or changed his mind.

In the 10 years I was with him I had 3 vehicles stolen and he had 3 stolen and totalled one for the insurance money. (I can’t prove it but I know) Six vehicles stolen in 10 years. But I finally did get smart and would keep my registration hidden from him. Now that is a healthy relationship! You hide the registration from the man you love, your soul mate, what does that tell you?

He got fired from every job he ever had. When he had a job he would work 7 days a week. I think because then he would be alone at work and able to steal shit plus he wanted to make sure no one figured out what he was doing. I have never known anyone who went to work one morning and his key no longer fit the lock on the door and he was fired. They were holding his final pay cheque and his tools box was either confiscated or outside the gate.

It happened to him 3 times! And for half of our relationship he was self employed!

I used to insure his truck because I got a 43% discount on my insurance and he had a 43% surcharge added to his. I signed a transfer and tax form in case something happened to me he could sign it over to his name. He told me he had lost it and gave me another one to sign. I was going to fill out the details like the VIN # and he said not to bother, he would fill it in. He kept losing them and I had signed half a dozen of them until one day I ran into a friend. He was on the way to the bank to get money out because he was buying a truck from my ex. I offered to drive him to the bank and I asked which truck he was buying. The blue one parked out front? No the yellow one parked out back.

I argued “No, you can’t be, that’s my truck.”

He insisted that was the truck he was buying, he even had a transfer and tax form with my signature on it!!!

Alarm bells, sirens were ringing, lights were flashing, my own foot came up and kicked me in the ass.

Needless to say, he never bought my truck BUT my truck never ran again either.

* Narcissists do not like to be thwarted.

There were distinct stages of denial I went through until I was in full blown cognitive dissonance before I came full circle to reality again. See if you can relate to any of these.

– At first I truly believed with all my heart he was totally honest and could never break the law or lie. How did I know this-he told me. That’s how. And he said it with such conviction. He had this innocent, country boy, charm going on and I defended him ferociously!

– After he had been accused several times of stealing I still told myself he was stupid. He didn’t mean to steal, it was a misunderstanding. How did I know this? Well, because he told me they misunderstood his motives.

– I eventually got to the stage of telling myself I was not responsible for his actions. I would just turn a blind eye to what he was doing in business, his “deals” and lead my life honestly. I stopped trying to “fix” the messes he created.

– There was one problem with not cleaning up his messes. His messes almost definitely automatically became my messes and I would have to deal with them. If he lost his job, we couldn’t pay the rent, we got evicted, I would have to clean up the mess. Guys he has pissed off run us off the road while I’m driving becomes my problem also. Guys he stole from call me and threaten to come over and stay with me until he shows up and they are drunk and yelling about blood flowing and I end up driving around with my dog afraid to go home; it is now MY problem.

– I started to want to warn new friends he made. Like, how do you casually tell someone “don’t do any business deals with him and you might want to start locking your shop. He tends to have a lot of misunderstandings that will cost you money.”

– I started to not tell people he was my boyfriend, especially customers. The voices in my head kept saying, “How can you love someone you are ashamed to admit is your boyfriend?

– I would make deals with myself. If he gets arrested: I am out of here. When I had dumped him one time he came to me saying he had volunteered to go on a missionary trip to Sudan Africa. I thought, “If he actually goes and does this, I will give him another chance.” It took me years to get the truth about what happened in Sudan and it was anything but charitable.

– Finally I could not deny it any longer and could not rationalize it any more. There were no more excuses, I could not turn a blind eye, could not teach him right from wrong, was ashamed to be seen with him, couldn’t trust him to not destroy my truck (in fact I knew without a doubt he WAS sabotaging my truck). I refused to haul anything for him because I was afraid it was stolen. I broke up with him but I made a crucial mistake; I didn’t go no contact.

Any access a narcissist has to you is a bad thing for you!

Miraculously I had managed to retain my good reputation; a person has nothing without their reputation. I was proud of that.

I did not realize how a narcissist operates, well to be honest I didn’t know what I was dealing with at that time. But I have since found out that a narcissist will totally turn the tables on the victim. What he did to you he will say you did to him. The only reason he stole stuff was cuz I drove him to it with my demands for more. I sat my lazy ass on the couch all day drinking, eating bon bons and cracking the whip. He just could not make me happy.

The only reason he screwed around was because I was a suspicious psycho bitch.

He purposely sabotaged my work truck so I couldn’t pay my debts. And he called all my customers with anonymous complaints and then spread the “fake news” so it became fact that I could not be trusted. He called employers as a “concerned citizen”. I figured out what he was doing when I found his blog where he was talking about how a concerned citizen had called my boss. Funny thing is I had purposely not told a soul so if he knew he had to be the one who made the call.

But, having to defend yourself, constantly doing damage control, and wondering who he has talked to, all wears you down. Your self esteem, already low due to his gas lighting and abuse; melts through the cracks.

It makes it so much harder to recover. You either get sick like me and just give up or you move away.

The very best thing you can do? Avoid the whole shit show in the first place! What a novel idea!!

– Don’t trust someone just because they say they are honest – wait and see how they operate over time.

– When you see that their values don’t align with yours. Walk!! Immediately! It is not your job to teach anyone else how to be a good person. If they are over the age of 6 and are lying and stealing it’s too late to change them.

Remember- who you hang out with IS a reflection on you. Are you proud of who you are with? Do you feel perfectly comfortable telling anyone what goes on behind closed doors? Would you want your best friend or daughter dating this guy?

My ex used to say I made him look like an asshole when I talked to people about our relationship. My reply was, “If telling the truth makes you look like an asshole, maybe you should stop acting like an asshole.”

You should never have to lie or cover for your partner. Sure there are things you don’t talk about, like your sex life but you should never have to lie or make excuses for the person you love.

Knowing Your Worth

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Ocassionally I have a woman come into the blog thinking the man they are in love with is a narcissist because he won’t commit. I have to tell them that just because a man won’t commit does not make them a narcissist. For one thing a narcissist is not that honest. There is nothing wrong with a man for not wanting a commitment. Maybe he should stop seeing a woman who he knows wants a commitment but if he is honest and the woman keeps coming around, screwing him, cooking for him etc even after he has repeatedly told her he will never commit, can you really blame him for taking what she is giving? She obviously doesn’t respect herself or her own boundaries, is it up to him to do it for her? I suppose he should but in reality very few men will. She would call him a narcissist and be angry either way for rejected her.
News flash!! Not everyone is going to love you.
The following is my reply to a woman asking me how she can break away from a man she has been seeing for 3 years who won’t commit and never pretended he ever would commit.

Jane, I am not a trained professional therapist so I am not qualified to counsel you, I can only give you my personal opinion. Plus, I know absolutely nothing about you, your past or how your personal relationships are and have been in the past.
I am guessing this is a pattern in your life, with all people; not just in romantic relationships.
I would guess that one or both your parents were critical or distant and no matter how hard you tried you were never able to win their love and approval, you were never “good enough”.
You were the “people pleaser”, the “fixer”, always doing for others and derived your self worth from the praise of others. Sacrificing your own well being, being a martyr, all in the name of being “loved”. But never learning that you were being used and taken advantage of, not loved.
Most narcissists are not as honest as this man, they profess total commitment but lead a double life, often having many women at one time, all believing he is committed to them and that is where the victim gets sucked in. If the narc would have been honest they would have left the relationship.
The fact that you stay knowing the truth tells me that you rely on other people to give you value.
It is human nature to want to be liked, in fact we tend to try harder to please people who don’t seen to like us. No one likes rejection.
But most people wont stick around to be rejected time and time again. You do not love this man, you have made him your “value gauge”. If you can make him commit then you have value, you are worthy, enough, loved.
The truth is; what he thinks of you has absolutely nothing to do with your value, worth or whether you are loveable.
He has every right to not want to commit, and he shouldn’t continue to sleep with you knowing you want a commitment but most men don’t do the right thing and if he tells you he will never commit and you keep coming around he’s going to take what you keep giving.
You are not the victim of a narcissist, you are a victim of your own inability to defend your boundaries.
You want to be loved and have worth but you have attached your self worth to being loved. Your value has absolutely NOTHING to do with who loves you. You are willing to give up your boundaries, what you stand for; in order to be loved and have value. But you fail to realize that in order to be loved you must be loved for who you are, not the pretzel you contort yourself into, not for the things you are willing to give up but for the things you stand up for. If you don’t respect yourself and who you are (boundaries define who you are) you won’t be respected by others. Respect is essential in any loving relationship, in any relationship period. If you don’t have boundaries and defend them how do you ever feel loved for who you are? How do you ever trust yourself to not be disrespected and used?
Loved based on how much you are willing to sacrifice is never real love, it is never secure and you never feel fulfilled and empowered. You always doubt it.
The way to ensure you don’t get involved with a narcissist is to stop dating until you stop deriving your self worth from a man and know your value without being told you have value. When you love yourself, for all your perceived “flaws”, and are willing to walk away from any man who doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, you will continue to get hurt.
I suggest you stop trying to figure out what the man wants, stop trying to be the woman you think the man wants and start looking at men from the perspective of; is this the type of man I want? Is this man worthy of MY love, is this man’s values in line with MY values? I think you need to find a good therapist who can help you do that.
I know it is scary to let go of this guy and be alone but until you can be comfortable alone and truly enjoy your own company you will repeat history.

Is Honesty Always The Best Policy?

I have always believed honesty is the best policy.  No matter what, when it comes right down to it, if you don’t know what to do; go with honesty and let the pieces fall where they may. Lying only perpetuates more lying and almost invariably it will back fire in your face. Lying about other people is a real sore spot with me, mainly because I have been the victim of a smear campaign and dealt with people who chose to believe the lies and refuse to even entertain the idea that they are believing lies. I have had to end friendship’s with people who believed the lies even though they professed to not be taking sides. Sometimes there is no choice, people have to choose sides because if they don’t they are condoning or agreeing with the lies or behavior. 

I really hate dealing with conflict and have always preferred to keep the peace at all cost but I have found since the narcissist I have anxiety attacks at the first sign of dishonesty or if I hear slander or gossip. 

I suppose that’s because while with my ex the honesty line got blurred from black and white to a solid grey and eventually the narcissistic fog obliterated it from sight all together.

My ex was forever being accused of stealing and every job he ever had was lost due to being “falsely” accused of stealing. He lied about cheating on me, about how much money he made, he lied about having 6 months to live for God sake!

He lied when he didn’t even have to lie. It got to the point I just automatically assumed he was lying and was pleasantly surprised when he wasn’t. 

In the beginning I would bring him up on it if I caught him lying. (*hint. If you have to teach a full grown man about the virtues of honesty. Run!!) 

I thought the lying was a rare thing and due to low self confidence or out of fear of losing me. Haha. Rather ironic, I believed he lied about inconsequencial things because he had lied to me about how all the women in his life had screwed him over and left him. I was going to show him what real love was all about. Gawd! Thinking back I was SO naive!

 As time went on I realized his lies weren’t always so innocent and I would try to tell him it was wrong to lie. (If you find yourself trying to teach a grown man how to be a responsible adult, run!)  

I struggled with his lies; I was embarrassed by them, it went against my values and it bothered me.  

Cognitive dissonance had me telling myself that his actions weren’t a reflection on me. I was not responsible for his actions as long as I remained honest. It was not my position to act as judge and jury. 

But it doesn’t work that way. If you live with a liar you are assumed to also be a liar. If you are an honest person and you know your significant other is scamming someone is it your responsibility to warn them? 

Does it depend on the severity of the crime? If you are the wife of a man who sexually abuses under-age girls and you know. As long as you don’t participate in it are you responsible for ensuring he doesn’t abuse any more girls? Should you be punished for turning a blind eye?

As we are seeing now with various celebrities bring accused of molesting women; are the people who knew about it and didn’t say anything also guilty?

As much as I told myself his actions weren’t a reflection on me, I noticed I had become very cautious about who I told he was my boyfriend. I started wanting to warn people, I was not proud to be his girlfriend.   

After losing a 3rd job for being falsely accused of stealing, I found myself explaining to him that when you take things that don’t belong to you people tend to think you are stealing. People are funny that way. (*hint. If anyone is over the age of 3 and doesn’t know this. Run!!)

I had to ask myself why I was with someone I was ashamed to admit I was with? But by that time I was in so deep I didn’t see a way out. He had sabotaged my truck to the point it was only running maybe a 1/3 of the time. The repairs kept me broke, I was fighting a losing battle. 

He started to not come home at night and I didn’t even lose sleep. I knew to get angry was useless. I had gotten really good at suppressing my emotions. If I cried I heard, “That’s all you ever do is cry”. If I got angry I heard, “This is exactly why I don’t come home. You’re always angry!” If I was suspicious I was called jealous and paranoid. I started keeping track of every time I cried or got angry on a calendar. 

But I never left. So I just prayed he would tell me a good enough lie that I could lie to myself. I knew he was lying, that wasn’t the point; I didn’t believe anything he said anyway. But as long as he was lying I didn’t have to face reality. As long as he was lying he still “cared” and I still had a glimmer of hope that maybe he wasn’t lying this time and he really did love me. 

All victims of a narcissist live on hope and that is the hardest thing to lose. The victim knows he abuses her and treats her like shit, she knows he is cheating, she knows he is lying but she has hope. Hope is a big thing, without hope it’s hard to find a reason to go on. 

* NOTE * He is not the only one playing mind games, the worst ones are the games we play on ourselves!

I kept hearing this voice in my head saying, “How can you be with someone you are ashamed of and don’t respect?

After I left him I felt hopeless and of course he took every opportunity to make me feel hopeless. I felt totally broken and I didn’t have a clue how to put me back together, I could not ever get my innocence back. I have compared it to feeling like a puzzle someone dumped on the floor. But pieces were missing and pieces from another puzzle were mixed in. I was overwhelmed to the point of immobility. 

I knew in order to be happy I had to live according to my moral standards and if I was living with someone who was consistently dishonest I wasn’t living true to my core self.

How was I going to put myself back together and ever find my core self, who was I? 

I started the process the same way I would start putting a puzzle together; one piece at a time.

I looked at every horrible thing he told me I was. I owned what was true about me and I threw out what wasn’t. The things that were true but I didn’t like; I vowed to change.

This analysis of myself took me back to when I was a child and things I was told about myself when I was growing up. I had always been told I was “too sensitive”, I was a “flake”, I was never good enough, skinny enough, out going enough. Without even realizing it I had spent most of my life feeling like an impostor who could be exposed at any minute because I was trying to be what other people told me I should be.

When you are not living true to your core self it is impossible to have inner peace and it is very easy for a narcissist to make you feel “less than”.

Somehow I knew that if I could figure out who I was at the core and liked me that was going to be 1/2 the battle of protecting myself from another narcissist.

It has gotten easier over time, (7 years) to not succumb to the pressure from my ego. Our ego gets us in big trouble you know. My mother has a technique that my ex used also. They want you to do something or agree with them that someone else is wrong so they say something like, “You would never do something like that.” Or “You always help me, not like so and so.” My ex would say something like, “you are nothing like my ex’s, I can talk to you. You are calm and rational. All my ex’s were psycho bitches.”  It makes you better, favorable.  

* Later when he was calling ME a psycho bitch I said.

” I would be concerned if I was you.”

He grinned and snorted, “and why is that?”

Me: “Well, all your exs were psycho bitches and now you are calling me a psycho bitch.”

Him: “Yeah. So.”

Me: “Well. I’ve been thinking. Either you are attracted to psycho bitches, or you turn women into psycho bitches. Either way; you have a real problem.”

It is human nature to want to compare favorably to others, to be the “best” and it’s a very subtle way of getting someone to comply.

I have had a dilemma lately where someone I know has been lying a lot about other people and being vengeful to make herself look better. Privately I have brought her up on it. I have been trying to not play into their drama and pity party stating outright I refused to get pulled into the dysfunction. I thought I had it under control, but then they lied before I had a chance to run interference and I exposed them. 

They went on a tearful campaign proclaiming their innocence and I was made to look like the bad guy and now everyone is angry with me.

With a relationship with a narcissist I always advise going no contact but sometimes that is not possible or not easy, say; with a parent or sibling. 

I have had people come into the blog asking what they can do about the sibling who constantly makes trouble and lie’s about them or a parent that causes drama but always comes away smelling like a rose. I never know what to say and these recent events reminded me what a helpless feeling it is to deal with these toxic people. 

They won’t kill you and are not as blatant as most narcissists but damaging none the less. If it is a family member, to go no contact means you lose your whole family. You sit at home for Christmas, you are the one who is made to feel the pariah. 

It’s not so easy to live true to your core self and set boundaries when you face losing your whole family.

Have you ever dealt with a toxic family member? How did you handle it? Did you turn a blind eye or speak out? What was the outcome?