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Why Do Narcissists Keep Everything A Secret?

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder keep secrets for many reasons, including self-protection and maintaining narcissistic supply.

We often encounter narcissistic individuals; sometimes, they can be coworkers, friends, or family members. The secrecy of a narcissist can make these relationships complicated. Understanding why narcissists keep secrets is essential for unravelling the intricate dynamics of their behavior and the impact it can have on those around them.

Secrets are a powerful tool to stop anyone from seeing underneath the narcissist’s mask and revealing their true nature. They want to hide the motives behind their behavior, and the fragile person underneath the facade.

Let’s dig deeper into why narcissists keep secrets…

Why Do Narcissists Keep Everything A Secret?

They do this because of underlying psychological factors and their need for control, validation, and self-preservation. Narcissistic individuals like to compartmentalize their lives so nobody sees the whole picture, allowing them to keep everything to themselves.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder use manipulative tactics to maintain control and protect their fragile sense of self. One such tactic is the deliberate concealment of information, which serves multiple purposes in their quest for power, validation, and self-preservation.

The underlying reasons that cause a narcissist to keep secrets are:

To Preserve Their Self-Image

Narcissists keep secrets to protect their idealized self-image. They want to appear flawless and superior, hiding flaws, mistakes, or behaviors that could challenge this image. By keeping secrets, they hide their imperfections, protecting themselves from damage to their self-esteem and the illusion of greatness.

To Manipulate Others

Narcissists use secrets to manipulate others and gain power. They keep information hidden to create uncertainty and make people depend on them. By controlling the flow of information, they assert dominance and ensure that others rely on them for guidance and validation. This manipulation strengthens their sense of power and reinforces their position at the top of the relationship hierarchy.

To Avoid Being Vulnerable

Narcissists fear vulnerability and exposure, which drives their tendency to keep secrets. Behind their grandiose facade, they are filled with insecurities and delicate self-esteem. Sharing secrets would mean revealing their authentic selves and opening themselves up to potential criticism or judgment. By tightly holding onto their secrets, they maintain control and shield themselves from the perceived risks of vulnerability.

To Avoid Accountability

Narcissists keep secrets to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Acknowledging their faults or accepting blame is difficult for them as it threatens their self-image. They hide information and manipulate narratives to shift blame onto others, preserving their self-perception as faultless individuals.

Narcissists keep secrets for many reasons rooted in their psychological makeup and the pursuit of control, validation, and self-preservation. The concealment of information allows them to maintain their desired image, manipulate others emotionally, avoid vulnerability, and evade accountability. Recognizing and understanding these behavior patterns can be crucial in navigating relationships with narcissistic individuals and mitigating their negative impact on our lives.

What Secrets Do Narcissists Keep & What Do They Not Want You To Know?

They keep various secrets, so you don’t know how they feel inside or discover their abusive behavior. Their negative qualities could tarnish their reputation if brought into the open. The grandiose persona they project is a defense mechanism, concealing their true feelings of insignificance. 

There are many things that a narcissist would prefer that the people in their lives never found out. The specific nature of these secrets can vary depending on the individual. However, some common types of secrets that narcissists may keep include the following:

  • Personal flaws

Narcissists strive to maintain an image of superiority and flawlessness. They may conceal personal weaknesses, failures, or mistakes that could challenge this image. Anything that could knock a narcissist off their pedestal is a threat.

  • Manipulative tactics and intentions

They often engage in manipulative behaviors to control and dominate others. They may keep their manipulative tactics, such as gaslighting or emotional manipulation, secret to maintain their power and ensure their tactics remain effective.

  • Infidelity or multiple relationships

Individuals with NPD may engage in extramarital affairs or maintain multiple romantic relationships simultaneously. They keep these relationships secret to avoid accountability, maintain their primary relationship, and satisfy their need for attention and admiration.

  • Financial or legal misconduct

Some narcissists may engage in fraudulent or unethical financial practices, such as embezzlement, tax evasion, or hidden assets. They keep these activities secret to evade legal consequences and maintain their public image.

  • Past trauma or vulnerability

Narcissists often avoid revealing past traumatic experiences or personal vulnerabilities that could undermine their sense of invincibility. They may hide these secrets to protect themselves from potential judgment or exploitation.

  • True intentions

Narcissists often have hidden agendas or ulterior motives in their relationships and interactions. They may conceal their true intentions to manipulate others and maintain control over the situation. When it comes to an individual with NPD, their intentions are often self-centered.

  • Emotional insecurities or fears

Despite their outward display of confidence, narcissists may have deep-seated emotional insecurities and fears. They keep these vulnerabilities hidden to avoid appearing weak or dependent on others. This is why they wear a narcissistic mask.

Essentially, narcissists keep secrets to hide anything that can make them look weak, interfere with their pursuit of narcissistic supply, and brings their selfish behaviors into the light. It’s important to note that not all individuals who keep secrets are narcissists, and privacy and confidentiality can be valid for various reasons. However, in the case of narcissists, their secrecy is typically driven by their need for control, self-preservation, and maintaining a grandiose self-image.

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Why Do Narcissists Lie?

Individuals with NPD lie because they need to reinforce the false self-image that they have created. Lying helps them get what they desire and helps them hide their intentions. Lying is intricately connected to low self-esteem and a lack of empathy, two common narcissistic traits.

Narcissists genuinely believe in the reality and public image they have meticulously constructed. Due to their confidence, arrogance, and sense of superiority, lying becomes inconsequential to them as long as it serves their purposes.

They possess a remarkable ability to compartmentalize different aspects of their lives, allowing them to deceive others without feeling bad. Narcissists perceive themselves as exempt from the rules that govern the behavior of others. This sense of entitlement make them feel justified in their lies and deception, thinking they are actually in the right.

Narcissists also employ lying to control and manipulate those around them. By distorting the truth or withholding information, they shape the thoughts, emotions, and actions of others to serve their objectives. This manipulation allows them to maintain a position of power in their relationships, perpetuating a sense of dominance over others.

Narcissists often tell captivating stories to make themselves look better in the eyes of others. These lies validate their grandiose self-image and reinforce their version of reality. The ability to seduce others into accepting their lies makes them feel powerful and gets them the supply they need.

Lying also serves as a means for narcissists to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. By deflecting blame, evading consequences, and maintaining their self-image as faultless individuals, they protect themselves from threats to their inflated egos. Lying becomes a tool to preserve their illusion of perfection and evade accountability.

Narcissists often resort to lies when the truth inconveniences them. With their self-centeredness, narcissists prioritize their needs and desires over honesty, using lies as a shield against anything that threatens them.

Understanding why narcissists lie helps shed light on their complex psychological dynamics. Lying serves as a means for them to assert control, manipulate others, validate their boasting, and avoid responsibility.

How To Tell If A Narcissist Is Lying?

You should pay attention to what they say, looking for things that don’t make sense, including multiple unbelievable things happening simultaneously or lack of evidence supporting their claims. Identifying when a narcissist is fabricating information can be challenging.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder invest considerable effort into concealing their lies and upholding the illusion. However, some telltale signs indicate whether or not a narcissist is lying.

Carefully examining a narcissist’s lies reveals inconsistencies and contradictions in their fabricated story. These inconsistencies indicate that they are creating a false narrative. Their stories will often contain unbelievable things that rarely happen. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Watch how a narcissist emotionally responds when discussing events, as it can reveal their dishonesty. Their reactions may appear disproportionate with the seriousness of the situation because in reality, the situation did not occur. These inconsistencies suggest they may be fabricating information to fit their agenda.

When spotting a narcissist’s lies, you must pay close attention to their behaviors. Stay observant, think critically, and trust your instincts to protect yourself from their manipulations.

why-do-narcissists-keep-secrets? | vimprovement.com


Navigating relationships with narcissistic individuals can be challenging because they tend to keep secrets and maintain a facade of superiority. Understanding the reasons behind their secretive behaviour helps us unravel the complex dynamics of their manipulation and the impact it can have.

The secrets narcissists keep can encompass a wide range of aspects of their lives, all aimed at maintaining their carefully constructed facade and preventing others from seeing their true selves. They hide personal flaws, manipulative tactics and intentions, infidelity or multiple relationships, financial or legal misconduct, past trauma or vulnerability, and their true intentions in relationships and interactions.

You can often spot a lie from a narcissist by looking underneath the surface of what they are saying. By keeping an eye out for inconsistencies in their stories, a lack of proof, and how they react when confronted, you can better defer whether or not they are lying.

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