The next tool in the manipulator's toolbox that George Simon, Jr. Ph.D. of "In Sheep's Clothing" describes is lying. It seems kinda obvious to list lying in the bag of tricks because we all have at least some awareness of the reality that manipulators play fast and loose with the truth to gain an advantage. Obvious or not, we all get taken in by lying manipulators because the truth isn't always readily accessible at the time you're being lied to. We may know that they lie, but we usually have a hard time detecting the lie...until long after they've gotten what they wanted from us.
Mr. Simon points out that the lies preferred by covertly-aggressive individuals are lies of omission. Damn, if those aren't the hardest lies to detect! They lie by telling the truth. It is what they leave out that makes it a lie.
Okay, when I get on the subject of lies and liars I just get pissed. I hate lies. I hate that I was duped by liars for so very long. The paragon of truthfulness, my mother, turned out to be one of the biggest liars I've ever met. Well, maybe my sister gets that prize. I think she lies even more than my mother does. Toss up. They both primarily lie in the most sneaky of ways...by omission. My mother had me fooled much longer than my sister. Mommy dearest was in a position of authority over me and, therefore, I was more susceptible to the lies. She had more clout to claim rights to define reality.
I believed that my mother was a truthful person until I was in my late 30s. Now I see the multiplicity of lies she has told and still tells and I still shake my head in amazement. The biggest unmasking of her plethora of lies have been the result of hearing the things my mother did and said to my dear cousin "Lee". My mother had much less accountability to Lee for history revisionism because my cousin didn't know the original history. Therefore, Lee had no way of knowing when the history was being revised. To hear how my mother was working day and night to create a new reality that she and Lee could live in; to hear the outright lies my mother tells...to her great shame; is to be confronted with the forceful truth that my mother is what I despise most...an inveterate liar. With me, my mother mostly had to lie by omission or insinuation. With Lee and others she could tell outright untruths because the availability of the truth for her audience was harder to come by. This is why my mother went into absolute panic once she realized the Lee and I had forged a close friendship; a friendship that my mother was not in the middle of and orchestrating. She knew her exposure was inevitable. Her power broken.
"Manipulators often lie by withholding a significant amount of the truth. I have treated individuals who have lied most egregiously by reciting a litany of true facts!How does someone lie by telling only true things? They do so by leaving out important other, important facts essential to understanding the truth of the whole story." In Sheep's Clothing, pg. 98
So how do we protect ourselves from being taken in by a covertly aggressive and manipulative person? By bearing in mind that they lie, they lie often, and they usually lie by leaving out important facts. You must proceed on the presumption that they are lying; not that they are telling the truth until and unless you can prove otherwise. I wrote this a year ago:
They [narcissists] lie. They lie by omission, commission, by a look, by a sigh, by insinuation. They are the personification of a lie. We, the honest-in-heart, have a hard time conceptualizing someone who exists entirely in a lie. It is not socially acceptable to allow our first presumption to be that someone is lying. Especially when it is a parent. No, we are to presume they are representing the truth...and only accept that it was a lie when it can absolutely be proven to be one. Once a lie has been proven you then have to shift back to the default position of presumption of the truth. It is this default position that screws us up over and over.
The sad, yet absolute, fact is that the default position when dealing with a narcissist is that they are lying. The anomaly with a N is when they tell the truth. They so seldom tell the truth that you don't even have to worry about mistaking that truth for a lie. They don't deserve to have us believe one thing they say or insinuate. If we presume that whatever they are doing, whatever they are saying, is designed to manipulate and deceive, then we are in a much safer and saner position.
I would have been more accurate if I stated that they lie even when they are telling the truth!
To call someone a manipulator is to call them a liar. The definition of the word 'manipulate' when it applies to interpersonal relationships always includes the concept of deviousness. The manipulator, therefore, is a living, breathing lie. Once you've figured out that someone you know is a chronic manipulator, then you must also admit that they are a chronic liar if you are to deal appropriately with them. Proceed according to that knowledge. To assume they are ever being truthful is to set yourself up to be taken yet again. Mr. Do-Gooder may tell you that you are a bad person for assuming the worst of someone, but you are wiser than he. You know there is no virtue in being someone's perpetual dupe.