By the age of three a primitive conscience has begun to develop in the young child. The pathway this takes depends on the parents' psychological attachment to the child, what the child is taught by example and through direct communication. At age eight or nine the conscience has developed considerably. The child can distinguish between right and wrong, possesses a sense of empathy for others or doesn't.
Narcissists spend their lives lying in one form or another. Narcissistic children often emulate their narcissistic parent(s).Parents are models of behavior---good or bad, cruel or kind, truthful or untruthful. When a small child sees his parent tricking others and manipulating them through lies, it can become part of his psyche. The child watches his parent getting what he wants. Having it in your hand is the only thing that matters, not how you got it.
There are children of narcissists who observe from the time they are very young that what their mother or father was doing wrong. They have access deep within themselves---a moral compass, the ability to make fine discriminations between what is right, wrong, kind or cruel. I have been in communication with individuals who were in touch enough with themselves to understand that their parents were immoral, unethical and criminal.
When you marry a narcissist, conscience is not included in the package. Most spouses don't recognize this vital part is missing in this person until they have been living with him/her for a while. Some partners make continual excuses for the the narcissist's moral deficiencies.Narcissists lie every season of the year, night and day, to strangers, business associates, to friends, relatives, their children. Narcissists take lying to a new level, winding nimbly through the morass of lies they manufacture in split seconds. Narcissists tell a freshly manufactured story to different people within their circle. They create elaborate lies that work to maintain the relationship with a spouse whom they are choosing to keep for the moment. They may tell different lies to each of their children, depending on what they are expecting of them. If they favor one child above the rest, they pump this daughter or son with delusions of grandeur while demoralizing, demeaning and humiliating children who don't make the cut from their perspective. They lie to wives, lies of omission about their mistresses and girlfriends. They lie to mistresses, telling them they will soon be signing the final divorce papers. Narcissists lie to business partners as they they make their power moves. They know precisely how to use the "right words" to damage the professional reputations of those whom they have called colleague for decades.
Some narcissists get caught in the thickets of this dark malevolence--too few, unfortunately. Most glide smoothly away, their "fine character" and professional capital neatly intact. This shows how gifted they are at the lying craft. The current narcissistic style, a valuable currency within today's society assists them every time. This is especially the case if they are high level narcissists who are well connected to the power and economic sources within the culture.
Protect yourself from the narcissist's lies and subterfuges. Study the narcissistic personality in detail, learning about all of tricks, games, ruses and acts in their vast personal armory. Take time to appreciate and understand who you are as a unique individual. This work can be done in a variety of ways: good psychotherapy, meditation practice, gentle yoga, restorative yoga, journaling thoughts, feelings, dreams, memories, fantasies, etc. Above all, be receptive to the voice of your intuition. It speaks the truth to you and tells you everything you need to know about others, especially those from whom you need psychological protection.
Intuition leads us to our creativity and to the calmness and peace of the spirit in the way that you define this for yourself. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life