“Fake news” is in the headlines today as a tactic of political figures and others to influence outcomes of the day. The practice has become so prominent as to be defined in Wikipedia. They refer to it this way:
“Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation — using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain, readers for financial, political, or other gain.”
Pathological liars are the masters of fake news of a different type. They create distorted realities for the people around them based on all manner of lies and deception.
While being a pathological liar is not the same thing as the condition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissists do typically lie in order to get what they want. Lying becomes a way of life for them, as a means of attracting the adoration they crave and getting their other self-serving needs met.
A Narcissist (as well as just plain pathological liars) can construct an entire new reality for their victims –whereby the person or people in their lives fully believe the picture they’re seeing — even though it’s often completely made up.
Through charm and manipulation they can make someone fall in love with them and feel like the most special person in the world to them.
They (and other pathological liars) make promises of all sorts that can damage or even destroy their believers.
Their lies can cause loved ones and others to make important and costly decisions based on fiction.
In short, being subjected to the behaviors of such individuals can take a severe toll on a person’s life.
The unfortunate lesson of “fake news” is that we can no longer simply trust our own eyes and ears. We must instead take responsibility for deciphering what‘s really there.
As with the news (particularly social media news), a new level of awareness and mindfulness seems not only appropriate but necessary to a growing extent these days. It’s a matter of being responsible for and to ourselves.
Simply by acknowledging that we have a duty to ourselves — for who we are and the kinds of lives we experience –can be a giant step forward.
More to come on how to achieve greater awareness without becoming someone who doubts, suspects, is uncomfortable with, questions or otherwise erects a barrier between themselves and others in their life. Think about it: there are ways to safeguard one’s own life, while still being aware and showing self-respect.
The end goal is to find ways to be happy in our lives, including through our relationships with others. Getting to know people at a new and deeper level is one way to accomplish that and to avoid falling victim to the perpetrators of personalized “fake news”.