As I have indicated in a prior post, Lying is one of the many tactics by which a person avoids taking responsibility for behavior while simultaneously attempting to manipulate or manage the impression of others. It’s one of the most common, habitual tactics used by individuals with a disorder or disturbance of character.
In my prior posts, I’ve talked about what my experience working with disturbed characters has taught me about why such individuals lie, especially when at times there appears to be no useful purpose to the lie Now, there is some research coming out of USC that supports much of what I have been saying about lying and the reasons for it. Investigators looking into the reasons people lie came up with 9 reasons, 8 of which are easily reducible to two basic categories, namely to avoid something undesirable (e.g., punishment) and to secure something desirable more easily or reliably (i.e. by cheating) than you would likely secure through honesty. These results confirm what my observations have been. More interestingly, however, the recent research has also confirmed a third reason people lie which I’ve long pointed to as a cardinal trait of the most disordered characters. That reason is to purely to have power or advantage over another. You see, disordered characters (most especially, the aggressive personalities) never want the field of play to be level. They want to be in a position to take advantage of others and to exploit their weaknesses. So they always try to assert or establish a one-up position. This completely explains why some of the most disordered characters lie even when it appears to serve no useful purpose. Lying is an effective way to keep others in the dark or in a disadvantaged position with respect to knowing what kind of person or issues they’re dealing with. So, even when there appears no other useful purpose to lying, keeping someone else second-guessing or at a disadvantage with respect to having your number so to speak is reason enough to lie.
So, now there appears to be some solid empirical support for things I’ve been saying for a long time and first spelled out in my book In Sheep’s Clothing back in 1996. Perhaps that’s another reason why the book has lasted so uncommonly long as a bestseller. As my work and writing gain popularity around the globe, I’m both humbled and honored by the notion that my observations about the nature and tactics of character disordered individuals are increasingly being proven valid.