Friday, April 4, 2014

Passivity in Language Exampled

Photobombed by Southside Johnny 
                                                      People do not like to lie outright.

We all feel this need to leave ourselves an "out" because we hate being called a liar.  Few people are even willing to admit to lying, as we have something within us that rises up to defend our lies, just as we know we are being deceptive.

President Clinton knew that he was lying to the nation when he said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" because, technically, in his personal, subjective dictionary "sexual relations" is only intercourse.

He knew that this statement was true, but it was intended to deceive.  He later said, "So, although I technically told the truth..." in his mini semi mea culpa.

Recently, I testified to passivity in language.

The accused had failed to "file a report" and eventually was disciplined for it.  In contesting the disciplinary action, the subject said, "the report was filed" and in the interview, the subject did not veer from this statement.

"The report was filed" is an example of passivity.  A report cannot file itself.

Passivity is used to conceal identity, or responsibility, and creates distance.  "The gun went off..." or "the car went off the road."

It is also appropriate when the identity is not known.

"A shot was fired from the crowd" is appropriate, since it was not known by whom the shot was fired.

I testified, "In the interview, the subject did not, at any time, say "I filed the report' and appeared to avoid saying it, no matter how often I asked the question, or how I worded it."

I had given the subject repeated opportunity to make a direct lie and say "I filed the report" (there was an abundance of evidence proving the report was not only not filed, but tossed out) but I only spoke to the language. Not filing the report was costly to the company.

The subject did not want to say "I filed the report" because it left to 'wiggle' room and was too 'confrontational' within, to bear it.  Few people can lie this way, and when they do, it is a signal of a very accomplished and dangerous liar.

Passivity should cause you to pause, and ask follow up questions.

Passivity can be the language of the lazy.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd make them answer this"Did YOU file the report,reply YES or NO or I'll assume you didn't" :0)

Jen Ow said...

OT

Link to a trial that has been going on about 45min from where I grew up.

http://m.wvva.com/w/news-local/story/112620662/

It's a horrific case of child sex abuse/child pornography. The female accomplice Kimberly Cox (mother to one of the victims) was convicted, and sentenced to 25-50yrs. She testified over the past few days against her accomplice Spaulding, who was also found guilty of 50+ counts yesterday.

They were caught after she pawned the laptop where the images and videos were stored, and the laptop was turned over to LE.

Spaulding took the stand in his own defense, despite the mountain of evidence against him, and 1000's of emails/explicit images sent between them. (Notice he is quoted as testifying to the jury that 'MOST of the evidence they heard about him was a lie'.)

Spaulding's first trial ended in a mistrial after a single juror refused to continue deliberations, citing 'illness', reportedly due to the emotional trauma of veiwing the evidence.
I imagine the jurors from both trials, along with the other court personnel will likely be haunted by the images for the rest of their lives. Cox's daughter was 13yo at the time of the abuse. The other victim, who was the child of Cox's friend, was 3yo when Cox arranged a meeting for Spaulding to sexually assault the child, by claiming she was taking the girl to a birthday party.

http://www.bdtonline.com/local/x2010448660/Spaulding-trial-Take-two

(I couldn't help but to think of Hailey Dunn when I heard about this case. It's hard to imagine a teenager being forced to participate in such sick activities by their own mother, yet here is another poor girl, less than 30 miles from where I grew up, living the same nightmare...being exploited to appease her mother's perverse love interest.)

If anyone is interested, I have more information and links to older articles with quotes for analysis.

jenbee said...

I am interested in this person's motivation. What motivated him or her to actually throw the report away? Did they forget initially, and then were too embarrassed to own up to the mistake? Or did they have something to gain from disposing of the report? I'm interested in what makes people tell lies.

john said...

A lovely family photo Peter. :-)

GeekRad said...

The family photo is great.

I listen for that passive language now becuase after coming to this site I realized I did that in a situations where I was invited to attend an event and didn't want to go. Instead of just thanking to person offering the invitation I would make some passive vague excuse. I didn't want to admit it to myself that it was a lie, and I was able to justify it to myself.I did this because I didn't want to hurt their feelings. As Peter points out, none of us wants to consider ourselves a liar or be called a liar. Now I simply thank them and decline the offer. I have to say that can be uncomfortable at the time but I do feel better about it in the long run.

Sella35 said...

@anon 11:47pm- Quote, "I'd make them answer this"Did YOU file the report,reply YES or NO or I'll assume you didn't" :0)"

I think many times people have been asked yes or no questions and they still avoid a yes or a no. If you add on the "or I'll assume you didn't" then this would give them the opportunity to lie outright.

I could be wrong, but it reminds me of people we have seen take the stand in a trial and when pushed, they choose to lie. They may not want to lie, but they will when cornered.

"Did you file the report?" Would be a better question. It is shorter and gives the subject a chance to reply. They know you want a yes or no answer. Many times, they will avoid a yes or no. Then you can detect deception.

Sella35 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Sus""ima.granma"et all....all"Missing"???? Lol sad EVIL Trolls ...^^^^^^

PrincessKitten said...

Is there software that analyzes statements?

charlotte from denmark said...

Did this woman have plastic surgery or not:

"On a personal (and slightly ridiculous note): I would just like to add that all of the continuously-circulating rumors that I have had extensive ‘face-work’ and undergone breast-augmentation surgery is simply and entirely 100% false.

The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about- and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it).

Any visibly-positive alterations in terms of my public-image are an absolute and sole credit to my brilliant makeup-artist and stylist, @darlingcait … Who is a true beauty-wizard and visionary.

(That, combined with the fact that I actually have a hearty dose of self-confidence now- which took me a little extra minute or so to find.) ; ) But hey, wouldn’t it be nice if the press could just focus on my music and stage-presence?

Because, honestly, I would rather be judged, critiqued, and picked apart for my actual work."

http://www.celebitchy.com/358886/alexa_ray_joel_vehemently_denies_having_any_plastic_surgery_other_than_a_nose_job/

Anonymous said...

I would just(Just) like to(like to) add that all of the continuously-circulating rumors that I have had extensive(definition?) ‘face-work’ and(And) undergone breast-augmentation surgery is simply and entirely(S&E) 100% false.(Did not deny augmentation, pooled that with the nose job to make you think she was denying it)

The only thing(Thing) I have ever had done is my nose<----- which isn't 100%.

john said...

The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about- and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it).

There are more qualifiers in this statement than in a world cup tournament, and that's just this paragraph.

john said...

OT Update.

Second woman's body found in Florida likely doesn't belong to Heather Elvis

http://www.myhorrynews.com/news/crime/article_77f2b6d6-bc2f-11e3-87d1-001a4bcf6878.html

Hobnob said...

john said...

The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about- and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it).

There are more qualifiers in this statement than in a world cup tournament, and that's just this paragraph


That made me laugh, thanks John

Hobnob said...

A good looking family there Peter.