|Photobombed by Southside Johnny|
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.