|Casey Anthony lies like she breathes.|
Perhaps one of the more common liars in a world where lying directly is most uncommon, is the "Grandiose Liar."
The Grandiose Liar (GL) is a pathological liar who is often above average in intelligence, and eventually works himself or herself into a position of authority over others. This struggle to prominence is built upon deception and I have found, empirically, that males and females fall on very different sides. This is not a scientific study, but simply based upon personal experience, some of it acute, in the past decade.
Both are above average intelligence.
Both lie, outright (making them rare in terms of the general population), in order to vaunt up their own status.
Both lie in great and small matters; noting specifically that the GR lies when there is no need to lie. This is the key to understanding the pathological nature: childhood where one lies like one is breathing.
Here is the area in which I find the gender splits:
The Male Grandiose Liar is more likely to be under-employed, small amount of authority, yet a perception of greater authority, while the Female Grandiose Liar is more likely to have real authority over others, along with tangible success, in some level, over others.
Both are often ruthless.
He will lie to himself believing that he has been cheated out of everything he deserves, while she will lie to herself justifying her deception, whenever seen, as a necessity for business or even for her gender. "A woman must lie and scheme to get ahead."
Both consider themselves "very" moral and "very" ethical in life, and will always grade themselves on a curve, frequently projecting their guilt by pointing out the guilt of others.
Both will make subordinates' lives miserable.
He is more likely to be a "McDonald's manager type; short sleeves, with a tie, using perceived and real authority to bully others, who, at minimum wage and often in high school or college, are getting their first experiences with workplace negotiation in life. It can be a rough lesson. If you are a McDonald's manager reading this at Statement Analysis blog, I bet you agree with me. (If you are reading here and a manager, I also bet you were not hired as a manager there, but worked your way up, and have enough self awareness to treat workers with dignity and respect.)
She is likely to have a domain in which she fiercely guards over, making sure no challenge to her authority exists. She uses her gender against her enemies, even baiting them in a way as to later accuse them of misogyny in their criticisms. She may be a supervisor of only ten employees, but her rule is absolute, and it is at meetings where others attend that she invites "constructive criticism" while her own workers know not to dare open their mouths and speak. Her superiors hear the invitation and are pleased, while her workers exchange knowing glances. If they despise her (and they often do due to her condescending attitude), they will gossip about her and take distant shots to undermine her. This further exasperates her self-marytdom mentality and increases her suspicion.
Both are highly suspicious by nature and think everyone is a sneaky liar. This is because they are both sneaky liars.
They will accuse others of doing unethical things because they do unethical things.
They will steal, under a variety of methods in which it never "feels" like stealing, even as they accuse others of doing so.
Both are ruthless and enjoy when others fear them, even if they 'apologize' of sorts, saying, "I don't want people to fear me", while barely concealing their delight. (yes, micro expression).
The Grandiose Liar vaunts up self.
"I won $3,500 last week in Vegas!" without revealing that she lost $4,500.
You will note that the GL's children are all praised beyond any common norm, and the tip off is to follow the language. If the child is described as being "number one" in her class, you should not be surprised to find out that she is at the bottom of her class, academically, but "number one" in something either insignificant, or even nefarious. ("Number one in missing class, or missing homework").
The Grandiose Liar is often Passive-Aggressive, meaning that you may get the smile, while the dagger is being sharpened behind your back. Feigning poverty upon leaving the White House, acutely aware of just how out of touch she is with the struggling middle class, Ms. Clinton profited from futures in a way that defies lottery odds.
The Grandiose Liar will not abide disagreement, even while feigning "open mindedness" in hearing
The Grandiose Liar cannot stand her judgment questioned.
Begin taking note of the stories told and begin to ask yourself, much like the Negation principle, if the very opposite is true.
In Statement Analysis, the "Negation" is something said in the negative, while in an open statement.
For example, If one answers, in the negative, a question, it is an appropriate response. But in an open statement, when one tells you what did not happen, for example, you should not only be on alert for deception, but the possibility that the person is telling you the opposite of what it appears!
Unless the subject brings up the topic.
"I'm not an alcoholic."
(I didn't ask the subject if he was an alcoholic)
"What's your favorite drink? I love good ale with rare steak..."
This is not an investigative interview, but an employment interview. Note that I assumed the subject drank, and then allowed him to assimilate himself with me. This led to a disclosure of a whopping untreated alcoholic problem that would directly relate to transporting individuals at risk. And, depending upon what State you live in, could put your company on the tab for rehab services, beginning at $15,000 and on upwards. Not only would lives be in jeopardy should the subject drive, but the financial costs as well as the company's reputation, could all be factors.
Human Resources professionals do not have an easy job today. Once upon a time, they sought to get the best applicant to the right position. Today, the rules have changed due to the government's attempts to right foolish wrongs. Companies that wish to prosper need to hire the best and brightest; period, and skillful interviewing can uncover those who may be applying, not to work, but to game the system today.
Some Human Resources professionals even need to prove why they did not hire someone. For this, we do specific training on Analytical Interviewing scoresheets to allow businesses to hire the best and brightest of the applicants, while avoiding false accusations of discrimination).
The Grandiose Liar will speak in an abundance of negatives, often boring others to death, while you, the trained listener, picks up on the "issues" coming from his or her mouth.
The Grandiose Liar's main objective is less about self-protection and consequence, than it is about appearing larger than life, bigger than big, and more powerful than he or she really is.
The worst case scenario is when the Grandiose Liar has real authority.
Few people understand what a corporate bully can do to subordinates. Bullies are often characterized as school yard punks who need their own nose blackened to bring them down to earth, true enough, but in the corporate world, even in small companies, they can, and do, make one's life a living hell.
I know of one male Grandiose Liar who tormented a female subordinate. She was smarter than him, even while sleeping and, worst of all, he knew it. She made the critical error, when first meeting with him, to show her intellectual prowess and the threat was resounding.
For the next two years, he reduced her to the point where she retreated into depression, therapy and medication, coming dangerously close to suicide and resignation. She held on, just long enough, to see his pride cause his fall, and now speaks of those two years in life as great learning experiences.
What was the worst thing she did? Was it to show that she was intellectually valuable to the company?
The nature of a bureaucracy is to sustain itself. In a business in which a profit must be shown, those at the top often do not care about anything but the bottom line. This is good news for hard workers.
But in a bureaucracy, the best and brightest are often marked and deliberately not promoted because there is no need to show a profit, and the best and brightest will only challenge the immediate Superior's job.
I once was told that up to 70% of promotions in state government went to those who were not simply unqualified, but were incredibly unqualified in reality, though not on paper. Later, in interviewing middle management (including retirees, who did not fear to speak out), I learned that the number may have been significantly higher than 80%.
The skillful middle manager in a bureaucracy cannot simply promote Bozo the Clown to entry level supervisor, for that would draw too much attention. A senior management once told me, regarding a female supervisor that she was "a true moron in every sense of the word."
2 months later, she was promoted, by him, to a level closer to his own. His language also revealed that he was sleeping with her, but that's for another article.
He was protecting his position. He is a fierce, ruthless, self absorbed Grandiose Liar. He once went to a police academy and gave out the 800 number for troopers to call to reach State government social services. On his resume, this turned into, "Police Academy Instructor" thinking that no one would bother to check.
This promotion means that decisions that impact citizens' lives would be made by someone who was in deep over her head, but would be forced to make life decisions.
State decisions don't scare you?
Authority to remove a child from your home, in an "ex parte" hearing, at a judge's home, after hours, in which you will not attend.
How's that for authority?
I'm neither Republican nor Democratic in allegiance, but am very much in favor of small, limited government and very big on personal responsibility. The endless making and amending of laws benefits lawyers. When you hear that the French don't allow children to have ketchup, you are looking at those who work for a bureaucracy who may have been promoted due to weakness and may not have had the intelligence to succeed in the private sector, but now bully the public with whatever the latest "research" indicates. Apparently, ketchup is bad now.
Combine the narcissistic, passive-aggressive grandiose liar with some authority over how you feed your children and this is what you get. Yet, people think that the government is always right. In fact, the U.S. government is always right and those who do not agree may find themselves bombed into seeing just how right the U.S. government is. When you hear the word "Hitler" from a politician, expect bombs to fall somewhere.
Ever get pulled over by a small-minded cop with a gun? Somehow, you got the feeling that you better "yes, sir" him more than the normal politeness expected because there is something very very wrong with this man...
I interviewed one who used to pull over his wife's ex boyfriends and put a terror into them that is inconceivable to most. Needless to say, they quickly "unfriended" her on Face Book.
Back to our much smaller world in business.
Perhaps the biggest mistake you or I could make while under the authority of the Grandiose Liar is not to show our intelligence, as bad as that is, but to do something that is often unpardonable to the worker, anathema to the GL:
Point out the lie.
The one who lies out of fear of consequence may not be a Grandiose Liar. Many people will panic in fear and tell a lie.
It is when you see the pattern of consistent vaunting up oneself, the hackles go up to appear larger, not only in challenges, but far more importantly:
When there is no reason to lie.
This is critical to understanding how deep the liar's pathology goes: right back to childhood.
Hence, we have similar characteristics with other types of pathological liars:
*Holding you, I, and the world in contempt, due to believing that he or she will put one over us.
*Self interest leading to potential difficulties in life, often unpredictable.
*Pummeling of others, often without mercy or regret.
*Prideful decisions eventually leading to a fall.
Remember the principle in parenthood of self praise?
"I'm a wonderful mother!" said Billie Jean Dunn. Deep research has repeatedly affirmed this principle: the need to praise coming from a specific source, whether it be the guilt of neglectful parenting, or the accusation of child abuse to the self-aggrandizing boastful parent.
You may hear some "One up-manship" in casual conversation where you come to work, thrilled because your daughter got an "A" in Latin. (Yeah, I know,what world am I from?) This will be met with the GL's approval, initially, until you hear about her daughter.
The GL will also seek compliments with flimsy comments like, "Oh, I am so overweight", expecting you to say, "Oh, not at all!"
You know what I am talking about, don't you?
You know, and you also know how hard it is to explain to your friends that if you don't take the bait and compliment her, you are going to pay for it later.
"I hear they are having a sale on Slim Fast down at..." will come back to bite you, dearly, as you dared to 'take down' any aspect of the Grandiose Liar's life.
The small minded bully desperately needs to feel better about himself, but at your expense. This article may help you cope.
Identifying the GL, itself, is helpful in coping, and being able to express it, particularly in writing, can 'move the brain forward', that is, help process it.
I have written about this topic before, especially for sexual abuse survivors, writing out what happened first, followed by the accompanying emotions, next, helps a great deal with PTSD-like symptoms.
Like the woman described above, the GL can impact your health, threaten your family's survival, and make your life a nightmare of depression and anxiety. Responsible adults just can up and quit, but know that there are mouths to feed and bills to pay. Yet, you are not without help.
Take the time to journal out any pain inflicted upon you by the GL. This will not only be therapeutically beneficial to you, and it will not only help our study here, but you will learn something new:
The Grandiose Liar lied to you a lot more than you ever realized.
As you begin to recollect, you will revisit some of the statements and think, "Hmm. He repeated that often, making it sensitive. Perhaps it was a lie."
You may find new topics in which you were lied to.
I have found that it is impossible to maintain a "high alert" status of lie detection when weeks turn into months, in the presence of a Grandiose Liar. You will walk away wondering what else you were lied to about.
Knowing that the overwhelming majority of deception comes from deliberately withheld information, if you have experience with the outright lies of the grandiose individual, you have value knowledge for us all to learn from.