Monday, May 18, 2009

Liar, liar

From Dr. Sanity, on the narcissism and pathological lying that envelops our political class (including, I might add, our Dear Leader):
... Pathological lying is one of the hallmark characteristics of a narcissist. a need to manipulate in order to control. For the immature narcissist there is an essential emotional truth: lying is an expression of his (or her) mistrust of others; and his (or her) need to maintain a fragile sense of self at all costs.

Being honest (and therefore vulnerable) terrifies the narcissist. Since his primary goal is to control other, through projection he constantly fears that others will try to control him. Thus, lying become the modus operandi through which he can maintin his superficial presentation of himself and keeps people from learning the truth of who he really is. He never allows himself to be "pinned down", or accountable. More lies are always necessary to cover up a previous lie. And typically, he even begins to believe his own lies and become outraged at any suggestion that he may be lying. Thus he become sincere in his lying and others may actually believe the lies because of the sincerity. This is why truly pathological liars (such as sociopaths) are so hard to detect in the population. In general, the lack of an ability to feel guilty about the lies, and the perverse sense that he is "entitled to lie" are standard for the political narcissist.

Having said all this, it is important to remember that lying, no matter how pathological it may be is not in itself a disease. EVERYONE LIES. Most psychological tests have built in scales that detect this tendency to make one's self look better to others.

When you combine an overwhelmning need to make one's self look better (i.e., superior) with a grandiose sense of self-worth; throw in glibness and a superficial charm that easily convinces others of your sincerity; then there is little to stand in the way of easily manipulating others to your will. Of course, it behooves you to also throw into the mix that whatever you do, you do it for the sake of others. Children are a good standby (as in, "do it for the children!"). [emphasis added]

Let me refresh your memory about some basic psychological defense mechanisms. ...

Read the rest here. Does Dr. Sanity's description remind you of any politicians?

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