Position, Position, Position — Why the Habitual Liar Lies
Using the example of Ben Ferguson’s interview with #AndySavage #churchtoo #silenceisnotspiritual
A political candidate was confronted by reporters regarding something she had said during a speech. She denied saying it. So the reporters showed her the tape. She watched the tape and watched herself say it. She then looked back to the reporters and they asked her if she saw what she said. She replied, “No, I didn’t say it.”
Recently Ben Ferguson, a radio show host, was confronted about whether a live radio interview he had done with pastor Andy Savage had been edited before the interview aired. Ferguson emphatically denied that the show had been edited before it was put online. In fact he said, “I never allow my interviews to be edited before we release.” (source) He denied the allegation so aggressively on twitter that he called in question the motive of his confronter. Yet, within days it was undeniably proven (by Amy Smith from Watchkeep: link) that the online version of the interview had, in fact, been edited. The radio show host had knowingly and purposively lied and he continued to maintain his lie in light of documented proof.
When confronted with seemingly senseless and remorseless liars we often ask ourselves, “Are these people delusional? Are they in denial? Or at the least, are they being irrational?”
These are questions that victims of domestic abuse also find themselves asking because lying is a common tactic of their abusers. In fact, the abuser can tell his lie with such confidence and conviction that the victim can be left feeling crazy, confused, and questioning herself.
Most of us are familiar with the real-estate slogan that emphasizes an important aspect of real-estate: Location, Location, Location. Dr. George Simon, a clinical psychologist who has spent the majority of his career dealing with manipulative and character-disordered people, plays on this triple emphasis when discussing aggressive personalities.
According to Simon the primary interpersonal concern and agenda of an aggressive personality is Position, Position, Position. These bullet points show Simon’s explanation of what is behind the pathological liar’s need for position. (source: Manipulators & Character Disorders: Interventions, Perspectives & Strategies workbook p13, 2016)
- Position (want upper hand/advantage)
- Position (want to ‘win’, dominate, control)
- Position (seek superior position — either don’t recognize or won’t submit to a higher power or authority)
Dr Simon says that when you understand these three aspects of position you understand pathological lying.
It’s all about position.
Habitual liars don’t want you to know who they really are.
Simon explains that habitual liars don’t want you to know who they really are. They don’t want you to know what’s going on or what they are really up to. When they can keep their targets confused and in the dark about what is really happening, they have the advantage. They have the position.
And that is what it’s all about.
Is this type of liar delusional? Is he in denial? Is he being irrational? As the target you probably want to ask the liar, “Are you out of your mind?”
It seems completely senseless and irrational that Ben Ferguson or the political candidate would lie about something that could easily be proven true or false. And yet they maintained their lies even after they were publicly exposed. “Are they crazy?” we wonder.
No, they are not and neither is your abuser. They are not delusional or in denial. They are not even being irrational. In fact, they are being very rational. Remember — it’s all about position.
It’s always about position.
Why Some People Lie So Much by Dr. George Simon
Habitual Liars and Their Agendas by Dr. George Simon