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  1. #1
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Default 3's and White Lies

    I need a bit of advice on how best to handle a 3 peer, and his tendency to tell white lies-- among other things. This chap, while generally a pleasant and charismatic person, can be very self centered, and tends to project a false image of transparency to win people over (ultimately to avoid being vulnerable for real). In truth, I can only handle being around him for so long before I want to scream. I realized recently though, after 4 years of knowing him, that we don't really know each other at all. I actually felt bad about it and wondered if I jumped the gun in judgement, so I set up a coffee meeting with him. I did this out of a sincere desire to reconcile our differences, hear him out, and hopefully see the best in him. I do not do this often for people in general, much less for someone who rubs me the wrong way consistently.

    It was horrible.

    When I expressed my intent for the meeting, he got all puffed up about it and tried to turn the time into a Q&A about himself. Literally prompting me for the "next question" every two minutes. UGH, talk about false and conceited. Anyway, I tried to salvage the situation and get back to normal conversation, but it didn't work. When I left, my face unabashedly looked like this:

    Over the 4 years I have known and worked with him, I've often thought back to things he said and found inconsistencies. Usually about things that make him look cool, nothing serious-- but still. What grown man lies about stupid crap to make themselves look good? Even last week, I mentioned the dance studio I attended growing up, and he claimed to have attended there too. "How old are you again?", I said, thinking perhaps if he was a few years younger, that I could have not noticed him. Nope, he's a year older than me. I expressed surprise since I knew all of the older students, and he abruptly changed the subject. This is the normal pattern when I've confronted him gently about things that don't add up.

    This year I am supposed to be working on a project with him, and I'm trying to figure out how to do that gracefully (i.e. without punching him).

    I've tried giving him the benefit of the doubt many times, and questioning casually like the above. I've even full on confronted him about his lack of depth, but he tries to BS his way out of it every time. I would have left this alone long ago if not for the fact that that we volunteer with high school kids (that's how I know him), and I don't feel comfortable knowing a deftly persuasive liar is working with impressionable teens, right under my nose. It's so difficult, because the kids love him and he's great with them-- but I'm still obviously concerned. I should also say, I am not the only one who has noticed his behavior.
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  2. #2
    #KUWK Kierva's Avatar
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    It all sounds like YOU are having a problem with the said 3, and not the kids.

    Before I answer this, I'd like to understand... how is his pretense affecting the kids in any way?
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  3. #3
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    The dude's gotta learn about honesty through hard knocks; no specific person would likely break through to him or have much success in getting to know him.

    I don't know the nature of your project, but are there specific lies that he could tell them that could cause a problem for the kids, or is it his lying nature that you're concerned about? His behavior's only detrimental insofar as it could be detrimental to the kids.

    Moreover, your relationship with him (mostly) begins and ends with where it intersects with these kids; outside of that, his terrible personality trait doesn't have to be a burden for you to carry.

  4. #4
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    He could just be joking. Sounds like a cheeky ENTP, or a sociopath.

  5. #5
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    Not sure what the problem is. Do you not want him working with the children, or do you want to get to know him, or do you want something else?
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  6. #6
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late response, I didn't receive any notifications that anyone had posted for some reason. Oh well.

    @Vetani You are totally correct, I do have a problem with his behavior. I don't appreciate fakeness or lying really. None of the kids have a problem with it because he's very smooth talking and charismatic, all they see it cool.

    @bologna Yes, mostly I'm just concerned about his dishonest/lying/putting-on-a-show nature, how that could affect the kids, and how it's affecting him as an individual.

    My concerns are two fold:
    1) I'm concerned by his lack of sound judgement, he has a tendency to see himself as bulletproof. Two examples of this are texting while driving a van full of students (repeatedly), and getting too emotionally involved with female students. I'm leading a small group of girls, he is leading a small group of guys-- yet somehow, he ends up texting/meeting for coffee and having deep conversations with my girls. In truth, I am not as concerned about his intentions as I am about some of these teenage girls reading his attention as affection.

    2) I'm am also concerned about him as an individual, and his emotional health. I realize that's out of my hands though, and am somewhat glad of that.

    This week I actually had some conversations with higher-ups that made me feel much better about the situation. It's been being handled and watched, which actually makes it easier for me to work with him-- a little anyway.

    @Stansmith He is quite a joker, but sometimes it's so much that it leaves no room for anything real.

    @Haven I want him to either be real and work with the kids, or continue being fake and not work with the kids.

    But as aforementioned, it's blessedly in the hands of the right people now. Regarding specifically 3's though, is lying a normal tendency? I know two other 3's who don't struggle with that at all, that I've seen.
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  7. #7
    Glycerine
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    @small.wonder: I usually try not to flat out lie (I am usually pretty fucking blunt) but I guess if I do deceive, it's more out of omission or misdirection.

    ahhh.... it's all about the good ole ego-stroking... esp. with the girls. It probably feels super good to have the girls (esp. if they are attractive) acknowledge his "awesomeness". He probably sees the emotional connection as real but not as "earth-shatteringly" special as the girls may perceive it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    Two examples of this are texting while driving a van full of students (repeatedly), and getting too emotionally involved with female students. I'm leading a small group of girls, he is leading a small group of guys-- yet somehow, he ends up texting/meeting for coffee and having deep conversations with my girls. In truth, I am not as concerned about his intentions as I am about some of these teenage girls reading his attention as affection.
    Yeah, that's all pretty terrible. Go go physical and emotional endangerment!
    2) I'm am also concerned about him as an individual, and his emotional health. I realize that's out of my hands though, and am somewhat glad of that.
    That's good. Knowing that it's not healthy is good; but so is not taking responsibility for 'fixing' it.
    This week I actually had some conversations with higher-ups that made me feel much better about the situation. It's been being handled and watched, which actually makes it easier for me to work with him-- a little anyway.
    [...]
    But as aforementioned, it's blessedly in the hands of the right people now.
    And that's also good. If you have any of more of those terrible moments, at least you know that you can report it and the higher-ups will take it seriously.
    Regarding specifically 3's though, is lying a normal tendency? I know two other 3's who don't struggle with that at all, that I've seen.
    In high school, I was basically strung out on Paxil (which we now know isn't supposed to be given to lil' kiddies), and so I told a mixture of truth and lies. It was less about acceptance---in fact, quite the opposite; it was more about having lost the ability to have an opinion about acceptance.

    In undergrad, after weaning off Paxil, the depression that it was intended to treat resurfaced; and it thwarted my attempts to go out and seize life experiences. I'd fabricate them because, hey, it was less depressing to not have experience but to have acceptance than it is to have neither.

    Now, I'm absolutely unabashed about virtually everything. The truth is easier to manage, measure, and improve.

  9. #9
    So she did. small.wonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glycerine View Post
    I usually try not to flat out lie (I am usually pretty fucking blunt) but I guess if I do deceive, it's more out of omission or misdirection.

    ahhh.... it's all about the good ole ego-stroking... esp. with the girls. It probably feels super good to have the girls (esp. if they are attractive) acknowledge his "awesomeness". He probably sees the emotional connection as real but not as "earth-shatteringly" special as the girls may perceive it.
    I recognize all of the bold in this situation, and the way you explain it is exactly the way I would imagine he thinks about it.

    Haha, the bit about the attractive girls made me realize another reason we probably have a strained existence: I would consider myself attractive, and I don't buy any of his crap (oops). I have tried to move away from the bitter-cynic a bit though, and find opportunities to encourage him when he's displaying character instead of bravado. I do wish he was more blunt though, I'm fine with that end of the spectrum.


    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Yeah, that's all pretty terrible. Go go physical and emotional endangerment!

    That's good. Knowing that it's not healthy is good; but so is not taking responsibility for 'fixing' it.

    And that's also good. If you have any of more of those terrible moments, at least you know that you can report it and the higher-ups will take it seriously.

    In high school, I was basically strung out on Paxil (which we now know isn't supposed to be given to lil' kiddies), and so I told a mixture of truth and lies. It was less about acceptance---in fact, quite the opposite; it was more about having lost the ability to have an opinion about acceptance.

    In undergrad, after weaning off Paxil, the depression that it was intended to treat resurfaced; and it thwarted my attempts to go out and seize life experiences. I'd fabricate them because, hey, it was less depressing to not have experience but to have acceptance than it is to have neither.

    Now, I'm absolutely unabashed about virtually everything. The truth is easier to manage, measure, and improve.
    I know, right?! On the 'fixing' thing: I'm relieved to say, I'm not usually that person. I have a pretty good discernment, especially in relation to character but I'll over-think it to the max, bounce it off of friends (and here, haha) before I take any action. Sometimes I even give people too much benefit of the doubt, because I fear mis-judging them so much, though I'm fine with judging someone accurately. That's why I had that failed coffee thing with him, to try to see the good in him before I took further action.

    Meds aside, I think your experiences with dishonesty sound more like normal human growth, than a tendency. So agreed about truth, it's crazily freeing! What can anyone do or say to injure you, if you own everything (both good and bad) about yourself?
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