We all know these people. They don't mind lying to get what they want. Obfuscation and embellishment are the tools of their trade. But the real key to their success is that they depend on you to allow them to get away with their indiscretions. You empower them. You embolden them. If you did not acquiesce to their BS, then they would be mere mortals.
The worst part is that the BSers are the enemy of honesty and integrity. They are the arch-rivals of those who like to keep it real. The BSers have brought you the current economic climate. They have brought you the lack of trust we see in society today. The world could be a lot simpler, but who has muddied the water on just about everything we deal with?
Some people find the BSers to be charming. You see it all the time in the media. Who gets all the attention???
The article is excellent:
BSing: Lessons from the Masters - BSers pull it off. - Psychology Today - Published on May 15, 2009 by Stanton Peele in Addiction in Society
The Excerpts I am pulling from the article relate to how the Master BSer pulls it off (gets away with it).
1. Always remember - people are afraid to challenge you. Both because it violates social propriety, and because of their fears that their own secrets will be found out, people don't question others to their face. So simply count on being allowed to mouth off and make outrageous claims with no fear of being contradicted - or with objectors themselves facing ostracism.
2. Point to your legitimate successes or bona fides. Stanford was a genuine knight (mediated by Antiguan authorities). Madoff had been president of the NASDAQ stock exchange's board of directors. There are big buildings with Trump's name gaudily plastered all over them. So simply trot out your past successes (magnified as much as possible) at every opportunity, and add on whatever bullshit you wish.
3. Act arrogant - keep it up. Although arrogance might seem to work against you by offending people, it is the supreme intimidation technique - people are readily cowed when someone acts like he is better, smarter, more powerful than they are (ergo, the Donald Trump phenomenon). The only danger is if you act modestly or question yourself, because people WILL attack weakness. In fact, even when you are being arrested (as in Stanford's case), attack your accusers.
4. Claim esoteric knowledge or techniques. It doesn't matter if the formula you use to explain your success makes no sense - people aren't secure enough to challenge something they can't understand. In fact, it pays to make the secret to your success as incomprehensible as possible while linking it to something beyond questioning, like say relativity, quantum physics, evolution or, for the old fashioned, God.
5. Always delay the day of reckoning. Contrary to the idea that, if your are standing on a foundation of bullshit, you will being to sink, send questioners and doubters away. In the interim, they will become re-intimidated by how highly your bullshit is regarded. When they return (if they have the guts), simply go back to square one, making the same claims with the same evidence, and in the same arrogant, don't-question-me tone.
Hound's Final Notes: So putting it all together, the Master BSer believes that they can lie with impunity, because most people are uncomfortable with calling them out on it. Most people aren't Master BSers, because their conscience won't allow them to be. The Master BSer's ego always outweighs their conscience.
The Master BSer will use circular logic to quantify their achievements. The legitimate achievements are usually attained with the help of others, but the Master BSer will exaggerate/overstate their role in the action that led to the achievement... They created it... They were responsible... Without them it would never have happened. Embellished Achievements hold little merit, but the Master BSer will attempt to conjure up and sell fantasies.
The Master BSer will simply carry themselves in a manner that presents themselves as being special. Being humble is considered a weakness with these people. They have never been wrong in their life. And this arrogance feeds off of itself and grows until it becomes monstrous. They use this as a tool to intimidate others and most people will allow them to get away with it... Some will even show deference and help them, even when they know the person is full of --it.
The Master BSer will tell people 'you are wrong, because you don't have the information that they do,' but they aren't going to help you understand. They aren't going to provide you the information you are seeking. They will do everything in their power to control information about themselves or their projects. Like the Man Behind the Curtain in the Wizard of Oz, when you push hard seeking the truth, then they will bully you with the bluster associated with the power they have obtained through public acquiescence. The public gives authority by remaining silent and not objecting to abuses of power, even when such power is illegitimate.
Finally, as previously stated, they get through life as a BSer by being allowed to. Eventually, and most do, they hope that you will give up and just go away in frustration. If you do, then they have won. But, the reality is that they usually get busted, because people (someone) will get tired of their BS and people will eventually get their torches and pitchforks out and decide "No More!"