The In­vis­i­ble Man

CLEO (Malaysia) - - COVER STORY -

Con­jur­ing a fic­tional char­ac­ter out of thin air is an­other spe­cialty of patho­log­i­cal liars. Marie* nar­rated her story about an ac­quain­tance who cre­ated her own fi­ancée. “I met Sharon through a mu­tual friend and ev­ery time we met she’d go on and on about her beau. Our com­mon friend pointed out that on Face­book it says that Sharon is in a re­la­tion­ship with Jordan but “Jordan’s” pro­file was empty ex­cept for posts writ­ten by Sharon her­self. Ev­ery time we’d ask her to bring him along, she’d al­ways come up with an ex­cuse. There were ab­so­lutely no pic­tures taken of them to­gether which was re­ally weird con­sid­er­ing our gen­er­a­tion’s ob­ses­sion with tak­ing pho­tos of ev­ery­thing and any­thing.” What Marie finds dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend is that Sharon is a beau­ti­ful girl who could prob­a­bly get any guy she wants yet she spun these tales about a guy whom no one, not even her fam­ily, has met.

Ex­pert Take

While some people are born more in­clined to lie, oth­ers find it eas­ier to lie be­cause words are cheaper than ac­tions. “[Ly­ing] is eas­ier than ac­tu­ally car­ry­ing out the task and see­ing it through. This might have been the rea­son why Sharon, in­stead of find­ing a guy and main­tain­ing a real re­la­tion­ship which in­volves ef­fort and be­ing vul­ner­a­ble, de­cided to just lie about it. Al­ter­na­tively, she could lack the courage of be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship. All these are per­sonal rhetoric that the liars are not shar­ing,” says Dr Je­gath­e­san.

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