“Liar, liar, pants on fire…” Is calling somebody a liar the worst thing you can say about them? It’s certainly one of our favorite ways of branding people. Instead of accusing one another of being “liars,” can’t we just state that they said something that we don’t believe to be true?
The pitfalls of stereotyping, assigning labels and categories is a theme in many of my stories.
This blog is the first in a three part series about Lying and Labeling. In this segment I explore the incriminating nature of labels. In the next part, I’ll respond to the episode on Dr. Phil that triggered this series. In the last part, I’ll suggest an approach to the problem (“Dr Kixx Approach.”)
While Channel Surfing the other day, I watched an episode from Dr. Phil. A mother called her daughter a “pathological liar.” The daughter returned the favor by calling her mother a liar. After that it was hard to watch the rest.
The topic of lying and the label “pathological” brings me back to the story of a mother and daughter in my collection. In the Replacement Child, the main character, Rachel, watches helplessly as her friend, Betty, poisons her relationship with her daughter, Lucy. After Betty persistently accuses Lucy of deception and being a liar, she loses the young woman to the world of drugs.Continue reading