I keep a Dilbert calendar on my desk.
Last week, the calendar featured a series of strips which ran during 2004 that involved a character called “Non-Credible Guy.” In short, Non-Credible Guy is always telling preposterous stories about things that happened to him that make him appear to be important and influential, but which are clearly false.
In the first strip, he claimed to have given Madonna the idea for the Vogue music video. In later strips, he claimed to have been involved in the creation of reality TV.
For me, the appeal of Dilbert is that it hits so closely to the reality of day-to-day human interaction, especially in a business environment, that it is downright scary. Non-Credible Guy is no exception.
Have you ever run into someone like this? Always telling stories to you that you are pretty sure are complete fabrications, but which in no way are immediately verifiable?
What do you do with someone like this? I’ve watched others interact with personalities of this type, and they just nod their head in understanding as if they were “buying” into the story like it were true. I’ve sometimes done the same thing myself.
Yet are we really doing the other person a favor by going along with these types of fabrications? Doesn’t this behavior only feed their pathology? We can’t really come to know them or accept them for who they are until they can start to interact honestly with us. So how do you broach the subject of honesty and truthfulness with Non-Credible guy?