All your successes are belong to us
Every control freak likes to claim the successes of others as their own. In some cases it’s relatively easy to do, such as when nobody listening knows better, or where they do but they are too timid to say anything. The most common case relies on the well known weakness of organisational memory, where everyone expects someone else to remember things for them. Even if they do remember, they expect someone else to remember better and so be the person that raises an objection, saving them from that duty.
But that’s all child’s play compared to the real control freak who can pull this off successfully in front of people with good memories and strong enough personalities to call out the false claims when they hear them. It relies on a simple trick that fits perfectly with the narcissim of control freaks.
The trick is simple – they just claim everything and anything as a success all at the same time and deliberately take a long time to list each and every claimed success. On the face of it this might look mad because it opens them to multiple attacks, but that’s not how it plays out.
If you are the listener who hears the huge whopper of a lie laying claim to all these successes and you know these are lies then you soon realise that there are only a few courses of action:
- you can pick up on one false claim and expose it, but that won’t detract from the overall effect because all the control freak needs do is treat it as a minor issue in the overall context. They might do this by acknowledging the mistake but more likely they will swat away the challenge as missing the bigger picture and you will be labelled as out of touch.
- you can pick on a large number of the lies but that’s very hard, takes a long time and is likely to encounter strong resistance from bystanders who simply don’t want a protracted argument to take place. It can be done but it is more of a scorched earth policy than a surgical strike.
So almost everyone, even some pretty strong and determined people keep quiet and let the control freak get away with it.