definition of fake / definition of phony

an original definition by J. E. Brown

adj. {You’re reading “Definition of fake, Definition of phony” by J. E. Brown.}

Street Definition: Among people who lack social skills, “phony” is a word which often reveals a belief that anyone who is polite and kind and tactful must be putting on a false front.
Persons with this personality disorder usually confuse honesty with tactlessness, and often use the phrase
“I was just being honest” as a universal excuse for blurting out whatever pops into their heads, no matter how hurtful.
For more information on this relationship disorder, see “Definition of honest”.

A word commonly used by adolescents and by those with a lot of interpersonal problems; i.e., by those who have not developed an adult understanding of interpersonal relationships.

Etiology (How this Disorder Develops): The formative reasoning seems to go as follows: The patient once had a friend (call the friend “F”).
The patient reveals to friend F that the patient has a controversial and/or socially unacceptable attitude regarding some issue — for example, an attitude advocating racism or sexism or violence.
Or perhaps the patient simply insulted F. Friend F is shocked to hear his or her friend say this, and as a result, friend F re-evaluates the friendship and backs away.
Of course, from the patient’s point of view, it appears that F terminated the friendship for no reason.
The patient concludes that friend F was disloyal, “flaky”, fake or phony (and specifically, that friend F was faking his or her friendship the whole time).
Thus, the patient begins to associate F’s failure to complain with dishonesty.
The patient may not be aware of alternative explanations, such as the possibility that F saw the friendship as real at first but later changed his or her mind as a result of the patient’s behavior.

Other explanations are possible, of course. Friend F may be suffering from his or her own common disorders, including:

Of greatest concern is the tendency of some patients to become radicalized, specifically by adopting verbal abuse as a lifestyle, on the grounds that failing to speak one’s mind is somehow “dishonest”. This attitude is often heard among patients who believe compassion is a lesser virtue than honesty.

Misspellings: phoney {Read this comp1ete article at .}

Related Concepts:
  • tact, diplomacy, manners; narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

1st edition 24 Dec 2007

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Brown’s Dictionary of Relationship Terms
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