“I’m the nicest guy you’ll ever meet”

The rest of this Dr. Phil show isn’t online, which is perfect. It gives us a chance to discuss what you can tell from brief, isolated glimpses of behavior. The father in this clip chose to come on the Dr. Phil show, is aware that he’s being judged by not only his family and Dr. Phil, but an entire audience–which he can see perfectly, because the show lights the entire room instead of leaving the audience dark–and knows he’s being filmed, and this is how he chooses to present himself.

A few notes:

  • It’s impossible to get him off whichever topic is foremost in his mind.
  • He does the majority of the speaking, but accuses his daughter of yammering at him, “like her mother.” He doesn’t judge her or her mother by the same yardstick as himself, but by a special standard. One that doesn’t include talking.
  • Everyone else likes him. It’s just his family that brings out the worst in him; it’s their fault that he acts the way he does.
  • Angry at his minor children because they side with their mother; completely uninterested in the effect his anger has on his chances of reconciling with his children.
  • When his family “makes him” mad, his reaction is their responsibility, but when his ex-wife “makes” the kids side with her, their reaction is their own responsibility, not their mother’s.
  • Attributes far more agency to¬†his minor children than teenagers typically have in a divorced family, and simultaneously attributes far less agency to them, treating them like indistinguishable pawns of their mother.
  • Attributes the estrangement to his lack of money to see the kids, the kids’ desire to do fun stuff rather than “help people,” and his ex-wife’s inability to let him go. Meanwhile he doesn’t acknowledge his kids when he takes the stage, insults them in the middle of a tirade about what a good person he is, and sees nothing wrong with telling¬†his weeping daughter, “I can’t even look at you right now.”
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