Guilty Pleasure

I have an admission to make.

I’m not proud of it, but I need to get it off my chest.





I can’t stop watching his show. I DVR the show every day, I go to his website every day… the man’s a fricking genius.

I acknowledge that his “on-air” solutions are somewhat unsatisfying, like “we’ll be getting you professional help,” but I also acknowledge that a nutcase is not going to be changed in a one hour show.

What I do like about… nay, admire, about Dr. Phil is that he doesn’t coddle. Phil has an uncanny ability to see right through people, to see through their lies… even lies they’ve convinced themselves are true. I know this is from years of training and experience, but I still have to say… he’s good.

I’ll generally “pick a side” when I watch, to compare my perceptive abilities to his. If I were to estimate, I’d say he has about a 95% success rate at figuring out which person is the problem. My success rate is something more like 50%, which could just be random chance.

As an amateur statistician, I know that things don’t randomly occur 95% of the time…

It’s fascinating to see what finally tips Phil off to the truth. Sometimes it’s the words themselves, sometimes it’s body language, sometimes it’s just looking at the person’s eyes and knowing they’re lying. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a hand gesture.

They did a 3 part episode about a 3 year old who was accusing her father of molesting her. They had video of the girl crying and accusing him, but the video also included what looked like “coaching” on the part of the mother and grandmother. I honestly didn’t know if he was guilty… it could have gone either way.

Phil sat him down one-on-one and asked him several questions. After one of the questions, which was fairly specific, the father imitated the hand gestures that Phil had made while asking the question… I assume subconsciously. Phil’s entire demeanor and body language changed INSTANTLY. One microsecond.

At that moment, Phil knew that the father WAS molesting his 3 year old. The entire tone changed after that, and the father ultimately failed a polygraph, and Phil reported him to child protective services.

I am really intrigued by “profiling” and psychology, and I envy people who can just know when someone’s lying. It’s a skill that would be infinitely useful in every day life.

However, I doubt I’ll ever be that good at it, so I guess I’ll always be “wowed” by Dr. Phil.

If you don’t watch his show, you should give it a chance.

  8 comments for “Guilty Pleasure

  1. November 9, 2006 at 11:10 am

    That guy’s such a blowhard. He reminds me of a female Dr. Laura, and I can’t handle it (plus his plastic-faced wife is on the show now, YIKES). He also reminds me of one of those people that talk so harshly about one thing, but in secret are doing it themselves. I don’t know what, but he seems that way to me.

  2. November 9, 2006 at 11:25 am

    I used to think the same thing, but I really appreciate that he has maintained his integrity. He doesn’t claim to be perfect, but he also doesn’t let people point fingers at him to take the focus off of them.

    I took some convincing, but after I watched a few times, I got over my natural aversion…. probably an aversion because he got his start on Oprah, who I hate.

  3. November 9, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    I heard a comedian say Dr Phil looks like a big penis with a moustache…

  4. November 9, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    I’ll “come out of the closet” too and say that I DVR Dr. Phil every day. I’ve been hooked since season 2. I like him for the same reasons you do. And my goodness his wife is beautiful! Anyway, I saw that three part show and was completely disgusted. I hope they throw that guy in the clink for a long time to come and then he can see how it feels to have somebody touch his “pee pee”. I hate to admit I repeat many of his Dr. Philisms such as “How’s that workin for ya” and “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. I love the guy!!!

  5. November 9, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    You do realize he isn’t a real doctor?

  6. November 9, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    No wonder why he makes SO much sense!!

  7. November 9, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    He’s not an M.D. but he has a Ph.D. so he IS a doctor, just not a doctor of medicine.

    “Dr. Phil has a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine.”

  8. Livieloo
    November 9, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    I too love Dr. Phil. Unfortunately we don’t have DVR so I can’t DVR it. As long as we’re admitting guilty pleasures I will admit, I went out and bought his book “Love Smart.” Not because I’m looking to get married anytime soon but because I believe in being prepared and I think he has some great advice to give. If you ever need a buddy to watch Dr. Phil with you, call me. The whole psychology of the human being is completely facinating to me, which is why I’m majoring in it. I hope one day I am as good at lie detecting as he is. See you soon.


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