How can a human being keep from being labeled “phony”?
In many ways this may be an impossible task. Anyone can label someone else “phony” arbitrarily, without cause. Everyone erects false façade to everyone else. Such action as erecting this false front can be considered a form of defense.
Definition of phony:
: not genuine or real: such asa
(1) : intended to deceive or mislead
(2) : intended to defraud : counterfeitb : arousing suspicion : probably dishonest.
Why do people raise false fronts?
This is done most often because people are timid and do not wish to alienate others. They may think who they really are, what they really are, could offend others.
I have lived over 60 years. I have never met anyone that was easy to read, without defensive façades. There was always something later found that was not sequitur with my initial subjective analysis.
Why has this become important?
Perhaps my perception of this phoniness is a result of seeking others who would be compatible for discussions. I do not seek to control what others think or do, but seek those that are already mostly complete in alignment with my position. Everyone needs a group that will help defend their position. This does not preclude new ideas, nor does it indicate closed mindedness. It does denote a solidified position. New ideas are sought that extend and strengthen that position. The position itself arrived at over many years experience in the world. There may be conflict… others may not agree with ideas within that position… they may even pronounce the position one of closed minded nature. Their pronouncements do not reflect reality. Everyone has a position for the purposes of stability.
Part of the defense of a stable position can include the façade.
The question then as to how one can keep from being labeled “phony” becomes irrelevant. It no longer matters what others think of you.
A solidified position need not be totally inflexible. It must change if new facts that make the position untenable are found.