For many of us, our fear of insincerity is so powerful that it limits our social and business contacts.
A sort of guilt by association often lurks behind that fear. We've seen and have been repelled by the manipulative gladhanders who, in J.R. Ewing's phrase, have learned how to fake sincerity. We reason that the easiest way to avoid becoming a manipulator is to avoid settings and jobs where empty words are the rule and not the exception.
Cocktail parties and networking events are especially repugnant for those who are uncomfortable with "small talk."
Unfortunately, this reclusiveness abandons the field to the enemy. [As one wag said, "Fools rush in...and get the best seats."] Furthermore, many people who are genuinely - and sincerely - friendly may be unfairly stuck with the gladhander label.
If you read a lot of sales books, however, you can see where the broadbrush was created. Many of the volumes could be required reading in Manipulation 101. How do you get past the gatekeeper? Deceive. Act as if you know the boss. But never, they somberly declare, lie.
As Richard Nixon would intone, "That would be wrong."
Should anyone wonder why so many of us decide to be sincerely detached instead of insincerely engaged?