In public, people say and do things to build a perception of them.
Some of this is calculated; some, natural. After all, perception is everything. It gets you work; clients; a promotion; a date; a raise; and more.
No-one wants to be perceived as anything but awesome, so they build the perception about them carefully. Others buy into it, and the perception crafting reaps its reward.
The problem is, perception – by definition – is fragile. All it takes is for one slip, and the house of cards that is your perception comes crashing down. And the funny thing is, it doesn’t even have to happen in public for it to start making a difference in public.
All the more reason to be consistent across the board, no?