The scenario I'm trying to find an idiom or expression for goes like this:

My friend comes over and wants me to join him at a multi-level marketing seminar which he has already joined. He seems to know it wasn't the wisest choice, but is very determined to get me to join him in this bad decision, as if getting someone else to make this bad decision will make him feel less foolish for making it himself.

  • Perhaps sophistry is relevant: the use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving. "trying to argue that I had benefited in any way from the disaster was pure sophistry" – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 30 '16 at 9:37
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    He's not your friend and you are not joining him. He's recruiting you. That's how MLM works. – Phil Sweet Oct 30 '16 at 14:18
  • "Sophistry", and "leading down the garden path", are more about intentional deception. I'm looking for something that connotes unwitting, subconscious desperation instead of deception. "Saving face" came to mind as I typed this clarification. Maybe I can use that. Phil, thanks. This was an event that happened long ago. – Randy Stine Oct 30 '16 at 17:24

Lead somebody down/up the garden path :

  • to deceive someone. Our country has been led down the garden path by the politicians in office.

Misery loves company:

  • something that you say which means that people who are feeling sad usually want the people they are with to also feel sad. On a bad day, she isn't satisfied till the entire family is in tears. Misery loves company.

(The Free Dictionary)

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