How to tell a lie

Telling a bare faced lie can be fraught with difficulties. The most awkward one is making sure that you are not found out, which of course means that you can’t give anything anyway.

The best bet to avoid giving anything away is to lie in such a way that it sounds and looks just the same as if you were telling the truth. You need some front to make it sound normal. You’re never going to get away with it if you don’t do it with confidence.

But even that’s not enough. Someone clever or perceptive might see through the deception. So the other thing you have to do is put up a barrier that nobody dare cross. That barrier often has two parts. The first is to enhance your personal credibility:

  • “look at my reputation and experience”
  • “all these other people already accept this” (another lie of course!)

The second part is to give off subliminal messages about the penalties if they do try to cross the barrier:

  • they will end up looking foolish with egg on their face
  • you will take it as an attack and retaliate – if necessary then be threatening about it
  • crossing the barrier will ruin everything the group is doing – “question me and you question everyone”

Now, many people can’t live with lies on their conscience. They leave a permanent skin-crawling feeling tucked away somewhere inside. So what better than to make yourself believe them.

That is the real beauty of this technique because it makes you believe the lie in exactly the same way as your intended audience. It feels just like something true and you don’t dare challenge yourself to expose it – who does?

Hopefully though you are not the sort of person to lie, but would rather learn how to spot someone doing it. Well, just learn to spot the barrier being put up. If someone is really telling the truth then why would they need the barrier?

3 thoughts on “How to tell a lie”

  1. It always surprises me how good the police are at rooting out lies. In general terms I think it’s a bit like the way magic tricks work – you can’t believe that the person playing the trick on you could have the dedication to go to such extreme lengths to play the trick on you, so you psychologically under-prepare. When the police work on you to uncover a lie they go to similar extreme lengths, in all sorts of ways, to root the lie out. What you’re saying here is that if someone who is trying to find the lie doesn’t have a target, then they don’t have anything to analyse, but really, the only way to be absolutely sure someone can’t discover a lie is if there isn’t one there in the first place.

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