The truth has become an elusive commodity in business. A pervasive pattern of wide-ranging lies indicates that deception is a popular hobby for business people, sports figures, celebrities, politicians, and even journalists. Here are 5 Cool Ideas on how to spot a liar.
1. There are many types of lies.
Indeed, there are many ways to misrepresent the truth. Lying by omission, for example, is a form of passive deceit because a person is withholding information or not volunteering the truth. It’s interesting to note that the Fifth Amendment allows someone to refuse comment if such testimony will incriminate him or her, which means that the law allows one to lie by omission. Plagiarism is a form of “literary theft,” of which I would be guilty, if I didn’t tell you that I copied that phrase from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
2. Some lying is generally considered “harmless.”
A white lie, for example, is a “harmless” fib that is meant to be tactful or polite. You have told a white lie if your wife proudly asks what you think of her new, ugly dress and you say, “I really like your new dress, honey.” It is said that a white lie may set the stage for lies of darker hues. Just after complimenting your wife on the ugly dress, she might say, “I’m glad you like the style. These dresses are on sale at the mall. Do you mind if I pick up two more outfits in different colors?”
Defensive lying is to deceive another person because the other person is trying to take advantage of you. If a mugger demands your wallet, you might lie by telling him that you don’t have any money. You can also use this response if your wife asks about buying more ugly dresses. If a car mechanic quotes you $750 to replace a water pump, you might tell him that the place across town will do the job for $650, even if you don’t know this to be true.
3. People lie for two basic reasons.
Most people avoid the truth because they anticipate pleasure, or they want to avoid pain. When it comes to lying, the anticipation of pleasure usually involves a selfish agenda. Thousands of us lie for purposes of self-interest and self-promotion such as when we lie on a job resume. Some people lie because they feel if they tell the truth they won’t get what they want.
On the other hand, if someone frequently fears punishment, lying may become a habit, which is lying by reflex. Many people lie to avoid awkward situations or interpersonal conflict. We sometimes lie to ensure privacy such as when a telemarketer calls during dinner.
4. Men lie differently than women.
Research suggests that certain types of lies are idiosyncratic with regard to gender. Men, for example, are more likely than women to engage in self-oriented lies to gain personal advantage or make a positive impression on others. Women, on the other hand, tend to use lies to protect a third party.
5. Use baseline behavior to judge when someone is lying.
Generally speaking, the less someone knows you, the more likely they may lie. Strangers are more likely to get away with lying because you don’t know their baseline behavior. Baseline behavior is how the person acts when they are not lying. Liars usually score high in social skills. Introverts tend to feel more comfortable telling the truth. The most prolific liars are those who get a lot of practice. Beware of sales people who use high-pressure tactics such as hurrying your decision.