Saturday, January 10, 2015
HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN SOMEONE IS LYING?
Pinocchio, the wooden puppet boy whose nose grew every time he told a lie
The average person hears somewhere between 10 and 200 lies every day.
Spotting a liar can be difficult, especially when you're dealing with a pathological or habitual liar…your basic professional liar. One science communicator says linguistic text analysis (based on sentence structure) is a key to determining if someone is telling a lie.
He says there are three specific things to help you spot a lie:
1) Liars are more negative when they lie, possibly due to guilt feelings.
2) They distance themselves from the lie by using third person when speaking.
3) Liars use simple terms when telling their tale because it's easier to keep track of their lies when the details are basic rather than complex. Sometimes liars might embellish to make the tale more convincing. According to Mark Twain, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
And here's an interesting (and possibly a little frightening for reasons other than being a liar) tidbit—smartphone app developers are working on facial recognition technology that could detect user's emotions and tell when they're lying.
There are ten lies we all hear and say on a daily basis…things you don't necessarily think of as lies. These are usually considered as slight exaggerations, an attempt to be polite rather than confrontational, or merely being nice rather than hurt someone's feelings. But no matter how you rationalize it, they are still lies.
1) "Everything's great."
It's the usual response in a restaurant when your server asks how everything is, a brush-off even though the soup is too salty. And the possible consequences of this insignificant little lie? The chef never finds out he's heavy-handed with the seasonings, people stop coming to his restaurant, and you end up with the same too-salty soup everyone else was also reluctant to mention. You might be doing the chef a favor if you tell your server—politely—that something is off.
2) "I'm fine."
Reality check for men: No woman who says this to you is actually fine. Something's wrong and you need a strategy to figure out how to fix it. Most of the time it's as easy as asking her how she really feels.
3) "I love your new haircut."
People usually compliment anything that catches their eye as new or different—no matter how ugly it may be or how much they don't like it. If your significant other has a different opinion on your new hair style—or jacket, or shoes—than your chipper coworker, trust your significant other's take. The I get so many compliments on this defense doesn't hold up.
4) "No thanks, I've got it."
Guys, in particular, feel guilty accepting assistance from others, especially from a woman—even if they could really use it. If you have to ask, "Can I give you a hand with that?" you should already be helping—not offering to lend a hand.
5) "I couldn't find time to look at that today."
It doesn't matter if your boss said that, a client, or someone else, rest assured that you're being bluffed. If you need the feedback right away but fear you might irritate your boss or client with repeated requests, you'll need to come up with a new way to present your need.
6) "It's so great to see you."
Is it really great? Your wife's or husband's friend from college looks to be in a huge hurry, and you don't really know the person that well. This is a polite lie that really means, "I want to stop talking to you now." Offer a quick smile then you can both get on with your day.
7) "That's interesting."
People throw out this meaningless phrase so often it's become more of a cliché or silence-filler than a lie. Instead, consider what you actually think before speaking, and come up with a more insightful adjective (and "That's stupid!" doesn't count).
8) "Your email ended up in my spam folder."
Of all the emails you've successfully sent this person and it's this one that mysteriously ended up in the spam folder? No need to call this person out on it. Recognize this deception for what it is and figure out a better way to grab this person's attention next time.
9) "I just saw your text."
Your friends have no problem lying about being busy when they're actually looking at other things or surfing the net. But when they actually have a lot on their plates, they become reluctant about admitting it (sometimes for fear that it sounds like a flimsy excuse). This text message is their polite way of saying, "I was too busy to answer you right away."
Admit it: Even you toss out apologies as readily as you would a losing lottery ticket. At least 95 percent of the time you tell someone you're sorry when you really mean, "That's too bad." Don't apologize unless there's something you need to apologize for and you mean it.