A Conversation for Lying
Taipan - Jack of Hearts Started conversation Oct 12, 1999
One of the most neglected parts of a lie - and the one that usually makes the lie more obvious - is body language. Without this essential ingredient, no lie has a hope of being convincing. Some of the things to look out for include :
1 : Nose scratching - an adult version of the childs convention to cover the mouth when lying. The liar retains this unconscious convention, but at the last minute turns this into a poor attempt to hide this display by scratching the nose, or alternatively rubbing the eye. The length of the scratch is usually confined to three or four rubs, and is a dead giveaway that someone is telling 'Porkies'. It can also be evidenced most spectacularly in the 'rubbing of the collar'.
2 : Hiding the hands : This - in adulthood - has evolved into folding the hands behind the back, tugging the cufflinks/side of the the trousers, and also brushing the lapel to remove a speck of imaginary dust. If sitting, most people cross their legs during the lie, as a substitue to crossing their fingers. In addition, many people will stand behind an object, or reach out to be supported by a door frame or some such, or will fidget excessively.
3 : Eye Movements : Has been mentioned with direct eye-contact, however, do not stare. Also note that when remembering events, most people will look up and to the left, conversely, when making things up, most people will look up and to the right.
4 : Any person in a more senior position than you are is obviously a liar, otherwise how would they have got the position in the first place.
5 : Any person in a more junior position than you are, is also obviously a liar, as they want to move up to your position.
6 : Me, Paranoid? - I don't think so, and neither do THEY.
babahule Posted May 11, 2000
Very impressing analysis, there´s just one point I would like to add.
There´s a trick in lying successfully, which makes it very hard to identify the lyer: pretending he does. Just imagine, you WANT the other to realize that you are lying and relax on this thought ... and nobody will question your stories.
I think it works because we don´t think in paradoxes (me I don´t, would be useful, though), we would not assume a lyer wanting to be identified as such. But if he really can act with the thought in mind, he would like us to do so, he shifts his body language from hiding to giving hints, which is a positive, cooperational one. And a carefully offered cooperation (which means it must not seem forced) makes people less critical. I guess I´m a paranoid too?
C Hawke Posted May 13, 2000
The best way I found (and I quote as a reference Robert Heinlein's Time Enough For Love) is either to tell the truth in such a way that no-one believes you and so believes something else eg to cover up a work affair "yes off course we're sleeping together, we have rampant passionate sex as often as we can, want to join in..." (OK I have never actually used this one but I can but wish...)
...and to tell selective parts of the truth so that people fill in the gaps, 2+2 = 5 type of thing. One line I have used to avoid telling the truth is "I've asked her/him out several times and the last answer was the same as the first... No" OK so one time in between the answer was yes, but peoples brains cannot always make non-inutitive leaps.
Off course I could be lying
C Hawke Posted May 14, 2000
Oh.. and then there's the vague use of language, again tell the truth but be vague eg (again relationship based, but then aren't most lies?) "Oh her/him I haven't slept with her/him for some time" the "some time" in question being less than 12 hours but the statement is still factually acurate, but the listener equates "some time" to a long time period.
Of course, for a full lesson, listen or read, Clinton's evidence before the selct commitee regard his "non-sexual" relationship, a true genius.
babahule Posted May 20, 2000
Great! to read such interesting stuff about lying.
What about the impact of self-honesty? If you are relatively clear about your feelings and your reality about at one topic - but you want to let people see it another way. I guess that´s hard work. And also - I think I remember having experienced this - if you use i.e.(?) vague language or telling only selected parts of your truth - it´s your perception of the whole matter that changes too! And that´s really irritating. For example, just pretending to be happy about this or that may confuse your feeling towards it. If it´s an "easy" lie - easy to perform - than maybe it wont. But if it is complex, you do it over time or again and again and your listeners are careful enough to keep you busy with fitting every aspekt in your "performance" (body language, voice, all that) wont you be confused about REALity in the end?
C Hawke Posted May 21, 2000
ah now we are moving into self denial "To you own self be true, and it follows, as day the night, that you can be false to no man" or something like that. Yes, you have, at all times to know the truth from fiction yourself.
Scientists tell us that memories are not memories of the events but memories of memories. Each time we remember something that reinforces the bits we remember and chucks away stuff we don't, hence another quote "the memories turn golden but the heartache lingers on" don't know where I got that one from.
So, back to lying, if we tell complex fibs, or even highly selective fibs, we are in danger of accepting that as fact ourselves.
I have had to use similar lines to those I suggested, and can assure you I have no problem remembering the truth. I'm not sure if this is true for everyone though.
babahule Posted May 22, 2000
The point I´m concerned with - and your proposals of how to lie imply that - is, if it´s really helpful "not" to lie. To say, is it more practical to try and hide want you want to hide without telling a lie? (the examples how to do you gave) Does it serve your whatever sense for the truth? Does it enable you to recognize, if another tries to cheat you? Or is the impact of lying neglectable on your own intuition?
I found a quote by a scientist who was searching for oil, like: if you want to find something, you need to be truly honest.
And if you are together with kids, for example, it is irritating how clearly the recognize you lying. I guess I too much trusted in the sovereignity of my intellect (like it would not matter what I say, I see things the same way) before. Some time ago I engaged in some kind of personal experiment. I tried to be radically honest: If I could not, I would say nothing but I didnt try to change my expressions. Same with emotions of course, I tried not to hide anything. (You cannot do this absolutely, of course, I didnt want to be brought to the sanitaries(?) ). And I imagine my perceptions have been much more clearer. I stopped this experiments because I got most people on the nerves.
But further research would be interesting. Any suggestions?
C Hawke Posted May 22, 2000
I can see how being honest and only honest could annoy others.
My "techques" do help in recogizing others lies. I don't take credit but bu actually listening to the words people say, not just the sense of what they say you can tell a lot.
Do I detect that you may not be writing in your first language, or is your typing and grammer worse than mine. If you are not from the UK you may not have seen the excellent satire of "Yes (Prime) minister" in which the civil servant run verbal rings around the elected politian. frequently using the tactic I mentioned with great sucess.
Children are another matter, one I have no direct experience of.
The best advice is to analyse what you here, word for word, if there is ambiguity ask the question again, "I haven't slept with her/him for sometime", answer "How long exactly" don't let it lie (no pun intended)
babahule Posted May 26, 2000
Run out of inspiration on this matter. Was very nice discussing it with you!
Actually you are right, I´m from Germany/ Berlin.
Would like to meet you another time or topic and if you want, you can leave a short note on my site.
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