Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lying, Part 3: Lie Detection, a VERY Useful Skill in Relationships and Marriage

Part of determining whether you should attempt to reverse a break-up is determining whether you can trust your partner. Knowing how to detect a lie is a VERY useful skill, even when everyone is truthful!

No discussion of lying in a relationship would be complete without a discussion of lie detection, especially for men, because women are naturally more adept at both lying and its detection than we are; their brain structure makes them more sensitive to “tells” (and are VERY dangerous poker players if they have math skills!) and more creative. It could in fact take years with a woman to determine how her character dictates whether, when, and for what reasons she will lie to you, but chances are that if you are lying to her, you’re already busted whether you know it or not, so let’s level the playing field a bit.

And, by the way, I’m not talking about “leveling the playing field” in the context of helping you to lie, but in determining whether you’re being lied to. Nor am I saying that every woman is a liar and is lying to you; I’m saying that due to brain structure – higher creativity and more advanced communications infrastructure – they are capable of being far better at it than we are. That’s especially dangerous to a “nice guy,” who’s already too eager to excuse his own abuse.

Speaking of which, there was a testimonial left at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, describing not only the recovery of a nice guy, but how being a nice guy almost killed him – literally! He (David, “Think-First” on the forum) also points out how being a “nice guy” is actually an insulting disservice to the people around you, some of the more profound writing I’ve seen in some time. I highly recommend you join us and check it out at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/123-Recovering-White-Knight. I’m reprinting it today both because it gets the job done and because my subscriber list is constantly gaining new readers, and many of you have not yet taken advantage of the very valuable information in either of the free reports linked there. I strongly suggest that all of you read those two free reports thoroughly; they contain more solid, proven information than a lot of authors’ for-fee products, and they can help you to avoid many of the potential disasters that can befall a relationship as well as start you on the road to recovery if you’re having problems.

Now let’s get into the meat of today’s lesson:

Lie detection is a necessary survival skill in all facets of your life, because unfortunately, there are those who think that lying is a survival skill. It’s not. The truth always ends up coming out, and then on top of whatever mistake you’ve made, you’ve destroyed trust. At best, it's a tactic for stalling the inevitable. The only people who get away with lying in the long term are those who spend their life on the run, bouncing from place to place, customer to customer, acquaintance to acquaintance, and not staying anywhere long enough for anyone to catch them in a lie before they’ve left. That’s not going to work in a long-term relationship, is it?

Gentlemen, the deck is stacked against you from the beginning with regard to lying, because women are better at both doing it and detecting it than men. Both of those advantages come from their more highly-evolved communications infrastructure and skills (as compared to our own). However, since you shouldn’t be lying anyway (statistically, women will tolerate just about anything before they will tolerate a liar, even if they are chronically “factually challenged” themselves), you need only concern yourself with how to detect if and when she is lying.

Making you an expert on the subject would require an entire book, and we only have the space of this article to work within, so I’m going to “hit the highlights” for you to show you how easy it is if you have good information and then point you to some other very good information which, incidentally, I am not selling. (I am developing a primer on lie detection to include as a free report with my other e-books, and anyone who has read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at the time of its release will be receiving a free copy if I have your current e-mail address on file.)

First, everyone has heard about how body language can be used to detect lies. That’s true, yet not true. There are many body language clues that indicate both that a person is lying and that they are very nervous about telling an unpleasant truth. When attempting to determine if someone is lying, you must watch for several different indicators and make sure they are all consistently pointing in the same direction.

A person who exhibits a single indication of lying may indeed only be nervous about the truth, have an itchy nose, be trying to cover bad breath, etc., but when the signs start stacking up and you see multiple signs that someone is lying, the statistical probability that they are telling the truth becomes such a long-shot that a penny placed on that bet would win you roughly the sum of the world’s oil and coffee trade for a day – literally trillions-to-one. So where do you start?

Let’s start with the eyes. The eyes move when the brain does certain things. When a right-handed person attempts to access short-term memory, their eyes will move up and to the left, whereas if they are lying, which engages a creative center in the brain, they go up and to the right. Oddly, this is reversed in left-handed people.

A big clue as to whether someone is right- or left-handed (if you don’t know them well enough to know) is to look for their wristwatch or wedding band, which will be on the opposite hand, if you can’t get them to write something down for you. (Ask for their phone number, and if they try to hand you a business card, get them to write something on the back like their cellular phone number, business hours, secretary’s name – anything at all will do, just to see which hand wields the pen. In many cases, the hand that extends the card will be the dominant hand, but not all.) So to keep it easy, looking up and to the side of the wedding band or watch is truth, up and away is a lie.

The pupils tend to dilate when a person is lying. However, they also dilate when someone is taking some medications and herbal preparations, or when they are attracted to you or intensely intrigued by something you’re saying. So bearing in mind that you are looking for multiple signals, this signal is one to chalk up if you see their pupils suddenly dilate without a corresponding drop in ambient light and then return to normal size within seconds of your response. That sudden change is very dependable but not foolproof, so don’t jump to a conclusion without supporting evidence of other signals.

People also tend to become less animated when they are lying, clasping their hands or crossing their arms when you have observed them “talking with their hands” in most of the rest of the discussion. Liars will also tend to look away from you and even move away from you as they lie, a subconscious effort to try to distance themselves from an uncomfortable situation. Touching the nose and covering the mouth while speaking are classic body language signs, but as with dilating pupils, when you look at these, you’re looking for CHANGE in behavior, not so much the behavior itself. People do sometimes get an itchy nose, or realize they have bad breath or ugly teeth, or shift their posture because of an aching joint.

It’s because of this that you must realize that it takes several minutes of observing someone to make this determination, not just a quick jab with an incriminating question. You must see enough of how they act when they are speaking normally and truthfully (by getting them to talk about something non-threatening or non-incriminating) before bringing up the subject you think they lied about or before thinking they’ve lied about something they brought up with you. That’s the value of small-talk, something that most men are very, very poor at engaging in because we really just don’t like to talk that much; we prefer to take action. That’s another reason women have such an edge on us; they enjoy small talk and are very good at conducting it, especially in getting to the truth. However…

There are some techniques that can be combined with body language reading that nobody, not even experienced con-artists, can beat. They involve watching for hesitation in response to a question.

Let’s say you think your partner was on a date with someone else, and you say that somebody she works with whose name you can’t remember stopped you in the grocery store to say hello and asked how you were getting along after the break-up, and mentioned that they assumed there had been a break-up since she was dating this other guy. If she is innocent, she will immediately protest, because she has no idea what you are talking about, but if she hesitates, it’s because she’s guilty and has to think and make a choice about whether it is safer in that moment to accept that she’s been caught or to try to deny it and try to bluff through. The hesitation before she speaks, not whatever she says, is what tells the tale. Responding by repeating your question back to you is also a hesitation, as it buys time to think.

Caveat: an immediate response isn’t always an indication of truth; it can just as easily be an indication of an experienced liar who is always on the lookout for a challenge and jumps in with a canned response. In this case, how proportional the response is can still be an excellent indicator, since liars tend to respond too aggressively and try to get you to feel guilty for questioning them, where honest people tend to be more puzzled than angry.

Another good tactic is a diversionary one. You tell a partner that you know all about something they’ve been doing (that you really are only suspecting), and that you understand how and why it happened and are willing to let that go if they will promise that something lesser won’t be happening again, like hearing it from her friends instead of her. When she agrees to make the promise, which is easier than the confession, she has confessed to the transgression.

Even here, you can still take advantage of hesitation. A person with nothing to confess will immediately deny they did anything. A person with something to confess looking for an easy way to do it will immediately make the promise. One who has something to confess but isn’t sure of the consequences will pause while weighing their chances of getting away with another denial, the only reason for them to hesitate. I don’t care for this particular tactic because it requires lying to detect the lie, but my job is to instruct you, not judge you, and it is highly effective.

People also tend to objectify and generalize when they are lying. A person who really worked late will tell you that they worked until 10:30PM, while someone who is lying is much more prone to say they “worked really late.” Also, they will tend to say, “left MY office” if they were really there, as opposed to, “left THE office” if they were not. Again, this must be weighed with other indicators, as the use of these pronouns can vary because of personality, level of detail-orientation, etc. It’s the change from using words like “my” to words like “the” or the change from speaking actively, like “I did this,” to passively, like “this was done,” focusing on the event or act rather than on them that tells the tale.

There is a book by David Lieberman, PhD, called “Never Be Lied to Again,” that has been on the NY Times Best Seller list and is an excellent book if you really want to dig deep into this subject and become a true expert. I highly recommend that you do both.

I’ve also used a lot of the hand-held lie detection gadgets and computer software that do voice print analysis, but was not impressed. There were too many false positives and false negatives for me to see them as useful tools at the time (the manufacturers’ reports of their own tests indicated that they were proud of numbers like 62% accuracy, which is only 12% better than half the time, so a coin toss would be only slightly less accurate!).

Over time, you can expect these products to increase in accuracy, just as voice recognition software that lets you give input to your computer has improved, but it may not happen until most of us are too old to care. Progress has been very slow, even though general progress in computers, software, and general electronics has been really astounding, at least to those of us who still remember replacing vacuum tubes in the back of radios and TV’s and soldering parts on boards that had no integrated circuit chips on them.

Communications is a tough subject, even when everyone is telling the truth. There are good and bad ways to ask questions of women, good and bad ways to start conversations, and good and bad ways to end them as well. When you’re already in a stressful situation like a fight or after a break-up, the last thing you want to do is trip over some protocol or miscue that you don’t know about and end up with your foot in your mouth and your signature on divorce papers because of it. Let me help you with that…

Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" right now, and get with the program. If your relationship is not in crisis, it will show you exactly how to not only keep it from getting there, but how to make it better. If you are in crisis, it will show you how to determine whether you should indeed reverse it or let it go, and if it is a relationship that you should save, it will show you what to do to quickly get things on stable footing and get everyone in a state where they are receptive to working things out and making positive change.

If it shouldn’t be saved, you’ll learn how to turn your combative soon-to-be ex into a cooperative soon-to-be ex who may go so far as to set you up with dates after a non-contested divorce without using control, threats, tricks, or deceit. Seemingly far stranger things have happened to my readers…

I’m sure you’ve heard that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;” this is about a pound of prevention and it’s worth several tons of cure, and it can be yours for less than the price of a good meal for two, so get it done – or would you prefer to be alone after shelling out that $34,000 that the average contested divorce costs in the U.S.??? I didn’t think so!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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