The HARD Truth About Liars and lying :The Facts You Need TO KNOW
Even Well-seasoned Veterans of the Police Department have a Hard Time Detecting Lies
The ability to decipher lies is not always an easy task as even criminal investigators admit that
they are unable to spot deception when interviewing suspects or persons of interest.
Indeed, inveterate liars can become quite good at dissembling, making it necessary to use lie capturing equipment such as lie detectors in order to determine what is fact and what is fiction.
Introverts can Appear to be Lying when, in Fact, They are Simply Shy and Therefore Uncomfortable
That being said, you still can uncover a lie by looking for certain clues that act as red flags, so to speak, and warn you that you are possibly being deceived.
However, before you delve into the process, you must also consider the personality of an individual too.
That’s because introverts, or people who are shy, may appear to be lying when they simply feel uncomfortable about outwardly expressing themselves.
Fidgeting, Perspiring, and Avoiding Eye Contact can Indicate Deception or Discomfort
Often liars will fidget, perspire, or avoid eye contact just as a shy person behaves when he must communicate in
a more socialized setting.
So, you really can’t make the assumption that someone may be lying unless you know more about their general
temperament and personality. Still, there are those people in the population who are very good at picking up on
deception although they are few and far between.
Only a Small Ratio of the Populace can Easily Spot a LiarApproximately 3 out of every 1,000 people have the innate
ability to spot a liar.
However, the remaining 997 of those individuals must hone their powers of observation or use methods of surveillance,
such as hidden cameras or surveillance-type software to monitor the suspected liar’s activities online.
Concealing the Truth can Increase One’s Levels of Stress and Anxiety
While lying takes more mental effort than telling the truth, it is also easy to do. That’s why so many people are tempted
to tell a falsehood.
However, telling a fib eventually takes more exertion as you have to remember all those made-up snippets of information
that you used in order to construct your story – all which can be, needless to say, rather stressful if not exhausting.
So, concealing the truth can be the basis for a good deal of stress and anxiety.
The Story behind Truth Serum and its Concept for Getting at the Truth
Because prevarication can be somewhat inhibiting, truth serum, which is meant to release one’s inhibitions,
started to be used in the 20th century as a way to separate fact from fiction.
The originator behind the idea of using truth serum or barbiturates to obtain truthful confessions was Dr. Robert House.
The Use of Truth Serum to Obtain Confessions – An Idea that Originated from Administering Barbiturates in
Obstetrics Wards Dr. House’sconcept, which was intended to exonerate prisoners who had been wrongly accused,
was formulated from what he observed while working in obstetrics.
He noticed that women who were given the barbiturate scopolamine during delivery easily replied to questions and
spoke quite readily.
Therefore, he thought a barbiturate-type drug could be used to extract the truth from prisoners too.
Sodium Pentothal – First used to Treat Psychological Conditions, such as Shell Shock Sodium pentothal—the principal drug
used as a truth drug or serum—was created in 1934 by scientists Donalee L. Tabern and Ernest H. Volwiler, who were trying
to develop a painkiller.
While sodium pentothal did not meet the criteria for reducing pain, its use was indicated for psychological therapy,
particularly with respect to war-related conditions such as shell shock. The drug, today, is still employed in the UK
for the treatment of phobias.
Sodium Pentothal – Its Use as a Truth Serum
However, when sodium pentothal was used as a truth serum, the drug proved unreliable as it released the patient’s
inhibitions to such a degree that he provided too much information.
So, even when subjects are put under the influence of a “truth drug,” it’s often hard to separate fact from fantasy as they
will often become overly expressive.
Many People Tell a Fib or Two throughout the Day
Therefore, it’s not really too surprising that a good number of people tell one or two lies a day. In fact, if people channeled
their imagination differently, they might be able to produce voluminous tomes of fiction.
That’s why it’s not so easy to automatically tell if someone is lying to you as many people prevaricate at some point or another throughout the day
Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Cause for Lying Pathologically
However, pathological liars, or those people who lie to excess, are much easier to spot after a while. Typically, these individuals suffer from HPD, otherwise known as Histrionic Personality Disorder – a condition which is denoted by attention seeking behavior.
Generally, women fall under this category more than men, and will exhibit such traits as excessive enthusiasm or flirtatiousness when they are diagnosed with the condition.
The Profile of a Pathological Liar
So, if you are trying to determine if a person is lying or not, you won’t have too much trouble distinguishing the lies of a pathological liar.
This kind of liar lies frequently to himself as well as to others as he wants to believe he is better than anyone around him.
Again, after a while, it’s not too difficult not to notice that he is lying as he regularly exaggerates, alters his stories, and even seemingly believes his own fabrications when everyone else can easily see they are lies. In addition, a pathological liar can become quite defensive when anyone questions what he is telling them.
Many times he will lie when it would be simpler to tell the truth.
A pathological liar lies for a number of reasons, but primarily to:
- Obtain sympathy;
- Avoid the consequences of getting into trouble; or
- To impress people.
The Difference between a Pathological Liar and a Degenerate Liar:
The Pathological Liar Cares about the Fact He is Not Telling the Truth
This purveyor of myths will never admit to lying as lying is a habit. However, inveterate liars also make lying a habit too
and are just as addicted to telling tall tales as their pathological counterparts.
The main difference between the seasoned liar and the pathological prevaricator is that the professional liar does not care
about the fact that he regularly lies while the pathological liar does indeed care about lying.
While the consistent liar does not think that their fabrications are any big deal, the pathological fabricator will go to great
lengths to get you to believe that he is telling the “truth.”
That’s because pathological liars possess low self-esteem and about the only truth they can tell is to say they do not
understand their behavior.
People who lie just to lie, on the other hand, often do so to get their way, because of greed, or to avoid responsibility.
As a result, once you understand the pathological liar’s reason for lying, which is mainly to garner attention, you end up
pitying him more than despising him.
It’s Easier to Look at a Pathological Liar for who He is if you are an Acquaintance:
Families and Friends often Put their Blinders On as to the Condition
It’s much easier to figure out that someone is a pathological liar if you only know the person as an acquaintance.
Unfortunately, most people who are friends of a pathological liar will not want to label someone so close to them in this way.
Liars Use Devices, such as Distraction or Anger, when they are Caught Lying
Liars, in general, will try to rewrite the script, so to speak, if they are caught in a lie by using devices, like distraction or anger,
as a decoy. Or, they’ll act as though nothing ever happened.
Pathological liars use this kind of methodology as well but they just take it a couple steps further.
Pathological Liars are more Impulsive when it Comes to Lying
When compared to other liars, pathological liars are more impulsive when they prevaricate. They often tell different stories
to different individuals – all which are contradictions in turn. As a result, pathological liars seemingly can’t break free from the chain of inaccuracies they create.
In the majority of instances though, it’s very unlikely you’ll be dealing with someone who is pathological when it comes to lying. They will be far less obvious. However, you still can learn a lot by reviewing the traits of an extreme or pathological liar when you are looking for any clues of deception.
Most People think Politicians Lie more than People in other Occupations
Those clues are important to note as people lie every day for a variety of reasons.
Pollsters find that most people think that politicians, car salesmen, and real estate agents lie the most in their professions – a pretty sad statistic, considering that the people we must deal with in order to live in a home, get around town, and live in a community are considered less-than-trustworthy.
Plus, twelve percent of survey respondents said that they regularly lie.
Men lie twice as much as women on a daily basis too.
People Lie Less in the Morning than they do in the Evening
Studies also concluded that the worst time of the day for lying is in the evening around 9:00 p.m. The time of day when lying occurs less frequently is in the early morning. So, if you want to avoid being deceived, it’s best to confine your conversations
to the AM.
Australia has the largest Number of Honest PeopleWorldwide, surveys show that the most honest people are from Australia.
Just behind them, people living in Norway, Sweden, and Belgium are considered more trustworthy than other people in the
More People Lie in Wales than Anywhere Else in the World
However, the Welsh admit to lying quite frequently as statistics
show that the people who regularly tell tall tales in that part of the world falls around 90 percent.
Statistics show People who Say They Never Lie are Less Honest than People who Say they Do
When surveyors asked people if they were a liar, most people (or around 97 percent) replied by saying, “No.” However, the paltry number of respondents who said that they lied turned out, according to research, to actually be more honest than those who said otherwise.
No wonder it’s hard to determine if someone is actually lying or if they are telling the truth!
People will Believe what they Want to Believe – Even if it is an Untruth
People tend to dismiss the fact that someone is lying because they don’t want to believe they are being fooled or deceived.
In fact, people often will choose to believe what they want to believe even if they think what they are being told may be an untruth.
That’s because liars often are socially charming and likeable.
Otherwise, how could they get away with their falsehoods?
Lying and Socializing – Both, in some instances, are Interchangeable In fact, it was shown that people, for instance,
who projected more confidence, often told fewer lies but were less adroit socially.
In addition, lies can often be the fodder for social conversations, online or off-line, as people want to be liked and want
to impress others as well.
That’s why lying is not something we can easily assimilate, particularly when we are communicating online or having
a pleasant time at a gathering.
Ads – Exaggerated Claims
Detecting lies can definitely take some work as we live in a society that exaggerates and creates illusions about reality.
You only have to watch a commercial or review a couple of ads to realize how people are regularly deceived with claims that promise a more youthful appearance, an easier life, or instant weight loss just by the purchase of certain products.
Peer Pressure – Another Reason People Lie
In fact, the reasons behind these overstated claims are based on vanity or narcissism – all which involves the need to be
accepted by one’s peers or colleagues.
As 70 percent of high school students admit that they lie, being approved by and identifying with one’s peers definitely
impacts some peoples’ decision to steer away from the truth.
Detecting Lies – A Science and an Art
Again, it all boils down to what people choose to believe, all which makes it harder to pinpoint deception.
After all, people are regularly exposed to some form of deception on a regular basis, such as the media content that is
seen online, commercial ads on billboards and TV, and the spam that arrives in one’s email every day.
So, we readily digest a good deal of data that is less-than-honest and really don’t think anything of it – all which makes
lie detection both a science and an art.
Behaviors to Watch – How Liars Sometimes Communicate
However, you can learn to be objective in this regard by finding
out the motivations of a liar as well as some of the behaviors that can give him away.
Besides, fidgeting, sweating, and looking away, liars also exhibit the following behaviors as well.
- Liars typically offer shorter responses and make more errors in their speech, including oratory pauses, such as “er,” “ah,” and “um.”
- Besides avoiding contact, liars may also give you too much eye contact too – a type of compensation so you won’t suspect them.
- Liars blink more as well.
- Also, liars tend to look up and to the right when they are conversing – something that people tend to do when they are using their imagination. Looking down and to the left indicates that the person is trying to remember or recall a past event.
- Generally, someone who is telling the truth will be more fluid in their movements because they are being open and therefore feel confident. Liars, on the other hand, move, in some cases, almost robotically. Look at how they move their arms – they will display more stiffness when they are expressing themselves.
Placement of the Hands – Signs that a Person could be Lying
Other forms of deception can be revealed by the placement of the hands too.
For instance, some of the following examples are noteworthy and are mannerisms that can be equated with dissembling.
- People who lie often will place their hands on their lap with their fists balled or clenched.
- Liars, in some instances, will cover their mouth when they are speaking too.
- Sometimes people who are not being all too forthcoming will rub their eyes or touch their face or nose.
- Scratching behind the ear can also indicate that a person is not telling the truth.
Not all the Aforementioned Gestures Prove that a Person is Lying – They can be Indicators of Tiredness or Nervousness TooOf course, the above examples are not set in stone as you also have to look at other clues as well.
One can be tired, for example, if he is rubbing his eyes, or simply nervous if he is scratching his ear. However, those gestures should be included when making an assessment overall.
Other Possible Warning Signs that can Alert you to a Person’s CredibilityIn addition, the following signs may be indicators that a person could be lying:
- Shrugging one’s shoulder or raising it just a bit higher than the other shoulder;
- Tilting the head slightly away;
- Crossing the arms or legs – an indicator the person is not being honest or that he is uncomfortable about what is being said;
- Inconsistencies while speaking;
- Tapping the foot to excess;
- Changing the tone or pitch of the voice;
- Suddenly talking faster; Blushing – if not embarrassed; or Turning pale.
Liars will Defend Themselves or Use Humor if you Catch them in a LieA person who is deceiving you may also, as already indicated, become extremely defensive if you catch them in a lie. As a result, they may either accuse you of lying or refuse to answer any of your questions.
In some cases, the liar will try to take your mind away from the falsehood by making use of humor or sarcasm as a way to change the subject. This type of deflection is often employed, particularly if the prevaricator is indisputably guilty of the offense.
Lying can Begin as Early as Two Years of AgeAs mentioned, lying comes easily to people as the habit can begin as early as the developmental years. Children begin telling tales as young as two years of age.
Usually, when children lie at such a young age, they are doing so to avoid punishment orto impress others. In addition, studies show that by the time a child is four years old, he will lie about every two hours on a daily basis.
By the time he turns 6, he’ll cut down the time between lies to about an hour and a half.
Reasons why Adults LieAdults, like children, will lie to escape punishment as well as impress others too.
However, they will also prevaricate for the following reasons as well:
- People lie because they are greedy, or want to gain something by deceptive means.
- People will also tell a lie to salvage their dignity.
- Lying takes place in the workplace to shift the blame from the liar to another employee or to cover for an omission.
Most Lies Develop out of a Sense of FearMost people lie though out of a sense of fear. That’s why people fall for the exaggerated claims of advertising. People fear they will not be acceptable to society or their peers if they don’t buy a certain product.
The Types of Fears that Lead to LyingWhen it comes to lying in relationships or at work though, the reason for the falsehood may include a fear of conflict, a fear of loss, or a fear of harm. People lie to obtain another’s respect and even for altruistic reasons too.