Telling the whole truth is something that few of us can do reliably. In fact, most of us tell a lie or two to get ourselves through any given day. There are plenty of good reasons to lie, and some of them are even ethical. If you’re going to go through life, the ability to successfully spin lies, and spot the ones being spun by other people, can be enormously useful. Here are a few tips on how to spot a liar…
What common lies do people tell?
According to research commissioned by the Lenstore, an online retailer specialising in contact lenses, around 38% of Brits have claimed to be busy doing something else in order to avoid a social engagement. This is a kind of understandable lie – most of us want to spare the feelings of the person we’re spurning. In second place on 30% was the claim not to have seen a message or email, which might be justified using the same logic.
Around 27% of Brits will say that they’re OK when they’re not – perhaps because they don’t want to talk about the subject in question. 15% will lie about the cost of something, in order to either demonstrate their saving-finding prowess or to pretend to be more financially capable than they really are. Then there’s the 15% who will claim to have enjoyed a meal that they, in fact, did not enjoy.
Men tend to be more prolific liars, according to the research, but women are more likely to lie about being busy, and not seeing messages.
Of course, there’s a flaw in this study, and that’s that the most committed liars might have no difficulty in lying to the people conducting the research.
What is a white lie?
A white lie is a small lie, which can be justified on the grounds that it will spare someone’s feelings. For example, if someone asks you if you enjoyed the spaghetti you’ve just been served, you might automatically respond that it’s delicious. By the same token, you might tell your children that Santa Claus comes to deliver them presents every year.
How can you spot lies?
There are certain tells which might reveal a lie. A person’s eyes might look around the room, instinctively, in order to avoid eye contact. By the same token, a person might close their eyes, temporarily. On the other hand, squinting, eye-fluttering and making excessive eye contact might all indicate a lie. A skilled liar will be able to suppress these tells.
If you play poker with someone, then you might notice other subconscious body-language signals which might indicate a lie. A person might scratch their chin whenever they have a strong hand, or bite their lower lip. Spotting these signals can have implications that go beyond the poker table!
Learning how to spot a liar and their particular lies can be a very useful tool in life.
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