Lying is one of the sins named in the Bible. It has the potential of doing some serious damage in relations or in business. So, how do you stop a liar? Read on.
There is one thing common to us all: black and white, ladies and gentlemen, grownups and kids, well-read and untaught, any kind of us. The fact is – we all lie time to time! So, the difficulty is how to tell if an individual is telling fibs. You can be sure your wife or your husband, your parents or kids, or anybody else lies to you occasionally. But how do you spot it?
Let’s get a deeper look at lies and try to figure this whole thing out. Firstly, let’s see what the Bible has to say about lying. It tells us that all lies come from the evil one (John 8:44). Furthermore, it tells us that the truth is like a standard and all the deviations from it are deceits. There are no such things as half-lie or half-truth.
It’s like the fly in the ointment. Even a “small” lie can ruin the whole situation. Both the Bible and Koran speak against lying. It is one of the sins we continuously battle it due to our nature. However, some people go deeper into the lying swamp, while others are comparably honest folks.
Now, scientists and psychologists have carried out various researches on lying. It is a serious issue and as you know they have even invented a smart machine to fathom it out - lie detector. The fact is lying can do serious damage to a person, their family and career or social life. “We are all largely fictitious, even to ourselves”, - that is what actor Rayner Heppenstall said. And it’s true, too.
One of the stydies carried out by Robert Feldman (psychologist) indicated that people lie, when they lack self-confidence. As soon as that’s threatened, we start lying!
Interesting facts about lies
- In average males articulate 6 lies a day
- Typically women tell only 3 lies a day
- Over 60% of people tell lies to complete strangers
- Adults regularly lie to their kids
- We lie more chatting on the phone, than in person
- “white lies” account for only 10 % of all such activities
- Only 30% of liars truly repent, the rest of them keep on repeating the falsehoods
- Over 80% of adults can easily discern, when they are being lied to
- Most people overrate their lying skills
- We use different parts of brain to tell lies and truth!
Why people lye?
- To get something that would not otherwise be theirs
- To boost their self-esteem
- To avoid being responsible or accountable
- Not to be punished
- To cause pain to someone else
- To feel better for a short period of time
- To use others
- To avoid conflict and stress
- To get ahead of people
- To save the situation
- Lies are rewarded, they pay off
Types of lies
- “White” lies
These we tell, when we do not desire to upset a person or hurt their feelings. A question: Am I too fat? May motivate you to lie and avoid hurting the other person. So, we have a good intention behind those lies. There is no single opinion whether to count “white” lies as sin or not.In some cases, doctors do not tell their patients true diagnosis to help them live longer and happier life. Is that bad? Well, that is up to you and your consciousness.
- Compulsive behavior
A person may suddenly caught at something. They do not have the time to reconsider things. Most commonly these lies are silly and sometimes the easiest to spot. You see, the person asking “Am I too fat?” question is easy to deceive, because they do not want to know the truth.But compulsive liars do it when caught off guard. They do it to protect themselves or to cover up. It’s a case, when people are afraid for you to see them in the true light. They lack the confidence in real selves and try to hide.
- Well thought-out lies
This is the most treacherous type of untruth. It is conscious. It is sin. People prepare to lie, they come up with a strategy to lie and deceive. They lie deliberately and they know exactly what to attain through it. Such behavior is manipulative and fraudulent.
It’s more like a game. Let’s say you are selling something or buying. The seller sets the higher price to bargain, but secretly hopes to full you around and sell well. They name the price, you negotiate, they let it down and tell you: it’s the last bid, but then again lower the price. It’s a cat and mouse game used in negotiations, poker, etc.
- Mental disorder
No wonder that regular lying may lead to such a condition. Or it can be caused by the condition. We know of kleptomania, when people uncontrollably steal things, the same is true here.
How to tell if someone is lying to you
Lying can be very distractive. In business it can cost you thousands of dollars. Plus, most of us hate it on the personal level. We feel devalued, when we are being lied to. These are good reasons to learn how to spot a liar. Mind you, in some cases we willingly become deceived, because truth hurts. We just do not want to hear it or see it. So, we shut our eyes and minds to avoid that. It’s not the best decision one can make in life.
If you do that in relations, sooner or later you would pay higher price for this willing deceit. The same is true about the church or business. So, let’s start and get those clues.
Look for body language
We do not talk with our tongue solely. We talk with the entire body. That is called body language: gestures, posture, signs, etc. Some of them may tell you the individual in front of you is lying. For instance, someone promises you a thing and tell: surely, we can do it. But they are rubbing the back of their head or scratching their neck. Or they finger their mouth and nose. Those all could be the signals of lies. So, understanding body language is crucial.
A person is either unconfident in what they promise, or they lie and hope to get away with it. This works especially if you did not notice the person do such gestures before. Suddenly they start doing it. It means they need to calm down and comfort themselves and they are lying. You may watch “Lie to me” series with Tim Roth. It is a fiction, but it provides much information on the matter. (http://www.tv.com/shows/lie-to-me/watch/)
- Eye contact
“Eyes are the window to the soul”, - so the proverb goes. If a person is shunning looking you in the eye, they might be hiding something or being ashamed of themselves. They are trying to mislead you. Especially, if they rapidly change the behavior rapidly.Or, the liar may look or even stare you in the eyes too much! They look at you to see, if you have bought into their lies or not. It makes sense. So, watch out for such signs.
- Watch their legs
Our limbs (legs and arms) are hard to control. They sort of live on their own, when a person is lying. Involuntarily we make such movements, as standing up on the toes or joggling the feet up and down. Moving the toes of the feet up and down may mean a person is trying to tell you a falsehood.
- Watch their language
When lying most people tend to use formal language.
They would not use contractions, slang, etc. The usual pattern of speaking may change. Plus, they may use your own words of the question to answer you: did you cheat on me? - No. (Honest answer). No, I did not cheat on you! They need all those extra words to get their false point across.
- Watch their mouth
Most lies literally stay in the mouth. Like an insincere smile, it does not go all the way up into the eyes. It does not form the small wrinkles around them. It’s just in the lips and the mouth. So, when folks lie, their mimics sort of get frozen. They articulate it, but the face muscles do not support in on the subconscious level.
- Watch their actions
In many cases liars automatically place some objects between them and you. They try subconsciously to distance away from you. Their hands work on their own and build a wall to protect them and keep you away.
- Watch for overcompensations
These people may overcompensate, when they stare you in the eyes, but they also may put in too much detail. As if such a story sounded more credible.
- Run a test on them
When we tell the true story, we can narrate it both ways: from start to end and backwards. Just try to do that with a liar! The events are fake and they can never memorize them well enough to repeat in reverse order.
You have the clues on how to tell if an individual is lying. But once you spot a liar, what do you do. How do you confront them? It’s a good question. There is no one for all answer, but that what the Bible gives us: hold on to the truth and overcome lies with truth. That’s the only remedy out there. Still, you can do some workable things to handle this problem.
- Confront the liar (we teach others how to treat us. If we let the lie to us, they will keep on doing it)
- Abate the lies (when you know a person is constantly exaggerating, just count on it and cut what they say by half)
- Cut off the communication
- Do not try to control a liar
- Double check what they say or threaten to do so
- Let them know you have discovered their lies
These tips are practical and doable. You can make your life safer and nicer, if you know how to tell if someone is lying. Just pay attention and make sure you do not WANT to hear the lie, but are always ready for the truth. No matter how bitter it might be.