Regardless of whether we’re trying to spare a thought for somebody’s feelings, protect ourselves from punishment or are working to gain certain advantages, humans have an innate ability to lie. According to psychologists, the ability to lie – or manipulate the expectations of those around us – is a mandatory skill for social creatures such as ourselves.
In fact, we are so good at deceiving that most of the time we end up believing the lies we’ve told others and even create our own web of lies in order to maintain the best possible image about ourselves. However, since there are many factors involved in proficient misleading, not all people are good at this. Let’s review the top 10 skills effective liars rely on to trick others.
1. Have a strong motivation to misinform
The key to becoming a successful liar is to attempt to trick as little as possible and that means, only when you really have to. Take the pathological deceivers for instance, they practically tell others so many little fake stories that it’s impossible not to catch on to them. A truth master in the art of deception will not resume to fabrications, unless he is absolutely sure that he has something to gain from it.
2. Practice makes perfect
The reason why many liars get caught so easily is because they invent their stories on the spot. The problem with this approach consists of the fact that your body language will give you away. At the same time, since the details are fabricated on the spot, you will have a hard time remembering all of them. By repeating the fake scenario in your head and learning all the details, you have a higher chance of getting people to believing you.
3. Lie by telling the truth
This technique is commonly known as telling a misleading truth, which many today find unethical. The main difference between the truth and a misleading truth comprises of the latter being a half-truth that cannot be contested. For instance, let’s assume a friend invites you out and you are not really in the mood to socialize that day; while the truth would be to tell him you are not in mood, a misleading truth would be to tell him that you are already meeting somebody later on. As a side note, the key to the efficient of this technique is to avoid many follow-up questions.
4. Get to know your “victim”
In order to deceive somebody and determine him to accept your point of view, you will need to learn how to become an active listener. The ability to listen to your interlocutor has the advantage of allowing you to learn many of the things that make that person tick. Considering that you know what makes that person tick, you see how it is easy to deceiver him/her. Basically, if you are well-aware of your interlocutor’s interest, favorite activities and his general perspective on things, it will become much easier for you to cover your tracks.
5. Work on the details of the story diligently
The primary reason why most fabrications are brought to light comprises of the various dissimilar details that the liars provide to different people. Once those people meet and talk about the “story”, then it is just a matter of time before the lie is unveiled. Effective deceivers first nail down all the details of their lie before they share it with the rest of the world.
6. Be committed to your statement
Many people make bad liars because they find the activity unpleasant, uncomfortable and want to get it over with as soon as possible. However, as police interrogators put it, the psychological struggle inside surfaces easily and it is most visible from the uncontrollable gestures and facial expressions. A good deceiver will never show shame, relief, guilt and most importantly, will stand by his initial statement. On a side note, this explains why changing an official statement is viewed with doubt.
7. Learn to control your body language
As previously mentioned, people feel uncomfortable about misleading others and that can be noticed via their body language. To be more precise, when somebody is telling a fake story, he is very likely to fidget, stutter, touch their nose, hair or neck and have the proverbial shifty-eye look. As a side note, it is necessary to mention that these gestures should not be interpreted individually, but rather as a complex of indicators. Simply put, a person that is constantly touching her nose and afterwards takes a tissue to blow his nose is not necessarily lying and perhaps is just having a cold.
8. Proper use of distractions
In the eventuality that you are about to be exposed, then it is time to use distracters to manipulate the person you are deceive. In other words, if the interlocutor becomes suspicious, then a good liar will open another topic, become emotional, diverge the attention onto an unrelated activity/object, accuse his interlocutor, so on and so forth. The classic example in this direction is the Hollywood box office hit “Basic Instinct”.
9. Retaliate when you are being accused
Even though numerous people feel uneasiness when tricking others, it is important to note that even more feel embarrassed of accusing the deceiver. However, if the interlocutor will started pointing fingers, then there is one solution to restore your credibility: counterattacks. Just take a look at the way the politicians respond to uncomfortable questions for instance: first, they stand by their statement and defend it with a certain level of aggressiveness. If the interviewer does not back out and keeps pushing on the topic, then the next step comprises of forcing the critics to use their resources elsewhere, by diverting their attention to another topic.
10. Bargaining can get you off the hook
Bargaining is an efficient means of escape when the liar is finally caught. In general, this technique is utilized whenever the deceiver is trying to dodge his responsibility for the lie so that his interlocutor will not be so angry or react very harshly.