How honest are you? Do you always tell the truth?
Of course not!! The question really is not if you lie, but rather how often. I would most definitely not be telling the truth if I declared myself to be a totally honest person. Of course I lie. We all do. Lies are what polite society is built on. If a potential client at a negotiation meeting asks you “How are you?”, do you really want to tell him that you just walked in on your live-in partner doing the dirty with your best friend? Nope, we lie. We say, “Fine, thank you,” and we even put on a sunshine voice for that.
I love statistics!!! Maybe as much as I love politics and politicians. They all lie as well. Research and the subsequent statistics can be interpreted in so many fun and interesting ways – perfect for manipulation to fit our opinions. For this exercise I will freely quote the interesting statistics and factoids I’ve come across in my research:
Apparently men lie twice as much as women. Oh… what a wonderful topic, but I shall not digress. The most common lie for both sexes is: “I’m fine, there’s nothing wrong.” When is the last time you’ve used this one? Honestly, I can’t remember. I would usually say that I’m having a strange day and change the topic.
Other favourite lies for men: “I didn’t have a signal”, “I’m on my way”, “I’m stuck in traffic”.
Other favourite lies for women: “It wasn’t that expensive”, “I don’t know where it is”, “No, I didn’t throw it away”.
Laughing yet? Well, I am smiling while I’m writing this. It reveals so much about our gender differences and also about human nature. Not only do we lie often, but we also are quite gullible in believing other’s lies. It might be because we trust that person or maybe you don’t really care enough about the shop assistant’s opinion of how the dress looks on you.
Whichever way, during my research in preparation for Genevieve’s expertise, I realised that picking up on deception is not as straightforward as books, articles or ‘Lie to Me’ made it out to be. In my next post I will list the nonverbal cues that the experts give us to look for when people are lying. Not even Genevieve (the top world expert, of course!) would be brazen enough to say that she knows exactly if someone is lying. Too many factors come into play and the context is sometimes as important as the words and non-verbal cues.
So… how honest are you? If your friend asks for your opinion, do you give an honest opinion? Do you sugar coat it? Do you lie to protect people’s feelings? Or are you a selfish liar? Are you brutally honest or diplomatically honest? Are you a good liar? A terrible liar? A frequent liar? Should I be careful when I play poker with you?