How to Deal with a Liar

How to deal with a liar? The truth is, if you can handle it, behavioral scientists report that during a 10-minute conversation people will lie two to three times, and if we are people, these statistics are true for you and me, too.

That’s a hard pill to swallow because we don’t like to be lied to, and we don’t like to be thought of as a liar, so we try to cover it up with withholding otherwise negative information (which is the unspoken lie of a weak-kneed chicken-hearted person, or people-pleaser). I know, “But I was trying to be nice,” but it’s still a lie.

And if you’re sensitive or aware enough to know when someone is lying to you, guess what? You’re wrong 47 percent of the time, so the joke’s on you.

Think law enforcement, CIA and lie detector professionals fare any better? Well, they do. They’re only wrong 40 percent of the time. Even with all the technology and behavioral science we can muster, only a seven percent increase in actual detection of a lie.

Even so, when you catch someone in a lie, it seems like such a betrayal or breach of trust how could anyone not take it personally?

So, what do you do when you catch someone in a lie?

Well, there are a couple of ways to approach the fact that someone has lied to you (assuming you know the facts, and that there is no other option than you’ve actually witnessed a bold-faced lie first hand).

Your first option is not to do anything, understanding that people lie all the time, and this person felt the inclination or need to lie based on any number of life circumstances and situations, and who knows? If you’d lived the same life and been faced with the same options at that particular point in time of your life, you may have responded the same way. Who knows? It could happen.

On the other hand, you could just laugh it off and make a joke of it, like it’s really no big deal. In this scenario, you might laughingly hint to what they might have said as being inaccurate or an exaggeration, without having to put the person on the spot. This gives them the un-threatened time and space to review what they’ve said and maybe consider approaching a more accurate story after they’ve had a chance to work it out for themselves.

You could take the Columbo approach, another non-threatening tactic, pretending that you’ve had a memory lapse, or appear to be confused because you’ve been juggling a lot of information that has become overwhelming and confusing. With this approach, you can query the person at leisure, by playing dumb, while continuing to ask questions to clarify your confusion, you’re likely to end up with a more accurate picture after some continued communication exchange.

Then, of course, there is the more direct option, which is to challenge their lie face-to-face, eye-to-eye. While this is the most direct approach, this is by far the most difficult and there is little or no margin for error. You must have your facts in order, in such a way so as not to be challenged yourself, or you could be labelled as a liar. In this direct fashion of facing off with the liar, it might be best done in private, or with others who may have been affected by the lie. Either way, be direct, keep control of your emotions, deal with the facts, and let the chips fall where they may.

Report the lie, if you feel the need to, to the proper authorities, manager(s), employers, agency, or victim, but if you do, keep it unemotional and stick only to the facts. Don’t use conjecture, accuse or try to speculate why this person feels as though they had to lie about anything. And if you are motivated by fear, anger or revenge, do not report it – at least not now – wait until you can make a report with complete control of your faculties. Often, after you’ve given yourself time to cool down, you might think that it wasn’t as much of a crisis as it felt like at the time, and you’ve avoided someone’s thinking that you’re over-reactive.

Above all, make note that you’re dealing with someone who has the propensity to lie. Try to cover your back by documenting all communication with this person. Try to communicate by verifiable methods such as email or texting. If this person is a highly advanced liar, they will not commit their words to writing. No problem, pay very close attention to what they say, noting the day(s), time(s), place(s) and player(s), then summarize their statement to him or her in a text or email just to confirm that you understood them correctly.

Deception by Withholding

“I didn’t lie to you.”

That’s what the deceiver says when being confronted by the truth coming out about something they knew would rather have kept secret. That’s why they did not disclose it in the first place. But the crafty deceiver holds fast to the idea that because they didn’t actually say anything that was untrue, so their superior intellect and “morals” are supported by the idea that they did not lie.

The question that comes up in counseling is, “Is withholding really lying, since they haven’t actually verbalized a lie?” Good question. While there are hundreds of possibilities, it largely depends on the participants and their belief systems. But regardless of what your belief is (even if you think it’s okay for you to do) when it happens to you, all of a sudden it doesn’t seem so right.

From a trained Catholic point of view there are two types of sins; the sin of commission and the sin of omission. In terms of lying, actually telling a lie would be a sin of commission, while withholding would be a sin of omission, both sharing equal consequence. Regarding the sin of omission, Jesus’ brother says, “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17) which incorporates so much more than the unspoken words, actually including the right thing(s) one should have done but didn’t do.

But in a relationship, is it really all that bad to purposefully not disclose certain information that really wouldn’t accomplish anything but hurt someone’s feelings? Someone who thinks this way might say,

“I’m not lying, and I don’t see the need to hurt someone’s feelings when I didn’t really do anything wrong.”

This is due to the gray area representing activities or indiscretions that could have been worse.

An example might go something, like this…

Let’s say your boyfriend says,

“My friend’s mom is sick and he has to go to meet with his attorney and go to night court and he wants me to be there with her, while he’s gone.”

This doesn’t seem unreasonable so your boyfriend heads out to his friends house. He has his cell phone with him, so you can stay in touch.

His last text at 8:40 pm says,

“I forgot my charger, battery’s dying. I will text you when I get home.”

In this day and age, that could happen. You might even remember a time when your phone died, like that.

A couple of weeks later, you run into a girlfriend who saw him at a concert that night, and you assume she must be confused, because you know where he was that night.

As it turns out, the truth was that he did go over to his friend’s house to sit with his mother while he took care of his legal issues, but what he neglected to tell you was that he went to the concert with friends.

Regardless of what else may have happened, you were not made aware of his other friend’s extra concert ticket, and he neglected to tell you that, because he thought you might get mad, if you’d have known. Since nothing bad happened (like copulation), there was really no harm in sparing your feelings needlessly.

He may justify or think, he was only looking out for your best interest in the omission.

Whether his concern was innocent, or not, the fact remains there was purposeful deception. In this scenario, the boyfriend indirectly lied as he omitted critical and important details, to deceive. With the intention of allowing you to believe all is well, and there was no opportunity for transgression.

Another example might be the urge to use a vague response to a question like, “What did you do last night?” A vague answer might be, “Oh, nothing, really.”

The key here is to remember that it’s just not sociopaths who use these slick methods of deception. People just like you and me do it also because we know that it’s wrong to lie, so we don’t want to do that. Because we have a conscious, it somehow feels better to tell some of the truth and to leave out the pertinent details that might otherwise cause needless confusion or conflict.

No one can really say if it’s right or wrong, but the truth is, if you feel sighted, hurt, betrayed, or indirectly lied to, then it’s definitely not a good thing. This is not a healthy state of mind to be in for very long.

We all deceive using different motives, such as making ourselves appear to have it more together than we actually do, to hide sensitive details or information (which may have negative consequences), and to hurt someone (maliciously, or in self-defense).

So what can you do when someone has hurt your feelings by withholding information?

Try to avoid labeling him or her as a liar. Allow him or her the opportunity to disclose the non-disclosed portion of the story on their own. Try to keep your emotions in check and instead try to think about why he or she would feel the need to withhold. Maybe some counseling might be in order, if they have unresolved issues, addictions, or trauma from the past.

Communicate where your boundary is on undisclosed information, make sure he or she understands, and hope this doesn’t happen in the future, while keeping in mind that you cannot change someone or expect them to change on command. The best you can do is to communicate your expectations and hope for the best. And if you find you cannot live with this type of behavior, then you must do what is right for you.

No one expects anyone to be 100% honestly disclosing everything 24/7, that would be unreasonable and abusive.

Love Lies Why Lovers Lie

Why Do Lovers Lie?

When you enter into a committed relationship, an evolution takes place. As time goes on couples experience a metamorphosis as each of the participants grows and changes interdependently. Though they may be “one flesh” in the utmost romantic sense, they are still separate individuals both trying to do the best they can with what they have.

The only thing that truly bonds a couple together is the level of integrity and trust they have one for the other. If we can trust impeccably, be open and honest, we have the main ingredients of a highly successful and long lasting love life together. For if we do not have trust, what do we have?

As each lover evolves, there may be moments in time when they may be out of sync with their counterpart. What then?

Do you say, “This isn’t working for me; see ya,” as you depart with little concern for the former mate left behind?

Or do you lie and say, “I love you. Everything’s okay. You mean the world to me, nothing could come between us.”

Relationships are hard and no matter how we try to establish hard and fast rules for relationships, it is nearly impossible to have textbook answers for every conceivable scenario. We, as human beings, are far too complex for that.

While there are liars who selfishly lie to the extreme (we call them pathological liars) without regard to others (even if it appears to not be necessary to lie at all), alternatively we are talking about compassionate liars cohabitating in the space somewhere within the bounds of love.

While being totally open and honest are vastly important in relationships, being too open and honest can easily render a relationship null and void. Sometimes in a long term romance, the ability to lie is not only warranted, but may be a necessary component of romantic survivability.

Indeed, a long-term successful and loving relationship between two people consists or a delicate balance between truthfulness and deceit. Just ask any individual alone and off-camera who is part of a successful couple that has enjoyed a state of relationship bliss for many years what is the secret to their long-standing love affair? The answer (if conveyed honestly) will reference the delicate balance between truth and lies.

Why lie in a loving relationship?

For the sake of the big picture, in a selfless effort to preserve all that is sacred in a relationship, the occasion may (and often will) arise when the importance and reverence for the relationship exceeds the need to assert an opinion, fact or truth which might cause harm to the sacredness of the couple’s bond. Thereby justifying a bit of tale-telling to ease past what might have been a difficult situation that may have compromised the relationship or led to its dissolution altogether.

Let’s assume for a moment that the emotional spectrum of a relationship spans from love and acceptance on one end and anger and judgment on the other. Lovers often balance delicate of critical issues by where the consequence will end up on this spectrum. The unbridled truth may end up putting the relationship at risk by hurling it all the way into anger and judgment, while a love lie might not put the relationship at risk at all.

We learned this method of mitigating emotional-charged relationships in our youth. Where the truth may have sent our parents into a fury-filled emotional outburst with negative results, a little lie would sidestep the darkness and pain of disappointment and or impending punishment, and all was well.

I’m not saying it’s wrong or right. No two relationships can possibly be compared and everyone needs to find their own way. These types of “love lies” for the most part will go by completely unnoticed, except in the instances where the deception is interrupted by the otherwise naïve other lover. If we are honest, we would all admit that we do this to some degree without intent of malice.

In fact, we may tell a love lie because we love, honor and respect our mate so much, that we might do or say anything in support of the other and increase our love one for the other, even though our heart may not be totally vested at that particular moment in time. In most cases the love lie goes unnoticed and a greater love prevails.

When the one of the lovers discovers a love lie unawares, the couple needs to address the issue of the existence of this kind of deceit within the relationship. Each couple will have their own unique strategy for dealing with these types of inconsistencies.

The hardest road of all for a couple to attempt to maintain is that of complete and utter honesty regardless of the feelings of the other lover. In some cases this can work, but it takes a unique chemistry between two individuals who can manage such a relationship for long.

This is the emotional high road that if navigated correctly, with love and tolerance, without anger or judgment , we simply accept things as they are and allow each other to be without taking the unbridled truth personally or as an assault to be defended against.

For the rest of us, we try to set and manage boundaries for truth and honesty and believe that our love will survive the test of time, if we truly honor and value each other and the relationship as a whole.

Please Lie to Me

Lies. We hear them all day long, every day of our lives and they make us feel good.

Even if the lies are horrific tales, they make us feel better about ourselves… because, after all, it could be worse. We could have been the unfortunate subjects of the tragic lie.

Our parents lie to us about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Disney – the hallmark of all fanciful lies – spins a yarn so incredible, we can help but believe any web they weave, and the liest don’t stop there… We’re just getting started.

Go to school, read a book, watch the news, do a Google search. We’re surrounded by so many lies you couldn’t possibly discern what is truth, even if it was staring you in the face.

Are we all living one big lie?

Ever look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Who is that?” or “Who am I?” and not have any clue as to what the real answer to questions, like that, might be?

please-lie-to-me-it-makes-me-happy

But when you tell me good things about myself – even if they’re not true – doesn’t it make me feel better? And the bigger and more fantastic the lie is about me, the far better it feels. In fact, many of the happiest moments of my life were when I was surrounded and bathed in the most dishonest lies ever told.

Tell me lies: It makes me feel fabulous!

Let’s face it, being lied to makes you happy too.

Why am I happy when I am lied to? Because it feels so good to believe that the best things in life are not only possible, but it makes you feel like you are one of the lucky ones. So lucky, it’s as if you’ve just plucked the winning lottery ticket out of thin air. How much better does it get?

When people lie to me, it makes me happy. Tell me that I am amazing, that I look like a million dollars, that I am handsome or pretty, talented, unique, funny and/or brilliant and I will love it!

Please lie to me, it makes me happy. Don’t we all want a little bit of happiness? Sure, it may not last forever (or very long, for that matter) but in that moment we feel like we’re on top of the world.

Want to make me incredibly blissful? It’s easy; just tell me, “I will do anything to make you happy.” Aargh! You got me! Bull’s-eye! Right to the heart! I am yours!

Lie to me. Tell me that you love me, and make me the happiest person on this planet.

Please lie to me.
When you lie to me it makes me feel like I can do anything.
Please lie to me.
I will believe we can live in a world where we are free.
Please lie to me.
I will believe in true love between two for eternity.
Please lie to me.
I will believe we have a divine destiny.
Please lie to me.
So I can be happy.
Please lie to me.

Be a good liar

This doesn’t mean that you should be massively deceitful, though a high skill level in lying can be hugely effective if wielded masterfully.

What it means is

If you are going to lie, please do so with the best of intentions.

Narcissistic lies are simply destructive. While they may accomplish the desired results in the interim, the long lasting effects can be negative and can lead to the inability to ever be trusted by others.

On the other hand, if you have to lie – at the very least – make sure to make someone happy. There is a better chance of having a more meaningful social impact by telling what are commonly referred to as “white lies,” without malice of intent.

Take a moment to think, before answering,

How does my butt look in these jeans?