It’s something we all do, and it’s as natural to humans as eating and drinking. Whether you’ve been a bit of a naughty boy on a night out or you can’t be bothered going into work, being a good liar can seriously make your life easier. Here’s our guide to lying and how to get away with it…
Do it as little as possible and do it for something important
One of the reasons liars get caught out is the fact that they lie too much. Pathological liars, who cannot stop themselves lying inevitably end up getting caught out what with their web of lies getting so complex it eventually trips them up. Expert liars don’t lie that often, they save their ammunition for something they really want and need.
Do your groundwork
It sounds obvious, but so many people are caught out due to their failure to prepare. A study in 1990 by the eminent psychologist, Bill Flanagan, found that liars who had taken the time to prepare their ‘story’ had a success rate that was significantly more than those people who simply made up a lie ‘on the spot’. Working out the backstory of your lie gives it a sense of credibility in your own head and thus exhibits more credibility when told to others.
Being good at lying is like being a good salesman; you need to be able to get inside your subject’s head. You need to understand and empathise with them, which will help you avoid making mistakes that could raise suspicions. Understanding what they will want to hear will not only make your lie more effective, but also make it easier to cover your tracks.
Consistency is key
Being a successful liar isn’t easy; in fact, it’s bloody hard work! Keeping your story consistent is absolutely crucial and it takes a lot of work to keep everything in line. One of the major reasons why liars are found out is that they tell different stories to different people, who then speak to each other and start comparing notes. Ensure you are consistent; write things down if you have to. But be careful nobody finds these scribblings though!
The act of lying is an inherently negative activity, and it can be difficult to ‘play the long game’ and continue with a lie indefinitely. Lying is a negative and ultimately unpleasant activity to continue to do, so you need a strategy to deal with this. The very best liars learn to enjoy lying, and actively relish in the process of deceiving people. They don’t have any remorse or shame, and this confidence enables them to go on lying successfully.
Watch your body language
Fidgeting, breaking eye contact, and stuttering are commonly thought of as dead giveaways for lying. They may well be on some occasions, but it can somewhat more complex. What is a giveaway is a fundamental shift in your normal body language. So, if you start gesturing significantly more or less than usual or the way you speak changes noticeably, then these are red flags. Practice makes perfect, so try and get plenty of practice controlling those non-verbal signs or else you may be found out pretty damn quick!
Good liars are natural manipulators, and come into their own when suspicions are raised. The best example of this is in the film Basic Instinct when cops interrogate Sharon Stone’s character. Under pressure, the famous leg-uncrossing scene where she gives the cops a bit of a ‘flash’ is a master class in sexual and emotional manipulation. Immediately moving the pressure from her to them, finding out whether she is a liar is now the last thing on their minds, and gives her time to regain her composure. To be fair, as a bloke, using Sharon’s tactic just isn’t going to work (you’re going to look just plain weird), so you’re going to come up with your own…
Go on the attack
If you’re being challenged on your lie, than a counterattack can be a good tactic. If you were accused of something when you weren’t lying you’d be incandescent with rage. So, why be any different when lying! Counterattacking and putting your accuser on the back foot really takes the pressure off you and can look like the actions of someone who is genuinely upset at being accused.
So, there you have it, our guide to lying and how to get away with it. If you do get caught out though, don’t blame us. We’ll just deny all knowledge…