Sanctuary for the Abused

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Liar, Liar?


How to tell when you're not exactly
being told the straight story

By Cynthia Hubert

You think you can tell when he's lying. His eyes dart back and forth. He can't keep his hands still. He stutters and stumbles over his words.

Deception is written all over him, right? Not necessarily.

Nailing a fibber is not nearly as easy or instinctive as most people think, say scientists, authors and other keen observers of the art of deception.

"There is no simple checklist," says Gregory Hartley, a former military interrogator who applies the techniques he used on enemy combatants in a new book for civilians, "How To Spot a Liar."

But with a little practice, Hartley insists, you, too, can become a human lie detector.

It is a skill that has challenged us through the ages, says Dallas Denery, a professor of medieval history at Bowdoin College in Maine who is working on a book about the history of lying. "The problem of lies and liars has been with us forever," he says. "In the Judeo-Christian tradition, history really begins with a lie, with Adam and Eve and the serpent."

Fast forward to modern times and a 2002 study suggesting that most people lie in everyday conversation. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts observed people talking for 10 minutes and found that 60 percent of them lied at least once, telling an average of two to three fibs. Some of the lies were benign, but others were extreme, including one person who falsely claimed to be a rock star.

"We didn't expect lying to be such a common part of daily life," one of the researchers, Robert Feldman, observed after the study was published.

Over the years, CIA agents, police detectives, psychologists, lawyers and others have tried a variety of methods to identify liars, from polygraph machines to "voice stress analysis" to analysis of barely perceptible facial movements that can give away hidden feelings. None of the techniques has been foolproof.

And the search for the truth continues. The science of liars and lying remains a hot topic in research circles, and book after book offers the latest theory about how to tell when a spouse is cheating, a witness is lying in court or a car salesman is overstating the value of a vehicle.

Check out just a few of the titles on the subject at www.amazon.com: "Lies and Liars: Pinocchio's Nose and Less Obvious Clues," "Liar! A Critique of Lies and the Act of Lying," "When Your Lover Is a Liar," and "The Concise Book of Lying." It's enough to shatter your trust in humanity.

John Mayoue, an Atlanta divorce lawyer who has represented famous clients - including Jane Fonda in her breakup with Ted Turner - says lying is rampant in his business.

"In the courtroom, there is no end to the lying, particularly if money is at stake," Mayoue says. "The more money, the bigger the lies."
The greatest lie in relationships, he says, is "Honey, I love you but I'm no longer in love with you. That's someone's way of saying they're cheating on you."
The Internet culture has made lying practically a sport, Mayoue observes. "You just have to assume that you're in the midst of a liar's ball when you're online," he says. "It's a fantasy realm. I can't see you. I can't look at signals. I can't test you. There is no verification."
 
In court and in daily life, Mayoue believes, a person's eyes tell the truest story.

"Looking at someone in an unwavering manner and answering the question is very telling," he says. "When I see eyes shift side to side and up and down, it just causes suspicion."

Hartley, the former interrogator, agrees that body language can hint at deception. But not always, he says. "Your eyes drift naturally when you're searching for information," he says. "I've never met anyone who doesn't move their eyes when looking for details."

The key to uncovering a lie, he says, is knowing how the liar behaves normally, when he or she is relaxed, and picking up on changes in voice patterns, eye movement and other body language.

"You've got to ask the right questions, then observe how that person responds," Hartley says.

Signs of stress, which may signal that someone is lying, include flared nostrils and audible breathing, shaky hands and elbows moving closer to the ribs, according to Hartley.
"Stress does horrible things to our brains," he says. "Stress hormones can virtually turn off your brain and make you become reactive."
For the most notorious liars, the tendency to fib may be biological, suggests a study by researchers at the University of Southern California.
Pathological liars, the scientists found, have structural differences in their brains that could affect their abilities to feel remorse and learn moral behavior and might give them an advantage in planning deceitful strategies, the researchers discovered.
Other scientists have suggested that pathological liars owe their behavior to the psychiatric diagnosis known as narcissism, and may truly believe their own falsehoods.

But the average, everyday fibber lies to achieve a goal, says communication expert Laurie Puhn, author of the best-selling book "Instant Persuasion, How To Change Your Words To Change Your Life." Most people lie to avoid hurting someone's feelings, to avoid a commitment or a task, to cover up bad behavior or to elevate themselves professionally or personally, she says.

Puhn advises people who suspect someone is lying to ask unexpected questions, look for contradictions in their statements and ask a follow-up question a couple of days later about the suspected lie.
"If someone says they had to work late to deal with a new client and you are suspicious, ask them about it a week later," she says. "They're likely to answer, 'What new client?' It's hard for liars to keep their lies straight."
Bettyanne Bruin, who parlayed her experiences with a former partner into a book and a support group for people who have been deceived, says the first step toward detecting a liar is overcoming denial.
"People tend to ignore the red flags," says Bruin, author of "Shattered: Six Steps From Betrayal to Recovery." "Their gut tells them what is going on, but they really do want to believe the best about the person they love."

The most critical sign that a partner is lying, she says, is defensiveness.
"Liars are very defensive when you question them," says Bruin. "They will become very resistant and angrier and angrier upon each attempt to probe." Often, she says, they make their partners feel guilty about questioning them. "They'll say, 'You're being unreasonable,' or 'Why are you treating me this way?'"
Types of lies
Joseph Tecce, an associate professor of psychology at Boston College who has studied liars and lying, identifies six types of untruths, some more egregious than others.

He classifies them as:

The 'protective' lie, which can shield the liar from danger.

The 'heroic' lie, created to protect someone else from danger or punishment.

The 'playful' lie, such as an angler's fib about the size of his fish.

The 'ego' lie, designed to shield someone from embarrassment.

The 'gainful' lie, which somehow enriches the fibber.

And the 'malicious' lie, told to deliberately hurt someone else.

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shared by Barbara at 12:30 AM


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4 Comments:

Reading this article makes me want to SCREAM! Blah, blah, blah, blah and blah!!!!! Read it a second time and PAY ATTENTION! THERE ARE NO SURE WAYS TO TELL IF SOMEONE IS LIEING EXCEPT TO CHECK FOR PSYCHOPATHY FIRST WITH AN MRI. (And this only shows that they don't care about telling the truth, they may use a truth or lie. Doesn't matter a bit to them.)

"Signs of stress, which may signal that someone is lying, include flared nostrils and audible breathing, shaky hands and elbows moving closer to the ribs, according to Hartley." PEOPLE, this can ALSO be the reaction of someone WITH SEVERE PTSD AFTER YEARS OF EMOTIONAL RAPE BY A PSYCHOPATH!

ALWAYS be suspect when someone is writing, or has written a book/paper/article and put their name on it. They may try to encapusulate their trite garbage into a nice neat little package and present it in such a way that all your questions and concerns are seemingly answered. NO! The "protective" lie on and on. People, we have swallowed so much psychology garbage that we are swimming in sewage! Those of us with a conscience have learned to deny every single feeling and make every plausible excuse for the psychopath's evil behavior but it is all just turning on us. Psychopath's are EXACTLY the same but are now being born in droves as we don't monitor any part of our behavior and everything is "okay". Doing whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever and wherever you want isn't freedom, it's anarchy! I've paraphrased this quote but come on! We see the results of this!

Here we go, let's present and explain this "latest and greatest" way of fixing society, but sadly, let's see how many buy this lie. "I believe in the "Snuggle theory." This is a very good theory in my opionin as I thought of it and I'm so smart. This theory states that if you just snuggle all hard enough, long enough, standing just the right way, when the moon or sun is shining just right, all will be well and you will amazingly fix everybody! If this fails for you, it is ALL YOUR FAULT AS YOU WEREN'T DOING IT JUST RIGHT! Now start with rabid animals, rapists, murderer's and pedophiles who have been checked by MRI's and are psychopaths. Come on, this SHOULD work because, as I stated earlier, I'm so smart. Oh, and WORSHIP ME!" (You may want to use a tissue to wipe up the sarcasm dripping from the previous statement.)

9:48 PM  

I am so grateful for this site where I can tell my truth and be validated. Isn't it crazy making how the liars can be believed by most people due to their charm, while the survivors of abuse are ridiculed and punished. I've always wondered about that.

I am working toward leaving my husband which is a stop and start again process. It's a bit scary right now because I have not been able yet to find a place to go and stay. But I'm hanging in there and praying to find something that will work.

Here's the relevance to this article. He lies constantly and does it without any anxiety. His "explanations" are smooth and calm and if I bring up *anything*, he blames me without hesitation. He is addicted to violent porn - always was - just hides it really well. He is 60 years old and solicits 18 year old prostitutes (sorry to talk about this). Just today he said he was going to his usual morning exercise class, but took a shower and put on cologne before leaving the house. I knew he was headed for a prostitute meeting *again*. When he got home much later than expected, I asked about his time and he said he had run some errands. He talked so smoothly with no anxiety. Wow - just wow. True sociopath feeling entitled to do whatever he wants.

He has invited prostitutes to our house while I am gone, but I found out about his plans through his texts and now I make sure I am home when he has free time. I cannot even trust him to keep our house safe. I talked to the police about strangers in my house while I am at work and they said they would come by for a house check anytime I requested it so that helps me stay calm.

I am so glad I have knowledge now of what he is. It has taken me 5 years to wrap my mind around all this enough to decide to leave. And I know to be careful and plan my escape. I have a lawyer and have been able to collect most of the information I need for a draft separation agreement.

He is arrogant enough to leave everything on his computer and cell phone. I have documented his phone calls, texts and e-mails. I can track his every move which I believe keeps me safe at this point. My knowledge of what he is and what he is doing keeps reality in the front of my mind all the time which I need. Some days I am really anxious because I have to be here knowing what he is. But without the great advice from sites like these, I would be making so many mistakes right now.

I know not to confront him about his lies. I know to play along - to a point - I do my best to avoid him. I know to not disturb the mask he wears in public. I know to make a plan and get out.

I bothers me that he will visit a prostitute and then want to kiss / have sex with me. He has no consideration for my safety and health and would give me an STD without hesitation or regret. This is such a roller coaster ride and such a tough place to be - making plans but not out yet.

I pray to stay calm and focused and safe. Thank you for this site where I can read great articles and learn and plan my future without a sociopath husband. Thank you for a place where I can post safely and have no worries of betrayal.

He is a very smooth liar - I wonder if even a professional could catch him. Thank God for what I have learned - otherwise I would have NO idea. He really is that disordered.

7:14 PM  

You should not say anything. Do not confront him. Just secretly file for divorce and leave him. I did the same. I stayed married 20 years. Accepting his pervertness. His porn addiction. His posting naked pictures of him. His exchanging nude photos with his female cop co workers. His crazy making. His manipulation. His abuse. I finally had it. Yes, it is extremely difficult to finally end it. I am 49 years old but I had it with him. Cut of all contact. Hire the best attorney you can find. Borrow money if you have to. Take him to court and make him pay. I did and I won. It feels so good to be in control. Good luck. I feel for you.

10:40 PM  

Lack of empathy makes you a really good liar. It's hard to tell when Narc/Psycho/Sociopath is telling the truth, they show no remorse, it's easy for them to lie. I've had experience with 2, one could pass lie detector with flying colors, the other one explained his special technique where he would stare at the person without breaking an eye contact while continuing to lie and also deny if caught in a lie. Both charming and good talkers,perfect salesmen. They show no signs of stress, voice change or shaky hands while conning you. They are great actors, lying is easy for them.

2:42 AM  

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