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Lying: Governments and Weiners Lie! Really?!

Defense Secretary Gates tells Congress that governments lie and that's just the way business is done.  Congressman Weiner admits he lied and resigns from Congress.  It amazes me how many people act surprised.  What doesn't surprise me as how may people missed all the lies and lying done by both.

First, if we are the victims of lies and liars, 50% of the fault lies with us.  Think about it.  Lies are only successful because somebody has to believe them.

Second, people miss at least 50%of the lies that happen right in front of them.  Why?

  1. We are looking for the wrong lie cues.  Ah, er, um uh, bad eye contact, eye movement left or right, fidgeting, crossing arms or legs, playing with clothes or grooming behaviors are just a few of the human behaviors wrongly identified as signs of lying.
  2. We miss the very few signs of deception. Micro expressions that demonstrate contradictions in messages, memory lapses, skipping blocks of time, surgical denial do have some statisical link to deception.
  3. Finally, the biggest reason we misidentify honesty and deception in others is personal bias.  We don't believe the person / government / politician could or would lie to us OR the person / government / politician would do nothing but lie to us.

What really hurts in the long run however is the damage that is done by deception.  Think of the major decisions made by governments, their leaders, and their people as the result of failing to spot deception or wrongly assuming that they are the victims of deception.

On a personal level, how many critical decisions do we make every day?  Are we making those decisions based on information given to us by someone who intentionally means to deceive or mislead us?  How many decisions would be different if we knew at that moment that someone was lying to us?  

Whether governments, the "Weiners", political leaders, sports figures, business leaders, friends, associates, Hollywood stars, we will always be targets for those who want to deceive us..

Until we learn how to accurately spot deception and acknowledge that even the people we respect are capable of lying to us, we will continue to be victims of deceit.

Just my thoughts…

Stan B. Walters, CSP
"The Lie Guy®"