I sometimes frighten people with how good I am at lying, so maybe I can be helpful. (Note: I only lie for fun, and never, ever to put someone at a disadvantage. I expect that I'd be very poor at lying to put someone at disadvantage.)Anyway, there are two important aspects to a good lie. Far and away the most important is indifference. When we show ourselves to be interested in something, we naturally arouse suspicion. If you ever witness a child trying to lie, you can see how this works: in lying, the intent is to give an incorrect view of a particular fact or set of facts to your victim, and children will go at this as they go at everything, which is to say, directly. So a child will say, apropos of nothing, "I'm going to play in the back yard, but I'm not going to play with matches." As they get older, they learn to just go into the back yard and play with matches without saying anything, and still later they learn to feign an all-but indifferent surprise and curiosity when quizzed about where they're going and what they're going to do. And part of the lesson of progression is that the best lying is done without saying anything: in the vast scope of the things that we do and see, barely any are mentioned to anyone, and merely mentioning something shows that we are not completely indifferent to it.A very important consideration in feigning indifference -- worthy of its own paragraph -- is what you do with your eyes. Our eyes betray us, and you can often tell when someone is trying to lie by how he will take a furtive glance at his intended victim when he has set his hook. It is probably best, as said before, not to mention the matter to be lied about at all, and, when confronted about it, to to give a "what are you talking about?" look to the inquisitor, which look can usually be pulled off without difficulty.The second aspect is detail, and remember again that indifference is far and away more important: the wrong kind of detail can betray an attempt at indifference. The importance of detail is that it allows the victim of the lie to form a strong thought-image of the incorrect facts that are hoped to be imparted upon him, and human beings weigh the truth of things far more by what has strong thought-images in their thinking than by what is actually supported by verifiable evidence. Part of what sells the "what are you talking about?" look mentioned in the prior paragraph is that this look has a very strong thought-image to it, and the powerful thought-image that says "this person has no knowledge let alone any interest in the subject of my inquiry" will offset an awful lot of contradictory facts.Now, one of my more famous lies (at least within my family) is when I told some nephews from whom I had been separated while hiking that I had just rescued a baby moose whose head had been caught in the branches of a tree. The sort of detail that would work in that lie (I probably didn't use this sort of detail; these poor nephews had been woefully underprepared for being lied to, and so were easy marks) would be things indicating what kind of tree it was -- just comment as a matter of fact that the baby moose had been rescued from the tree, and then go into, "Well, I think it was a young poplar. I mean, it had broad leaves with points, but I don't think it was a maple -- I'd recognize a maple, and it wasn't that. There weren't a lot of branches off of it -- which is how a poplar is, isn't it? -- so that's why I think it was a poplar. Yes; I'm pretty sure it was a poplar." This of course leaves the matter of real interest -- pulling a moose calf's head out of a tree -- as something that the audience is concerned about, while it's just a matter of indifference to the liar, who is more concerned with the silly matter of what kind of tree it was. (Note that this sort of diversion is too obvious for adults, but it gives the idea.)Hope that helps!And, anyway, why did you want to lie, Mela?
Last edited by Marsden
on April 22nd, 2004, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.