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Mela
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Posts: 220
Joined: May 13th, 2003, 9:29 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 7:45 am

I just can't. I'm totally stupid when it comes to lying. Or at least not disclosing the whole truth. Most of the time, I can get away with it but just narrowly. And not only that, I blabber. I say things that maybe aren't appropriate or necessary. This is usually work related, but it's a tendency I take into my personal life. But it's not so bad with friends and family.I think it's because I don't think before I speak. I just blurt out the first thing that comes into my head. How can "learn" to lie?(this is a "Dear Abby" topic. I'm sorry.)
 
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kristj
Posts: 25
Joined: February 15th, 2003, 5:47 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 9:03 am

Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.
 
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Nonius
Posts: 5115
Joined: January 22nd, 2003, 6:48 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 11:20 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: MelaI just can't. I'm totally stupid when it comes to lying. Or at least not disclosing the whole truth. Most of the time, I can get away with it but just narrowly. And not only that, I blabber. I say things that maybe aren't appropriate or necessary. This is usually work related, but it's a tendency I take into my personal life. But it's not so bad with friends and family.I think it's because I don't think before I speak. I just blurt out the first thing that comes into my head. How can "learn" to lie?(this is a "Dear Abby" topic. I'm sorry.)So, come out with it, where is our child?
 
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Marsden
Posts: 3829
Joined: August 20th, 2001, 5:42 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 12:07 pm

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.
 
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zerdna
Posts: 3856
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 12:16 pm

Mela, you have a dangerous condition that needs a doctor's attention. I might be able to help, but only if you are in New York, because its a difficult therapy to do long distance. If that's not the case, i advise more interaction with men -- it's proven empirically that the illness you describe was never observed among married women.
 
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Mela
Topic Author
Posts: 220
Joined: May 13th, 2003, 9:29 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 12:33 pm

I had to lie for my boss and I was crap at it! Some one called, he didn't want to pick up, he asked me to tell the guy he wasn't in. Easy enough, but then the guy asked where my boss was and I went to pieces. I actually asked the guy to hold on a minute and went to ask my boss what I should say... God, that was stupid!But this is something that I am just completely bad at. Any one who knows me knows when I'm lying. I think I blush when I lie...Marsden, thanks for the tips.Zerdna: Maybe marriage will be as a last resort!
 
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Marsden
Posts: 3829
Joined: August 20th, 2001, 5:42 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 1:03 pm

You shouldn't have to lie for your boss. You should figure out a way to tell the truth that will meet your needs, although while it is relatively easy to get away with lying, getting away with telling the truth is a real art form. It is very bad to lie to people you work with, even in order to do trivial things like avoiding a phone call. Tell the truth. Say something like, "He was expecting your call, but he has some more things he wanted to put together before he talks with you. Can he call you back when he's ready?" If you say he's out and the person has a real need to talk with him immediately, what are you going to do? Admit that you were lying? Keep the person from talking to him anyway? When you lie for a real purpose (and not just for entertainment value), even in the most trivial things, you show contempt for the person you are lying to. If you have contempt for someone, stop having dealings with him. Getting into the habit of lying both sours relationships and keeps you from accomplishing bigger things, because you have to waste all sorts of thought effort maintaining your deceptive presentations. So tell the truth. And tell your boss that you won't lie for him, although probably better to tell him what you'll say that's the truth rather than to highlight that he has asked you to lie.
Last edited by Marsden on April 22nd, 2004, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Hamilton
Posts: 5976
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 6:25 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 1:06 pm

Melo,Do you understand the difference between the cardinal virtues of Prudence and Temperance?
 
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Marsden
Posts: 3829
Joined: August 20th, 2001, 5:42 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 1:15 pm

(Why do I feel so certain that the real lesson that will follow will be on the "virtues" of Arrogance and Flatulence?)
 
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cvz
Posts: 103
Joined: January 7th, 2003, 9:20 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 1:31 pm

Excellent essay, Marsden. Make up some filler and you could probably write a book.The best example of a good liar I can think of is Hitler. Reading Shirer's account, I was struck by how boldy he would lie, and how many people he would fool. If someone confronts you with evidence that you are about to invade them, adduces a bunch of troops massing on their border, and you simply say something like "No, I'm not," along with the proper uninterested look, being careful not, under any circumstances, to add details to your "argument," it is amazing what you can achieve.In a way, the more evidence you shrug off with a simple "No," the more convicing you become, assuming you possess the proper non-verbal skills as well.
 
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Beavis
Posts: 1205
Joined: June 24th, 2003, 5:04 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 1:56 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: cvzExcellent essay, Marsden. Make up some filler and you could probably write a book.The best example of a good liar I can think of is Hitler. Reading Shirer's account, I was struck by how boldy he would lie, and how many people he would fool. If someone confronts you with evidence that you are about to invade them, adduces a bunch of troops massing on their border, and you simply say something like "No, I'm not," along with the proper uninterested look, being careful not, under any circumstances, to add details to your "argument," it is amazing what you can achieve.In a way, the more evidence you shrug off with a simple "No," the more convicing you become, assuming you possess the proper non-verbal skills as well.Hitler was great.
 
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Mela
Topic Author
Posts: 220
Joined: May 13th, 2003, 9:29 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 2:18 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: NoniusSo, come out with it, where is our child? ?
 
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Nonius
Posts: 5115
Joined: January 22nd, 2003, 6:48 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 2:21 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: MelaQuoteOriginally posted by: NoniusSo, come out with it, where is our child? ?What a beautiful baby piglet!!!!!What is our pink-skinned, red-eyed son named?
 
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Mela
Topic Author
Posts: 220
Joined: May 13th, 2003, 9:29 am

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 2:39 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: NoniusQuoteOriginally posted by: MelaQuoteOriginally posted by: NoniusSo, come out with it, where is our child? ?What a beautiful baby piglet!!!!!What is our pink-skinned, red-eyed son named?It's a she - don't you see the pigtails? Her name's Rosey! Isn't she lovely?
 
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James
Posts: 1557
Joined: January 23rd, 2002, 2:24 pm

I can't lie...

April 23rd, 2004, 3:39 pm

"it's proven empirically that the illness you describe was never observed among married women."Zerdna will be pleased to learn that I projectile nose sprayed gin and tonic through my sinuses and out my nose when I read that.Hint: never be sipping you evening g&t and catching up on Wilmott posts when Zerdna is "on."Mela, Hamilton is being obscure, but what you have is a common 'problem.' (I have it too).Take heart in this: "be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves."You need to think with a pause, in other words. Select with care and 'prudence' the truth you tell, and the terms you say it in. "A soft answer hath turneth away wrath."No one should ever (except in fun, which is Marsden's point) encourage you to lie.But you need to find ways to speak the truth that is just at the horizon of the other person's consciousness. In a way that will have them mull it over for a while. And in a way that the clarity of the truth of it will hit them latter as they are mulling it over.This is a skill to be cultivated.It is cultivated best by reading literature, and noticing the techniques of indirection.I know you are capable of this skill set.
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