When you say one thing, but mean another, it’s basically a lie right? Or, some form of deception.
Even the best of actors and actresses likely can’t hide true, raw emotion. Maybe they can. I don’t know, I’ve been checked out of the TV scene for a while now. But even poker players study their opponents to see who is bluffing. They are observing body language, facial expressions, or if they are really awesome, microexpressions. Can the human eye really detect something as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second?
Dang. That’s fast. Don’t blink!
Think you have what it takes to stay under the radar with your lies? Is anyone going to call your bluff?
Learning Empathy: Start At An Early Age
Backing up a bit, ever since our kid was born, we started reading this “ABC Look At Me” book to him. The sentences are ingrained not only in his head, but ours. “A is for Angry, when I had a bad day. B is for Bashful, when I’m too shy to play…” and so on.
It became a very helpful tool for him to learn emotions and empathy. When he comes home from daycare we ask, “Was anybody angry today? Did anyone cry?” And we inquire if they were angry, what did he say or do to make the person feel better, etc.
We like to think we are raising a caring individual. After all, we think EQ is just as important as IQ. Our son looks people directly in their eyes, with his crazy, wide eyes and tells his big stories. So far, he’s not fibbing too much yet. If he does, he winks and smiles. No idea where he picked that one up at! We fear he’s management material…and hopefully not politics!
Overall, we hope we are providing an opportunity for him to be able to read and understand people. Which, in the long run, helps him process his emotions while he is still learning.
Learning Body Language: A Useful Skill
I’m not a psychologist, nor hold any special degrees. But I do have an interest in people and how people think, what causes their reactions, body language. etc. Of course, I’m a normal person and was sucked into TV shows like Lie To Me where the whole intent of this show was for the lead actors to study facial expressions in other people such as criminals and catch them in their lies. There’s also another old favorite show of mine, House, with one of my most favorite quotes, “Everybody Lies.”
Thinking that everybody lies, and reading body language are great survivor tools at work.
At my former workplace, I supervised someone with some deep issues. We are talking psycho. Again, not a doc or a physician over here, but you just kind of know when you have a feeling, “this person is not right in the head.”
It finally dawned on me, they were likely a compulsive liar. For whatever reason, this person could rattle anything off the tip of their tongue, and make you believe it as well. And reel you in with some of the most compelling, charming stories so that you believed their opinion (their side of the stories). This person was of average performance in their job. They could have been more successful. The intelligence was there. But, spent most of their time perfecting lies and pot-stirring in the workplace.
With the coaching of my BFF employee relations specialist, and another friend friend who was going to school to be a psychologist, helped me understand the individual. Pull a part what was the truth, not the truth and more importantly – what was likely going on behind the scenes. I won’t get into the details of where this person ended up (that’s a whole other blog post idea). But I emphasize the importance of watching people’s reactions, body language and facial expressions to understand what may really be going on with them.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. – Plato
The Downside of Lying: You Eventually Get Caught
Another story: A mother was helping her child get ready for bed when he asked her, “Mommy, why are you sad?” Surprised, she laughed it off and said, “Mommy isn’t sad. I’m just tired. We all need to go to bed!”
He said he didn’t believe her and asked why she was sad again. The mother couldn’t believe it. In that moment, she was caught in a lie. Did her 3 foot tall toddler just read her facial expressions? How does she get out of this one? That’s right. Lie again. “Mommy is sad. Because you won’t brush your teeth!”
It was enough to get him off her back and get him into bed.
The point of the story:
Even if we are the greatest actors and appear confident, we will eventually get caught and someone will call our bluff.
Why You Lie
I preach about why we should all own up to our mistakes, as soon as they occur. The same
should could be said for when we lie. But, do we need to own up to all of our lies?
And are they truly lies? Or, intentional acts of deception. Maybe for our own sanity. And protecting others. Keeping the peace, or just a positive perspective through difficult times. Again.
Why You Will Continue Lying
Maybe you’ve recently received some unfavorable news and are having difficulty processing it. So what do you do? You write about it. But never really mention it. All it is really is an affirmation of your faith. Whether or not it inspires others is their choice. What matters is that it inspires you and keeps you going.
What You Will Continue To Do When You Intentionally Lie
Return to the good old days and family traditions. Become nostalgic. Get corny theme songs from your old favorite shows stuck in your head. And so you write a whole blog post on it to finally get it out of your head.
You also start questioning, if you really want to embrace stress this week, or, dedicate this entire week to self care. Meh? Why not. In the end, you choose to stay grounded and surround yourself with those who are healthy for you.