We are all a nation of liars

youcantlietomeNo one likes being lied to, but everyone lies! Yet, we still consider ourselves good people, so we feel guilty that we’re lying which allows certain behaviors to “leak” out (Driver 15). Lying is a natural part of life (Driver 15).  We try to teach our kids not to lie, but then we turn around the tell our spouses that that dress doesn’t make their butt look big, and yes honey, I really enjoy doing yard work.

Janine Driver is a former a body-language specialist with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who has taught the art of lie detection to countless audiences. While the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has done studies that have not conclusively proven that human lie detection, such as the TSA’s Behavior Detection Officer program, actually works, the Israelis, thousands of US Customs and Border Protection agents, and any police officer worth their salt will tell you that when people lie, they exhibit certain behaviors. By learning to identify these behaviors, you can surround yourself with people who have your back (Driver x). Did you know:

  • 80% of lies will go undetected (Driver 3)
  • 9/10 people who apply for a job fabricate some positive trait about themselves (Driver 3)
  • 66-80% of college students admit to cheating at some point (Driver 3) (and I’m suspecting this number is higher)
  • Adult men and women lie an average of 1 out of 5 every social interactions
  • 20% of men and 15% of women have cheated on their partners

Now here’s the truly tragic part. The best human lie detectors are often people who have experienced some sort of childhood trauma, like being sexually molested, physically abused by a caretaker or parent, or have been bullied throughout their childhood. These people have developed instincts and pick up on nonverbal cues in their environment that warns them of danger. So, maybe you can’t change your past (and I wish you could if you had any of these experiences happen to you), but perhaps it’s left a residual benefit that you can use to prevent future attacks, scams or lies.

Driver promises a 5-step program to help you identify the liars in your midst. As someone who has studied behavioral detection for many years, and even taught it a time or too, I can say with confidence that her methods are solid, accurate and worth learning.

The five-step process we explore this week is:

  1.  Gathering Intel: a quick process used to establish the baseline behaviors of a person (Driver 9)
  2. The Wiretap: using Statement Analysis to quickly spot words and phrases that indicate there is more to the story (Driver 9)
  3. The Stakeout: the art of studying nonverbal facial cues  (Driver 9)
  4. The Full Body Surveillancedecoding the body’s entire micro-movmements  (Driver 9)
  5. The Interrogationusing a few carefully worded questions to get to the truth  (Driver 9)

Has anyone ever lied to you in the past and it cost you a job, a relationship or money? Imagine not falling for that a second (or third, or fourth…) time. These are skills worth learning and it’s not about which direction your eyes move when you’re talking.

Driver, Janine, and Mariska Van. Aalst. You Can’t Lie to Me: The Revolutionary Program to Supercharge Your Inner Lie Detector and Get to the Truth. New York: HarperOne, 2012. Print.


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