Eliminate Your Mental Lag to Lie More Effectively

There are many situations in which lying can be useful , but it hardly matters if you don’t know how to lie. If you want to be persuasive, focus on closing the mental gap that is causing your responses to take longer.

As undercover cop Neil Woods explains at VICE, when people lie, they need to take an extra step to tell the story. If it really happened, then you just explain it. If you come up with something, you must come up with a new story in your head before explaining it. This process can take precious seconds and make your story look suspicious. For someone to believe your story, you need to close this lag:

Lying creates a buffer, an extra loop of thought, when people ask themselves, “How can I tell this lie,” and that can slow them down. They may try too hard to disguise the lie, perhaps pause for too long. The biggest giveaways are people who talk too quickly, divulge too much information, unusual hand movements, or gestures such as looking at the floor. I made sure I wasn’t doing it, and I had to learn how to remove this pause, this extra loop from my thought process. I had to embrace it all and absorb it by instinct. If people think too much about their lies – if they are overly aware that they are lying – then it becomes too much pressure and they become nervous and deception becomes apparent.

In many cases, this may simply mean that you need to prepare the story ahead of time. Let’s say you’re about to buy your spouse’s birthday present, but you don’t want them to know. Go shopping at a time when being away from home is not suspicious, or prepare a good alternative reason that will take about the same amount of time.

It also helps if you are not maliciously lying. One of the reasons liars are not well liked is because it usually comes at the expense of someone else. If you lie to cover up something that might harm someone else, your guilt may betray your lie (and perhaps it should). For example, hiding a shopping trip causes less guilt than hiding an affair. If the reason for your lies does not generate as much guilt, then you are less likely to feel nervous and hang yourself from this mental delay.

How to Lie: Tips from Undercover Cop, Lawyer, and Dominant | VICE


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