Good liars are often good communicators. So, they use the same communication tricks of the mind that good communicators do. That’s because style influences more than content does. It’s easy to say if one likes a style. It’s much harder to say if something is true. That needs thought, maybe research. That’s work.
Basic Formula Liars Use
All the communication tricks of the mind that liars use come from the same basic formula. It has two ingredients: likeability and simplicity. People must like the liars, and they must find the lies simple to understand.
This formula produces these five communication tricks of the mind that all good liars use to get people to believe their lies:
- Displaying confidence
- Establishing authority
- Praising lavishly
- Pulling emotional triggers
- Keeping points simple, short and vague
Communication Tricks Of The Mind
These tricks all work together to make the liar likeable and the lies simple. They aim to reduce people’s resistance. They do so by making believing lies easy.
Displaying confidence is critical. People fall for confident people all the time. So people won’t question this confidence, liars establish authority.
They do this by citing their wealth, status, education, intelligence, background, job, experience, contacts or inside info. In short, they establish their power. Liars easily seduce people when they feel close to power.
To further make sure that people won’t question them, liars will praise lavishly. Who asks tough questions of “great friends”? This includes pulling people’s emotional triggers so the lie is something they want to believe. If the lie makes people feel more secure, special or spirited, they’ll accept it without thought.
Finally, in addition to keeping points simple and short as stated above, keeping them vague helps too. People don’t see those who talk details as authorities. Details require work. Vague, flowery ideas that trigger people’s emotions don’t.
In The End Style Trumps Content
None of these communication tricks of the mind deals with content. They all deal with how to tell lies people will believe. Style trumps content. That’s the point. Liars don’t want focus on their content. That’s where the lies lie. They want focus on style.
In the end, anyone can lie. Wealth, status, education, intelligence, background, job, experience, contacts or inside info have nothing to do with truth. Only content and its inherent logic do. True experts like to talk about their work. They love questions. When they cite their credentials to make you believe something though, beware.