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Communication tricks of the mind that good liars use.
4 Nov 2019

Communication Tricks Of The Mind Good Liars Use To Be Believed

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:

  1. Displaying confidence
  2. Establishing authority
  3. Praising lavishly
  4. Pulling emotional triggers
  5. Keeping points simple, short and vague
The communication tricks of the mind that liars use are often the same ones that good communicators use.

Since style influences people more than content does, good liars are often good communicators.

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.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Mike. A bit of synchronicity here. I was just thinking about the implausibility of Abundance Consciousness teachers promising followers they can “have it all,” that prosperity is endless and unlimited. While the Source at the Center of the Life Wheel is, the surface of the Wheel goes through historical cycles of boom and bust. Your post explains the feel-good prosperity lie to a “T”. Add to your list that people like to feel their delusions are“spiritual.” All best to you! Pat West

    1. Mike Lehr

      I never looked at it that way, Pat. Yes, I think I understand. So, are you saying that even if people don’t find any evidence to support a lie, they could rationalize it as a belief, something that “science” can’t prove, or hasn’t been able to prove?

    1. Mike Lehr

      I understand, Pat. Good does have many definitions beyond a moralistic, ethical or virtuous sense though. In fact, one such definition of good is skillful. It’s like saying she’s good at math. Check out 2c of this link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/good. I crosschecked this with two other dictionaries I have on hand. One has 46 different definitions of the word, just as an adjective. Nonetheless, using good in an virtuous sense, you’re right.

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