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Gregory Hartley Headshot

10 Ways To Spot A Cheater

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With a focus on cheaters, this presentation covers the basics of the mechanics of lying and ways to break a liar.

Types of lies fall into four categories. The four categories are: omission - leaving something important out of the story; commission - fabricating a story; embellishment - adding a few "extras" to the story; and transference - co-opting pieces of someone else's story.

Let's focus on the first two types, which are what cheaters usually rely on.

Omission:
Jessica (to her boyfriend Dan): "Where did you and Chad go last night after the movie?"
Dan: "We had a drink at Zola and then went home."

Dan omits the part where he met a sexy cocktail waitress and had a nightcap at her place after Zola closed.

Commission:
Chad (to his girlfriend Jill): What did you and Jessica do after the concert?
Jill: "We were hanging out in the lobby and the bass guitarist stopped to talk to us as he was on his way out of the theater. Then she and I left, had a drink at Posh and then came home."

Jill actually went backstage and flirted with the bass guitarist, who took her out for a drink at Posh... for starters. Chad asked a very specific question that enabled an easy omission from Jill, but instead she invented a story.

Notice that both of these lies involved other people--keep that in mind later when we talk about breaking a liar.

Notice something else: These cheaters were ready with their lies; they were canned and ready to deliver. When we get into the mechanics of lying a little more, you will see how some of the more unprepared liars try to get away with their deceit.

Maryann Karinch and Gregory Hartley are the authors of How to Spot a Liar [Career Press Publishers, $15.99].

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