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Liar Liar: How to Develop Your Inner Lie Detector

Updated on July 26, 2010

A 2002 University of Massachusetts study about lying found that 60% of people lied during a 10 minute conversation. The average person told two to three lies in that 10 minutes, most didn’t even realize they were doing so, and men and women lied about the same amount.

Psychologist Robert S. Feldman says. “It’s so easy to lie. We teach our children that honesty is the best policy, but we also tell them it’s polite to pretend they like a birthday gift they’ve been given. Kids get a very mixed message regarding the practical aspects of lying, and it has an impact on how they behave as adults.”

You can’t force someone to tell the truth, but Imagine what life would be like with personal lie detectors (perhaps a smart phone application of the future?). With such technology, everyone would be forced to tell the truth at all times, which wouldn’t be very pleasant for some people.

The Lies People Tell

Politicians would find it more challenging to win over voters with stirring speeches. They would instead be judged on their true intent and actions. When a politician says one thing, but means another, your lie detector would go off and you’d hear a “beep!” Personal agendas would become obvious and Washington might actually enact useful legislation.

Husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends would no longer be able to stretch the truth in order to keep the peace, or hide their behavior. “That other woman doesn’t mean anything to me.” Beep! “I got pregnant by accident.” Beeeeeep!

People would be forced to practice absolute sincerity in the workplace--no more corporate treachery and duplicity. “I love my boss and I’ve never back-stabbed any of my coworkers.” Beep! “Our corporate mission is not mainly about profit”

Children wouldn’t be able to get away with anything, and parents would be held accountable for everything.

What about the little lies you tell yourself? Even though they can make life easier to deal with at times, your personal lie detector would help you be brutally honest with yourself, helping you to become self-actualized more quickly (and possibly go crazy from always having to squarely face reality).


Delusion can be harmless, such as with children fantasizing, or dangerous, as with conniving, powerful dictators. Someone who is truly delusional can fool a lie detector if they really believe they’re telling the truth, so make sure to buy the Delusion Detector add-on application to cover all your bases. Just be aware that it won’t allow you to wear rose-colored glasses when perceiving the veracity of your love relationships, and will deal a serious blow to excessive romantic fantasy. At least it could potentially save you a lot of heartache.

What is Truth?

There can be different versions of the truth, depending upon one’s perspective, but the truth is usually very simple.

Seasoned liars and sociopaths can be very creative with their version of the truth, giving new meaning to the art of rationalization and deceit, twisting reality to conform to their agenda.

Try to be Understanding

Find it in your heart to feel compassion for those who live a life of denial and delusion. After all, the majority of dishonesty, we believe, is the subconscious defense type used to protect the self from the pain of truth, not the malicious type.

Beneath the self-deception, which most people exhibit in various degrees, there’s a vulnerability and a lack of courage to live life more honestly; it is often learned early in childhood as a coping mechanism. Very few people are capable of living their lives in complete honesty.

After all is said and done, the truth tends to bubble up to the surface. People on their deathbeds realize things that weren’t as obvious before. After they cross over, we believe, based on life between life and past life research, there is no denial, dishonesty, or delusion on the other side. Everyone, regardless of what their faith was (or lack of it) while incarnated, reviews their lifetime and becomes aware of everything they did, to themselves and others, the “good” and the “bad,” not in judgment but for awareness and understanding. Imagine what life would be like if everyone was taught from a young age that everything you say, do, and intend is recorded in an invisible spiritual ledger. If this were true, and we believe it is, no one gets away with anything by pretending their negative actions are justified, trying to evade detection, or confessing their sins.

Dishonesty is one of the more easily discerned personality facets through handwriting analysis, and you have a built-in lie and delusion detector. It’s called your intuition. You can develop it through regular meditation. The more you meditate, the more you will be able to perceive the simple truth about yourself, situations, and others.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo


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    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      One of my greatest pet peeves is lying. I was almost pathological as a child and teen, but made a concerted effort to stop during my adulthood.

      I try to stand by the old saying: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      An excellent hub I have not been one to read liars too well over the year and look back and used to get mad at myself for not picking it up. Time has helped me and I am not as trusting. Thanks for the insight.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      It is very hard and I find it impossible to deal with people which includes the truth. Thank you for an interesting hub.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 7 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      The trick is not telling the truth but telling the truth that does not alienate others and raise their defences.

      Sounding judgmental is usually a good way to prevent someone listening to you. A statement that sounds like an attack and give no feedback usually results in a counterattack.

      "You are lazy" is an attack "I think you could work harder" is less agressive. "You seem to spend a lot of time talking not working, is there a reason?" may be better.

      I am struggling for a better example but I hope my meaning is clear. Truth can be used to hurt and harm rather than heal and it is the truth teller's responsibility which approach they take

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Hi, Scott,

      Hmn...It is fascinating, this question. I am glad you addressed it. There are many reasons people lie.

      We have this mistaken notion that if we lie, we are protecting someone else's feelings..this is the most common mistake.

      Sometimes programmed ideas make us lie to ourselves. I have been guilty of this.

      At first I did not believe this, but I do now. "Seasoned liars and sociopaths can be very creative with their version of the truth, giving new meaning to the art of rationalization and deceit, twisting reality to conform to their agenda"

      One feels angry and then immense compassion for the person who committed the act.

      I do not believe in people deliberately hurting others. I do believe that the ones who commit this are in such pain they unconsciously inflict pain on others, or perhaps there really is a program that runs an unawakened individual to deliberately hurt others.

      I do not know the whole answer.