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This is take from an online article in Time magazine…..

 

Time.com

  • By EBEN HARRELL Eben Harrell 29 mins ago

A professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Feldman has spent most of his career studying the role deception plays in human relationships. His most recent book, The Liar in Your Life: How Lies Work and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, lays out in stark terms just how prevalent lying has become. He talked to TIME about why we all need a dose of honesty.

What are the main findings of your research?
Not only do we lie frequently, but we lie without even thinking about it. People lie while they are getting acquainted at an average of three times in a 10-minute period. Participants in my studies actually are not aware that they are lying that much until they watch videos of their interactions.

One of the reasons people get away with so much lying, your research suggests, is that we are all essentially dupes. Why do we believe so many lies?
This is what I call the liar’s advantage. We are not very good at detecting deception in other people. When we are trying to detect honesty, we look at the wrong kinds of nonverbal behaviors and we misinterpret them. The problem is that there is no direct correlation between someone’s nonverbal behavior and their honesty. "Shiftiness" could also be the result of being nervous, angry, distracted or sad. Even trained interrogators [aren’t] able to detect deception at [high] rates. You might as well flip a coin to determine if someone is being honest.

What’s more, a lot of the time we don’t want to detect lies in other people. We are unwilling to put forward the cognitive effort to suspect the veracity of statements, and we aren’t motivated to question people when they tell us things we want to hear. When we ask someone, "How are you doing?" and they say "fine," we really don’t want to know what their aches and pains are. So we take "fine" at face value. (Read a TIME story on ground rules for telling lies)

Do you feel deception is a particularly relevant topic to our society?
We are living in a time and culture in which it’s easier to lie than it has been in the past. The message that pervades society is that it’s okay to lie; you can get away with it. One of the things I found in my research is that when you confront people with their lies they very rarely display remorse. Lying is not seen as being morally reprehensible in any strong way.

You can make the assumption that because it often makes social interactions go more smoothly, lying is okay. But there is a cost to even seemingly benign lies. If people are always telling you that you look terrific and you did a great job on that presentation, there’s no way to have an accurate understanding of yourself. Lies put a smudge on an interaction, and if it’s easy to lie to people in minor ways it becomes easier to lie in bigger ways.

You say in the book that recent DNA evidence suggests that 10% of people have fathers other than the men they believe conceived them. So is lying pretty widespread in our intimate lives, too?
Research shows we lie less to people that we are close to. But when we do, they tend to be the bigger types of lies. And the fallout is greater if the deception is discovered.

You show how lying is a social skill. Does that mean it’s part of an evolutionary legacy?
I don’t think lying is genetically programmed. We learn to lie. We teach our kids to be effective liars by modeling deceitful behavior.

In your book you offer a way to cut back on lies. What’s the "AHA! Remedy?"
AHA! stands for active honesty assessment. We need to be aware of the possibility that people are lying to us, and we need to demand honesty in other people. Otherwise we will get a canned affirmation. At the same time, we have to demand honesty of ourselves. We have to be the kind of people who don’t tell white lies. We don’t have to be cruel and totally blunt, but we have to convey information honestly. The paradox here is that if you are 100% honest and blunt, you will not be a popular person. Honesty is the best policy. But it’s not a perfect policy.

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Ask yourself this one question, and than respond truthfully and I guarantee you will change your life forever.

Can a statement like that truly be true? Can one question alter your whole life, make that much of an impact on you that your life is totally different, that you charge a new course?

What sort of question must it be? Is it a question for one of your ancestors of Greek or Roman descent? A question of a great sage or from one of the eastern religions know for deep thoughts. A question from Buda or Krishna maybe, or did it come from Jesus or from one of the prophets?

Or maybe the question really doesn’t exist, maybe there is no one question that will change your life, maybe it’s all useless, we should just give up now, and not even search for the question.

Ask yourself this one question, and than respond truthfully and I guarantee you will change your life forever.

I know the question, and I will share it with you now, this one simple question will, if you allow it to, change your life forever. The rules are simple:

1. Read the question as it is, do not try to read anything in to it, there is no hidden message or meaning.

2. You must be open minded about the question.

3. You must give it some thought, this is not a question you can just simple put down any old response to.

4. You must be honest, you can not respond the way you think others want you to, you must respond with the truth as you know it at this moment.

5. You must be willing to take ownership of the responses, the only way to use the responses for agents of change, is to own them.

Ok, now that you have the rules, and you agree to them, we can move on, you will need to write the question down, it’s part of the ownership thing, by writing it down, in your own hand writing, it becomes yours.

Here is the question:

What really matters to you?

 

That’s it, that is the one question that will change your life. But remember, you have to allow it time to sink in, you have to give it deep thought. This is not a quick response question, but rather one of slow deep thinking.

Once you have your list or paragraphs or statements or what ever you decided to write, now comes the hard part. Now comes the part were you must look at that list and ask the following questions about it:

1. Is it (the feeling, action, goal) a positive?

2. Does it (feeling, action, goal) create a better world?

3. Will it help others?

4. Is it affirming?

The questions above a re designed to help you align your responses to a life changing action.  Example, if what really matters to me is money,than how is it a positive, how is it useful for a better world how will it help others and how will it be affirming to me?

To make a difference in our own lives, we must be willing to make a difference in the lives of others. No man (or woman) lives in a void, our actions or lack of actions affects the world around us, to truly become more we must be willing and able to affect others around us, in a positive and uplifting way.

The question “What really matters to you” is not a question about you, but really it is a question that will help you define your interactions with the world around you.

Good luck with the question, it truly can change your life.

Paul

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