Deception is a way of life. It is all part of being able to get something for nothing, or part of negotiating a better deal for ones-self, whilst giving very little to the other party (if giving anything at all). The more you deceive then the higher the potential returns, however the higher the risk of negative repercussions and the higher the risk of being caught and getting nothing. But what if the shoe is on the other foot? What if you are the one who wishes to protect himself/herself from being deceived? Some people are easy to fool and some are difficult to fool. Some people can make lies sound like melted butter, where others have lies that are so see-through that even the person telling them cannot convince themselves. How do you become one of the people who are harder to fool? Here are a few things to think about when you are dealing with people and businesses and how to not be deceived.
1. What is in It for the Other Party?
The premise of any negotiation is a quid pro quo transaction, and everything in life is a negotiation. You go to work in order to get money; you make friends for companionship and support. You find a life partner for love, sex and someone to hold your hand on your deathbed. Everything involves the exchange of one thing for another, which means that the other party has to get something in return for what you are getting. You must figure out what that something actually is. Sometimes they may say they want one thing, whereas they actually want access to something else, a little like when a guy makes friends with a woman so that he can get closer to one of her friends.
If you are typically overconfident in every situation, you will need to hold yourself back and learn to control your impulses. Jumping in with both feet is an honorable quality, but they often find themselves with an empty bank balance.
3. Pig Ignorance
Taking a person on their word without consideration for the ramifications of their possible deceit is foolish and ignorant. Not thinking--is the fastest way towards getting yourself deceived.
Thinking that you know best and are impervious to deceit and scams will make you an excellent target for con artists and scammers. Arrogant people are manipulated very easily.
5. Trusting Your Gut Feelings
This works in two ways. If you are willing to trust your gut feelings about a person or situation, in a positive light, you will be deceived very easily. If you ignore your gut feelings when they tell you that a situation is not right, you will fall foul of a deception. Having a positive gut feeling is not a bad thing, but you must act with as much care and consideration as if you did not have the good feeling about the situation. On the other hand, if your gut feeling says that something is not right, you must pull back, and probably should not go ahead with whatever makes you feel “Wrong.”
6. Look for Signs of Truth Instead of Signs of Deception
This is a very clever trick, which is used by the FBI, CIA and MI5 and MI6. It is a technique where an investigator will ignore signs of deception (because they are very subjective) and will instead look for clusters of truth-telling. For example, when a person is giving a true account of an event, they will have gaps in their memory and will recall things days or weeks later. This would be known as a truth signal. On the other hand, if a person is deliberately making up a story, or covering part of a true story, they will have the details memorized, and will fail to show signals of truth-telling.
7. Ask Yourself What You Know about the Truthfulness of a Statement or Situation
This is an obvious one, but if you hear something that sounds untrue, you should check it for accuracy. If you hear something and you are not sure it is true, you should check it for accuracy.
8. Is It Removed from Reality?
Sometimes TV adverts will make fun of this by over-exaggerating something. Such as the male deodorant advert for the Lynx brand that makes teams of women attracted to the male star of the advert. It is removed from reality, but in such an obvious and blatant way that it is clear they are making fun of the situation (as opposed to being serious about the products effects). When advertisers or people do this sort of thing with a straight face (i.e. seriously without satire/sarcasm) they are probably scamming you. For example, if people really knew how to make $xxxx every day from home, would they not be doing it themselves instead of charging you $10 to tell you how to do it? If penis-enlarging pills really worked then wouldn’t every day at the beach look like a donkey Speedos competition? If there really were a cream or technique that made women look 20 years younger then wouldn’t most women look like they were in their mid-twenties? When a surgeon says he can transplant a heart--the proof comes in the fact that many people are currently walking around America with a heart that they were not born with. Whereas when a “Doctor” claims a new lotion will bring back a bald man’s hair, why are wig sales still so high?
9. Verify What You See and Hear
If it is a business proposal, advert or marketing proposal then you should check up on the facts and statements made. If you are dealing with a person then you should use a little more tact. It may be better if you agree with them in principle, but then check up on their facts and statements at a later date and in private. That way if you find out that they are telling lies you can confront them on it. If you find out that they are telling the truth then they never need know that you checked up on them. If people ask you to trust them and tell you that checking up on them is an act of mistrust, you should remind them that trust is earned--not given