I would say I am a pretty decent liar, but I’m sure most of you would say so too. The hard part comes to trying to pick out who is lying. Now I can easily tell when my brother is lying but that is only because I’ve grown up with him, the same thing goes for the rest of my family and my friends, but when it comes to strangers I’d have no clue. In Pamela Meyer’s TED talk, How to spot a liar, she explains the basic rules of lying and the easiest and common ways to tell if someone is lying.
Now I won’t spoil it for you, instead I will highly recommend you go take a look at the talk altogether. It is a lot more fun to watch the video of Pamela explaining it herself than it is to read my own opinion and explanation of it because I come nowhere close to explaining it as well as she does. That being said it was one of the best TED talks I’ve seen and I guarantee I will remember her tricks and tips for a long time to come. Pamela somehow managed to keep a heavy conversation about lying, light and enjoyable. She included several different real examples of liars that made me giggle with each slide and video.
After the talk I do feel as if I know just a little bit more about lying and now feel like I could spot a liar if the opportunity arose. Lying has always been intriguing to me, so once I saw this TED talk I knew I would get into it right away. For the longest time growing up I wanted to become a detective for NYPD (I can blame Castle for that), therefore lying and detecting a liar have always been in the back of my mind.
Lying is a complicated thing. There really is no clear line dividing what is a good, necessary lie and what is a horrible hurtful lie. Everyone has their own definition of what lying is and at what level it needs to be stopped. Personally I do not know where exactly I would draw the line, probably around the issue of someone being mentally or physically hurt by the lie at hand. There are so many different levels and types of lies to put into two categories and call one “Okay” and the other one “Wrong.”
Everyone lies everyday, even if it is the littlest lie. Actually the biggest take away from this TED talk would be the fact that everyone lies multiple times a day. If I thought hard enough I could probably describe when I lied today, but to save on brain power I will just say I know I lied at some point in the day, most likely a few points throughout the day. Everyone is a liar from toddlers, to presidents, to spouses, it’s inevitable. But now thanks to Pamela I will be able to tell apart the liars from the people telling the truth.
Photo CC-By Dave O