Lying – An Effective Communications Strategy?

A communications technique that is often used – to great effect – is the practice of telling deliberate lies. Telling them persuasively is an art which many people – often in responsible positions – often practice.

Lying influences other Critical Skills – particularly the Information and Analysis skills.

Lying serves a purpose that gets a Narcissist what he/she wants – it’s a “thing” that Narcissists do regularly. But narcissists are not the only pathological liars. Others – particularly politicians – tell big lies to persuade.  Such behavior signals a MAJOR red flag.

A critical thinker is usually dumbfounded listening to someone tell an audience a bunch of lies. Listening attentively to pathological liars is unsettling and disturbing – and it SHOULD BE.

There are people who lie but are not narcissists – they have other issues. In other words, all psychopaths and narcissists lie but not all liars are psychopaths or narcissists.

Lying often gets the liar what he/she wants to achieve – but the effects can cause severe damage.

Lying has a profound effect on “critical thinking” or the use of logic.

Liars manipulate the “hypothesis” or “premise” and claim that their hypothesis/premise is true.

In logical or critical thinking, the “hypothesis” or “premise” forms the foundation for drawing a conclusion.

In symbolic terms where “P” is the hypothesis/premise and “Q” is the conclusion, P → Q.    (“P” implies “Q.”)

If the hypothesis/premise is TRUE – then the conclusion can be relied upon. Conversely, if the hypothesis/premise is FALSE (a lie), then the conclusion cannot be relied upon. It will be either true OR false – you can’t tell. It can be whatever the liar wants it to be.

Fact checking is essential – but not all people take the time to “check the facts” – to their detriment. They don’t realize that the hypothesis/premise that is being used is (or might be) false.

So, absent fact checking, they are vulnerable to believing what they hear.

A common technique used by cable TV hosts is to state their hypothesis in the form of their conclusion. Then, given that the listener will believe what they say – their preconceived conclusion – the host “draws the conclusion” to exactly what they used as their hypothesis/premise. All you have to do is listen to some of these folks speak – and you will witness the practice in real time.

Click HERE for a thoughtful article on the effects of telling lies.

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