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.

Here are some historical quotes from individuals who were adept at applying the lie to their own advantage.

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

  • Adolph Hitler

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

  • Josef Goebbels

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

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