Deception Tips Video 17 – Detailed Stories
Hey, guys, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you for watching the Deception Tips videos. They’re all about teaching you how to read people and detect deception so that you will be able to tell if someone is lying to you.
Today we are going to talk about a really neat thing about deception, and it’s about liars and how they tell their stories, what they use. Usually, when someone is lying, they tend to use a lot more detail, because they think that this detail will be more believable. They’ve rehearsed their story. So this would be typically for rehearsed lies and planned stories, which as we’ve talked about before, is more narratives and linear stories, so if you remember we had another tip about that, you could get them to tell it backward and often times they would be unable to do so because they rehearsed it in order.
So typically, as a part of this rehearsal, something that could kind of give you an idea that what they’re telling you is rehearsed, as if they’ve added a lot of detail. And now, a lot of detail meaning specific things, like at whatever time, if they say, well, most people would talk about just a general time. If they have a specific time, or if they have specific things, or exactly what someone was wearing or exactly what someone did, those types of things are not normal for people to recall naturally, and usually, that could indicate part of deception.
So here it is, this is deception tip 17, Liars add lots of detail to their stories and can be overly specific. Whereas truth tellers use more general estimates and statements.
They are usually very, very detailed. Liars love to inject all this detail because as they’re planning out their story, and as they’re rehearsing it, They say, “okay, well, I need to make sure that they’re going to believe me.” That is their number one goal. A liar wants to be believed. And they want to get the story out.
This is an incredible amount of stress and tension inside their body. It’s like boiling up. They’re a tea kettle waiting to blow. And, or a balloon that’s overfilled with air, and they just need someone to pop it. When that happens, they want the story to be out. So they want this to be as believable as possible, so hopefully, they only have to tell it once. Because a lot of times liars, if they’re asked to tell the same story over and over again, they can’t remember it. So that’s another way to trip them up.
You can just call him back in a day later and ask him to tell the story again, and usually if, if there is a truth, then usually people kind of forget certain things, or they may tell it in a different order, but if it’s a liar, and it’s reversed, it might be the exact same story. Which could be a little bit off, and we’ll come to that another time. However, they inject a lot of detail.
So normally like, if I would tell you a story, and say, “well yeah, yesterday I took a drive down to the grocery store and I went down the aisle, and I had to ask this guy, he was kind of a teenage kid, and asked him where the mayonnaise was, and he didn’t really know, so we had to go find another guy who had worked at the store for 10 years, and he knew right where was. Exactly where, in what aisle, and also on what shelf, and even wanted to know what brand I wanted, because then he would know on which shelf that brand would be.”
And so, that is kind of just a general story. However, if it was a lie, then it could say, “well, I got in my car at 4:05 and I drove to the grocery store. That maybe took me about 4 minutes. When I got in there, I asked this kid, he was wearing a red shirt and khaki pants, and I wanted to know where the mayonnaise was, and he didn’t know where the mayonnaise was, so he said we had to go find this guy named Bruce, who had been working at the store for 10 years and 3 months.”
And you get the idea, there’s a lot more detail in that story, and it just kind of sounds weird. Like, who cares about what time it was, and who cares what the guy’s name was? I just want the general idea of the story, I don’t need every single detail.
So when liars rehearse their stories, oftentimes they add in all of those details because they think it’s more believable. They think that they are, by telling everything, they believe that the target is going to say, “wow, they’re really opening up to me. They’re really sharing all the information. So why would I doubt them, because they told me all this information?”
But in reality, that’s not the case, because they’re over-emphasizing this fact. It’s kind of like when they split contractions and say, “I did not”. They’re over-emphasizing the events. So by including all of that detail, they’re adding extra emphasis that doesn’t need to be there, and that is not normally there when people tell a story. So truthful people will be more general, they will have more general stories.
In addition, they often will forget certain things, and say, “oh, well wait a minute, actually before we went and asked the other guy, we tried to find it in a different aisle, but he didn’t find it, so then we had to go ask another guy.” That would be more truthful. They, they come back to things as they remember them in the story. Whereas liars, it’s like the ABC’s. Everything is planned out, rehearsed, it’s a narrative order, it’s one thing, then the next, it’s a natural progression.
Now, of course, a liar could see this and then manipulate their story to purposefully come back and add something in that they wanted to forget, to try to come more truthful, but typically, then they’re going to have all kinds of behavioral leakage that goes with that, so you’re gonna catch it anyway. So keep in mind, watch for that. Lateral narratives with lots of detail could be a sign of deception. In addition, there are a lot more signs that you can watch for and pay attention to.
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