Deception Tips Video 9 – Part 2 – Converting Statements

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 continue our two-part video on converting statements. It is about making positive statements negative, and negative statements positive. This is something that you hear all the time and it’s not really a telltale, or a solid set-in-stone, an indicator of deception. However, it is a red flag for you to kind of ping up your antennae so that you can start to look for other potential signs and different patterns, and clusters, of behavior that could lead you to telling whether or not someone else is lying.

Last time, we kind of went over a typical scenario of some questions that were direct questions. Such as, “Did you take my money?” And that’s really a yes-or-no response and there were four different answers that could go with that. To recap on them, check out the other video. In addition, you can listen to the podcast. It’s episode number 9 of the Deception Tips Podcast. That will really help shed some light on this kind of confusing topic with responses.

So, today we’re going to get into part 2. It’s a second set of questions with 4 typical responses once again. And these questions are really some kind of questions that really just are terrible questions to ask anyone when trying to get to the truth and you’ll see why in a little bit. But, for now, here it is. This is Deception Tip number 9: Some liars may make positive statements negative, or vice versa, to provide quick answers to the question. Example: “Did you…?” “No, I did not do…”

So, again, this is part 2 so you’ve seen that one before but it’s a second part. So, the typical question would be the best question to ask when soliciting the truth, or when trying to find the truth, is a yes-or-no question. And the reason is because it is very simple. You have two choices: Yes or No. There’s no confusion. It’s very easy and often, they will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and then an explanation will come about which gives you a great opportunity to determine whether or not they are telling the truth.

Now, in these types of questions, when liars convert positive statements to negative, and negative to positive, these questions are questions that really are just terrible questions to ask because they are assuming an outcome. They are projecting onto the person who is being asked and they are projecting a scenario or an outcome. The person who is questioning, or the target, they are automatically assuming that whoever they are asking is guilty.

So, for example, we’ll take the same type of question from last time with the money. Instead of saying, “Did you take my money?” the question would be, “You didn’t take my money, did you?” You can see how that is- I am, automatically I’m assuming you took my money. I say “You didn’t take my money, did you?” By saying that, that puts you on the defense.

So now, your responses are automatically going to be a little bit skewed and, whether or not they’re true or false, or a deceptive or a non-deceptive answer is going to be difficult to determine because your guard is up. You’ve immediately said, “Well, wait a minute. This guy is automatically assuming I’m guilty. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?” But, in that type of a question, you are automatically assumed as guilty. “You didn’t take my money, did you?”

So, DON’T ask those types of questions. If you do, you can expect 4 difficult responses and the first one would be, “Yes. I did do.” So, “Yes. I took your money.” The could be a potential truthful answer because it’s very straightforward. “Yes. I took your money.” However, again, that could also be a sarcasm type of response just to irritate you because you’ve already irritated that person by assuming they did it. So that could be why it may not be a perfect sign of deception.

The other one could be, “No. I did not.” Now, in that response, that’s a double negative. So, they said, “No” and then they are changing the positive statement negative. “I did it.” but “I did not.” So, they’re putting two negatives- “No” and “not”- in a positive statement, so they’ve converted that positive statement negative. That could also be a lie simply because they converted the positive statement to negative and they’ve double emphasized the negative. So, it’s two signs. But, keep in mind, with this type of a question, that could just be a defensive response.

The other two examples- they kind of don’t make sense and really, why would someone answer that? So, it would be, “Did you take my money?” “Yes. I did” or “No. I did not.” So, there could really be four types and all of them are kind of convoluted. “Yes. I did not take your money.” “No. I did.” “Yes. I did.” and “No. I did not.”

So, all of those sound like perfectly logical or perfectly reasonable answers to the question, but the fact that you are assuming that outcome, or projecting that outcome, makes these answers sound very defensive and you can expect them to be replied to with an attitude. “You didn’t take my money, did you?” “Yes. I did not take your money.” “No. I did take your money.” “Yes. I took your money.” “No. I did not take your money.”

So, they’re very baseline responses. And, if it was a direct yes-or-no question such as, “Did you take my money?” and you heard those, then that would be perfectly normal. But because this is an assuming question it’s a question that really should never be asked or a type of question that should never be asked, these responses can be hit and miss. Which is why it is absolutely essential that you are looking for other signs of deception, that you are looking for patterns and clusters of behavior.

So, if you happen to be questioning someone and you accidentally ask a question that you are projecting onto them (they already did something), now it’ kind of too late. So, forget whatever they say. Forget those responses and refocus your questioning to a direct yes-or-no question so that you are going to get a straight answer from them and an explanation with that answer so that you can look for other signs.

If this is your first time watching these videos, I would love to have you to subscribe to the channel on YouTube. It’s all about teaching you how to detect deception and read people. Also, if you’d like more information, there are books, blog posts and podcasts all available on spencercoffman.com that are dedicated to teaching you how to detect deception so that you will know what every body is saying. Until next time.