Nobody Likes a Liar
Nobody likes a liar. This has been born out by science. So how do we know who is telling a lie and who is not? It actually depends on culture. What is a lie in one culture may not be a lie in another. One thing that most people agree about, though, is that if people can’t or won’t make eye contact with you while talking to you, they are more likely to be lying. In a scientific study in 58 countries, 65 per cent of respondents said that “gaze aversion” was the best way to determine if one is conversing with a liar. However, detecting whether someone is lying to you is not quite so simple.
The following article at Atlas Obscura, by Sarah Laskow, gives us a good idea of precisely how complicated it is to determine if someone is a liar or not. You may need to copy (Control C) and paste (Control V) the link into your browser.
In the article Ms. Laskow points out how there are differences in the degree of lying, relevant in individualistic cultures, like the United States, versus lying in collectivistic cultures such as Japan. In order to learn whether you have tendencies of individualism or collectivism, you can take a self-assessment quiz following this link. Then you may decide for yourself, by judging your own behavior. However, in order to get a legitimate and honest assessment about yourself, you can’t lie!
A good mantra to keep in mind is provided by Mark Twain:
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”