February 01, 2009

Lie to me

Yesterday my mother found an article about the world's best lie detector. However it is not a machine, but a human being, Dr. Paul Ekman. A trained psychotherapist and scientist through and through he dedicated himself to the study of human emotions and their manifestation in nonverbal language. Nonverbal language comprises everything from body language, to facial expression and the tone of your voice.

Here you can watch some videos about his work which is fascinating, but also has a scary aspect to it. Yes, at first it seems like a superpower, but the ability to detect any lie, and that is what Ekman claims for himself, has serious moral implications and can definitely change your life forever, not always in a pleasant manner.

You probably don't really wanna know that your best friend hates the present you gave them or that your family is only being polite about the meal you cooked with so much love. And of course knowing about others' feelings does not necessarily render you capable of dealing with that knowledge in the best way possible. You have to be able to distinguish when to ignore a lie, confront the liar or ask diplomatically if there is anything wrong. In some situations your life could depend on telling truth from lie, but in other situations you are just invading someone's privacy. And you need to be conscious of the fact that you may know the emotion, but not the reason for it. Take into consideration that "the average person lies three times per ten minutes of conversation" for totally different reasons.

Take a moment to reflect on that and think about the reasons you have for being less than truthful in your daily life. Let us at least try to lie for the right reasons, if we can't avoid it entirely :)


Parinaz said...

I do agree that lies are not always bad; Sometimes we lie to prevent bigger troubles. Sometimes we lie to
make things right; and sometimes we lie to keep the privacy...
But now everyone can do this. I hardly lie to the others - especially about my feelings- and it has made me big
problems. Some people around me expect me to show them faked love! And I cannot do that at all. I only have respect
for them and it's not meeting their demands...
Sometimes I wish I were able to lie that easily...And I do believe that "lie" does good sometimes!

P.S. This guy sounds wonderful and awesome! however living with him must be a big disaster!!

Be good and happy Dear Robert.

Robert said...

Yes, radical honesty can be hard, but it might be worth the trouble. Someday I'll try it for sure ;)
I would have to define diplomatic politeness in the right way though :D

And I agree, his wife must have mastered him in a special way. Without real love that should be impossible...

You be happy too, Parinaz jan