Blame Yourself if Someone Lies to You

If someone is lying to me, I like to look at myself instead of blaming them. It’s counter-intuitive but very advantageous. Don’t focus on what might be wrong with them, which you can’t control. Instead, focus on what you can do to make them more comfortable. Think about how you react to what they say and what they might be thinking as a result.

People often lie because they don’t trust us to be compassionate. If we show people that we will be kind and caring regardless of the horrible things someone might say or believe, we can create an environment where people feel safe being open and honest. In other words, we need to let go of our judgments. But you kind of need to do it for everyone in order to get the most out of it. People often need to see you being non-judgmental toward the most awful behavior before they will trust you.

It’s amazing the kinds of things people confess to me when I take this approach.

Famous hostage negotiator Chris Voss also subscribes to this strategy. I read Chris Voss’ book Never Split the Difference and remember it being pretty good. I’m watching his Masterclass which so far is also pretty good.

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