“I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.”
-J. D. Salinger, The Cather in the Rye
Being human and being able to communicate and understand each other with our spoken or written words, might make us feel superior in front of other species. We can be on the top of the food chain, the IQ chain and all other chains as much as we want. But I am must tell you, when it comes to ‘lying’, we are at the bottom of that chain. I believe no other animal on this planet has a tendency to lie as much as a human. But what motivates ‘us’ to lie?
If there are N number of lies one can lie about in a day, then there are N number of reasons for us to deceive. Being deceived is common and a constant process that we all are part of. Everybody lies. And to everyone. We all are victim to this contagious, never ending malady.
Pamela Meyer’s book LIESPOTTING: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception which is a result of rigorous research on how to catch the lies and its disseminator. Her book put much emphasis on establishing behaviour for an individual to interpret things such as spotting lies. She starts off with a few narrative and interesting specimens that are enough to get a reader’s attention. Most of these specimens are concentrated on the corporate world rather than day-to day life. The principles she define later on the book, are more concentrated on these examples, but many of them are applicable in our daily life.
The ultimate goal of Meyer’s book, I deduce is that we should follow a behavioural pattern and our gut instinct (importantly). Her book focuses on the facial expressions, postures, how body language can have a major role when spotting a lie and some advice on verbal phrases and responses. Overall the concept is interesting and quite intriguing.
But Pamela’s book failed to impress me much as her book concentrates on very least amount of specimen, some of which are straight forward, otherwise not enough content supports her research. In the end, it appeared to more of a research paper than a book.
I’ll only recommend this book if you have long weekend to spare and not to spend too much time with it otherwise.
2 out of 5!