Author Topic: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?  (Read 8398 times)

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AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2012, 07:51:27 PM »
Your two example situations doesn't seem like tricking someone into lying so much as lying to someone to promote them to lie in return. Especially the second one - I would not look kindly on someone who trashed me just to get someone else to admit that they did something bad to me too. There has to be a better way of going about it.

I don't think it is promoting them to lie, though. If Person B really did hate Bob, but had nothing to do with framing him for anything, wouldn't they just say, "Yeah, I hate Bob too!" Why would they say they framed him?

Jules1980

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2012, 07:51:40 PM »
I did this once with a compulsive liar.  The coworker claimed all kinds of fantastical stuff all the time.  Her sister dated a famous 50's singer's son.  (Singer died with no children.)  SHe raised wild animals and they slept in her bed.  (Large game at that.)  Her grandchild was talking at 6 months.  ETC.  Every night was something new.

One night she started telling how she used to babysit famous singer, Jr. when he was a child.  But famous singer, Jr. was older than her. Like hiring a teenager to babysit a college aged person age difference.  SHe was going on and on about all this supposed 'dirt' on his family that she knew from babysitting when I asked, "Wait, did you babysit famous singer, Jr. or Famous Singer the third?"  Both were from the area she was talking about and both became singers as adults.

"Jr."

"But Jr. is 6 years older than you.  Are you sure it wasn't the III?"  I know, not EHell approved, but at the time I really thought she was confused and meant III.

"No, he's not.  I babysat him when I was 12."

After about 30 minutes, I finally gave up and resigned myself to listening to all the 'dirt' she wanted to spill.  Didn't get her anywhere, but I knew to be suspicous of anything she said.

SamiHami

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2012, 07:54:11 PM »
The Example with your grandma, not necessarily rude.

The other two examples you gave are rude because in both examples, Person 1 is lying.

Even the question "Isn't Alex a great guy" would be a lie if the person asking knows that Alex is a woman, as it is said with intent to deceive.

They all come off as a bit self congragulatory and ego based to be honest.  Kind of like "Look how cleverly I trapped you"

Here is an example where I think this would be very rude:

A: I met (famous person) once! Then we had lunch together and it was great!
B: Oh, did you meet them on their 2005 tour?
A: Yes.
B: That's impossible. That person died in 2000.
I think this scenario is rude because even though it might be annoying to listen to an obviously fake story like this, it is ultimately harmless. It would be better to just go along with and inwardly roll your eyes.

In the examples I gave, allowing the lies to go unchecked could result in: being emotionally manipulated, getting in trouble by a boss, having a reputation as a thief, or being fired or disciplined. What I am wondering is, is setting a trap for a person still rude even if their lies could cause a problem? Is the clever person's rudeness mitigated by the liar's intent to do harm through deception? Can one rationalize catching people in a lie in this way by thinking, "Well, if they didn't want to stand there looking foolish just now, they shouldn't have lied to me in the first place." Or is it still rude?

Actually, I have had a very similar thing happen within my group of friends. I think I posted about him in the Captain Know It All thread, or possibly the Blowhard thread.

Anyway. this person was well known to be a liar in our group. He either embellished or outright lied about many things, big or small, and as a group we usually let it slide. "That's just how he is" was the usual attitude. Eventually a few of the guys got tired of it, and decided to set him up. They were seated at a table away from him and started talking about a great concert they'd been to at <local venue> recently. He - as expected - inserted himself into the conversation and went on about how, oh yeah, he'd gone to that show and he's best buds with the band and he partied with them after the show blah blah blah. 

Then they dropped the bomb on him that the concert had never taken place, so what was he talking about? I say they were not rude because they were not talking to him to begin with and they did not encourage him to lie. He just chose to, as he usually did, insert himself into a conversation uninvited and tell a whole bunch of lies. And if you knew this guy, I don't think you'd blame them either. This is a guy who told me that he personally had been nominated for a Nobel prize in Medicine. No, he's not a doctor. But he used to work at a hospital that employed a doctor who had once been so nominated.

For what it's worth, he took the outing with good grace and although he does still tell tall tales, he's not nearly as bad as he used to be.

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wolfie

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2012, 07:56:18 PM »
Your two example situations doesn't seem like tricking someone into lying so much as lying to someone to promote them to lie in return. Especially the second one - I would not look kindly on someone who trashed me just to get someone else to admit that they did something bad to me too. There has to be a better way of going about it.

I don't think it is promoting them to lie, though. If Person B really did hate Bob, but had nothing to do with framing him for anything, wouldn't they just say, "Yeah, I hate Bob too!" Why would they say they framed him?

I think that is what bothers me about your examples - if the person isn't lying or didn't do what you suspect them of what has it gained you? Especially in the second instance. Is Bob supposed to believe that you didn't mean to trash talk him - that you just wanted to get a confession from someone else? And just because they don't confess to doing it doesn't mean they didn't do it - they could just be smart enough not to blab to other people about it. A good trick is one that forces the other person to admit they were lying but doesn't cause you to lie/get yourself in trouble to do it. It's not an easy thing to do and usually happens by accident.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2012, 07:56:46 PM »
In a small company where you can easily reach the boss I would definitely do that, but sometimes that is just not possible. Also, telling your friend a white lie is still a lie, but it is a lie for a good cause.

If you can't get hold of the boss neither can the liar so you still have no need to lie to them.

I don't agree a 'white lie' is still a lie.  A lie is telling someone something that isn't true with the intention of deceiving them. Telling my mate that her bum doesn't look big in that is done with the intention of having her feel great in the clothes she's wearing.

You are still deceiving your friend, even if you are doing it for a good reason. If her bum didn't look big in those clothes, you would have truthfully told her that.

Say someone comes by and is looking for your friend. You don't want them to find your friend because you know they are going to cause a problem. He asks where your friend is, so you lie and say you don't know. You lied to this person, but you are doing it for a good cause.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2012, 08:04:02 PM »
Your two example situations doesn't seem like tricking someone into lying so much as lying to someone to promote them to lie in return. Especially the second one - I would not look kindly on someone who trashed me just to get someone else to admit that they did something bad to me too. There has to be a better way of going about it.

I don't think it is promoting them to lie, though. If Person B really did hate Bob, but had nothing to do with framing him for anything, wouldn't they just say, "Yeah, I hate Bob too!" Why would they say they framed him?

I think that is what bothers me about your examples - if the person isn't lying or didn't do what you suspect them of what has it gained you? Especially in the second instance. Is Bob supposed to believe that you didn't mean to trash talk him - that you just wanted to get a confession from someone else? And just because they don't confess to doing it doesn't mean they didn't do it - they could just be smart enough not to blab to other people about it. A good trick is one that forces the other person to admit they were lying but doesn't cause you to lie/get yourself in trouble to do it. It's not an easy thing to do and usually happens by accident.

I think that these particular examples aren't that rude because if it turns out the person is telling the truth, the only person who looks stupid is you, not them. If you are willing to risk it, that is your business. This is how it could go if they are telling the truth:

A: Oh, you know Alex, isn't he great?
B: Um... she is great. I have been friends with her for awhile (Is this employee new or something?)

A: I hate Bob, someone should teach him a lesson!
B: Well he did steal those cookies...

True, they may not actually confess to anything, but there is no reason why they should be confessing to something they didn't do. As to your bolded question, if you explain your plan to Bob, or if you plan this together, there is no reason why he shouldn't believe you.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2012, 08:06:09 PM »
The Example with your grandma, not necessarily rude.

The other two examples you gave are rude because in both examples, Person 1 is lying.

Even the question "Isn't Alex a great guy" would be a lie if the person asking knows that Alex is a woman, as it is said with intent to deceive.

They all come off as a bit self congragulatory and ego based to be honest.  Kind of like "Look how cleverly I trapped you"

Here is an example where I think this would be very rude:

A: I met (famous person) once! Then we had lunch together and it was great!
B: Oh, did you meet them on their 2005 tour?
A: Yes.
B: That's impossible. That person died in 2000.
I think this scenario is rude because even though it might be annoying to listen to an obviously fake story like this, it is ultimately harmless. It would be better to just go along with and inwardly roll your eyes.

In the examples I gave, allowing the lies to go unchecked could result in: being emotionally manipulated, getting in trouble by a boss, having a reputation as a thief, or being fired or disciplined. What I am wondering is, is setting a trap for a person still rude even if their lies could cause a problem? Is the clever person's rudeness mitigated by the liar's intent to do harm through deception? Can one rationalize catching people in a lie in this way by thinking, "Well, if they didn't want to stand there looking foolish just now, they shouldn't have lied to me in the first place." Or is it still rude?

Actually, I have had a very similar thing happen within my group of friends. I think I posted about him in the Captain Know It All thread, or possibly the Blowhard thread.

Anyway. this person was well known to be a liar in our group. He either embellished or outright lied about many things, big or small, and as a group we usually let it slide. "That's just how he is" was the usual attitude. Eventually a few of the guys got tired of it, and decided to set him up. They were seated at a table away from him and started talking about a great concert they'd been to at <local venue> recently. He - as expected - inserted himself into the conversation and went on about how, oh yeah, he'd gone to that show and he's best buds with the band and he partied with them after the show blah blah blah. 

Then they dropped the bomb on him that the concert had never taken place, so what was he talking about? I say they were not rude because they were not talking to him to begin with and they did not encourage him to lie. He just chose to, as he usually did, insert himself into a conversation uninvited and tell a whole bunch of lies. And if you knew this guy, I don't think you'd blame them either. This is a guy who told me that he personally had been nominated for a Nobel prize in Medicine. No, he's not a doctor. But he used to work at a hospital that employed a doctor who had once been so nominated.

For what it's worth, he took the outing with good grace and although he does still tell tall tales, he's not nearly as bad as he used to be.

I could see how that would be very annoying, since this person did this so often. If it was a one time thing, I would just let it go.

gen xer

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2012, 08:51:46 PM »
The motivation for flushing out a liar is important.  Is the intent simply to embarrass someone....or to mitigate damages?
Exposing someone who is out to harm you or someone else ( as in the case of the beige Camry ) is totally justified.  I would have no qualms whatsoever.
Embarrassing somebody is a different kettle of fish.  Sure - chronic tellers of wild stories can be annoying in their apparent belief that that we are all hanging on their every word in gullible awe of their fascinating life.  ,,,,but trying to embarrass someone is beyond rude.  It's mean.

Adelaide

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2012, 08:53:57 PM »
One of the only people I gave the Cut Direct to was a pathological liar. I've posted about him on here before. I think that at this point we've moved away from etiquette into morality. I have done the entrapment thing to him and have not felt badly about it, because at the time I thought that by calling him on his tall tales I could get him to change his behaviors.  Of course, in the process I think it made me look like the rude person in front of some people we knew. Once he said that his dad got an iPad "back in January" and I pressed him for details, because the first iPads weren't released until April.  ::) After much spluttering on his part it made the conversation awkward and I got the sense that I was the bad guy moreso than him.

On the other hand, Ex-friend once told me that "Sarah's" bf was saying rude things about me behind my back. (Ex-friend hated Sarah's bf and wanted to alienate him from the group.) Ex-friend didn't count on me meeting up with Sarah and hashing it out. I kept texting Ex-friend, asking him for specifics, and finally told him that I was sitting with Sarah. He ended up saying "I don't know what you want from me" and I said "I want you to never lie to me again". After he started a) talking about how it "wasn't technically/really/actually a lie per se/like that" and b) he just did it for attention/he felt sad/unnoticed, etc. I gave him the Cut Direct.

Those are the only two examples of entrapment that stick out in my mind. But I think that this may be a moral issue instead of an etiquette issue in certain cases. In some cases, you may make yourself out to be petty and overly concerned with details if you out a liar, and even if that's not the full story (they lie constantly or the issue is near and dear to you) you'll be perceived that way. I also think that in examples where you're "goading it on" by offering up false information yourself it could especially be seen as rude, like in the "tour of 2005" example.

sunnygirl

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2012, 08:58:06 PM »
I got the impression the OP's examples were purely hypothetical, since they went on to state:
I'm talking only about things where the lie actually matters and could cause a problem.
If someone is telling serious lies that could have real dire consequences, I see nothing wrong with trying to lead them into exposing themselves as liars.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2012, 08:58:15 PM »
I am very uneasy with the idea of "trapping" someone in a lie.

I think it's ok to ask for the finer details, if you suspect someone is lying to you AND their lie will affect you negatively (like, getting you fired, etc). But deliberately inventing detals in the hope that the other person will go along with them (and thus, expose themselves as a liar) seem really "off" to me.

wolfie

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2012, 09:03:25 PM »
Your two example situations doesn't seem like tricking someone into lying so much as lying to someone to promote them to lie in return. Especially the second one - I would not look kindly on someone who trashed me just to get someone else to admit that they did something bad to me too. There has to be a better way of going about it.

I don't think it is promoting them to lie, though. If Person B really did hate Bob, but had nothing to do with framing him for anything, wouldn't they just say, "Yeah, I hate Bob too!" Why would they say they framed him?

I think that is what bothers me about your examples - if the person isn't lying or didn't do what you suspect them of what has it gained you? Especially in the second instance. Is Bob supposed to believe that you didn't mean to trash talk him - that you just wanted to get a confession from someone else? And just because they don't confess to doing it doesn't mean they didn't do it - they could just be smart enough not to blab to other people about it. A good trick is one that forces the other person to admit they were lying but doesn't cause you to lie/get yourself in trouble to do it. It's not an easy thing to do and usually happens by accident.

I think that these particular examples aren't that rude because if it turns out the person is telling the truth, the only person who looks stupid is you, not them. If you are willing to risk it, that is your business. This is how it could go if they are telling the truth:

A: Oh, you know Alex, isn't he great?
B: Um... she is great. I have been friends with her for awhile (Is this employee new or something?)

A: I hate Bob, someone should teach him a lesson!
B: Well he did steal those cookies...

True, they may not actually confess to anything, but there is no reason why they should be confessing to something they didn't do. As to your bolded question, if you explain your plan to Bob, or if you plan this together, there is no reason why he shouldn't believe you.

If someone came to  me and told me they wanted to tell someone they hated me to get them to confess to doing something I would not be impressed. I would wonder if they were still in middle school because that is the kind of vibe I am getting from that conversation. Plus unless it went down the way you wrote it it doesn't help you any. If they don't take the bait you don't know if it is because they are innocent or because they are smart enough to keep it to themselves. Plus anyone who overheard you now thinks you have something against Bob and that could bite you later.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2012, 09:04:49 PM »
I got the impression the OP's examples were purely hypothetical, since they went on to state:
I'm talking only about things where the lie actually matters and could cause a problem.
If someone is telling serious lies that could have real dire consequences, I see nothing wrong with trying to lead them into exposing themselves as liars.

The grandma in the hospital and the beige camry stories are real, the others I just made up so that people would have some frame of reference to what I was talking about.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2012, 09:11:16 PM »
Your two example situations doesn't seem like tricking someone into lying so much as lying to someone to promote them to lie in return. Especially the second one - I would not look kindly on someone who trashed me just to get someone else to admit that they did something bad to me too. There has to be a better way of going about it.

I don't think it is promoting them to lie, though. If Person B really did hate Bob, but had nothing to do with framing him for anything, wouldn't they just say, "Yeah, I hate Bob too!" Why would they say they framed him?

I think that is what bothers me about your examples - if the person isn't lying or didn't do what you suspect them of what has it gained you? Especially in the second instance. Is Bob supposed to believe that you didn't mean to trash talk him - that you just wanted to get a confession from someone else? And just because they don't confess to doing it doesn't mean they didn't do it - they could just be smart enough not to blab to other people about it. A good trick is one that forces the other person to admit they were lying but doesn't cause you to lie/get yourself in trouble to do it. It's not an easy thing to do and usually happens by accident.

I think that these particular examples aren't that rude because if it turns out the person is telling the truth, the only person who looks stupid is you, not them. If you are willing to risk it, that is your business. This is how it could go if they are telling the truth:

A: Oh, you know Alex, isn't he great?
B: Um... she is great. I have been friends with her for awhile (Is this employee new or something?)

A: I hate Bob, someone should teach him a lesson!
B: Well he did steal those cookies...

True, they may not actually confess to anything, but there is no reason why they should be confessing to something they didn't do. As to your bolded question, if you explain your plan to Bob, or if you plan this together, there is no reason why he shouldn't believe you.

If someone came to  me and told me they wanted to tell someone they hated me to get them to confess to doing something I would not be impressed. I would wonder if they were still in middle school because that is the kind of vibe I am getting from that conversation. Plus unless it went down the way you wrote it it doesn't help you any. If they don't take the bait you don't know if it is because they are innocent or because they are smart enough to keep it to themselves. Plus anyone who overheard you now thinks you have something against Bob and that could bite you later.

Yeah it certainly isn't the best plan, but the question is whether lying about hating Bob is actually rude to the person who are talking to. I just quickly thought of an example to illustrate what I meant, I wouldn't expect this to literally happen like that in real life.

rose red

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2012, 09:13:03 PM »
Liars that can harm should be called out, but I think it's best to call out a lie without lying/tricking yourself.  In the coworker situation, you can say "I did not leave early.  Lets find out what happened.  Can you tell me the make and color of the car of the person you saw driving away?"

Or in the "I know the boss" situation, "You are Alex's best friend?  How nice.  May I please have your name so I can give him the message?"  "No, he's not available now.  May I have your name so I can let him know you called?"  "You need a favor from me?  I'll have to clear that with the boss.  Your name please?"

You need to make yourself look good while still exposing the liars.  IMO, lying/tricking does the job of exposing them, but takes a bit of...I'm not sure the right word...integrity(?) away.  I much prefer to expose them with the truth coming out of my mouth.