Author Topic: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?  (Read 7377 times)

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kareng57

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2012, 10:39:15 PM »
Yes, I think it would be very rude to try to "trap" an elderly person in this way.  Just because you suspect that she didn't really fall, doesn't mean that you know she did not. It's not unusual for an elderly person to lose short-term memory over an event like this.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2012, 10:55:23 PM »
Yes, I think it would be very rude to try to "trap" an elderly person in this way.  Just because you suspect that she didn't really fall, doesn't mean that you know she did not. It's not unusual for an elderly person to lose short-term memory over an event like this.

What would you have done instead in order to find out what really happened? The other situations I can see how trapping someone might not be necessary, but I don't really know what else my dad was supposed to do aside from questioning her in a way that she would inevitably give herself away. Considering the circumstances that led up to this, we were about 99% sure that she had done this on purpose.

penelope2017

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2012, 11:02:22 PM »
I see this as backfiring in many cases.

For example, I never remember anything about someone's specific car.

If, hypothetically, I thought a daycare teacher left their responsibilities and I was a coworker and thought I saw them leave, I would not remember what type of care they had. If they quizzed me by saying, "You saw me leaving in my beige camry?" I'd probably only think I was answering the part of the question that was "You saw me leaving" rather than what I'd consider an inconsequential aspect, the make and color of their car. I can barely remember the make of my car.

Trying to catch some people on small details to prove they are a liar might often just prove they are someone with a bad memory.

I was an exec secretary for many years. If I got the vibe someone wasn't who they said they were I'd just take a message. I'm sure my boss would prefer that rather than trying to trip up a possible actual friend. That's sort of taking things over the line.


Sharnita

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2012, 11:04:53 PM »
Yes, I think it would be very rude to try to "trap" an elderly person in this way.  Just because you suspect that she didn't really fall, doesn't mean that you know she did not. It's not unusual for an elderly person to lose short-term memory over an event like this.

What would you have done instead in order to find out what really happened? The other situations I can see how trapping someone might not be necessary, but I don't really know what else my dad was supposed to do aside from questioning her in a way that she would inevitably give herself away. Considering the circumstances that led up to this, we were about 99% sure that she had done this on purpose.

Assuming you could talk to the doctor I might have asked if there was any sign she had hit her head. 

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2012, 11:10:37 PM »
Yes, I think it would be very rude to try to "trap" an elderly person in this way.  Just because you suspect that she didn't really fall, doesn't mean that you know she did not. It's not unusual for an elderly person to lose short-term memory over an event like this.

What would you have done instead in order to find out what really happened? The other situations I can see how trapping someone might not be necessary, but I don't really know what else my dad was supposed to do aside from questioning her in a way that she would inevitably give herself away. Considering the circumstances that led up to this, we were about 99% sure that she had done this on purpose.

Assuming you could talk to the doctor I might have asked if there was any sign she had hit her head.

But the point wasn't really whether or not she had actually hit her head, it was whether what had happened was actually an accident. Therefore, my dad had to question her to see if she could keep the story straight about what had actually happened. He was suspicious before, but ultimately her going back and forth on whether or not she had hit her head was enough to let him know that something wasn't right. He told her he knew she had faked the whole thing, and she admitted it.

Basically, the way my grandmother operates is that she is perfectly fine until something comes up that she doesn't want to discuss. Then she suddenly has dementia. My family's theory was that she did not intend to mention any head injuries until she had left the hospital, so that the staff wouldn't check up on her to verify it, plus she did not want to stay in the hospital. She did not expect my dad to question her like that, and hadn't made up that part of the story yet. My dad could tell she was like this because she was lying, not just confused, because she had been acting completely fine just a second ago.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 11:37:01 PM by AllTheThings »

rose red

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2012, 11:18:03 PM »
Questioning about what happened, digging for the truth, and asking about inconsistencies is fine.  The other examples about outright lying to catch someone just doesn't seem right.

sweetonsno

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2012, 12:38:12 AM »
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.

I agree with this completely. If you object to people telling outright lies to you, or misleading you, doing the same yourself is hypocritical. If somebody lying to or misleading you is rude, then doing the same to them retaliatory rudeness. In many cases, their "lie" might be accidental. As Penelope said, people often respond to the gist of something rather than all of the details. Furthermore, people are often quite susceptible to suggestions. If you feed them details, you can actually change their memory of an event.

None of the examples you listed sound as though the motivation for lying is altruistic. I really don't like the idea of lying unless your motivation is to do something kind. Earlier posters discussed tact (you should not say, "Yes, that skirt makes you look like a hippopotamus," for instance. . . "The black one is far more flattering" is much better). I also think it's okay to lie to protect someone's privacy. If someone has asked to to keep something on the DL, you should do so, barring extreme circumstances (like confession of a crime or an intent to commit self-harm).

SoCalVal

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2012, 01:03:47 AM »
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.

Pod.  I don't really see the point of this here since it requires expending more effort and me caring more than I would in the examples.

I only once tried to expose a pathological liar about 26 years ago.  When confronted with his lie with my sister present (he contradicted something my sister told me that occurred between the two of them), he lied about his lie.  After that, I didn't bother.  Everyone who knew him knew what a big liar he was; it wasn't worth my time after that.

As for the boss example, I just couldn't be bothered to determine whether or not the person is lying.  If the boss should be available, I would put the caller on hold and ask the boss if he/she wished to take the call from this person.  If not, then the person would be told the boss is unavailable and be sent to voice mail.



Raintree

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2012, 01:06:56 AM »
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?"

I disagree. I think the beige camry story was brilliant. The way you suggest asking it leaves the liar able to say, "I don't recall, but I saw her get into a car and drive away." Then it is one person's word against another's. I don't think in this scenario it was "rude" at all. The coworker was making a serious allegation and trying to get her victim fired. Such a person does not deserve any consideration for etiquette rules.

Iris

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2012, 02:33:12 AM »
Whether you are comfortable with the entrapment approach is really up to  you, I think it goes more into morality than etiquette myself.

On the close questioning - I don't think it is rude as such, but it certainly doesn't lead to comfortable relations. My SIL who is lovely in most ways has a tendency to do it and it tends to make me uncomfortable around her, as if every conversation is an exam where you will be tested for absolute truthfulness, no muddles or exaggerations allowed.
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Nora

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2012, 03:24:03 AM »
I feel powerless when it comes to chronic liars. The urge to lie, and keep lying is so much stronger than the urge to connect to other people on any meaningfull level that it seems like a lost cause to try and catch them out. If the lie is affecting others in a negative way I do feel they should be confronted, but I have no idea how to do that in a way that would not lead to a cut direct in the future...
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Steve

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2012, 09:12:44 AM »
It seems to me like you are giving your gramma a "3-rd degree" interrogation. we call something like that the "Zaanse verhoormethode", you can get anyone to admit to anything if you play your trickery right.

I feel it is not a good way to treat people at all. I also doubt we are still in ettiquette territory here, it sounds more of a moral discussion.



Giggity

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2012, 09:32:25 AM »
The question is, is it okay to lie to someone to demonstrate that you know they lied to you.

I find that rude, and retaliatory.
Words mean things.

CaptainObvious

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2012, 10:36:58 AM »
The question is, is it okay to lie to someone to demonstrate that you know they lied to you.

I find that rude, and retaliatory.

I agree, it falls under the old saying of "two wrongs don't make a right".

DavidH

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2012, 11:46:24 AM »
In the coworker example, I think the lie was justified given the circumstances, although it doesn't seem to have mattered in the long run and for all anyone knew you could have borrowed a friend's car that day. 

Giving your grandmother who may or may not have fallen a comprehensive interrogation, particularly after she may or may not have hit her head seems rude and not very productive.  Just for a minute assume she had hit her head, it could have caused her to become confused and fail the interrogation.  Another explanation is that she didn't want to stay in hospital and had, in fact, hit her head and was lying to the hospital staff, whereas you interpreted this as lying to you. 

It's not clear to me from the story whether or not she fell, it sounds like she fell but you believe she did this on purpose.  In any event, whether or not she hit her heard, faking a fall is a cry for help and understanding that might be the more important part of the story.

In this case, if you don't want to visit her, then don't visit her.  To claim a moral high ground gained by interrogating her and missing the point of why she would fake a fall seems somewhat off to me.