Author Topic: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?  (Read 8177 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 #60 on: December 03, 2012, 11:52:19 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".

That's a fair point, I can see that.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2012, 12:02:56 PM »
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.

I didn't outright state this before, but basically my grandmother is a jerk. Everytime she pulls some kind of stunt it is because she is angry at someone and wants to cause trouble for them. She had recently been angry at my dad for going on a long vacation with my mom, who she doesn't like. This incident happened the day they were going to leave. My grandmother isn't a very good actress, and I've found it pretty easy to tell when she is only pretending to be confused, as she will be perfectly fine one second, act confused in a very over the top way when the conversation is going a way she doesn't like, and be fine again as soon as that part of the conversation is over. My other grandmother actually does have memory problems and dementia, and her illness never appears and disappears at such convenient times. To my dad, it was probably very clear to him that she was just lying to him.

Generally speaking, I would not deal with people the way my dad dealt with grandma, as most people don't really mean me any harm. With someone nasty like grandma though, I'm not sure what else my dad should have done. Especially since, regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques, it turned out he was 100% right about everything.

When we found out grandma was in the hospital, since we knew what she is like, it was a case of hearing hooves and assuming horses, not zebras.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 12:06:07 PM by AllTheThings »

cicero

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2012, 12:28:49 PM »
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.

I didn't outright state this before, but basically my grandmother is a jerk. Everytime she pulls some kind of stunt it is because she is angry at someone and wants to cause trouble for them. She had recently been angry at my dad for going on a long vacation with my mom, who she doesn't like. This incident happened the day they were going to leave. My grandmother isn't a very good actress, and I've found it pretty easy to tell when she is only pretending to be confused, as she will be perfectly fine one second, act confused in a very over the top way when the conversation is going a way she doesn't like, and be fine again as soon as that part of the conversation is over. My other grandmother actually does have memory problems and dementia, and her illness never appears and disappears at such convenient times. To my dad, it was probably very clear to him that she was just lying to him.

Generally speaking, I would not deal with people the way my dad dealt with grandma, as most people don't really mean me any harm. With someone nasty like grandma though, I'm not sure what else my dad should have done. Especially since, regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques, it turned out he was 100% right about everything.

When we found out grandma was in the hospital, since we knew what she is like, it was a case of hearing hooves and assuming horses, not zebras.

the thing is, though, that your father ended up looking sort of like a jerk too. and to be honest, you don't come out too good either in the story about the beige car.

see it's one thing to tell a simple white lie "yeah, that hair cut is great", "no those jeans don't make your butt look bigger". because for the most part, those are one-time events, nobody gets hurt. we move on.

but it's another thing to be manipulative and do what you (and your dad) did. I don't know what your grandmother's problems are but if someone goes to tthe trouble of injuring themselves, putting themselves in the hospital and undergoing medical tests, *just* to prove to their son that they are angry - then *that* is indicative of other problems.

and as for your story about the car and the coworker - in the end you are the one who got fired, and i know that you said that it was because of this and because of that, but in the end you end up (also) looking bad

I was married to someone who lied all the time, was extremely argumentative, and got so caught up in his lies and webs that he would often get caught. it was stupid, really. I told him that ends up looking like a total jerk instead of being honest.

(and just for the record - again, i don't know your grandma but i can assure you that there *are* cases of people developing dementia or altzheimer's who seem so totally "normal" one minute and totally off the wall 20 seconds later - yes, that fast. so don't rule out an *actual* problem with her just because it's not the same as your other grandma)

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Allyson

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #63 on: December 03, 2012, 12:47:59 PM »
I can't say it bothers me too much, but pathological/chronic liars really get to me. Like Nora said, it's the powerlessness of it. It's  not always easy to prove someone's lying though, and unless they're doing it in a harmful way, entrapping them doesn't end up being useful.

These people have an explanation for *everything*. The one I know who is like this, she will overexplain herself til your head spins. And if that fails, she'll start getting upset and saying, oh, she must've been confused.

In the example about the car I think it was understandable, because there was another person there. And proving to your boss that coworker was a liar was a possible and helpful thing to do. Whereas outing someone for knowing a famous person probably won't be useful in the longterm. But, I can't really fault people who do this successfully.

AllTheThings

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #64 on: December 03, 2012, 01:16:22 PM »
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.

I didn't outright state this before, but basically my grandmother is a jerk. Everytime she pulls some kind of stunt it is because she is angry at someone and wants to cause trouble for them. She had recently been angry at my dad for going on a long vacation with my mom, who she doesn't like. This incident happened the day they were going to leave. My grandmother isn't a very good actress, and I've found it pretty easy to tell when she is only pretending to be confused, as she will be perfectly fine one second, act confused in a very over the top way when the conversation is going a way she doesn't like, and be fine again as soon as that part of the conversation is over. My other grandmother actually does have memory problems and dementia, and her illness never appears and disappears at such convenient times. To my dad, it was probably very clear to him that she was just lying to him.

Generally speaking, I would not deal with people the way my dad dealt with grandma, as most people don't really mean me any harm. With someone nasty like grandma though, I'm not sure what else my dad should have done. Especially since, regardless of whether or not you agree with his techniques, it turned out he was 100% right about everything.

When we found out grandma was in the hospital, since we knew what she is like, it was a case of hearing hooves and assuming horses, not zebras.

the thing is, though, that your father ended up looking sort of like a jerk too. and to be honest, you don't come out too good either in the story about the beige car.

see it's one thing to tell a simple white lie "yeah, that hair cut is great", "no those jeans don't make your butt look bigger". because for the most part, those are one-time events, nobody gets hurt. we move on.

but it's another thing to be manipulative and do what you (and your dad) did. I don't know what your grandmother's problems are but if someone goes to tthe trouble of injuring themselves, putting themselves in the hospital and undergoing medical tests, *just* to prove to their son that they are angry - then *that* is indicative of other problems.

and as for your story about the car and the coworker - in the end you are the one who got fired, and i know that you said that it was because of this and because of that, but in the end you end up (also) looking bad

I was married to someone who lied all the time, was extremely argumentative, and got so caught up in his lies and webs that he would often get caught. it was stupid, really. I told him that ends up looking like a total jerk instead of being honest.

(and just for the record - again, i don't know your grandma but i can assure you that there *are* cases of people developing dementia or altzheimer's who seem so totally "normal" one minute and totally off the wall 20 seconds later - yes, that fast. so don't rule out an *actual* problem with her just because it's not the same as your other grandma)

I know people who seem lucid can start acting crazy very soon after, but the thing with my grandma is that it always happens at times that seem way too convenient for her. A few times might be just a coincidence, but the staff at her assisted living place have never witnessed any of these spells and she only has them when it would be convenient for her, and then snaps out of it when it is more convenient for her to be lucid again. This has been happening for awhile, and while I might be sympathetic if she had an actual problem that she couldn't help, I can't be sympathetic to someone who goes to such lengths just to be mean and cause a problem for someone else.

I think the reason why I can't blame my dad too much is that while he made grandma uncomfortable, this wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been such a jerk in the first place.

MerryCat

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #65 on: December 03, 2012, 02:37:00 PM »
I generally don't believe that giving people the third degree is polite at all. But at the same time, if you're a person who's prone to lying and exaggeration, you only have yourself to blame if people start to question everything you say.

My mother is very prone to exaggeration and making things up to fit her convenience. She's especially prone to making up conversations and, when you call her out on it, she'll say "Okay, he/she didn't say that, but they wanted to. It's the same thing!."

Well, no, it's not the same thing. When I was younger I'd sometimes get dragged to things I didn't want to go to because "They invited you specially! They'll be so offended!" Then, when I got there, I'd realize that my invitation existed only in my mother's head. Her defense? "Well, I thought they meant to invite you. How was I supposed to know it was adults only?" AGH!

And now that she's gotten older and her health has gotten frailer, I get to hear worry-inducing stories of heart palpitations and tumorous lumps and various terrible and fatal diseases she's sure she's got. These terrible illnesses especially occur around holidays and when I enforce boundaries. There's usually just enough truth in her exaggerations that I can't dismiss it all out of hand. She'll actually save up health scares, rather than tell me at the time, so that she can bring them up later when she wants to manipulate me. I can get the straight truth from my dad but, if he's not around, then yes, I'll grill my mother to get to the actual truth of the matter.


I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while the OP's father's behaviour can seem pretty harsh to an outsider, if you live with a compulsive exaggerator/hypochondriac you get pretty good at telling when you're being played. Especially when, as seems to be the case here, the illness follows a convenient and predictable pattern.



AnnaJ

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #66 on: December 03, 2012, 03:01:22 PM »
OP, I've read your posts and still don't understand why your dad 'had to' interrogate your grandmother.  If he is convinced that your grandmother uses health issues to try to manipulate him or other family members, then he just stops allowing himself to be manipulated.  Period.  He could have called the hospital to make sure she wasn't badly injured, then simply not gone to visit.

The problem with 'tricking' someone, as you discovered with the daycare incident, is that it may not resolve the problem and, as someone else commented, could end up with the trickster looking like the bad one.

TurtleDove

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2012, 03:19:07 PM »
I'm not clear what the OP is hoping to accomplish.  People who are pathological liars are not likely able to hide this fact from the masses for long.  On the other hand, creating some elaborate (or even not so elaborate) "gotcha" moment seems mean spirited and does not paint the OP in a good light, in my opinion.  When I believe someone is a liar, I either cut them out of my life or don't believe anything they say and restrict my interaction with them. 

I liken it to a romantic relationship.  If you suspect someone is cheating, and go through their personal things (like phone, email, wallet) you WILL find "proof" that they are cheating on you.  They may or may not be cheating, but the very fact you feel the need to snoop means you don't trust them and the relationship is over.  Here, if you feel the need to "prove" to someone you know they lied to you, you are just wasting your energy on a relationship that is past is sell-by date.  The trust is already gone, so why waste time proving to them why you don't trust them?

WillyNilly

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2012, 03:45:04 PM »
When I was in high school a friend of mine tried to trick me like this.  She played a tape and asked if I knew the song.  I said I did.  She did this whole "ah-ha!  Gotcha!  I knew you were full of it!" thing on me, as apparently it was her sister's boyfriend's band (that legitimately I would have no way of having ever heard before).  I was really embarrassed and humiliated, I really honestly thought the song sounded familiar.  It was about 6 months (no internet back then) before I heard the song again - the band had been doing a cover (my friend didn't realize it was a cover) - so I wasn't the liar, I had heard it before! I went back and called my friend out on it, but really our friendship was never the same, as I really just never trusted her again - I always wondered it she was out to get me and try to trick me again.

CaptainObvious

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2012, 03:52:08 PM »
OP, I've read your posts and still don't understand why your dad 'had to' interrogate your grandmother.  If he is convinced that your grandmother uses health issues to try to manipulate him or other family members, then he just stops allowing himself to be manipulated.  Period.  He could have called the hospital to make sure she wasn't badly injured, then simply not gone to visit.

The problem with 'tricking' someone, as you discovered with the daycare incident, is that it may not resolve the problem and, as someone else commented, could end up with the trickster looking like the bad one.

Most people who tell outrageous lies don't care that they are caught. If they did, they would have stopped years ago. I guarantee that you aren't the first person to catch them in a lie or confront them.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2012, 04:29:25 PM »
From an etiquette viewpoint—since I don't think I have anything to add to the ethical discussion—I think saying "Mom, I'm not coming to the hospital, I'm sure the staff will take good care of you" and, if necessary, "because I think you're using your medical issues to manipulate us" is as polite as "Hah! I've caught you lying, so now I can ignore your medical crises."

Either way, your father would have been drawing a boundary and saying why; someone who uses the sort of techniques you describe from your grandmother isn't likely to stop even if they're caught at it in front of witnesses. I suspect that in a week or month, she'll do something similar, and have "forgotten" all about this episode.

You and your father are adults: you can enforce boundaries without justifying them to your grandmother (which probably won't work anyhow).
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Surianne

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2012, 04:41:01 PM »
Like other posters, I'm not really seeing why the tricking and lying is necessary. 

In the case of your grandma, if you know for sure she's lying, call the hospital to check up on her and then don't bother to play into her game by visiting. 

In the case of the coworker lying about you leaving early, wouldn't asking "You saw me drive away?  What colour car was I driving?" be just as useful as playing the "Did you see me get into my beige Camry?" trick?   

And as other posters have mentioned, just ask your boss if X person is his friend before transferring the call.

It seems to me like the lying and tricking might just come across as mean-spirited and immature to other people watching it, rather than clever.  I don't think it will do you much good in the long run.

Lynn2000

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2012, 05:32:29 PM »
Interesting thread. I was going to comment on the OP's exact wording in the beige Camry story, and how it might have been less "tricky" than some were assuming; but then I realized that the problem with this technique is that it turns every conversation into a testimony on Law & Order, hinging upon the exact wording someone used. In some situations that might be appropriate, when you've gone beyond etiquette anyway; but I think that generally, there are better ways to deal with suspected liars.

Reacting with calm dignity when someone else is sputtering outrageous lies, generally being known as a truthful person, and asking simple questions about facts are, I think, more polite than trying to trick someone. In a purely social situation, you can also choose to simply stop associating with that person, or refuse to rise to their bait of lies, rather than trying to prove to all and sundry that they are, in fact, lying. Probably a lot of people get that sense from them anyway, and it's better not to give them the attention they obviously want.
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Wordgeek

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Re: Is it rude to trick someone into showing that they lied to you?
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2012, 06:12:02 PM »
Insofar as this is an etiquette issue, the matter has been adequately explored.