A renowned American philosopher named George Costanza once opined, "It's not really a lie if you believe it." Georgie Boy had no idea how right he was. The human brain is an absolutely amazing organ, capable of incredible amounts of rationalization. If you can somehow convince yourself that you are telling the truth, then as far as your psyche is concerned, you're not a liar. As a result, there will be no deviation from your baseline behavior, no leaking, no liar's remorse, and no little clues. Because you think you are telling the truth, you will appear as if you are telling the truth.

"Huh?" you say. We have two responses: (1) stop saying "huh?" while we're talking, and (2) an example will make all things clear. Let's say that a prospective employer asks you if you ever smoked marijuana, and for the sake of argument, you smoked pot yesterday. How can you lie persuasively?

What if you told yourself this: "The purpose of pot is to get high. You can only get high if you inhale. So, someone only really ‘smokes' pot when they inhale. I did not inhale. Therefore, I am comfortable saying that I did not ‘smoke' pot" When that potential employer asks if you ever "smoked" marijuana, you could with complete ease answer "no," because you truly believe that you did not. You're free (and still eligible to be President of our great country)!

Let's examine another example from the master liar himself: Bill Clinton's statement that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman." According to his testimony, "sexual relations" require a pleasuring by both parties, and since Mon did all the pleasuring, he was comfortable in claiming that he did not have sexual relations with her. Even if you are a Republican and believe that Slick Willy's explanation is a lie, you get the point: if you can somehow convince yourself that you're telling the truth, then all of the psychological and physiological indicia of lying disappear, and you are home free.

To recap: remember what you've learned:

  1. Have as little contact with the target as possible. If it's a random person on the phone taking a survey, you would have no problem lying. If the person was at your doorstep, it would be a little tougher to lie, but you'd probably be able to do it (unless it was a Girl Scout). If it were your brother at the door, everything would change. You care what your brother thinks; your brother knows your baseline behavior well, and it would be tough for you to tell your story with a straight face without feeling a little bad. If a policeman were at your door, you also might have trouble lying. True, he doesn't know your baseline behavior, but you sure do care what he thinks. Because there would be tremendous pressure on your psyche to play it cool, it would be difficult to focus on maintaining your baseline behavior.

  2. Practice. When Officer Lockemup is standing in front of you, analyzing you for nervous behavior, your well-practiced story of how you don't smoke marijuana because it's against your religion is safely stored in your brain. Now when it's time to talk, you'll feel confident, comfortable, and less prone to wild sweating.

  3. Use details. All 300 pounds of Lockemup is standing in front of you, asking if you smoke marijuana. Your answer is not, "No. It's against my religion." Your answer is "No. I'm a member of the Twelfth Day Adventists, and it is strictly forbidden by our God to ingest any plant-based smoke. Would you like to attend a prayer meeting tomorrow at 4:00 a.m.?" Okay, this is a little ridiculous, but you get the idea.

And there you have it! You now know all that is necessary to be a great liar. Go out there and become the best darn lawyer you can.