Catching the stench of deception emanating from someone you trust is devastating.
Deceptive tendencies are unfortunately ingrained in the daily operation of many individuals around you.
Upon getting a whiff of untrustworthiness from someone, you’ll inevitably have some decisions to make. The principal decision that’ll be staring you in the face would be whether you should make your knowledge of someone else’s deception public.
This article hopes to remind you that the decision of whether to disclose your knowledge of someone else’s deception is an important one to at least consider.
Moreover, the words below aim to communicate that it’s sometimes better to allow others’ deception to seemingly pass by.
The Attractiveness of Exposing Others’ Deceptive Behavior
Remaining unhinged and quiet in the face of others’ deceptive behavior is tricky to pull off. We tend to jump to conclusions in such instances. We far too often feel as though a powerful publication of others’ deceptive tendencies will encourage them to stop.
However, the context surrounding the times in which you catch others’ deceptive tendencies should be carefully traversed. Deception does well to give rise to responses which may not necessarily be emotional, but lead to unfavorable results. Those responses wouldn’t be aligned with aiding your task of achieving the goals you have set with the individual in question.
The attractive desire to expose deceptive behavior is difficult to resist because emotional states do well in selling reactionary thinking as logical ideas. In an effort to strip an individual of the power they’ve attained through deceptive methods, we’re attracted to dropping bombs which publicize and expose. We hope to blow up the schemes deceptive individuals conjure with an emphasis on brutality and force.
In addition to the perceived strategic benefits of exposing and publicizing deception, we can’t ignore the emotional intrigue involved in the matter. It feels good to be vindicated. It feels good to be the oratore of justice. It feels even better when we have an opportunity to enact justice in one big blow.
You’ll be motivated by immediate desires to respond to others’ deceptive behavior by ignoring, commenting, confronting, planning, publicizing, and gossiping. The long game however, bears more fruit, isn’t as dangerous to play, and enacts justice in even more painful ways.
Discouraging an Adjustment of Strategy
A person deceiving you will seldom stop in their attempts at doing so upon getting found out. People’s willingness to be victorious often leads them toward adopting even more deceptive measures when their earlier, weaker, measures are exposed.
An obvious perk of not unveiling your act of catching someone in their lies, schemes, secrets, and nefarious plans is the prevention of an adjustment in their strategy.
Your observation, but lack of publication, of their deceptive behavior will provide you an upper hand from a strategic planning perspective. You will be able to predict, plan, and act around their deceptive patterns without notifying them of anything gone wrong.
Deceptive individuals may thereby change and shift their deceptive ways as per the natural course of strategic planning, but will not be encouraged to shift directions completely. You will give yourself a better chance of defending yourself against their schemes down the line.
You’ll be able to adjust your own plans without forcing your adversary to make adjustments to theirs. You’ll give yourself time to figure out ways to combat such an individual’s deceptive schemes; to collect more information, and to figure out methods with which to move toward the implementation of your plans in the matter.
Keeping Tabs on the Motivation to Hurt Others
A loser in any circumstance of life will be more motivated to win in later phases than those who don’t feel like they’ve lost today. Just as the previous portion of this article focused on strategy, this portion will focus on motivation.
A person’s motives are powerful drivers of strategized action. You should never underestimate how your actions affect the motivation of those whom you interact with.
Having one’s deceitful behavior exposed by way of a call out or a series of questions will signify a “loss” in their mind. Having their deceptive strategy figured out and called out in any form is akin to being stripped naked and unveiled from behind the curtain.
Our deceptive strategies are as personal and private as our deepest secrets. Deception is generally a high risk activity, and carries with it shame (if you maintain a sense of embarrassment) upon publication.
From a motivation perspective, a failed attempt at deception does not breed a willingness to stop deceiving.
Rather, an adjustment of deceptive strategy will be combined with a strengthened motivation to be even more deceitful.
From that perspective, it may very well be worth more to simply observe rather than win. Labeling a deceptive player to be exactly that will provide fuel for uncontrolled motivations to cause even more pain.
Your Weaknesses Are Exposed by How You Victimize Yourself
The act of calling out deceptive behavior typically includes making a couple of assumptions. Catching people in their deceptive ways isn’t exactly a scientific process. On the way to correctly guessing exactly how those we suspect to be deceptive are hurting us, we are forced to draw a number of unfounded conclusions.
Such an instance can include assuming that another person knows about, and perceives, your pain-spots as seriously as you do.
Someone’s act of ignoring you, for example, can vary in pain depending on your history with other individuals ignoring you.
You can thereby assume that a certain individual is being deceptive / malicious when they ignore your texts. With that assumption guiding your behavior, you can act out by voicing your displeasure.
Your weakness of being sensitive to selective bouts of radio silence would thereby be publicized when you voice your displeasure about being ignored. By assuming that people are acting in deceptive / malicious ways around your pain spots, you can make the mistake of publicizing such “weaknesses” of yours.
Even if others’ deceptive behavior is demonstrably true, be careful acknowledging them to be spot on in guessing and exploiting your weaknesses.
Deceptive behavior which is observed but not attended to gives its administrator no feedback on their efforts. By simply seeing and not reacting, you serve to keep information about your pain spots, weaknesses, and the general effects of others’ deceptive behavior under wraps. You give them nothing to grade themselves on, and would leave them guessing as to whether their deceptive ways were authentic attempts at causing pain.
If You Have to Call Them Out, Do It Subtly
People don’t like being called out, especially on lies.
An effective approach to achieving the goals that calling people out publicly brings, is to also do it subtly, so only you and the liar know the truth. A subtle call out looks like normal conversation, in which you only hint that you are aware of the truth and therefore their lie.
Calling people out on lies in extravagant ways leads to negative feelings in the lie-teller towards you. This opens you up to more lies, more deception, and more disrespect. Deal with liars respectfully and subtly, so there’s a greater chance they change, and stop their deceitful behavior towards you.
A subtle call-out will do two things:
- It will show mercy to the liar, and show them that there are no ill feelings towards them lying. This will make them feel like they got away with one, and that any more lies will be met with stricter punishment. They’ll have a feeling of gratitude toward you showing mercy and not embarrassing them, therefore increasing the chances that they will act nobly toward you from there on.
- It will not burn any bridges, and keep you in the loop of all things that the liar does for you, apart from lying. An emotional call-out on a lie will put a stop to any form of relationships that you worked hard to develop with the liar.
Move through life treating those that try to harm you with respect, and you will have a greater chance of putting a stop to their behavior while not forming any enemies.
Some would tell you to not take it personally, but lies, deception, and general acts of evil are in fact very personal. This is the reason most victims can’t remain calm in addressing deceptive behavior shown toward them. Keep calm and show mercy, but always remember what that person is capable of.
The main goals of yours after you discover deception committed towards you are to put a stop to that behavior if you can, and not fall for any further deceptive actions by the other party.
Both of these goals will be reached if you subtly let the deceptive party know about your awareness of the situation. The subtle call-out can be in the form of mentioning the facts in passing conversation, addressing the true facts rather than the lies, and fully ignoring their attempts at deceptive actions and efforts to lure you into an emotional state of war.
With this approach, you will keep track of your enemies and keep them close. The best way to handle those who deceive you is to keep tabs on them, and maintain good relationships with them.
Don’t burn bridges, and do not get heated, you might feel like embarrassing the person in question but will thank yourself for not doing so once you cool off.
Do not act out in emotion-fueled revenge as a general rule, and especially with those who you catch in the act of trying to deceive you. Stay calmly alert and in the know while ensuring your actions are backed by strategy.
In the News
Read our analyses of current events by becoming a Patron.
- How Choosing Your Battles Wisely Affects Your Place in the World
- How People Ruin First Impressions During Small Talk
- How to Handle People Who Mask Ignorance by Taking Over the Conversation
- How to Deal With Needy Managers – A 3-Step Approach
- How to Make Authoritative / Powerful People Like You Quickly