“How To Use Lies To Fool People In A Negotiation” – Negotiation Insight

“People become fooled by lies because they allow themselves to believe lies as truths.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  (Click to Tweet)

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“How To Use Lies To Fool People In A Negotiation”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

“Get over it! People use lies to fool people every day in a negotiation. Why do you think you’re an exception?” Those were the shouted statements made by one person to another. Yes. People tell lies every day. There’s one particular US politician that’s exceptionally adept at attempting to fool people through the lies he tells.

Some people tell lies in a negotiation to enhance the illusion of themselves. And other types of lies are intended to assuage someone’s feelings. Then, some will lie for the deviousness of manipulation to cover up their ineptness. Either purpose can be harmful to the receiver of mistruths, which is why you need to understand how people use lies to fool people. By knowing how others use lies for deception, you can protect yourself from the lies they’ll hurl at you. 

By full disclosure, this is a subject that I don’t particularly appreciate discussing. It goes against my character and good-natured demeanor. Nevertheless, because lying appears to be more prevalent throughout the world, it’s a topic whose time I felt is appropriate for discussion. The following information is to protect you from liars that would make you the victim of their fallacies.   

Lies, Misdirections, Cut Off

During a negotiation, people lie. When they do, they’re attempting to alter your perspective. In essence, a liar wants to misdirect your attention from one aspect of the discussion to another. To interpret the effect, he may be attempting to have on you, assess the following variables.

  • Measuring Lies’ Effectiveness

When sensing someone may be lying, ask yourself why they’re lying – question what they have to gain. That process will open the door to the reasoning behind the liar’s attempts. And once you know if they’re lying to enhance their vanity, position, or credibility, you’ll have a better opportunity to measure the lie’s effectiveness.

If you’re the liar, be mindful of how close someone is to recognizing your lie’s intent. The faster they catch on, the less impactful your lies will be. Of course, when it’s all said and done, the action that someone commits after they’ve heard a myth is the best barometer as to the effect the falsehood had on them.

  • Art Of The Cut Off

For a lie to be useful, be it in a negotiation or other situations, the liar must control the flow of the interaction. Thus, when a prolonged give-and-take occurs between the liar and the target subject, the less likely will be the lie’s effectiveness. Accordingly, as the liar, to control the flow of the discussion, you must cut the subject off from speaking at strategic points. That means, if the lie is being useful per its intent, it will behoove you to let the subject ramble as long as he desires. But at the moment, he displays an understanding that what he’s hearing may not be in his best interest, that’s the time to infuse his thoughts with another attack of mistruths. The intent is to keep him logically off balance so he doesn’t focus on why what he’s hearing may be misleading.

If you’re the subject of this attack, your position should be one of not allowing the liar to alter your line of thinking by attacking you with additional misinformation. Thus, it would be best if you disallowed him from cutting you off when you refute his statements. And at some point, you might consider letting him know that you’re aware of his lies.  


“What? I didn’t know that’s what you meant!” When you hear those words in that phrase, pay close attention to what follows. At best, the speaker may be honestly stating a misunderstanding of what he thought he’d heard. At worst, he may be at the beginning of shifting the lie in which he suspects you caught him. And if you’re not quick, he may slither into another deceitful tale that leads you deeper into despair.

Repositioning is a tool that all good negotiators use in a negotiation. Its purpose is to define the understanding of the participating parties’ position better. Just be aware of when someone’s attempts to enact lies to lure you into situations that don’t serve your purposes. That can be extremely harmful to your efforts.

Unspoken Words

In every negotiation, you must listen to what’s said, but also be aware of what’s not said. The latter can be more insightful than the words spoken. When liars tell lies, the words they choose to omit can be very informative.

As an example, if you asked someone what happened, and they respond with, I didn’t see anything. The person may not have seen anything, but the expected answer is, I don’t know. While this can be a parsing of words, it would behoove you to take note of the response. It’s not what you’d expect. Thus, it could be the entry that leads to deepening lies. Try this out on some of your associates and see how they respond about a situation that they have no insight. Please take note of their responses.   

Listen To Words Used

During a negotiation and other aspects of your life, in some cases, the word choices that a person uses will belie their attempts to cover-up circumstances they wish not to have revealed. Thus, when someone uses specific terms, or when they enumerate certain words repeatedly, recognize that they’re emphasizing those words for a purpose. That means there could be a hidden or implied meaning that they’re not stating aloud.

The other aspect to focus on are the use of contractions. While someone may say, ”I did not do that!” for emphasis, the more likely phrase they’ll use when first approached about the truth is, “I didn’t do that.” They will not use the contraction of “did not” to amplify their words. By not using the contracted form, they think they’re heightening the projection of their innocence. Because, in their mind, they believe it’ll make them more believable.  


In so many situations, negotiations, and everyday interactions, people lie to fool other people. If you’re someone that uses lies to fool people, you’ll make your discussions more difficult. Yes, your deceit may fool some people some of the time. But it definitely won’t fool all of the people all of the time. There will come a time when you attempt to deceive the wrong person; then, you’ll be the one fooled because they’ll cause you mental harm.  

If you’re someone that tricksters prey on, be aware of how liars use words to reposition their perspective, when and how a liar attempts to cut you off from speaking, their word choices, along with their unspoken words. Those variables will lend insight into what that person’s lying attempts seek to achieve. Once you’re on to them, you’ll have an easier time fighting off their lies. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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