If you find people aren’t always honest with you, and you want to know how to stop people from lying, there’s something you can do.
And the best part is that it doesn’t require tricks or manipulation at all.
The Problem with Dishonesty
Dishonesty causes a lot of problems. We can’t really know where we are with someone if they’re dishonest. We might miss important information and not have the opportunity to interact with them in the best way because we don’t truly know where they’re coming from.
What’s more, if we’re responsible for them, we can’t watch out for them. Is Tobias really going to the library to study or is he going off with friends to get into trouble?
It’s times like these we want to know how to stop people from lying. Surprisingly, there isn’t much to it, not much more than digging a trench.
The Path of Least Resistance
When I was a kid, I used to be fascinated with water. I would dig out a hole and fill it with water, then I would dig out little trenches for the water to go through. If I wanted to redirect the water, I would simply dig a trench.
Now sometimes the trench would go uphill and the water would stop, and sometimes the trench was straight and I would cut a trench in the side only for very little water to come through. The water would follow the strength of the flow and keep going down the path of least resistance.
No matter how much I wanted the water to go in a particular way, the water would simply go the way that was easiest for it. I couldn’t change the way the water worked, but I could change the way I directed it. When I made it easiest to go the way I wanted it to go, the water always went that way.
Mind Like Water
If you want to know how to stop people from lying, just think about the water. Will they get a lot of judgement for telling the truth? Will they be looked down on for being honest? Will they be afraid of consequences?
If you want to stop people from lying, don’t give them reasons. Appreciate their honesty even when it’s hard to hear. Don’t judge them. Treat them as well after their confession as before.
This might not always work. Tobias still might want to sneak off with his friends, and you can’t just let him get in trouble. And there are people who have built up walls over decades that may be impossible to get past.
But the more you build trust by showing that honesty is safe, the more honesty will become the norm. More and more often people will begin to follow the path of least resistance, and they will value the respect and lack of judgement so highly, losing it will be too costly to bear.
The next time you wonder how to stop people from lying, just remember to make it the path of least resistance. Over time you will be amazed at how close your relationships become.