Never Be Lied To Again

by David J. Lieberman, Ph.D

(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998)

Reviewed by Kelli Bond


Upon spotting David J. Lieberman's “dupe detector manual,” I thought, “At last! Here's something that many of our adults with NLD can really use, given that people can easily deceive so many of them.” 

A New York Times bestseller, Lieberman’s book has the double bonus of explaining 23 behaviors—both nonverbal and verbal—in which many U.S.-based children and adults with NLD frequently and unknowingly engage, singularly and in combination. At best, these unconscious acts often mark those with NLD as “native foreigners,” to borrow Judy Lewis's phrase. At worst, such mannerisms can unwittingly brand people with NLD—whose innocence and “honesty to a fault” are legendary—as a con, especially if one factors in the 10 to 15 seconds it takes for those oft-stated “lasting first impressions” to form. 

Here are Lieberman’s “giveaways” that those with NLD and the people who care about them might want to examine: 

·         Limited or no eye contact (13) 

·         Folding arms and legs into a near-fetal position (14) 

·         Having stiff, almost mechanical arm movements and gestures (14-15) 

·         Showing inconsistencies between gestures, words, and emotions (17,19) 

·         Shaking the head after making a verbal point (18) 

·         Delaying an emotional response, then prolonging it once it comes on (only to abruptly cut it off) (19-20) 

·         Limiting expression to the mouth to show happiness, surprise, awe, etc. (20-21) 

·         Having little or no physical contact with the person being talked with (24) 

·         Keeping the index finger idle (that is, never pointing) (24-25) 

·         Phrasing an answer as if responding to a foreign language exercise (27-28).  (Example: “Did you cheat on me?” brings forth the reply, “No, I didn't cheat on you.” Such a pattern may also be found in those with central auditory processing disorders and expressive language disorder minus NLD.) 

·         Adamantly asserting an opinion or view, or saying “no” bluntly, not letting someone down easy. (This gives rise to the impression, "If you were confident in your thinking, you wouldn't feel a need to compensate.") 

·         Verbalizing (in so many words) the idea, “I'm above that sort of thing!” (30) (Example: “Were you honest with me about our conversation yesterday?” Answer: “Of course I was. I would never lie to you. You know how I feel about lying.”) 

·         Taking a long time to reply without explaining the delay—then telling the story piecemeal, circularly, or both. (31) 

·         Encountering difficulties in discussing intangibles (attitudes or beliefs) (35). (Example: In a job interview, the interviewee will be asked if he or she feels uncomfortable working with or serving certain people. Often, the longer it takes for him or her to answer no, the lower the score. Someone who holds no such prejudice is said to answer quickly.) 

·         Overreacting (36) 

·         Depersonalizing people and things (referring to one's own mother, for instance, as “the mom” or “that mother” rather than “my mom” or “our mother.”) (36) 

·         Omitting emphasis in words (37) 

·         Avoiding “I,” “we” and “us” in conversations  (37—this is actually more an Asperger’s Syndrome and a high-functioning autism problem than it is a NLD problem.) 

·         Mumbling (38) 

·         Using a rising inflection at the end of statements, as if asking a question (38-39) 

·         Leaving out the point of view or opinion of others when telling a story involving an interaction with someone (42) 

·         Failing to ask the “right” questions (43-44) 

·         Readily supplying facts and details (which shouldn't ordinarily be recalled) (47-48, and a problem for those without NLD who also happen to have excellent memories). 

Squirming yet?

 Keep in mind that everyone has been “guilty” of these mistrust-builders from time to time. In NLD and related conditions, however, the moderate to high frequency and intensity of the behaviors—along with their incompatibility with a wide range of situations—are the norm.

 Also important to remember is that Lieberman writes from the perspective of the majority northern European, male-dominated culture in the U.S. Some of those “slippages” are considered neutral, even respectful, among some ethnic minorities in the U.S. and in many countries outside the U.S.

 Lieberman’s seven other sections cover a variety of sophisticated yet hard-hitting scripts to deploy with suspected liars without turning the session into an interrogation, how to uncover deceit, basic and advanced methods to get the truth from people, the 10 fundamental laws of human behavior, self-deception (and how to conquer it), and roadblocks to perceiving outside information objectively.

 At $12.95 (often 20% to 30% off at all the online book sellers), Never Be Lied To Again is a must for every person with NLD. It should also be on the bookshelves of every helper—paid or unpaid—who has reached out to the NLD community in some form. The video by the same name is also available for $39.95 plus shipping through Merlin at (888) 937-9374, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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