I’m extremely bad at lying, and the truth is that I think this is a personal flaw worth remedying. There are lots of drawbacks of not being able to lie, especially if you are frequently exposed to other dishonest cultures:
- You can’t lie to people when they ask you to lie to make them feel better
- You’re likely to slip up or have less bargaining power during interviews and negotiations
- You can’t make the dubious insurance claims that everyone else does
- Your stories aren’t as interesting
- You will get on the wrong side of people who accept a modest level of honesty as an appropriate form of communication
- People won’t believe you anyway
- You’ll appear less confident and have a height disadvantage compared to everyone else in online profiles
- You’ll suck at games that require lying
Today, I got really unlucky. I played a variant of Mafia with about 12 people, mostly strangers. I was a mafia member in the first round. My mafia teammate and I lost the first round quite quickly; we were both outed on the basis of sound, though I’m pretty sure the sound my accusers detected was simply the host walking beside me. Anyhow, when I got accused, this particularly intuitive and outspoken girl was accusing me on the basis of my facial expression. (In this variant, whoever gets accused first has at least 50% chance of getting lynched, simply because it’s compulsory to vote for someone and within only a few minutes of discussion. You’re in trouble even if you get blindly accused. There are also three pretty overpowered town roles compared to the standard rules, but that’s no excuse.) If I smiled, she said I was guilty because I couldn’t help smiling, and if I stopped smiling, she accused me of trying not to smile. I could feel my cheeks twitching, though I’m glad people can’t actually see that. Anyhow, I was very unconvincing and the game ended just like that.
In the second round, four out of six roles were retained by the same people. I got accused on the first day of voting by the intuitive girl again, who was a spy this time. She was partly fishing, but it was effective. My face felt exactly the same, and the only reason I wasn’t lynched right there was because my teammate saved me by throwing another accusation out. The first vote was a draw against me and the other accused, so I nearly got eliminated on the first day of voting, until the other person got voted out in the revote. My teammate fell under suspicion the next day (but we successfully killed the intuitive girl this time with the doctor’s guaranteed heal already used) and was voted out. There were still people sure it was me. It’s a wonder that I made it to the day where I would make the winning kill that night, and people turned against the “vigilante” during that day’s vote. Unfortunately, their ability is to kill whoever they choose when they die, and he killed me right before what would have been my winning night. I never stood a chance, since he suspected me from the start and would have chosen to kill me no matter when or how he died.
Getting better at lying has always been on my long list of things that will make me a better person. I’m somewhat insecure about it, and it’s now been bumped up significantly in priority after this incident.