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The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  215 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
In The Liar in Your Life, psychology professor Robert Feldman, one of the world's leading authorities on deception, draws on his immense body of knowledge to give fresh insights into how and why we lie, how our culture has become increasingly tolerant of deception, the cost it exacts on us, and what to do about it. His work is at once surprising and sobering, full of corre ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Twelve (first published January 1st 2009)
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Feb 23, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was different than what I expected. I thought it would give guidance on how to determine if someone is lying to you or not, but it was nothing like that.

Feldman gives a wide range of examples of lies we encounter everyday and probable reasons behind those lies. He also includes several studies which point to conclusions we can safely make about lying. Really this was an educational book! Using modern examples (Enron, etc.) that we, the reader, can relate to and a pace and style that is
Paul Froehlich
Feb 27, 2015 Paul Froehlich rated it it was amazing
Mark Twain said that lying is a universal behavior that can and should be used for good purposes. Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church, the nation’s first megachurch, teaches that lying is wrong and Christians should eliminate the practice. So which is it, a universal behavior that can be used positively, or a regrettable violation of ethics?

Professor Robert Feldman takes a scientific approach, presenting what the research tells us about human beings and deception. It’s fair to say that the
Jul 09, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Regardless of whether you're struggling with a known prevaricator or not, this book deals with the lies people tell in everyday circumstances, the reasons this happens, and how culture nurtures this behavior.

Feldman presents a clear picture of lies in everyday life, from a narrow individual perspective that gradually builds to the expected lies that permeate every facet of society. Would you believe that when you first meet someone, you'll lie about 3 times in a 10 minute period? What about the
Apr 20, 2012 Deepak rated it liked it
This book is an interesting read for understanding lies in one's life. Most of us may be thinking that we don't lie or that the lies we indulge in are harmless. Mr Feldman ,himself a psychologist, has given a good explanation of the reasons we lie (knowingly or unknowingly) and as to the difficulty of tracing a lie.He cites one case study after another to show the various factors involved in lying and postulates that a certain amount of lying is important for a stable society.He takes an example ...more
Oct 19, 2016 Eden rated it really liked it
The book’s title can and will probably mislead you (oh, the irony!). This is not a self-help book, and is not a guide to truthful relationships, but rather a psychological survey of deceit and dishonesty in various walks of life. To me in particular, it was not an easy read, and even a rude awakening of sorts: lies are everywhere. The specific case studies he offers to support his arguments, about businesspeople who falsified their résumés, journalists who invented stories, and CEOs that cooked ...more
I thought this book was interesting in the fact that it really highlights how much lying goes on in every single conversation and how to a certain extent some of it is almost crucial but, if it is not for the ease of the conversation (ease as in flow) then there is a residual effect that lying causes, so the goal is not to be perfect but to be better, the less is more theory basically. I would lying however (O: if I didn't say that I did skim the last of the book because it is a bit tedious and ...more
Mar 23, 2010 Khalid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
The Liar in Your Life is a book that addresses lying from different aspects. It does talk thoroughly about the forms of lying we're usually accustomed to referring to as lying, but it also addresses other interesting forms of lying which may not be as harmful (Some are even necessary).

It's a very interesting book discussing an interesting topic. However, I do find it to be rather dry at times; the author has the opportunity to make the book more interesting, and even though he is trying, I feel
Jul 20, 2009 Siobhan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Shelves: non-fiction
This book drops on August 3rd. BUY IT! I just finished an "advance readers copy" I got from work. It's clear, succinct, well written, accessible, entertaining, edifying and to the point. If you love the truth, or have been lied to too many times, its incredibly helpful and enlightening. Author Robert Feldman utilizes numerous examples from popular culture to help illustrate scientific findings, including the Enron Scam, and Lou Perlman ripping off the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. HOO-muthtruckin- ...more
Thing Two
Dec 12, 2010 Thing Two rated it liked it
Written by Robert Feldman, the Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachussets at Amherst, I selected this book in hopes of understanding the motivation of a person who lies, when it turns out I know her intimately, for she is me. Feldman's premise is that not only do we lie, but we teach our children to lie, and our society is extremely tolerant of it. Well researched and written.
Jen Liu
May 12, 2010 Jen Liu rated it it was ok
The books addressed the question 'liars in your life' by listing out all different types of lies in life. However, there's nowhere I can find 'the way to truthful relationship'. (maybe I missed the part as I started skipping pages towards the end since it became a little frustrating to read through study by study about lies?)

It's one of those sociological study books that are more suited for academic minds I guess.
Oct 03, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it
What this book is NOT is "The Way to Truthful Relationships" or another take on everyday sociopathy.

What this book IS is an interesting (though less than fascinating) trip through a number of roles that deception plays in everyday life.

I suppose I feel a the title, but as the book goes on to describe in quite clear writing is now I shouldn't have been surprised. Still, it is a worthwhile read for those unfamiliar with deceit, broadly framed.
The first three quarters of the book were pretty cool, exploring the different areas in which people lie and giving very succinct scientific facts in an engaging way. It wasn't dumbed down or full of scientific jargon. But the last quarter turned into a moral/self-help book-y type weird stuff, which I didn't like at all, and which, frankly, took away from the whole thing.
Aug 24, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book, very engagingly written, but the title makes it sound like a self-help or relationship advice manual when it is really more a psychological study of human behavior. If you enjoyed books such as Daniel Gilbert's "Stumbling on Happiness" or anything by Meredith Small or Malcolm Gladwell, you are likely to find this entertaining and informative.
Renee Florea
Jan 17, 2017 Renee Florea rated it really liked it
The author breaks down different theories as to why people lie and provides high profile cases of modern time. I found this book interesting for the fact that I enjoyed reading the psychology behind the actions. That being said, I was looking for a book that gave steps to confront liars or better handle situations. This book seemed to apply a psychological theory to justify/explain the actions.
Dec 18, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-science
While this looks like a self-help book, for me the more interesting parts are Feldman's discussions of the social and biological impulses that lead to lying, the role it plays in human societies and why it is a universal "vice." He brings in classic studies and also very recent research in a readable way.
Frank Lindt
Nov 22, 2015 Frank Lindt rated it really liked it
That people on average lie 3 times within 10 minutes to someone they don't know is hardly the most astounishing finding explained in this book. Through academic examples the author explains clearly why we lie, which purpose it serves and why lying can be good for your monetary and psychological wellbeing.
Nov 17, 2009 Thom rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The gist - if something is important, assess the truth of it. The advice - try to be more honest. Lots of anecdotes, lots of psych studies, and an attempt to name each kind of lying - a "lie with intent" for instance. An interesting read.
Dec 30, 2015 Kimberlyedavis rated it really liked it
This was filled with interesting stories and information on how each and every person becomes a we socially train our kids into becoming liars...and random interesting stories about pathological liars.
Wil Roese
Oct 03, 2010 Wil Roese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People lie more than we think. We lie for many reasons including thrills, building our self esteem, being social and greed. One problem with the book is the authors constantly makes excuses for lies as a social norm as if you can not be social and honest at the same time.
Jul 31, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
kind of interesting to explore the everyday mini lies ("it's so nice to see you!") versus the more egregious ones ("no really-- I'm single!")

also goes into truth in advertising, politics, autobiographies.

sometimes tedious, but often fascinating
Cess Que
Nov 04, 2013 Cess Que rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deception is killer. This book tells why lies exist. I bough this after becoming a victim of a large-scale deceit, but after reading, this book doesn't give you the superpowers to detect lies but gives an insight of why there are lies. More of a socio-psych book. A fascinating read.
Meg Trucano
Nov 30, 2010 Meg Trucano rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I listened to this on a long car ride, and I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely changes how I think about lies of all kinds, and how frequently we all lie and are lied to--even without really realizing it.
Nov 18, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
The liar in your life is....everyone. And you aren't excluded from that list. The entire book is dedicated to the many reasons we lie, ranging from altruism to mental illness. After listening to the author characterize different forms of lying, I have been thinking about lies in a new way.
Sharon Deebrah
Jan 28, 2017 Sharon Deebrah rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diego Leal
Feb 01, 2016 Diego Leal rated it it was ok
There are 3 variables that will determine the fate of a committed relationship:
1. How satisfied you are.
2. How invested you are.
3. How many other options you have.
Jan 16, 2017 Charis rated it really liked it
Fascinating! Helpful to know the facts in this book
Dennis Willingham
Aug 26, 2010 Dennis Willingham rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction
Not a relationship book as the title would make you think, but a lay persons introduction to some of Feldman's 25 years of research on lying. A lot of food for thought here
Aug 03, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Very insightful. Not so much for the insight as to "why" people lie, but for insights as to why certain lies upset one more than other lies.
Honora Dabrowska
Apr 18, 2016 Honora Dabrowska rated it it was amazing
Depressed people tend to have an amazingly clear and accurate perception of themselves and others around them, which is not beneficial to them in the least.
Yuki kojima
Aug 05, 2009 Yuki kojima rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I enjoyed reading and learning from this book. I think all you need to know about lies are in here. Definitely recommended.
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Robert S. Feldman is Dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Feldman, who is winner of the College Distinguished Teacher award, has also taught courses at Mount Holyoke College, Wesleyan University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psycholo
More about Robert S. Feldman...

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