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The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  49 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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3.50  · 
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 ·  373 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Oct 03, 2009 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.
Konstantin Mihov
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
A little disappointing that the book simply gives a recount of lying in our day to say life. It almost feels as if the author tries to normalize this without explaining what we can do or what the role of society in this reality is.
Feb 23, 2010 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
Ben Thurley
No, your bum really doesn't look big in that!

Haha, yeah, War and Peace is great. I was just re-reading that the other day.

A bigger boy came and ate the cake. And then he ran away.

This is the business opportunity of the decade. But it's not for everyone. Maybe you're not quite ready to reach new heights along with the platinum-class clients of my fully-accredited (check my resumé) hedge fund...

And if you believe any of that, I have a very nice bridge that spans Sydney Harbour I'd like to sell you
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The author pointed out the nature of human's lying is actually part of the result of evolution. Just like all the animals in the world, they disguise, fake death, tricking enemies for survival.
But the difference between animals and humans still we are aware of the feeling and the reaction of lying to others.
We humans are more, we even know how to self-deceive, for many people, lying is piece of cake, as long is it's harmless, if it helps gain the friendship, social status, a job, some money, w
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not up to my expectations. Certain chapters as if fillers and purposely being draggy just to prove/justify certain themes upheld by the author. More like detailing from different aspects how human can be a natural born liar (conditioned from young and also having the intelligence in comparison to animals that also lie/trick for survivals) and how lying is part of life. This book is definitely not so much on how to deal with liars (despite the somewhat misleading title; well can't blame since eve ...more
Troy Kramer
The title of the book is rather misleading, because while it discusses many of the various ways and contexts in which basically everyone lies, it has very little to comment about the way to truthful relationships. Instead, it talks about how lying acts as a social lubricant whereby someone who is always truthful is seen as a socially awkward jerk. In the very last chapter, before the acknowledgements, as an afterthought to the entire book, the author states that maybe telling the truth isn't so ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to read without feeling generally disappointed in the universality of deception, whether that would be self-deception or deceiving or being deceived by others with varying degrees of risk. Nevertheless, to be unaware of one's own or another's capacity for untruthfulness or denial whether delivering the compliment when you would rather not be put on the spot by queries such as "does this dress make me look fat?" or all the way to pathological compulsive lying (in a very small percentage ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book doesn't actually lay out the way to truthful relationships, instead it describes all the different ways people lie so you can be more cognizant of the fact that EVERYONE does lies (though not everyone has malicious intent.) It also points out the truth can sometimes hurt more than lies but even white lies can have unforeseen consequences. In the end, the advice was to take what everyone says with a grain of salt and look at the intent of the deception while trying to be more honest you ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
A book about all kinds of liars and lies people tell for good or bad reasons. It was an in-depth look on lies and i might have been ok with shorter version. The author teaches us to not lie, but throughout the whole book we see that it is merely impossible to do it or you would have a very hard life.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Library book. Was underlined and sidenoted throughout, detailing a spouse who’d been cheated on. Threw me off. This, combined with a few reviews I read, ensured I didn’t finish reading it. Wasn’t really what I expected.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Kind a interesting book, say that everybody lies , why we feel need to lie. And that is so hard spot lying even for professionals ( police, lie detector ...)
But it miss the part to truthful relationships .
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: human-interest
The irony of the misleadingness of the subtleties...

It is a good investigation on how lying in its varying forms occurs in everyday life, however.
Quang Hưng
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
It’s somehow could be considered as a textbook for liars study. However as well as a textbook, it’s a little bit wordy & verbose.
Ronnie Yee
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Quote from book:
"But trust does not lead us to honest people - it is, rather, the faith we have in other people's honesty."
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book to read right now since we all have a government full of liars in our lives. Very useful.
Paul Froehlich
Feb 27, 2015 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 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
Eden Mani
Oct 19, 2016 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
Apr 20, 2012 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
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 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 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
Jen Liu
May 12, 2010 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.
Thing Two
Dec 12, 2010 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.
Renee Florea
Jan 17, 2017 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.
Aug 24, 2009 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.
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.
Dec 18, 2009 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 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.
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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