Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"I Promise" in Statement Analysis

$500 Curling Iron?

My daughter, Christina and I had an interesting date at our local mall last Saturday.

We went from store to store, window shopping, stopping to allow perfume testers, skin care experts and make up artists practice their craft upon her.  We met some interesting people and had a few laughs while we talked 'shop' with the dedicated followers of beauty, commenting on color coordination, skin tone, and the best products available.

Christina is just shy of 14, and an A+ student in a private school.  She takes her school work seriously, as well as her hobbies.  She loves to read, write, and befriend anyone in need.

                                             She also loves to curl her hair.

We came upon a boutique set up in the mall in which curling irons were being sold. Christina, among other things, loves to catch liars (I know, I know, but she's young, still) and with her love of all things girlie, a boutique selling "very special" curling irons was the ticket.

The salesman was pleasant, but very aggressive.  As some of his sentences contained too many words, I cautioned him, politely, that Christina would catch him. He was unflustered by me, and spoke incessantly, as he used the curling iron to make beautiful curls in her very straight hair.  He said that the curls would need nothing to stay, unlike other curling irons, and said that they would even hold up under water.

"Here, Dad, let me demonstrate.  This is just ordinary tap water.  I promise.  See?" as he sprayed a bit into my hand. "It is just water, H20, nothing but water, I promise."

Christina knows that anything repeated is important, but when one needs to buttress his own words, it is a signal that he is not truthful.

Indeed, the "promise" of being ordinary tap water was true, I whispered to her, but it signals that other things he was saying was not.

"So, how much for this amazing curling iron?" I asked.

He said, "Hmm!  Just a minute.  Now, you know that..." and off he went.

"You avoided the question", I said.  "Now my daughter knows the question is important."

He pointed to the box where it said, "$500" and turned to me and said, "You are a caring father.  For you, this, no this, is just too much.  $250!"

I reached for my cell phone to see if it had an app to jump start my heart.

He said, "Oh, no.  It is not for sale at amazon."

I had not searched Amazon.

"Now, you know, I am not the owner, but here is the owner, and you want to make sure that these curls stay in so in 30 minutes, well actually, the next 29, if you buy it, for you, and only  you, as as a good dad, if you do not tell others, you can have it for $210!"

I said, "You should not have said, "I promise" before."

He said, "But it really is ordinary tap water!"

I said, "yes, but you signaled that you were lying about something else by needing to promise that which I could prove."

He brushed this off and continued to address my daughter directly.  With his back turned to me, I touched my nose to signal Christina that he was caught.

We know each other well.

She looked at me as if to say, "Yes, Dad, I caught him too" and with her eyes, she smiled the smile of recognition.

We said we would walk around for the next half hour and let them know.

"27 minutes!" he said.

The same curling iron, in the same packaging is available at Amazon for $39.

(free shipping, too).

When someone says "I promise", it is often that the person is telling the truth and wants to be believed.  It is the need, however, to use such emphasis that tells you that other things the person said may not be true, and, in fact, should be questioned.

Listening is a skill, like any other, that can be developed and practiced, over time.

Follow pronouns.  Let your ears tingle when you expect to hear "I", yet you hear, "we."

Training investigators can be challenging, but when they are from the private sector, there is often a faster pace to the training.  These are often higher educated, higher paid, and more intent on learning, and can make the class dynamics soar with adrenaline.

Yet, there can still be a heavy stop sign.

A few years ago, I was conducting a class that was going well.  The body language and responses told me that these investigators were "getting it" and moving along well.  There was one, however, who's folded arms suggested otherwise.

She was tense, quiet, but when she did respond, she was intelligent. Yet, there was that disapproving scowl over her face.

Finally, appearing as if she had enough,  she spoke up.

"I just can't buy into this Statement Analysis thing.  Oh yeah, a lot makes sense, but this one area really bothers me", she said.

"What is that?" I asked.

I had warned them, early on Day One, that they would be tempted to use the sentence, "Statement Analysis does not work because I..."

I told them that in dealing with statistics, if we say something is "80% likely" that they may fall into the 20% category and want to dismiss analysis based upon their own experience in life, in one particular area.  I cautioned them to note that pronoun, "I" in their objection.

This investigator, intelligent as she was, could not.

"Well, this whole thing about someone saying, 'I swear to God, I promise, Honest to God, I swear on my mother's grave' is just not true."

"How do you know it is not true?" I asked.

"I know it is not true because my sister and I.  We are very close.  For more than 30 years we have had this rule since we were kids.  If we say 'I swear to God' we are not allowed to lie to each other.  When we say "I swear to God', we do not lie to each other.  It has been like this for more than 30 years, since we were little."

I stood silently as the class was utterly silent in waiting for my response.

I held my peace.

Slowly, with just one or two at first, signals of recognition came across faces, and then cracks of smiles.

Attendees looked at one another, some seeing the smiles and understanding, while others searching the faces for understanding.

Then the chuckles started, and then...

the laughter.

The now embarrassed investigator still did not understand.

"You just proved Statement Analysis" I said to her.

She was neither amused nor did her face show recognition.  Later, I overheard someone explain to her that she just admitted that she and her sister lied to each other with impunity, but when they used the oath, they could not follow their norm of lying.

To this date, I do not know if she ever 'got it' but I have my hopes and my illusions in tact.


Nic said...

My alcoholic (ex) friend uses "I promise" all the time.

I haven't leant her money since the mid-90's.

Nic said...

For Christina:

My daughter has long, heavy, pin-straight hair. It does not hold a curl because of its weight. I used the linked technique for her First Communion "hair do", except I sectioned my daughter's hair into about 12 sections (all over) after I blew it almost dry and used a small fabric elastic to "tie" them in place. Hair just has to feel cool/damp after you're done blow drying. I twisted more tightly than the linked demo because I wanted her to have more of a spiral curl. The twists were not uncomfortable to sleep with. (In order for this to be really successful, you need to keep the twists in for at least 6 hours.) Don't comb after untwisting!!! Just untwist from the nape of the neck up and carefully separate the twists into thirds, or quarters, with your fingers. Important to note that you want to gather hair on either side of your part to make twists so that the part doesn't appear "flat"/like you're growing out a perm.

These curls lasted the **whole** day. They start out very tight, however, they do soften/fall.

I used the curling iron to finish my daughter's ends because tucking the last inch of the hair into the twist is sometimes not enough to curl the end.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Mr Hyatt, Please remind me never to serve you or your daughter in a retail capacity [annoyed eyeroll].

GetThem said...

You go Christina!!! So did the curls stay in after 30 minutes? If so, which curling iron b/c I need one for my oldest daughter for xmas!! Funny, my youngest daughter has been asking me to teach her SA ever since I caught her lying about not eating her eggs for breakfast a couple weeks ago.

dadgum said...

She will make a great mom!!

Unknown said...

Great example, I LOVE how the salesman was going to cut you a special deal because you are a 'caring dad'...but only if you don't tell anyone! (Because any SALESMAN clearly doesn't want anyone to know about the product he is selling for such a 'great deal', lol!)

He should change his tactics asap. Even if I were interested in buying his WAY overpriced styling tool, I would be turned off by the pressure. Someone should tell him a good product sells itself. Also, as soon as I read that he said 'it's not available on Amazon', I knew it was on Amazon (duh!). If he wants to sell anything, he should probably stop directing customers to his much cheaper competition!

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Nic said...
My alcoholic (ex) friend uses "I promise" all the time.

I haven't leant her money since the mid-90's.

November 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM


Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous said...
Mr Hyatt, Please remind me never to serve you or your daughter in a retail capacity [annoyed eyeroll].
November 27, 2013 at 8:01 AM

I take "thou shalt not steal" thing pretty seriously. This means that you have a right to make a profit: I should not steal from you, but you should not steal from me and make an inflated profit. I recognize that this is subjective but the salesman started the price at $500, and went to $250, but just for me, being such a 'great dad', all the way down to...


When he said it was not for sale at he did so in the negative. I did not say, "Hey, is this for sale at Amazon."

What someone says in the negative is ALWAYS important.

Christina saw that immediately. (Teenaged boys: take note!)

It is just an ordinary curling iron, made in China, for $39 bucks in some stores, and a bit less in others.

He was talented, but I hate being lied to!

If you sell something, but honest.

It works.



Tania Cadogan said...

I find now when i am shopping with mom and we go to one of the big superduper really pricey department stores, i listen to the spiel. Mom told me i am not allowed to use it when on the bus as my sighs and eye rolling at the sundry porkies are funny and distracting.

In house of fraser (very pricey stuff) we like to visit the beauty departemt, mainly cos she likes to sniff the perfumes and have a free squirt (me to occasionally) but mainly cos whilst she is browing i listen to the spiel. They have guy on the beauty counter who is clearly gay and proud of it. He is always immaculately made up (it's very subtle and amazingly well done) I like to listen to his spiel as unlike the ladies he isn't bitchy or patronising, he tells it like it is and won't sell them something that although costs more won't work for the lady he is with. The ladies though go for the hard sell promising all sorts of miracles I get told off for smirking and snorting.

I happily talk to strangers recommending something i have bought if it is good and avoid if it isn't, I will give an opinion on something someone is trying on, such as up or down a size (and why), that color doesn't work, try this color or oh wow that is so you give us a twirl. I complement people on an item of clothing, their hair, their nail polish etcif it catches my eye and will ask where they got it, mom tells me off for sniffing people because they smell nice and i tell them so.If i am buying something or looking at something pricey i will listen closely or i sometimes say let's play a game truth or dare.

Nic said...

Hobs, you remind me of an experience I had in NYC with a traveling companion who was easily impressed. This was before I happenstanced upon Peter's blog (sorry for the 3rd party reference, Peter).

I had to walk away from them because the sales lady took my friend's (Canadian) driver's licence # and PASSPORT # to input the info into their system for a department credit card. wt*F*? All for a 15% discount.

Talking to her about it afterwards was like "talking to the hand". She got "a deal". People just like to be stroked is all I can gather from that. Whatever.

Nic said...

Peter, my friend is a tragedy. She would call me for money because she didn't have any food. So I would buy her groceries (figuring if I gave her $$ she'd just drink it). But then that was enabling her to drink all her $$, right? So then when she'd call, I would tell her to go to the Food Cupboard, hoping she'd *finally* budget enough to pay her bills *and* eat. Nope. Her family is enabling. It's beyond sad.

Nic said...

I posted my friend's story so that other posters can *see* how easily addicts can manipulate you. Peter provides many life lessons. Pleas, when reading them, try and project them onto your life experiences and learn from them. You will save yourself a lot of grief.

Rose said...

LOL was chatting with a former friend of mine of facebook the other day. She has always been a liar and sometimes an addict. Well, she had just gotten out of prison for theft, and I asked her about it. Her reply: "Do you think I would so stupid as to steal that?" Yup, not a reliable denial. She is baffled as to why she has zero credibility with anyone. I think that subconsciously, we all use "statement analysis." We may not specifically peg a person as a liar, but we will always peg them as not having any credibility.

S said...

Peter, did the the curls stay in after 30 mins? I am intrigued!

Reading some of the comments above, reminded me of someone who always asked me for money - always had an excuse - 'I need it for this or that' was lies, but I gave them money anyway. Eventually I was fed up of it and when asked on another occasion I offered to stop on the way home to pick up what was needed (called their bluff) and all I heard was excuse after excuse about why they had to do it and I couldn't. And that was that, I don't get asked anymore! I am a generous person, I like to help people out but I really take it personally when someone lies to me and thinks I believe them haha!

S + K Mum said...

Woops, the above post was mine, hit the ENTER key too quickly!

Statement Analysis Blog said...


The curls were as any curling iron would hold...nothing special.

Your story reminds me of a story, long ago, that helped inspire me to learn to detect lies.

Keep your eye out for a new story...