Friday, April 24, 2015

"I Promise!" in Statement Analysis

A poster recently asked about the phrase, "I promise" in analysis.

Does it mean the person is lying?  Or, does it mean that the person is really telling the truth?

Answer:   Both

Regarding, "I promise..." in Statement Analysis

Think of the speed of transmission of the brain choosing words, including these. The person has 25,000 words to choose from and wants to make a statement.  In the answer, not only did the brain grab the words to answer the question, but extra words, (showing extra effort) were also chosen to add on to the answer.

This means not only extra effort, but more 'time' spent choosing words, making the answer very important to the person.

When we hear someone with the words "I promise" attached to an answer we must ask ourselves some questions about its use:

What topic caused the brain to grab those words?
Why now?
Why this topic?
Why not other topics? (same question for figures of speech, including "Honest to God, Swear to God, Swear on my mother's grave..." and so on.)

It is a signal that the person is normally deceptive, or practices general deception.   The person recognizes this about himself and now shows a need for emphasis in the response.

Now, as far as the topic:

The person really wants to be believed and knows that emphasis is needed,  and this is for one of two reasons:

a.  The person is truthful here, which is  a rarity, in this specific topic, while other topics are dealt with deceptively;

b.  The person is now being deceptive, about this topic, and is using the emphasis in an attempt to persuade rather than report truthfully.

Those who develop one of these habits of speech early in life should be dealt with in the same manner as above, noting what topics cause this habit to arise, and what topics do not.

Some people that are generally politely deceptive (about appearances, likes, dislikes, flatterers, and so on) will often develop this habit.

The problem is that even if they are not fabricators of reality, they are comfortable with deception, and deception, as a habit, is like an insatiable addiction:

it grows with time, and 'tolerance' against truth is built up with time, as success breeds success, and even in flattering, (false flattering) where the slight deception is met with a positive outcome, the flattering will increase in both use and intensity.  The child grows into a "schmoozer" and can even become quite successful in sales.

Honest salesmen and women exist, but most of us can attest to critical situations in which sales professionals utilized deception in dealing with us.

In Statement Analysis' younger sister, "Analytical Interviewing", we find actual linguistic techniques that are effective in sales, and can increase both communication and sales results.  These are effective techniques for social services as well.

Yet like much in life, illicit use can be evidenced by those who apply themselves to learning principle, and then apply it in a deceptive manner in order to facilitate self gain, including in sales and various manipulations.

I am currently constructing a training manual specifically designed for sales forces who wish to see honest gain.  


Anonymous said...

As an adult, I would find myself saying "I promise!" when I really wanted to emphasize the importance of what I was saying and call the listener to action.

I was not a liar as a child. I am not a liar as an adult.

After learning statement analysis here a few years back, I would pay attention to my own speech and wonder why I choose certain words or paid attention to how I would react in others.

I wondered why I felt the need to do this (say I promise, or seriously, this is the truth). Sometimes I would "over explain" a situation to absolutely convince the listener that this was the truth so please listen and believe me, even if they already believed me with the first sentence.

I looked back and saw a pattern in my own childhood. I was molested by my cousin when I was about 5, and I told my mom that night what happened. I was terrified. She did not believe me and went on to ask his younger teenage sister (also my cousin). I will never forget her turning around in the front seat of the car and looking like she was going to attack me. She was screaming that I was a little lying b*tch. My aunt was so mad at me, that her obvious hatred for me lasted through my childhood.
There were other situations when I would go to my Mom with something I thought was scary or serious, and she would never react or acknowledge.

I realized that I carried through to my adult life that I had to absolutely convince people of whatever I was saying and leave no room for them to question me.

That is why I would add "I promise!".

I stopped doing this years ago because I realized that people are going to believe me when I tell them something because I do tell the truth. I saw that by adding all of the extra explanation and "I promises" I was defeating my purpose.

My cousin moved on to destroy many lives in more severe ways than mine. If only someone had listened to me back then.

Lis said...

Peter, thanks so much for answering my question. This is fascinating.

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, the person could be usually a deceptive person but in this one instance they are being honest and cannot bear not to get credit for it! (Oh, the irony, to not be believed the one time you are really telling the truth, ha!) Or, they could be deceptive but it is very important to them to be believed about this item for other reasons, so they are trying hard to persuade.

I saw this tv show about bait cars recently and I noticed some would-be thieves use sayings like "I promise" and "I swear to God" very emphatically as they give a phony tale about a buddy who let them borrow the car, or whatever. It's interesting when you have seen them on hidden camera stealing the car, then to listen to how they try to explain away their guilt with so much gusto. These seem like people who are overall deceptive by nature and in this case they want very much to be believed only because they don't want to be arrested.

So it seems like when this kind of saying is used, a person has to evaluate, what is the reason they went to the extra trouble to use these words? And then seek more information to get the correct understanding of what's going on.

Thanks again, Peter. I have learned so much from you and there is hardly a day I do not put something I've learned here into practice. Lis

Lis said...

Anon, I am so sorry to read your experience about not being believed. In a situation like that my feeling is, technically you were believed. For whatever reason they were unable to face or deal with the truth and so they rejected what you were saying as a tactic, not because they really believed you were making it up. It seems like when people get overly enraged at a fact, you know you have hit a sensitive spot, probably nailed it right on. How could a child know that, though. A child's sense of justice and truth are so keen and it's painful to have adults accuse the innocent and cover up for the guilty.

I'm so sorry this happened to you.

So in your case, you used "I promise" because you were trying so hard to be believed. You felt that you had to persuade people that you really were being trustworthy, because of having been accused in the past when you were being truthful. I can understand this and it makes me sad. I'm glad you came to understand and overcome.

I wish adults could pull themselves together for the few short years it takes to raise kids, sigh...

Anonymous said...

Lis, IMO you do not understand the depth of what Anon was saying yesterday about her mother, aunt and cousin not believing her when she was telling the truth about being molested. NO, they did NOT believe her, nor did any one of them try to comfort her; in fact, despised her for telling them.

So sad, not only did she have to deal with the molestation ALONE, she spent her lifetime trying to prove to them she was telling the truth and was being honest. For her pain, she was attacked mentally by her own family, affecting her mentally and emotionally for the rest of her life. It would have been the same had she continued to be molested by this same person (or any other) for the rest of her childhood years; SHAMEFUL, not a one of them would have believed or helped her. In fact, they did not care. I'm so sorry for her.

I lived the same kind of childhood and I know whereof I speak. I had six brothers and sisters, who could do anything they wanted too and run tell our mother I DID IT and she would believe them. She never ONCE questioned anything any of them ever said in their lies, placing their blame against ME, and watching ME take their whippings. I could cry and beg and plead, telling her the truth, but my mother always believed I was the liar.

This started when I was only a toddler and was a very frequent occurrence where I would get beatings for things I did not do. She used to tell me that she was going to beat the meanness and lies out of me. I became so frightened of doing anything wrong that I kept to myself as much as I could and under no circumstances would I do something that might cause her to whip me, or lie to her. I lived my life in fear of her and of them.

I was so scared and nervous that I was a stutterer and a bed wetter. Funny thing, I was able to stop doing those things the day I ran away from home for good and went on to make a successful life for myself; both in attaining a good education on my own and in business. It was hard but easy by comparison to having to deal with them. It certainly was no thanks to any of them.

(I PRAY this physically and mentally abused woman has been able to do the same. My advice to her is don't try to prove your honesty to ANYONE ever again. They aren't worth it. You do not owe anyone else your hard earned stability, or any proof. Particularly to people who did not care one tinkers damn about you, otherwise they would have stood by you. Just live your life as you are and be happy).

My brothers and sister (all but one)would laugh at me when our mother whipped me with peachtree switches for the things THEY did, then whip me again for lying about it. Then whip me for crying. It was years later that I came to see that she actually hated me from birth and ALLOWED my brothers and sisters to mentally abuse me, therein making them ALL mentally sick. Sick, the whole lot uv 'em. It's a miracle I even have sense enough to get in out of the rain. My heart really goes out to anon who was raped and not believed by her own family. It is an awful way to grow up. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42, It's called projection, and it is very real. Your mother told you she had to beat the "meanness and lies" out of you, because she (as well as your siblings) were the cruel and deceptive ones and ironically LYING ABOUT YOU!
My own mother who was a covert sadistic abuser dressed me up as the devil for Halloween when I was 4 and told my younger sister (who was 2 at the time, so what she told her was for my benefit because she was too young to understand) that she had dressed me up as the devil because I AM the devil!!!! It's very scary how cruel people literally just displace their own evil
onto someone else so they dont have to face it I guess! It is very real that very cruel people do that.