The Top “Opening Phrases” Liars Love 2

By Chris Simmons

Deceptive individuals often use certain phrases to reassure their intended victim of their sincerity. However, an opening pledge of truthfulness is inherently dishonest. While this may seem counterintuitive, the average person’s expectation is that their counterpart will be honest. As such, for one party to re-affirm that he/she is currently being honest actually means everything said previously and subsequently will be dishonest. Opening phrases most often used as lead-ins to a lie(s) include:

  1. “To tell you the truth,,…”
  2. “I swear (to you / to God / on my Mother’s grave / on a stack of Bibles…)”
  3. “With God as my witness,,…”
  4. “To be perfectly honest,,…”
  5. “Honestly,,…”
  6. “Truthfully,,…”
  7. “On my honor,,…”
  8. “Honest to God,,…”

2 comments

  1. Would you also include swearing on a bible in court? I am not a Christian and so usually ‘affirm’ when required, such as when I joined the Navy. For it to be assumed that I would not be telling the truth because I did not use a bible would be pretty insulting when I am just as capable of telling a lie or the truth as the next man or woman, irrespective of their religion. Not trying to be a smart arse on this question. Genuinely interested in your thoughts.

    Cheers

    • No, because the official uses of religious references (e.g., oath or testimony) is a procedural response required by law. In contrast, the scenarios described voluntarily invoke religious symbolism solely as a means to deceive.

      Good question — thanks for asking.

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