Let’s Ask Mr. Smartypants

Y’all, sometimes it embarrasses me that my spiritual guru is a forty-year old man whose main hobbies seem to be being a cantankerous jackass who hurts my feelings and watching his lawn grow.  But there you go.  You make do with the spiritual gurus you have, not the spiritual gurus you wish you had.


As it so happens, it has come to my attention that you all need the guidance of Mr. Smartypants.  I have, without consulting him first, decided to take the liberty of asking him some questions, the answers of which will help you all as you move through the world. 


Dear Mr. Smartypants,


Thanks to my tax dollars, you have mad people reading skills.  When faced with someone you are trying to get information from, do you rely solely on what that person is telling you?  Why or why not?  What are some ways you can tell if someone is telling you one thing, but is hiding something else?  Do people let their guards down more easily when they are comfortable or uncomfortable?  Are people easier to manipulate if you can promise them something they want in return for their compliant behavior?  Does this apply only in times of war or also in everyday life?


Yours Truly,


Aunt B.

9 thoughts on “Let’s Ask Mr. Smartypants

  1. The spiritual guru I wish I had is actually Zora Neale Hurston, but I was trying to find someone like Sarcastro but moreso. It’s hard for me to believe he wouldn’t love for someone to say "Sarcastro cut a sexual swath that still astonishes by its sheer brazenness and multiplicity."

  2. Grasshopper, we have had these talks before. Let’s try this point by point.1) "When faced with someone you are trying to get information from, do you rely solely on what that person is telling you? Why or why not?"No. Body language tells us a great deal. According to some scientist guy from the 1960’s, 7% of verbal communication is conveyed by the words, 38% by the vocal tones, and 55% by facial and body expression. He also said that 86% of all statistics are false.2)"What are some ways you can tell if someone is telling you one thing, but is hiding something else?"Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space. A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.Emotional Gestures & ContradictionTiming and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are off a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly. Or, timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words. Example: Someone says "I love it!" when receiving a gift, and then smile after making that statement, rather then at the same time the statement is made.Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement, such as frowning when saying “I love you.” Or,expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe,)instead of the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and forehead push down, etc.Interactions and ReactionsA guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away.A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.A liar will use your words to make answer a question. When asked, “Did you eat the last cookie?” The liar answers, “No, I did not eat the last cookie.”A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: “ I didn’t do it” instead of “I did not do it”Liars sometimes avoid "lying" by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of denying something directly.The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you… they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is made the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. In other words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.If you believe someone is lying, then change subject of a conversation quickly, a liar follows along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous subject.3) "Do people let their guards down more easily when they are comfortable or uncomfortable?"Building rapport with people makes them let their guard down more easily. I’ve used the car dealer as the perfect example before. They want to get you a cola and sit and chat so you will drop your guard. The auto dealership is the perfect laboratory for all of this stuff. It has the deception on the part of the salesmen and the breaking down of the defenses of the buyer.4)"Are people easier to manipulate if you can promise them something they want in return for their compliant behavior?"Yes. If you watched "Lost" last night, you would have seen that principle in action. One of the problems we are having with the boys in Gitmo and Iraq is we don’t have anything they want.5)"Does this apply only in times of war or also in everyday life?" Not only does it apply at the car dealership, but this stuff comes in handy for anyone who has to work in, say, an office with mendacious and ambitious co-workers.Why can’t my sister be:Lucinda WilliamsMichelle WilliamsVanessa WilliamsJoBeth WilliamsKimberely Williamsor Cindy Williams?Everyone knows that Jett is Hank Jr.’s sister.

  3. "One of the problems we are having with the boys in Gitmo and Iraq is we don’t have anything they want."Not entirely true, if we weren’t such pussies.Some good examples of things they might want:1) A koran.2) Some time out of the pig fat bath.3) Some time with the Judas Priest soundtrack off.4) Food other than bacon and menstrual blood.You get the idea.

  4. Ex,That’s like the difference between wanting some soft and moist female companionship and wanting the dick out of your ass. The former is something you genuinely desire and the latter is something you desire to stop. This involves a subtlety that I wouldn’t expect an engineer to understand.

  5. I’ve NEVER brought up your fraternity days. If you choose to, I support you.Would that entail the subtlety of, oh I don’t know, demolishing a building?

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