How to Lie


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Enacting Deception Shadow Figure /// Tradecraft [trdcrft]


Deception being a uniquely human trait, despite its inherently negative connotations in our society, is an essential part of who we are and how we operate.

This is especially true and a most necessary evil in intelligence work. Meaning it’s also an invaluable skillset in everyday life, regardless of profession.

We apply strategic deception to gain an advantage over an adversary or situation that may not otherwise be possible or available without it.

If mission success has to be through force or deception, the latter is almost always optimal.

The benefits and rewards of deceit however, takes skill, training and knowledge to properly conduct.

The raw process act of lying is easy, enacting a successful and effective act of deception is not.

Telling a lie is easy, getting away with it is not, continuing to get away with it takes work.

When telling the truth, you don’t have to remember or make up anything, it just flows easily like breathing.

When telling lies, you have to “remember” something that doesn’t exist, you have to devise and construct.

In which lying well requires effort.

Deception requires maintenance.

Yet novice liars often overplay their attempt at deception, displaying tell-tale signs of deceit.

Masterful deception should appear effortless to the target subject, like telling the truth. The eyes see and the ears hear only what the target is shown.

This is the tried, true and trained base conceptualization of enacting deception for operatives in close proximity personal communicational scenarios.

A lie is a variant of a secret and people with secrets act secretive. Don’t act like you have secrets.

The truth is the exact correspondence of reality.

But reality is dependent on perception.

The truth is incontrovertible and facts are universal.

But the perception of truth and facts are not.

Perception is the key to enacting deception.


Lying is easy but being convincing of the deception is less so. It’s keeping it stable and getting away with it over time that often proves to be most difficult.

Since telling a lie is essentially telling a fictional story, you must use your imagination to bring that story together with the elements that make up a story.

That takes creativity which requires for more cognitive effort than recalling a memory (truth).

Once a deception is enacted (fictional story is told), then it becomes real to the person it’s being told to.

At least that’s the objective of deception, for your target to believe your fictional story as a non-fictional account of events. If successful, it becomes canon.

That means your lie was believed, but that doesn’t always mean the deception is over.

Lies have a tendency to haunt you for many reasons but the case in point here is that you forget the details of those lies over time, making them unstable.

This is why you want to keep as much of your fictional story as non-fictional as possible, within reason.

Naturally filling it with as much real facts and details as possible, and never including any unnecessary lies.

The truths should flow and blend with the lies.

This will make the act of the deception more believable as it plays out due to the truth factor.

And just as important, it will make recalling your fictional story at a later time more accessible.

A lie with a foundation of truth stands strong.


The conscious act of deception causes your body to involuntarily show physical symptoms of anxiety and stress; sweating, drying of the mouth, constant swallowing, fidgeting and irregular breathing.

These are also signs of deception that can give you away, particularly if they manifest aggressively or your target is a trained professional.

An expert and emotionally controlled deceiver will have some ability to manage these tics just by centering their core. However, there is also a physical remedy to subdue or completely negate these signs of deception: steady breathing.

Ironically as previously mentioned, irregular breathing is a symptom of anxiety and therefore deception. But deliberately trying to breathe steadily is the key.

This is a factor that you can train and learn to manage and eventually control with great efficiency.

While the onset of irregular breathing is involuntary, it can quickly be countered with little effort.

Implementation is simply shifting your breathing technique when you feel your breathing pattern has changed through the course of active deception.

Other than concealing or minimizing the tell-tale signs of deception, good breathing also reduces your actual anxiety levels. This decreases dry mouth and sweaty palms to make you physically more able while increasing your cognizance and confidence levels.

Steady “normal” breathing is the most effective physical action you can take in the mechanics of strategically enacting deception.

Better breathing equals better lying.