WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT OTHERS, THEY TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THEMSELVES | 2001-09-08
The primary weapon of any interrogator is not torture, but time. If you want to know all about somebody, just let them talk.
A psychiatrist friend of mine read my first book and said, "Bob, I wish my patients would all write a whole book like yours, about how they view the world."
Like any good psychiatrist or any good interrogator, his specialty was finding out what he wanted to know by letting me talk about what I choose to talk about. After he read my book, I had few secrets from him.
Letting people talk and concentrating on what you want to find out is critical. It was absolutely essential to me in my career in politics. For example, one thing I learned early on was one way to spot a liar.
I found that a person who uses the word "liar" all the time is invariably a liar himself.
To those who take truth seriously, "lie" is a very big word. To them a lie is a DELIBERATE falsehood, not just a mistake in facts.
Some people respond that this is just a quibble. They see anything incorrect as the same thing as a falsehood.
If someone thinks the difference between deliberate falsehood and accidental misinformation is trivial, don't believe what they tell you. They do not take lying to be a serious offense, and that means they do not mind lying themselves.
This information has been enormously valuable to me and those I worked for. It came from my observations as I listened to people talk freely.