Time for Everything
1/21/12 at 11:58 PM 0 Comments

Psychology Today Profiles Successful Liars

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Recently I've watched several episodes of the TV series Revenge. The main character Emily Thorne is a young woman who's childhood was stolen from her when her dad was arrested and convicted for involvement in terrorism - a crime for which he was innocent. When Emily learns her dad was innocent, she forms a plan to destroy her dad's enemies.

Revenge Publicity Still

Publicity Still from IGN

Emily will look someone in the eye and tell lies convincingly. She has become a master at deception. Her commitment to revenge is absolute. It makes for interesting television but I wouldn't want friends in my life that are so manipulative.

This behavior reminds me of a Psychology Today article: Top 10 Secrets of Effective Liars.

Psychology Today reveals that successful liars are motivated, plan their stories in advance, know their targets, and "stay focused."

According to psychologist Dr. Cynthia Cohen:

"The best liars don't show any shame or remorse because they don't feel it."

"They get a thrill out of actively misleading others. They're good at it, and they enjoy the challenge."

In the opening scene of the pilot episode of Revenge, Emily says, "When I was a little girl, my understanding of revenge was as simple as the Sunday school proverbs it hid behind. Neat little morality slogans like do unto others and two wrongs don't make a right."

The main characters of Revenge lack a moral compass. Instead they are motivated by greed, personal pleasure or in the case of Emily - revenge.

The viewing audience of Revenge may not know the Bible also features stories of revenge.

King David's son Amnon raped his stepsister Tamar. After King David failed to punish Amnon for this crime, Absalom, the brother of Tamar, had Amnon murdered. King David's family was divided because of Absalom's actions.

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