Build Trust With Others

Having a reputation as someone who is straightforward is helpful when trying to get at the truth.

If you have been caught in a lie it can be much more difficult to get other people to be honest with you. Again, people have an overwhelming need to treat others as they have been treated (Foa and Foa, Gouldner).

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to lie to someone who has been dishonest with you? Do you really feel that you owe someone the truth when they have misled you in the past?

So, when trying to get others to be honest, it helps to point out how truthful and straightforward you are (i.e., "I’ve always been honest with you."). This strategy only works if people trust you—when you have not been caught telling a lie.