Machiavellian individuals are interesting to say the least. On one hand, they are very charming and charismatic. But unfortunately, they use their charm and attractiveness to further their agenda at the expense of others.
Machiavellian individuals are masters at finding other people’s weak spots and using their insight to get what they want. They have little concern for others. They lack a sense of guilt and shame.
This is especially the case when it comes to love and romance.
New research shows that Machiavellian individuals are more likely to use lying and deception when it comes to dating. Not surprisingly, their romantic relationships are marked by a lack of personal intimacy. However, some people are drawn to Machiavellian personalities because they are so skilled at getting their way.
Date someone for love, intimacy and companionship?
Or date a manipulative individual because of the benefits they may be able to provide such as financial success and access to power?
As long as people are aware of the risks of dating a Machiavellian lover, what’s the big deal? The real harm comes when people get played without understanding rules of the game.
In a world where people are constantly connected, how do we manage our availability? Not interested in engaging in a conversation? Not in the mood to take a friend’s call? Don’t feel like responding to a lover’s text message?
In such situations, rather than tell the truth – “I don’t feel like dealing with you right now,” people often tell a “Butler Lie” – lies that are designed to convey a lack of availability (“My Lordship is not available right now.”)
In modern day life (for those without butlers), such lies often take the form of “Sorry, my phone was dead”, “Strange, I never got your message”, “Gotta run – let’s chat later.” Despite not having a personal butler, we are pretty good at mimicking their lies.
Here is the interesting twist: Butler Lies occur more frequently in text messages than other types of lies, but receivers tend to take such messages at face value.
Seems that we use excuses to avoid dealing with others, but we don’t assume that other people are trying to avoid talking to us. Strange indeed.
People have always told lies to avoid all kinds of social dilemmas. People often lie when turning down social invitations, or to avoid giving a long and detailed (but accurate) explanation, or to maintain some sense of privacy (why do I have to share everything with you?).
However, the growing use of location-sharing social media is making social lies more difficult to tell. New research has started to address how location-sharing applications can trap people in a tangled web of half-truths. One participant’s response illustrates the dilemmas many people now face.
“I don’t want to tell someone, “I can’t go out with you – I’m at home,” and then I go out. That’s dangerous. [There have] been situations where I tell someone I’m not going out tonight and then photos will be posted of me going out…”
Does technology take away some of our privacy? Are we now obligated to share our plans with anyone who asks because they might find out somehow? How do we turn down some invitations while accepting others without hurting someone’s feelings? How do you tell someone they weren’t invited to dinner or a party when you know they are probably going to find out sooner or later?
Think you can detect deception? Guess again. Research shows that it is nearly impossible for people to spot a liar, though most people think they can. There are individuals, however, who can tell when other people are lying. They are called truth wizards. But, they are rare individuals. Less then 1% of the population can accurately detect deception with a high degree of accuracy. Given how often people lie, especially to make social life more bearable, would you really like to be in the know?