If you never caught the show Lie to Me, I'd recommend it. It's full of the same quick-witted anti-social behavior you may have come to love watching House M.D..
But, I am not here to give you T.V. recommendations.
I mention the show because it is (very loosely) based upon a real-world researcher and consultant named Paul Ekman. And, while the show is mostly about solving crime or preventing crisis. The real Paul Ekman is more exciting because of the simple yet far reaching impact of his research.
Paul Ekman has spent most of his 84 years mapping human emotions and sharing those insights with the world. He is one of the pioneers of Emotional Intelligence. And while the thrill of catching people in the middle of a lie may make for amusing television, Ekman's work is about a much more important and beautiful message:
We all feel.
We feel deeply.
We can learn to observe, understand, and manage our emotions.
not only that,
We can also learn to observe, appreciate, and respect the emotions of others.
I read Lie to Me in 2007, as 21 year-old person excited to have super-human powers that I could show off in the bars. But, as I read the book, I became less driven to "bust" other people, and instead, I grew an understanding and a compassion for lies and the underlying forces that coerce many people to lie, even against their better judgement. Fear, desperation, hope, longing... social and cultural pressure. These are the drivers of dishonesty. Sure, greed and malice compel some people some of the time. But, in general, lies are the result of fear and longing.
I think it was really influential to take these insights and learn that institutional lies are all around us and that we should be vigilant about institutional dishonesty while we might want to consider a bit more compassion when it comes to spotting lies in individuals around us because if people are lying to us, we might be able to encourage more honesty seeking out solutions to their fear.
The same goes for us. With self compassion we can be more honest people by learning to fear less and forgive or accept ourselves more. Because dishonesty is as much an issue of self-deception as it is of deceiving others. And generally, we all know we would be happier and healthier people if our thoughts, words, and actions aligned.
While this is inferred in Telling Lies, these concepts are plumbed more deeply in the book Ekman co-wrote with The Dalai Lama; Emotional Awareness.