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13 Lies Professionals Are Probably Telling You

From little white lies to befuddling whoppers, untruths slip out of the mouths of professionals all the time. Experts reveal why they fudge the truth—and when you should be concerned.

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Don’t always count on the professional

Unfortunately, not everyone will have your best interest at heart, especially when it comes down to business. Many professionals with monetary compensation in mind will default to what is in their own best interest, even if they tell you otherwise, and will most likely use your lack of knowledge on the subject to their advantage. Staying informed is your best weapon when it comes down to manipulative people. Read on to see the most common lies told by professionals in various fields and why they tell them.

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Personal trainers

The Lie: The promise that there’s a 21-day plan (or any estimated amount of time) to achieving your health goals.

The Truth: “You aren’t going to completely ‘tone your abs’ or permanently lose weight with effortless upkeep in 21 days,” says Janis Isaman, owner of Calgary-based My Body Couture, a private, one-on-one health studio. “I think we are lying to clients when we don’t tell them what we observe and make them pay to come back for additional sessions. And since I don’t think anyone needs to exclusively work out with a teacher or trainer, this is harmful to the average consumer who is not being properly informed.”

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Realtors

The Lie: Your real estate agent tells you he/she can convince the home seller to meet all your demands.

The Truth: “We recently had a transaction where the buyer’s agent was requesting repairs that were way outside of the average repair requests, and demanding that the seller make these repairs,” says Derik Keith, realtor and broker at Keith Home Team. “These unreasonable requests were causing enormous amounts of tension and the sellers nearly pulled out. After closing, the buyer and seller met up to exchange a kitchen table and upon meeting and discussing the transaction, they discovered the source of the problem: The buyer’s agent. Their agent had been making these requests via text and phone call, leaving them in the dark, and nearly compromising the entire contract!” To get the best deal on a home, know these real estate terms ahead of time.

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Lawyers

The Lie: That you have a strong case.

The Truth: “Lawyers need to bring in new business all the time, but the probability of winning a lawsuit is difficult for even most seasoned legal experts to calculate,” says David Reischer, Esq., attorney and CEO of LegalAdvice.com. “Many lawyers, however, frequently ‘play up’ the strengths of a case when a client is looking to assess their likelihood of success. I have heard lawyers countless times exaggerate the strength of a potential lawsuit and minimize the risks of losing in order to get a potential client to sign a retainer agreement.”

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Mechanics

The Lie: “I wouldn’t risk driving this car any further.”

The Truth: “It’s always OK to get a second opinion when taking your vehicle into the mechanic. However, once you’ve arrived at any particular shop, they most likely won’t want to see you leave,” says Jake McKenzie of Auto Accessories Garage. “That’s why a common lie told to customers by auto mechanics is that driving their car any further would likely make the damage exponentially worse. And although you should never take to the streets in a vehicle that is truly unsafe to drive, if you made it to the first shop with no added difficulty, chances are you can make it to a second one the same way.” Know before you go and read up on these 30 things your mechanic won’t tell you.

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Business consultants

The Lie: That they thoroughly understand your business even though you’ve just met.

The Truth: “It isn’t genuine,” says Nick H. Kamboj, CEO of Aston & James, LLC. “The consulting firms may know your industry, they may know your competition, and they may know the general challenges that you will encounter; however, they do not yet have the requisite knowledge to make the appropriate recommendations. The naive company or consumer may not understand this, and with consulting rates easily between $200-500 per hour, the organization may end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants who are trying to learn the organization’s business while simultaneously attempting to resolve their organization’s challenges.”

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Supervisors

The Lie: “That’s a good idea. I’m going to pass that along to the higher-ups.”

The Truth: “One of two things is really going to happen. Your idea is genuinely good, but your supervisor is going to deliver it in a way that allows them to receive credit, or your idea is horrible and not going to be passed up the chain,” says Danielle Bayard Jackson, co-founder of STRIDE Media Group. “A lot of decision-making happens without the ‘little people’ in the room. Find a way to get face time with key stakeholders and speak for yourself.” Better yet, be your own boss in one of these self-starter jobs.

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Health coaches

The Lie: Achieving your ideal body will make you happy.

The Truth: “This myth is driving so much frustration and unhappiness, and crushing our confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth,” says Samantha Eaton, nutrition coach and personal chef. “Diet culture tells us this so when we fail, we know it’s our own fault. And it works! Instead of blaming whatever plan or approach we were trying to follow, we internalize it. We blame ourselves. Our inner shaming voice chimes in and says things like ‘we didn’t want it bad enough,’ ‘we didn’t try hard enough,’ ‘we didn’t have enough willpower.'” Check out these 16 things to never do at the gym.

Doctor talking to the patient about menopause and treatment in future.wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock

Health professionals

The Lie: “You’re not sleeping well due to stress.”

The Truth: “In reality, poor sleep is often caused by your nighttime routine, sleep environment, and mattress,” says Matthew Ross, co-owner and COO of The Slumber Yard. “If electronics are a big part of your nightly routine, you’ll often have trouble falling asleep due to the blue light these devices emit. Keeping your room clean can have a positive effect on your sleep. Dirty rooms can make you feel anxious, which is not an ideal emotion for sleep. Your mattress and pillow are extremely important. The right mattress can make all the difference and the wrong mattress can make your situation much worse.”

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Credit counselors

The Lie: Checking your credit score will lower it.

The Truth: “When you check your own credit scores, these do not impact credit scores and don’t look bad to lenders since no credit decision is being considered,” says Jacob Lundusky, a lead credit industry analyst with Credit Card Insider. “The confusion is due to the fact that credit lenders and issuers perform hard inquiries, which means they check your credit in order to make lending decisions. These can have a negative impact on your credit scores but are necessary if you want new credit cards, loans, or even things like a new cell phone contract. One hard credit inquiry will not impact credit scores very much or very long.”

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Lawyers

The Lie: I will drop you if you don’t accept this settlement.

The Truth: “This is often a lie presented by lawyers as a way to bully and intimidate clients into accepting settlements or to take actions that they otherwise would not take,” says Alexis Moore, Esq. “If you hear this tall tale or anything that resembles it, get the advice of another lawyer! Contact the state bar in your state and see whether or not what the lawyer is asking you to do is something an outside lawyer agrees with or disagrees with, and find out whether or not this conduct is considered ethical or even legal.” Be informed and read up on these secrets lawyers aren’t likely to tell you.

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Financial advisors

The Lie: Your 401(k) is a retirement plan. Put money into it and you’ll be able to retire.

The Truth: Josh Zepess, founder of Broke Is No Joke, says you should be skeptical. “This is said by the financial industry to get you using a plan where they are compensated based on participation, not performance. The 401(k) and associated tax codes were originally created in 1974 as the savings component of a three-legged stool that also included pensions and Social Security. It was never supposed to be someone’s entire retirement plan.” Stay informed when it comes to finance and check out these personal finance tips you most likely haven’t been taught.

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Personal trainers

The Lie: I’ve trained thousands of clients.

The Truth: “Training someone means working with the person from beginning to end until they achieve their goal,” says Caleb Backe, a certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “Supervising someone’s workouts and counting their reps doesn’t mean you’re training them. Training requires much more time and effort as well as a personalized plan. There is just no way that your trainer did it thousands of times. This a way for them to gain your trust as well as say they have plenty of experience.” Instead, focus on these 17 tips to keep you motivated at the gym.

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Everyone

The Lie: According to Dr. Matthew Kane, CEO of Solaris Intelligence, studies have shown that in an average ten-minute business interaction, you will be lied to three times, ranging from little white lies to bigger falsities. Even experts in detecting lies can be fooled.

The Truth: “Most of these are small things such as you look great, I’m having a great day, things that we use to build rapport,” says Kane. “We tend to use bigger lies when it will benefit us. I recently bought a car and while test driving it I was told it had a certain feature that it did not. I didn’t catch the lie and ended up buying the car, only to later find out it didn’t have this feature.” Check out 17 of the little white lies we tell every day.