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I find it entertaining how people cling to what they want to believe. If you are vague, they will fill in the blanks to match what they want to hear. I do this all the time as I try to be honest yet deceitful in all situations possible. As long as you don't directly tell them that you done something wrong, and word the truth in a way that hints that you are telling them what they want to hear, they accept it as you are telling them something you aren't.
When I am straight out asked a question that would not be beneficial to tell the truth, I evade it. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes it is directly and abruptly changing the subject. I immediately work on the best interpretation of the truth to give them to satisfy their curiosity without revealing the truth, encase my sometimes obvious dodge isn't accepted. It is rather telling, by far my main tell, but it is to cover up a much more common tell for everyone; pausing when about to lie.
If I change the subject or make a stalling comment like "do you really have to ask?", it can be done without any hesitation and comes off as simply not wanting to talk about whatever is being asked, or even funnier, as an attempt to "be funny" (which multiple pets have believed without me suggesting it). If the conversation freezes the smarter people (my usual targets) catch on that I am hiding something and are that much more likely to prod after getting their answer. If I seem to be continuing the convo or suggesting that the topic is undesirable, they are more likely to take my answer as legit.
After ample time to come up with the answer, I tell them and the conversation ends, often with my continuing the "subject change" topic to make it seem as though it wasn't a subject change before (while continuing to use it as one). The great thing about it is, even after they suspect you are lying, they wont question it if you were able to keep the conversation going easily enough. Although, perhaps this only works for me so well because I often change the subject abruptly for no real reason other than losing interest in the previous topic.
Another, much more obvious (to me), way I get around lying without telling the entire truth is to ask them to re-word the question. If I can't find a way to word my response that would let them fill in their own blanks, I simply ask them to re-word the question so that I can find a loophole to jump through. My old asset learned this from me and tried to use it on me. It was horribly transparent because it was my own tactic, so I prodded and eventually found out that she was hiding something from me (breaking one of the many "rules" we established for each other).
I know some of these seem quite obvious and surely some of you must wonder how this could work so flawlessly, but you really have to understand how much time I devote to making these evasion tactics as flawless as possible. If I'm obviously avoiding a question, I devote equal attention to coming up with my answer to their question as I do to coming up with why I was avoiding it. In the end, I normally chalk it up as "being offended you would ask" or "[finding] the question annoying."
My father said he knew I was a bit off ever since he took me to see Jaws as a kid, and I rooted for the shark.
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