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Few people like being called deceitful. But when they see themselves in somebody else, they often smile and recognize that same kind of deceit in themselves.

Reader’s Digest told a humorous story of a father who decided to stop buying his family junk food and replaced it with plain rice cakes. The rest of his family reluctantly agreed.

One evening he went into the kitchen and found one of his younger children smearing frosting on a rice cake.

 “What are you doing?” he asked.

The boy responded, “That’s how we always eat them. Mommy showed us.”

Illustrations like this help us realize the little ways we often cheat ourselves and others. Perhaps we fudge “just a little” on our income tax, cover up our poor performance at work, lie about someone behind his or her back, or ask for a refund on an item which has already served its purpose.

People may laugh at stories like the one above, but don’t miss the main point—when people laugh, they listen. Use that to your advantage.

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