I believe most people in the world are all but forced to resort to ulterior motives when dealing with others or being dealt with by them.
Furthermore, I believe most people are in this position so often they don’t just resort to hidden motivations, they expect them, are habituated to them, rely on them, and even enjoy them even though they cause immense suffering.
This situation arises due to fundamentally bad communication and the mistrust and uncertainty that devolve from it.
If communication is fundamentally bad (ambiguous, misleading, can’t be cleared up), there is no one you can trust but yourself. No one else you can rely on.
You are all but forced to conceal what your really think, feel, or want because you probably won’t be understood if you try to explain yourself honestly. Worse, you may get played.
Your interlocutor may genuinely misunderstand and cause you harm by that or they may feign interest and honesty when they are just gathering dirt to use against you.
Can anyone deny this happens very often? And that normal people have no recourse but to play that game?
An ulterior motive is one that is concealed. A motive that is different from what is being communicated. We all know what that means and how destructive it can be.
Ulterior motives arise because we do not use our communication systems (mainly speech and listening) at all well. Instead of communicating honestly, we try to “read” the other person while at the same time calculating to what extent or how they are “reading” us.
This is a disgusting situation for people to have put themselves in.
This problem can be fixed with one other person, so you can have at least one friend who does not do this to you and to whom you do not do it either. That makes two people who can escape the deadening, anti-life maze of ulterior motivation madness.
The way to do it is through FIML. I do not believe there is any other way.
If many people do FIML, eventually many of us will see the problems of bad communication clearly. Many of us will realize that virtually all people are trapped in a system that all but forces them to lie to others while suffocating themselves.
Edit 10/07/17: Here is a pop culture analysis of how to tell if someone is lying: 9 WAYS TO SPOT A LIAR. Scroll down to the list and notice how crude and dubious these tells are, but this is what many people work with. It’s all we have. With a good partner, FIML can lead you to levels of truth far higher and deeper than this. In this world, we really have to develop FIML relationships to fully explore our own psychology and human psychology in general. Without FIML, you are permanently locked out of your own depths by being trapped in ordinary communication which is accurately characterized by the shallowness of the linked article.