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A Guide to Detecting Lies

September 14th, 2010

bill-clinton-lying.jpgMost people abhor being lied to. When someone lies to you, it can feel like an insult to your intelligence. It’s natural to feel hurt and angry on discovering that someone has purposely tried to deceive you. Can you tell if you are being lied to? Most people feel remorse when they lie, and this makes them speak and act in a certain way. Trained professionals can use these verbal and non-verbal clues to detect a lie. If you would like to learn more about these clues, read on.

Body Language

When someone is telling a lie, his body language may well change. During an honest conversation, people typically gesticulate with their arms and hands in order to emphasize a point. A liar generally won’t move his hands, arms or legs much while telling a lie. That could be because he is subconsciously trying to avoid providing non-verbal clues to the truth via hand gestures. If a liar does move his hands, the gestures are likely to point towards his own body. You should also watch out for the suspected liar turning his head or body away from you when he talks.

A person telling a lie is likely to fidget a great deal. For instance, you might catch a lair playing with a button on her shirt, fiddling with a random object, twirling her hair, or fussing with loose threads on her clothing. A liar might touch part of her face while lying. Be especially wary of anyone who covers their mouth when talking, which is something liars typically do.

The Face

If someone is lying, you may be able to spot it by looking at his face. Eyes, for example, are a big giveaway. A liar who feels guilty may avoid looking you in the eye. A particularly bold liar might look you directly in the eye, but his eye contact is likely to be too intense. If the suspected liar looks you in the face and his focus alternates between your eyes and mouth, he is probably telling the truth.

You should also look out for mismatch between a suspected liar’s words and facial expressions. A verbal expression of approval, for instance, isn’t often accompanied by a frown or grimace. Facial expressions that never reach the eyes could also an indication of insincerity. When a person feels genuinely happy, it is normal for her whole face to show how she feels. The expression of happiness is not usually limited to the smiling mouth. Similarly when someone feels genuinely unhappy, her whole face will probably show it. It is wise to be wary of facial expressions that begin and end at the mouth.

Verbal Communication

You can usually spot a lair by what he says, and the way in which he expresses it. If you confront a liar, he is likely to get very defensive. If you question someone who is genuinely honest, he will probably become angry and indignant over the accusation.

Liars often use the words of the questioner when replying to a question. Let’s imagine you suspect your adolescent daughter of breaking a vase in your home. Hence you ask her, “Did you break the vase?” If your daughter is lying, she may well say, “No, I did not break the vase.” If she’s telling the truth, she’ll probably just say “No.”

Experts have also noticed something else liars tend to do when they talk. In everyday conversation, people often use contractions. Liars don’t usually do this while telling a lie. Liars are likely to say “did not” instead of “didn’t.” Hence when Bill Clinton famously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” he gave the game away.

Liars are also inclined to mumble their words quietly when they speak. What’s more, you may notice long pauses between one sentence and the next. During these pauses, the liar is probably trying to think up a convincing story. Liars also tend to give more information than they are asked to provide. Watch out for the disclosure of details you did not ask for.

Remain Quiet

You may even be able to discover a liar simply by remaining silent after he speaks. After telling a lie, liars generally wait to see how the other person will respond to what they have just said. If you remain silent rather than responding, the liar may well begin to feel noticeably uncomfortable. He might even come up with extra details in order to break the silence.


This article was supplied by “Whisp” from Constant Content.


2 Responses to “A Guide to Detecting Lies”

  1. comment number 1 by: Michael

    I learned a long time ago to listen and not talk. Its pretty simple what people will say about themselves if you just listen.

  2. comment number 2 by: Ireland5

    Picture is right on!

    I read that a truthful person in thinking about an answer to a question will look up and to the right. A person thinking about lying will look up and to the left. This could be tested by first asking a person a simple factual question and watch his/her eyes.

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