How To Catch If Someone Is Lying


Who else wants to know how to tell if someone is lying? Not sure your getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

To tell if somebody is lying you must pay extra close attention. Lie detection requires that you watch for changing attitudes, shifting gestures, change in tone of voice. The mood and actions of the person will give away a lot. In the poker world these are called “tells”.

Human nature being what it is, most people have “tells” and indicate that their lying with their body language. Lying is a universal human trait, children learn to lie convincingly by the age of five. But most people also are conflicted about lying for two reasons, they have been brought up to believe it is immoral to lie, and they understand there is a risk of getting caught in the lie. And there’s the rub.

You and I can expose the deception and tell if somebody is lying because they will be under some amount of stress, however minute, and will tell us they are lying with nonverbal cues.

First, Establish Normal

In order to detect if someone is lying you must first know enough about them to know how that person “normally” behaves and answers questions. This can be done by establishing a rapport with the person and talking about things that the person is comfortable with. Pay close attention and determine how the person normally reacts in conversation, how they answer questions, and their body language and tone of voice. Now ask the person some questions that you think they would lie about, if there is a large change in behavior this is a strong sign of lying.

Posture: Lying Down

When a person is being honest they are more likely to have an upright, forward leaning posture. They will have an open posture and be relaxed. If someone is lying they will likely have a slouched, back leaning posture. They will be stiff and look uncomfortable. When a person is lying they are under stress, a person under stress will slouch backwards to remove themselves from the uncomfortable situation.

Lot’s of Lying Body Language

39 Lying Signs

  • Rubbing Hands
  • Wiping Sweat From Neck
  • Inspecting Nails
  • Wringing Hands
  • Cracking Knuckles
  • Biting Nails
  • Scratching
  • Tapping Fingers
  • Resting Head on Hand
  • Picking
  • Tapping Feet
  • Resting Chin on Hand
  • Pulling Nose
  • Swinging Feet
  • Covering Mouth
  • Pulling Earlobes
  • Bouncing Legs
  • Covering Eyes
  • Pulling Hair
  • Adjustment Clothing
  • Hiding Hands
  • Twirling Hair
  • Adjustment Accessories
  • Hiding Feet
  • Licking Lips
  • Dusting Clothing
  • Crossing Arms
  • Sighs
  • Picking Lint
  • Crossing Legs
  • Yawns
  • Pulling Threads
  • Smoking
  • Wiping Sweat From Hands
  • Fixing Hair
  • Looking in Purse or Bag
  • Wiping Sweat From Brow
  • Straightening Hair
  • Playing or Fidgiting With Objects

Verbal Lying Signs

Not only can you tell if a person is lying based on body language but when you are speaking with a person they will give you verbal cues that indicate deception. How can you tell if a person is lying based on what they say? The next time you watch a press conference and the person get’s handed a tough question you will see the type of language that is used to decieve (PR people and politicians especially).

Direct Response vs. Evasive Response

Someone who is telling the truth will usually directly answer the question asked of them. Why not, there is nothing being hidden. Someone who is not telling the truth will answer the question in a round about and confusing manner, answer a completely different question, or not answer the question at all. A sure sign of lying.

Denial: Not Just A River In Egypt, But To Be More Specific…

A person telling the truth will usually deny it in a broad non-specific manner. Lying, however, causes the individual to be specific in their denial, providing unnecessary details. This is most likely caused by the person attempting extra hard to attain believability and avoid getting caught in the lie. If it’s the truth the denial will be confident, if it’s a lie the liar will back up the denial with an oath. Methinks, thou doth protest too much!

Tell The Truth. Be Descriptive

People who are telling the truth will use descriptive language when telling a story, this is because it actually happened, and they remember it. Liars will be vague when telling a story, painting a picture with words is hard to do when you are making it up.

The Truth Is Easy. Lies Take Work

If a person is not lying then they will be able to respond spontaneously. Easy Peasy. If a person is lying it takes more mental energy, the lie will sound rehearsed. Truthful answers will be given at the general speed of the conversation, lies will be told very quickly or after a delay, stalling tactics are often used by the person who is lying, such as asking “can you repeat that”. When telling the truth a response usually builds speed, pitch, and volume as it is being told while it is a lying sign if the response becomes slower, lower, and quieter as it is told.

Eye Movement and Lying

It’s often said that if a person doesn’t make eye contact that they are lying but that is not always true. As some people will look back into there head to retrieve a memory or formulate a response. On the other hand liars may well stare you in the eye because they don’t need to retrieve any memories and they are “trying” to appear as telling the truth and are afraid to look away. Where the eyes look while speaking can indicate a lie, but this is a very complex subject and depends on the question being asked and normal brain response.

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About Naveen Thakur

A Wandering Geek Soul.

Posted on 05/08/2011, in Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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