How to tell if someone is lying

By | August 24, 2019

No human being in this world is entirely truthful. Each one of us possesses the ability to lie. In a case study, it was found that almost every second person on this planet tells a lie once in a day. Fortunately, there are many ways by which you can figure out that the person whom you are talking or dealing with is speaking the truth or not. There are many signs by which you can spot the other person whether they are telling a lie.

Establishing the baseline is very important before identifying a fib. You need to know about the typical actions and reactions of the person. How do they react when they are honest, and then you will be able to know whether the person is speaking the truth or lying. You can ask a series of simple set of questions such as- ‘where are you from’? And then observe their eyes and pitch of the sound. The other thing you need to watch is the way they are sitting, if they are getting uncomfortable in their seat, they may begin to fidget, or their voice may also crack if they are getting nervous.

Once you have established this primary baseline, then you need to shift on the other signs which we are going to discuss below:

1) Behavioral pause or delay

When you ask a person a question and you get the answer after a delay or after some pause, this may be the sign that the person is lying. Though it is not absolute or certain, as it depends on some other aspects as well such as how long was the delay or that pause for after you asked that question, to consider it a deceptive indicator. Some other reasons for the delay might be the person is getting nervous, and that is why not able to give spontaneous answers. In that case, you need to make the person relax, bring him back to normal and then start the drill.

2) Repeating the questions– When someone is repeating the words and phrases, there may be something fishy going on in their mind or might be they are validating the lie in their brain. The example of this kind of expression could be when someone is saying ‘i did i did’ more than twice. The other reason for the repetitive words or questions is that they gather their thoughts to buy themselves some more time to make a bogus story.

3) Dubious expressions

If the person you are talking to is unnecessarily blushing, blinking, making fake smiles, or flaring nostrils, these might be the chances that the person is being untruthful at that moment. These might be giving too much room for false positives for going on by expressions alone. And indeed it is too difficult even for a trained professional to pick up a person who is lying just based on their facial expressions.

Facial expressions also include the movement of eyes, the mouth by rolling the lips back to such point where it almost disappears, changes in complexion, and sweating or dryness. 

4) Verbal or nonverbal disconnect

Our brain has been wired up in a way that it automatically connects both verbal and nonverbal behaviors to match up. In case it does not match or gets disconnected, it may be an indicator of deception. A typical example of a verbal and nonverbal disconnect is when someone says ‘no’ and nods his/her head as by saying ‘yes’, it is the mismatch and there is a great possibility that the person is lying. Some people might be thinking how could this disconnect be possible, but it is true that for deceptive persons. It is possible as they do it unintentionally without even thinking about it. This is how they get themselves trapped in their behavior disconnection.

5) Inconsistency-

It is quite easy to rely on Inconsistency as a proxy for dishonesty. Lier’s can’t keep their stories straight, and they tend to fumble in between they are talking or telling their story, this is where to spot them on. Another way of catching a lier is to ask them their story at least twice. Perhaps, they are going to change or add some other things in their story unintentionally. Another way is to ask them to start telling their story from the end and stop them where they began their story from.

6) Swallowing and Throat clearing-

If a person is significantly clearing his throat or repeatedly swallowing while asking the question or before answering, that could be one of the signs. Although you cannot label him a deceptor just by observing this expression of clearing the throat or swallowing as a couple of things might be happening with him like that question would have created a spike of anxiety within him or he may not know what to say that moment which caused dryness in the throat or it may have displeased the person of listening to that question due to some personal reason. 

7) Irrelevant superlatives-

If the person is using unnecessary superlatives such as, tremendous, absolutely, literally, it may be an indication that they are telling a lie. There is nothing wrong if you use these words, but it is expected to use these words , and in the manner, it is required.  Putting them unnecessarily to frame your sentences is not authentic and could lead a bad impression. The people who prepare their speech and are not speaking to distract you, use such words repeatedly.

8) Grooming gestures-

The other reason that why some people may deplete anxiety is through some physical activity like touching your immediate surrounding things or in the form of grooming oneself.

When you ask a question and before answering, if a person adjusts his tie, cough lings, shirt, hair or do anything which makes you suspicious about his gesture, it may be the sign. If a person is excessively sweating and wiping out his sweat from a handkerchief, it might be skeptical. If a person is tieding up the surrounding during the question is being asked, it might be another indication.

9) Shuffling their feet-

This happens when the body is taking over. It often reflects that the person who might be lying is nervous and  due to which, he is tapping or shuffling his feet. It might also indicate that they want to get out of the situation where they are at present.

So, with these signs, you can get a conception about the other person and tell whether he is lying or not. However, in the real-life scenarios, there are no sure-shot and universal indications that tell about the lying behavior of the other person. The most important thing is to trust what your instinct says. Learn to acknowledge your gut feelings and you can master the intuitive sense of spotting lying and honesty.

Go on, try using these tips, and let me know if you succeed.

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