Being able to pickup on whether someone is lying or telling a tale that is just a little too far fetched is a skill that will help you in both your professional and personal life. Of course, every person is different and there is no absolutely certain way to tell if someone is lying. But there is a lot of research into studying body language particularly in situations when the person being observed is lying or is nervous. These strategies discovered in these studies are used by law enforcement and police during interrogations and other police activities.
So these tips I will share in the article will help you pickup in some surefire signals some who is lying give off. There is no guarantee that they will work 100% of the time, especially for habitual or serial liars, but in most situations, these tips will help you detect a lie.
Here to tell if someone is lying:
How is the person talking?
If you know how the person usually talks, notice any change in speed. Is he talking faster, a lot slower, noticeably pausing, or even taking a long time to answer? Look for any change from the baseline norm he usually is at. While not a guarantee any variations from the norm are a strong sign that something is up. It's sometimes a good idea to tell a joke or do something right before you extract the lie from the person, where you know you will get a certain exact result. This way the contrast in body language and voice when the person lies will be more apparent.
Is the person almost frozen?
When people lie they will sometimes freeze and turn slightly away from the person they are talking to. Does the person look and sound less confident when you extract the lie in the conversation. Are they hesitant? Are they giving off a closed posture and shifting away from you? It can be very subtle but the exact moment the person lies the person will likely behave in a way that is not normal for them.
*Note some people might start moving a lot to pretend to be truthful. So during your analysis look for changes from the norm
Is the person making eye-contact?
To tell if someone is lying always look at the persons eyes. People have a very hard time making eye contact when they are lying and this is an almost sure-fire give away. Note this does NOT mean the person will be looking at their feet like a toddler who gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Most adults have the common sense to at least pretend like everything is normal and will likely try to look in your eyes like everything is normal.
In lie detection studies the signals are very subtle so you must be watchful for anything out of the ordinary. For example, at the moment you ask a question to extract the lie does the person look away for a quick second? Or in reverse does the person make a LOT of eye contact when usually they never make eye contact? You must keep both extremes in mind when detecting a lie.
Is the person giving off stress signals?
Whenever you lie your body is generally put under a certain amount of stress. This stress makes the body react automatically and in most cases, the person lying will give off particular behaviours that are a surefire way to detect a lie or at the very least some discomfort in the conversation (maybe they are covering up a lie with some information is only half correct – or a white lie).
Is the suspected person scratching, itching, swallowing or rapidly blinking? Is the person fidgety (tapping his foot, rubbing his fingers etc.)? If yes, this behaviour shows that it is very likely the person is uncomfortable and is lying to you.
In which direction is the person looking?
Looking to the right stimulates the left side of your brain; the side responsible for creativity and imagination. So if the suspected person is looking to the right he/she is stimulating their creativity and likely making stuff up.Likewise if the person is looking up and to the left, they are using the right side of their brain. This side connected to memory and therefore the person might be recalling something.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether someone is truthful or not. All people are different and for an outsider, it is quite difficult to determine if someone is lying. So if you know what the person is usually like you will have an easier time distinguishing between normal and odd behaviour. Also as people grow older they usually get better at lying, not to say everyone is a liar. But we get better at telling stories and covering our tracks. This is why it's a lot easier to tell if a toddler is lying over a grown adult.
The main point is first and foremost don’t lie your self and then after don’t ever openly accuse somebody of lying. Every person is different and has their own issues and problems. The best way is to try to gather as much as data as you can and then privately talk to the person about whatever the issue might be.
In the end, I hope and pray that people altogether stop lying so hopefully one day this article is obsolete and I can get rid of this topic altogether.
Best of Luck!