How to Tell When Someone Is Lying To You


You know for sure that somebody has lied to you recently because unfortunately lying is such a common thing. But do you know how to tell when someone is lying to you? No-one likes been lied to or taken for granted, so wouldn’t it be great if you could separate the liars from the honest? For a start, it could save your heart from being broken, or it could save you a lot of money from a scam or business negotiation, or it could even help you pick out your friends more selectively. 

How To Tell When Someone is Lying

It’s what people don’t say that sometimes really matters. The object of this article is not to make you into a mobile lying detector, but to help you in detecting lies when it most matters to you. There is no full-proof method, but it would help to at least to have the upper hand.

Common signals that can help you detect whether someone is lying are the following:

·        Hand to Face Gestures – This is when someone touches the area around the mouth or the side of their nose. Sometimes the rubbing of the back of the neck or the stroking of the back of the head can tell help you detect someone is telling a lie.

The stroking of the back of the head is a ‘self comforting’ gesture that adults usually carry with them from childhood. Parents stroke the head of the child to comfort them when for example the child falls over and hurts themselves. Liars sometimes use this same self comfort gesture to ease the stress when they are lying.

·        Avoiding Eye Contact – If someone has good eye contact with you while speaking to you, and then all of a sudden when there is something important that needs to be said, their eye contact focuses on anything but you, then you know that something is not right. However do not jump to any conclusions straight away. Take note of the point made when the eye contact connection was lost, and question that point again at a later stage.

·        Feet and Leg Movement – The feet and legs are the furthest point of the body from the brain, therefore the hardest to control. When people speak, they often forget any movement of their feet and legs. If they are speaking to you while standing up, a good signal that they are lying is when all of a sudden they raise themselves up on their heels.  The movement of the toes up and down can also be a signal of lying.

The above mentioned movement of feet also applies if the person is sitting down. Actually when sitting down, there might be more fidgeting of the feet due to more freedom of the legs and feet.

·        Hand Movement – If someone has been talking to you for a while and they freely use their hands with the palms open, then this is considered to be a ‘giving’ and ‘honesty’ gesture. But when you ask something specific and their hands seem to disappear, either under their arm pits, behind their back or in their pockets; then something is not right.

The next time you are having a conversation with someone, try to identify any one or more of the above gestures. However it is important to understand that just because they use the above gestures, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying. They could use these gestures regularly or they just might be a shy or nervous person. 

To reach to any conclusions you do need to give them a bit more time to get to know their regular body language, but in that time, you can ask them more specific questions and watch their reaction. You could also go one step further and ask them straight up – “are you lying to me”? 

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