Detecting Deceivers How to determine if someone is lying to you
If I said that everyone lies and deceives a bit, would you agree?
Well, it’s true, believe me! There are five ways to detect that people are
1. How you feel.
Firstly, trust your gut feelings. All of us are hard-wired to detect danger and
deceit. This survival mechanism is largely unconscious, but has ways of telling
us it’s working. For instance when we experience the unsettled feeling we can
get when something just seems out of place or doesn’t seem quite the way it
should. When this happens, as when someone’s words and body language don’t fit
together, it’s usually the body’s signals that reveal the truth.
2. How they express themselves physically.
People who are lying will limit their physical expressions. They might touch
their nose, ear, or mouth, and will often slouch. They will hold their limbs
close, moving stiffly and mechanically, and they might avoid eye contact and
turn away as if looking for an exit.
3. How they express themselves emotionally.
Emotional gestures may seem out of sync with what they are saying. Genuine
expressions involve the whole face. A real smile, for instance, spreads from
mouth to forehead, eyes, cheeks, and tilt of head. If only the mouth shows a
smile, it comes across as insincere.
4. How they treat or manipulate the environment.
Liars will alter their physical environment, by placing objects (coffee cup or
papers) between themselves and the other person. They will bounce words back to
a questioner. If asked, for example "Did you touch that file?" - They won’t
answer simply "No," but rather "No, I didn’t touch that file."
5. How they attempt to control the conversation.
Lying people often use humor or sarcasm to divert attention away from a topic.
They are uncomfortable with silence or pauses, often contradict themselves, and
may babble on with trivial details to try to distract. To test, change the
subject and the liar will willingly follow along to get away from the present
discussion. He or she will then appear more relaxed. Someone who is being
truthful will instead be confused by the sudden change in topic, and will want
to return to the previous conversation thread.
Why do we lie? All of us lie at some time or other - for personal gain,
for acceptance, to protect another’s feelings, or in fear of being exposed for
A pattern of lying often originates in childhood during personality
development's Imprint phase. Inconsistent parental disciplining forces children
to lie, in order to avoid uncertainty and the resulting anxiety about whether or
not they will be punished.
Ultimately, just being aware that lying is part of human nature can enable us to
better handle everyday communication.