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How to Tell if Someone is Lying

By Edited Mar 12, 2014 2 5

Body language can tell you a lot about a persons intent. This is especially true with lying. When people lie to you they will attempt to control their facial expressions, however, the subconscious things they do will give them away. Body language can tell you many things about what someone is thinking, but you should evaluate more than one clue before assuming they are lying.

One of the first things to evaluate is their posture. Are they standing or sitting with their back straight as they are talking to you? Most people that lie will hunch over when speaking to you. They will also put distance between you and them like leaning back in a chair, or placing something on a table between you. They may wring their hands or place them into their pant pockets. They will not show their palms, which holding them up is a sign that I have nothing to hide. They will often shrug their shoulders at a downward angle as in slouching down while stepping back. They are signs that they may be lying to you. If they usually believe that lying is a bad thing to do, then they will often scratch their nose or ears. This is because that negative feeling will make the blood vessels constrict which causes them to itch.

Another obvious sign is eye contact. Do their eyes meet yours as they are telling you something, or do they gaze away as they are speaking? Right handed people will gaze toward the right when they are remembering, but they will gaze toward the left when they are constructing an image. If they are left handed, then the opposite is true. If they are approached with facts that they would otherwise be surprised about, then their expression will change quickly and change back just as quick. If their expression last a bit to long, you probably did not catch them off guard so they tend to overcompensate with their expression. Interesting huh!

Most of the time when someone is lying, their voice will lower, and sometimes they will even mumble when they speak. They will also become impersonal with possessive statements such as the party, or the shirt, instead of my party, or my shirt. They will attempt to detach themselves from the situation as far as they can. When put on the spot, they will often generalize their answers or answer with a question with statement such as, " Would I ever lie to you?' Most importantly, they will always be ready to change the conversation. The more you keep these people engaged in the situation the more agitated they will become. Often repeats of the story will change some form of it.

These examples are not absolutes by any means, but they will help you in deciding if you should investigate a possible fabrication a little bit further. The more you practice examining body language, the better that you will become at it.



Oct 5, 2010 8:21am
thumbs up for a nice article thanks
Oct 11, 2010 5:29am
It was interesting to read this article. I would to learn a lot about body language so I can read people more quickly. I'm wondering where did you get your sources?
Oct 15, 2010 9:12am
I read many different articles while surfing on the net. There are a ton of details and things to look for that I didn't elaborate on!
Nov 4, 2010 12:05pm
This is one of the first thing I enjoy learning while I made the NLP courses (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). It is very true that you can tell if someone is lying - and very easy once you start paying attention. Well written and explained!
Nov 4, 2010 10:22pm
I also notice that if when someone is talking to you, that if you do not respond, they will talk even more and revealing more while trying to engage you in conversation.
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