The world is full of liars; you just cannot avoid them. You meet them at the workplace, in schools, offices, markets and even your home. At some point or the other, people close to us also lie. They could be little white lies or bigger lies that can impact the relationship negatively. Whatever the case may be; you can save your money, heart and, in extreme cases, even your life by being a lie detector expert. Psychology experts believe that liars give out many verbal, non verbal and body language cues that can easily help you tell if someone is lying. Here they are:
1. Unusual eye contact
If you want to tell if someone is lying, study their eyes closely. Some liars do not meet the listeners’ eyes when they lie. However, people who lie frequently know about this. As a result, you cannot only rely on this fact alone when it comes to tell if someone is lying. Practiced liars can hold eye contact for a prolonged period. Remember that the correct amount of eye contact can vary from culture to culture and even from person to person. If a person has always looked you in the eye, but you suddenly find her/him not meeting your gaze, then chances are that s/he is lying. On the other hand, some liars tend to look away momentarily and then immediately look up to see if you have brought their lie.
2. Dilated pupils
CIA and FBI agents often use this cue to tell if a person is lying. This is one of the body language cues which one cannot control and this makes it a reliable method for lie detection. When a person is about to lie, they accumulate tension and stress which releases cortisol. This can lead to increased adrenalin for enhanced concentration which increases the pupil size.
3. Change in rate of eye blinking
In order to tell if someone is lying about cheating, observe the rate at which they blink their eyes. If the rate decreases or stays steady while the person talks and slowly increases after s/he has told the lie, then that person is definitely lying.
4. Blocking of the eyes
Children often use this technique and so do some older liars. They try to block their eyes from the listener. So a surefire sign to tell if a person is lying, body language is touching the eyebrow or pinching the bridge of their nose in an attempt to prevent the listener from making eye contact. Some adult liars also extend their eye-blink or rub their eyes as they lie.
5. Change in pallor
Some liars blush, others blanch. This physiological impulse is impossible to control which makes it a sure sign that the person is lying. It may be triggered by embarrassment or stress.
6. Fake smile
Liars often ‘fake smile’. A real or genuine smile tends to reach the eyes while a fake smile is only centered around the mouth. Fake smiles are also asymmetrical. Some liars also tend to retract/compress their lips between their teeth as they try to withhold information. Delighted liars tend to have a fleeting smile after making an untruthful statement if they believe you’ve brought their lie.
7. Excess swallowing
Adrenalin causes a change in saliva production as a result of which, liars experience dry mouth. In order to compensate, they swallow more often, or ask for a drink of water or might even lick or moisten their lips. So if someone is lying to you about cheating, then watch out for this cue.
8. Touching the nose
Pinocchio’s nose grew when he lied. While this does not happen in real life, most liars feel the urge to touch their nose or even scratch or rub it. Adrenalin rush opens the capillaries on the nose which make the nose itch.
9. Covering the mouth (or other body parts)
This is another easy way to tell if someone is lying through the body language. Liars unconsciously cover the mouth or brush the sides of the mouth or their cheeks when they are about to tell an outrageous lie. Pathological liars also cover body parts that are exposed such as the throat, chest, head or abdomen. Some liars hide their hands in their pockets; a sign of guilt that makes them do so.
10. Hand and palms give clues too
Clammy hands are one of the surefire signs of a lying and they can be attributed to stress. When a person lies, the arterial pressure draws blood to the center of their body resulting in cold and clammy hands and feet. However, one cannot use this as a surefire sign of lying; many medical conditions and natural body tendency can cause a person to have cold and clammy hands all the time.
11. Fidgeting/shuffling or unusual stillness
Nervousness and anxiety can cause people to shuffle or fidget unnecessarily. Some will stretch, curl their feet, or rock their legs from side to side to release tension. Of course, there are people who become unusually still in order to make up lies. Most seasoned and experienced liars know that their interrogator is observing their body language. So they try to prevent gestures from being ‘read’. As a result, some experienced liars become still or stiff when lying. Unusually stiff disposition or inability to move can also occur due to fear.
12. Vocal cues and cues in a text message
Vocal cues are some other definite ways to tell if someone is lying. They mainly include slowing down of speech rate which is usually the case with unpracticed liars. Many liars tend to speak in a softer volume as they lie-as if they do not want someone to listen to their lies. The same principle can be extended to catching a liar on text. If you want to tell if someone is lying in a text messaging apps, see if their rate of replying slows down. Liars need time to make up the lies and might scroll up to see what they have typed earlier. Many people also type the same thing over and over when they are lying on text. Some might leave your texts unanswered if they feel they are being interrogated. Do not be surprised if you get blocked as well!
Being lied is the worst feeling in the world; especially if the liar is someone close to you. Use these psychology tips and easy ways to tell if someone is lying and save yourself a lot of hassle and heartache down the road.