Society - People
By: - at July 11, 2013

Detecting Lies: How to Tell Whether or Not Some is Truthful

Being Able to Decipher a Lie Can Help You Uncover a Scam
Guy with mask ScamWhether you work in forensics, security, or human resources or simply need to better understand human behavior, the ability to detect lies is a skill that can be quite useful. Being able to uncover a lie can also help you avoid becoming a victim of a scam or other kind of deception.

Observe a Person’s Body Language and What He/She is Saying
Body language and verbal cues can give you information as to an individual’s truthfulness. While certain gestures or utterances do not necessarily mean a person is lying outright, they do indicate that he may be less than truthful.

A Lack of Arm or Hand Movement
For example, people who are deceptive often are less expressive physically than people who tell the truth. Their movements are stiffer and they display little in the way of arm or hand movement. Movements of the arms and legs tend to go inwards, thereby taking up less space.

Prevaricators Tend to Touch Their Face
woman touching faceAs you may already know, someone who is lying is uncomfortable about making eye contact. They also tend to touch the facial areas, especially the mouth and throat. You’ll often see prevaricators scratch or touch their nose or do the same thing behind the ear.

Emotional Responses
Also, look at the emotional response. It usually isn’t in sync with the sentiment that is displayed. Usually, the response is delayed and lingers longer than what is normal. For example, a deceiver may not immediately appear sad upon hearing some bad news. Instead, he'll look unhappy some time after he’s been given the information. Therefore, when conveying emotion, the feelings that are shown seem to be a bit off-pace.

In most instances, the timing of a deceiver’s gestures and emotions are generally not concurrent. For example, if you give someone a gift and they respond by saying, "I love it!" but they don't instantly show it in their face, they're lying. If they really liked the gift they would have looked pleased at the same time they made the comment.

Facial Expressions: Nuances to Note
Or the facial expressions and statements of a liar will not match. For example, if someone tells you they like you but looks rather austere, then they’re misleading you. People who are truthful involve all of their face when they are emotionally expressing themselves. For instance, smiles include the eyes, forehead, cheeks, and jaws. Prevaricators, though, limit their emotional gestures to the area around the mouth.

Body Language Clues:
The following video elaborates on deceptive body language further:

NOTE:  You can buy Robert's DVD + eBook here.

People Who are Less than Truthful Often Act Defensive
When it comes to interacting with others, people who are deceptive are prone to get on the defensive while people who have nothing to hide are more proactive. In turn, they tend to go on the offensive instead.

Creating a Barrier
People talking creating barriersPeople who tell falsehoods too tend to place items between themselves and the person with whom they are communicating. Therefore, if you’re sitting at a table, the prevaricator may, say, set a newspaper or magazine between the two of you.

Repeating Words
People who lie often repeat the words in a question as well. For example, if you ask him if he saw you at the park the other day, a deceiver will answer you by saying, “No, I did not see you at the park the other day.” Also, people who tell the truth use contractions more often in their speech than people who tend to tell tales. For example, a person who is more trustworthy might say, “I wouldn’t do that,” while someone practicing deceit might say, “I would not do that.”

Long Pauses
People who practice deceit often include unnecessary details in the stories that they tell. They also become rather jittery if there is too much of a pause while they are speaking with someone. Liars frequently speak softly and muddle their language unlike a truth-teller who clearly enunciates his words.

If You Suspect Someone is Lying, Quickly Change the Topic
If you suspect that someone is lying, quickly shifting the topic of conversation will give you more of a clue. For example, a deceiver will comply with the shift and will immediately become less stressed. However, people who tell the truth will not understand why you changed the subject and may try to back up to what was being said. If someone is lying, he may make a sarcastic remark or resort to some form of humor to redirect the discussion.

Of course, if someone displays one of the above clues, that doesn’t necessarily make him a bald-faced liar. However, professionals who are trained to detect lies do use some of the above information to make educated guesses along these lines.

Analyze the Words a Person Uses in Conversation
Another way to determine lying is by analyzing the words that a person uses when he speaks. For instance, if someone tells you he is trying to be on time, he is not being entirely truthful. He is making the attempt to be on time but he is not taking any action to actually be on time.

A Mix of the Past and Present
Conflicts in the truthfulness of a story can also arise when there is a mix of past and present tense. For example, if someone describes a situation where he was robbed and says, “The robber walked in my home, pointed a weapon at me and then tells me to face the wall,” the statement is most likely not true. While he noted that the first two actions happened in the past, he placed the third action he described in the present. Actions in the past come from the memory. They don’t occur in the present.

The Use of Articles
The articles in a story, such as “a,” “an,” and “the” can call a person’s veracity into question as well. For example, if someone says, “A man in a ski mask came up to me, threatened me with a weapon and forced me into the van,” he’s not likely telling the truth. Using “the” before “van” shows that either the statement is false or that the storyteller recognized the vehicle.

Using “Never” in a Sentence
The word “never” is another watchword that is often used by deceivers too. For example, if you ask someone if they took your bracelet and they tell you that they would never take your jewelry, they really didn’t deny taking the bracelet. They’re just telling you that isn’t something they’d ever do. An honest person would tell you that they didn’t take the bracelet.

Because “never,” in essence, means “not ever,” a person is typically not lying if you ask, for example, if he ever cheated on an exam. The proper response would be to say that he never cheated on a test because “never,” again, means “not ever.”

Lie Liar

Replacing “Never” for “No”
However, the word “never” cannot be supplanted for the word “no,” which is a method used by people who tend to lie. For example, if you ask the question, “Did you sell her the narcotics?” and the answer, in turn, is “I never sold the narcotics,” the response is not direct. Deceivers like to use this technique as it answers the question but takes a detour around a straight route of communication. Typically, an honest person would say, “No, I didn’t sell her the narcotics.”

Politicians often use the word “never” so they don’t have to answer a question directly. While the use of the word does not mean a person is unqualifiedly a liar, it does denote that he is not always responding point-blank.

Also, if you simply make a statement and say, “I never have been horseback riding,” and you have never ridden on a horse, then, of course, you’re not lying. You just have to watch out for the word “never” when it’s used to replace “no” in a sentence as the speaker is either not conveying all the details or simply isn’t telling the truth.





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