How to Detect Lies

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Some people give away signs of lying without even realizing it. These are not as accurate as a lie detector, but here are some possible indications and what to look for:

· They add way too many details to their story. Sometimes so many that it starts to sound ridiculous because most people don’t keep track of a lot of silly details. “Then I stopped and noticed a piece of gum on the sidewalk.” or some other silly irrelevant detail.

· Frequent blinking. Maybe they’re trying to unconsciously hide their lie by doing this, but instead give it away. (Keep in mind there are other reasons for excessive blinking such as sensitive eyes or contact lenses)

· Their eyebrows become raised. This is not proof of lying on its own, but combined with other things it does tend to signify defensiveness. If they know about the blinking they tend to do this to over compensate. This one in particular seems hard for people to stop doing.

· Overreacting by immediately acting angry and defensive, perhaps to try to force a change of subject or to make the person submit to their story.

· They’re unable to look you in the eye or hold a gaze for any length of time. Sociopaths can probably look you in the eye and lie no problem, so you can’t always depend on this one.

· They cover their mouth as if to cover the lie. A lot of face touching in general is not a good sign.

· Instead of answering a question with a straight answer, they will echo back what you just asked them. Example: “Did you take that cookie?” “Are you asking me if I took that cookie?”

· The accused becomes the accuser by pointing the finger and projecting the misdeed elsewhere.

· If you attempt to change the subject with a liar, they will readily agree but if the person is telling the truth, they often want to talk it out till it’s resolved.

· They start talking way too fast or completely change their pitch or tone of voice.

· The playing dumb ploy. “What are you talking about?” or “Why would you say that?” and of course looking appropriately shocked and confused.

· Fidgeting a lot and generally looking uncomfortable.

· Stammering and pausing in between as if trying to gather their thoughts. (A lie requires a lot more time to think.)

All of these of course offer no conclusive proof of lying as there are other possible reasons for many of the behaviors or reactions, but the more signs there are, the more likely the person is lying.

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