Going to school for psychology usually costs thousands of dollars and hours (if not, years) of your time, effort and energy. While most of us want to learn psychology mostly to read minds and play detective a little better, here’s a list of things that are a dead giveaway when talking to liars.
From reading body language, looking into someone’s eyes and seeing how they speak and sound, there are several cues that are indicative of lying.
Here are 10 ways to know when someone is lying to your face.
1. Maintaining eye contact without blinking.
While most people would assume that liars would look away and blink repeatedly, studies have shown that liars will stare into your soul and maintain a blank face in order to avoid suspicion.
2. Mouth covering.
Covering one’s mouth is a physical representation that someone doesn’t want to talk or delve into an issue. It is a subconscious maneuver to hide one of the physical representations of your thoughts (aside from vocal cords, throat, etc.)
Don’t be fooled, though, partially covering one’s mouth is usually a sign of relaxation or contemplation. Whereas, covering the whole mouth is indicative of avoiding a conversation or not wanting to speak. Put that together with a tense body and those could be strong signs that you’re dealing with a liar!
3. Head position.
There are three different types of head positions that are predominantly employed by those who frequently lie. They are either used all at once or used throughout a conversation. The first is tilting of the head, which indicates a discomfort in the conversation.
The second is bowing of the head which is to hide a vulnerable part of the body: the neck. Finally, retraction of the head is one of the most obvious signs since it represents a distance between them and you, not wanting to engage in a conversation and not comfortable with discussing the subject.
4. Too much information
TMI! is a dead giveaway when it comes to liars. Liars will come up with excessive details in order to cover their tracks. They will tend to remember certain ‘details’ that people wouldn’t normally remember.
5. Staying still.
Although one would assume that liars would be fidgety, they actually tend to stay still because they are nervous and are preparing themselves for confrontation. Liars also tend to tense up which results in a lack of movement. Speakers generally have much more motion since they are talking with confidence and emotion.
6. Breathing heavily.
Now obviously this one is a little harder to identify but liars, due to their nervous nature, will tend to breathe more heavily because that is indicative of heart rate and blood flow changing. If they take breaks and speak in a higher pitch that is an indication that their breathing is changing!
7. Moving and shuffling of feet.
Although stillness is an attribute of liars, feet moving is also a sign that you are talking to a liar. It indicates that they want to walk away from the conversation, are uncomfortable, or nervous.
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8. Repetition or repeated words.
Repetition is a pretty obvious sign of lying since people want to convince not only you but themselves that they are telling the truth. So by physically saying certain phrases over and over again, it reiterates the point to you and also to themselves. “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!”
9. Hard to speak.
Similar to covering one’s mouth and disturbed breathing, having a difficulty in speaking usually indicates stutters or gaps in sentences meaning they are nervous or tense. When people are stressed or nervous their mouths tend to dry up making it harder to speak. So watch out for those stammerers!
10. Covering and hiding body parts.
As mentioned earlier, someone who is speaking with confidence (and honesty) is usually swaying their arms and moving about. That means when someone has their hands on their hips or when they’re crossing their arms, they are usually lying. Moreover, humans have a subconscious tendency to cover their vulnerable areas when they are nervous, tense or in fear of consequences.