There may be expert liars, or amateur ones, but one thing to be kept in mind is that, they all can be identified. Only the amount of hard work to be done to catch them may vary, along with the time required. Who hasn’t heard of the famous old saying ‘Liars never look you in the eye’? Everyone lies, be it a child or a retired person. But the intensity with which they do so differs. Even gloomier is the fact that some people lie almost on a daily basis! Lying is done so to create a false belief or impression and an attempt to make someone believe in something that is not true. It is a way of deceiving people.
People usually lie when they are afraid of telling the truth, which might have unsolicited consequences. For others, it might become an addiction problem. The fact that someone is lying is not as clear as Pinocchio’s nose! But here are some of the characteristic traits which can clearly help us recognize when the other person is lying.
Hopefully these 12 tips will help you catch the culprit red- handed when they have the audacity to lie to your face.
- Is the person sweating?
Sweating is a well-known after effect of lying. People tend to sweat more when they lie. However, the amount of sweating depends from person to person. Hence, it is not always a reliable indicator. This abnormal sweating is due to the adrenaline rush from nervousness, fear and anxiety. Polygraph test (lie detector test) is actually based upon this. In stressful situations such as lying, people start having sweaty palms.
- Attention to too much detail
Pay attention to the exaggerated details. Giving complicated and long answers can help you detect a liar. ‘So, why didn’t you come to the party?’ ‘Oh I had a doctor’s appointment, but it turned out to be nothing serious, and on the way I met my ex- boyfriend, and to avoid the small talk I had to go inside the mall as a hideout..’ and so on and on. Adding too much detail signifies that the person is trying too hard to convince you and has fabricated such a complicated lie to get out of the situation. It tips you off to the person’s level of desperation to persuade you.
- Heavy breathing
Haven’t we all seen these in movies, in a more exaggerated way? You must be well aware of this fact that heavy breathing is a true pointer towards a falsifier. This is purely because the body is subject to a lot of stress, which causes the heart to beat faster and consequently the lungs demand more air. The mouth tends to become dry, and the liar breathes faster with a series of short breaths.
- Look out for a change in the person’s voice
‘Are you free tonight?’ ‘No, have a lot of homework to do! *in a squeaky voice*. Liar alert. A person’s voice is a very good detector of lies. The person might start talking very fast or slower than normal, start blabbering, or their voice might become very high- pitched. They might start stammering or stuttering when trying to answer an uncomfortable question. All this is caused due to excessive tension and apprehension.
- Notice the person’s way of speaking
Be conscious of the person’s usage of words. Make note of the fact that whether they are repeating the same sentences again and again or not. When a person is lying, they try to remember the phase or words which sound the most convincing. Asking to repeat the question, using contractions, trying to use unrequired humor or sarcasm to avoid answering straight questions are some of the few things to look out for. Using phases like ‘to be honest’, ‘frankly’ can hint towards a person lying. If the person jumps from mid-sentence, then it is a clear indication that something is wrong. It is a very subtle and clever way of changing the current topic for another.
- Can you sense an uneasiness in air?
When someone is telling a fat lie, they don’t act normal. Avoid making eye contact, sweating, looking uneasy, is far from acting normal. They might twitch their palms, play with their hair, and look around here and there. It all means that they are being dishonest. All this results from anxiety and the fear of getting caught. Liars become uncomfortable and no matter how much they might try to hide it, something or the other gives them away.
- Nose touching and mouth covering
These are some of the other lie detectors, which might help you. During lying, people tend to touch their nose more often. This might be due to the fact that lying induces an adrenaline rush to the capillaries of the nose, making it itchy. Also, apart from this, people also cover their mouth, as if trying to avoid people from hearing the lie. The lips curl up, appear tense, and some people even press their mouth. All these are clear indications of distress and panic.
- Observe his/her body language
A person’s body language speaks a lot. Notice if that person’s hands and legs are stiff and self- directed or not. If they are, then most likely the person is lying about something. The person might cover his/her face, touch the back of their neck or forearms. He/she might fold his/her arms and stand with their legs interlocked. This tells us that the person is unwilling to spill out any information. They try to avoid any physical contact, like a hand shake or a hug as, they fear that it might give them away. They keep fidgeting with their tie, cuffs, shirt buttons, earrings, etc. Deliberately trying to act casual is also something which needs to be observed. It is said that the knuckles tend to get white when lying as the liar tends to hold on to something tight.
- Watch out for that person’s throat
A liar usually tries to lubricate their throat while clearing their throat or while swallowing and gulping. Stress caused due to lying increases the production of adrenaline in our body, which further aggravates production of saliva, causing them to gulp.
- Don’t ignore the micro-expressions
Micro-expressions are the facial expressions that flashes on a person’s face for a fraction of a second. It is the true reflector of a person’s feelings and emotions which are hiding under the lie. You should look out for them carefully. They can be detected, but you need to be observant.
- Ask them to repeat the story
If you are having a doubt in believing their word, bring on a test for them. Ask them to repeat the story, not once, but many times. Keeping track of all the facts and remembering them is a hard thing to do, especially when you are falsely fabricating it. If a person is making up a sham story on the spot, then it is almost impossible to present the exact same story again.
- Check out the person’s eye movements
Eyes speak a thousand words. Eye moments can reveal everything about a person. People tend to blink more when they are telling a lie. Their eyes flutter. Also, men tend to rub their eyes when telling a lie. While making up something, the eyes move up and to the right.
So the next time you find something fishy, showcase your detective skills and keep these pointers in mind.