Spotting a liar in your midst isn’t necessarily the easiest task — that is, unless you know the telltale signs to look for when someone is being less than truthful. Since you cannot just point and say, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” when you suspect something isn’t quite right, you may have to put your observant pants on and sleuth it out for yourself.
Facial expressions and nonverbal body language — rather than the actual words that are being spoken — is what you should be looking for.
Use these tips to spot deception when you think someone may not be telling you the truth.
Micro expressions are those neurologically designed, subconscious facial movements that tell you something is off. You might pick up on this subconsciously at first, which is why you might be uneasy or doubtful in the first place. Being aware and looking for the signs, though, can make a huge difference in whether or not you are going to take someone at their word.
Examples of micro expressions during lying are flared nostrils, rapid breathing or blinking, nibbling on the lip and changes in the tone of their voice. These are all signs that the brain is going into overdrive trying to keep up with the lie that is being told. Lying liars who lie really churn out a lot of brainpower when weaving their tangled web.
Fidgeting or Minimal Movement
Fidgeting while lying is common, so the best liars will actually work at keeping their bodies completely still to avoid that sort of nervous reaction, like putting their hands behind their backs.
If eye contact is minimal and the discussion isn’t one that involves some level of embarrassment, it’s more likely that your subject may not be telling the truth. Avoidance of eye contact altogether, or breakage of eye contact as they go into detail with their story may indicate that something is off.
Keep in mind though. Some people are fidgety or avoid eye contact as a part of who they are. So, what you really need to ask yourself is if their posture, habits, or body language is different from their normal personality. You don’t want to jump the gun.
If you’re seeking out a specific lie, a great way to begin the conversation is with neutral, simple questions about the weather, upcoming plans or anything that they would respond comfortably and honestly to. Watch for patterns in their body language when they are telling the truth before delving into the subject matter at hand. At that point, you should easily be able to see a shift as they answer more serious questions. Guess what? This is what the cops do during lie detector tests!
While these are some signs to look for when someone is lying to you, there’s no completely fool-proof indicator. You may have to dig a little more deeply to find the truth. However, with people you know really well, these signs can help you in your search for the truth.