Has someone ever told you a lie you totally bought, hook, line and sinker? Then has someone attempted to lie to you and you are like, “mhmm… uhuh… hmm.. oh.. wow…” girrrl… I know you are lying but ride on. Well…good for you if you can detect such lies. If you can’t, I’m going to show you how to tell when someone is lying.
How to tell when someone is lying
Naturally, when someone tells you something, you have no reason to doubt them because you take what they say for what it is.
However, there are times people say things but you get the gut feeling that they are lying to you.
Don’t worry guys, I’m going to show you 9 things to look out for when someone is telling a lie.
Before I get to it, I would like to state that after a lot of reading and researching, I eventually realized that there’s no true or one way of knowing if someone has lied to you. This is because everyone reacts differently when they lie. Therefore, the points given below are simply pointers to look out for.
Now, back to the topic, the following are ways to know when someone is telling a lie.
This is one that is so popular. They say the eyes hold a lot of truth and in this case, that might be so. It has been established that when someone is telling a lie, they tend to avoid eye contact.
This doesn’t apply to chronic liars. These kinds of liars are so good at lying that they become so comfortable. Therefore, they will definitely maintain eye contact.
I read somewhere that though chronic liars maintain eye contact, sometimes, they overdo it. In other words, they can stare for long or blink a lot and that raises suspicions.
Another way to find out if someone is telling a lie is by reading their body language.
The body makes both voluntary and involuntary movements. We can control the voluntary ones like muscle movements but we can’t exactly control the involuntary movements.
The body also makes some voluntary movements subconsciously. This means we might not be aware we are doing it until we are aware.
When lying, our bodies somehow betray us by giving signs we most times are not even aware of. It’s the body’s way of releasing tension and escaping (isn’t it amazing that when you lie even your body isn’t comfortable with it?).
These signs include rapid or shallow breathing, fidgeting, tapping the foot a lot, turning away from you/ shrinking in on themselves (will still discuss this more below) or closing of palms tightly.
Some of the other signs may also be flared nostrils, visible signs of tension over the forehead and increased blushing or paleness, as the normal blood flow varies according to the nervous strain caused by lying.
Their body is away from you
When someone is telling a lie, they want to get it done with and escape so they are not caught (the only exception is with expert liars, I mean, they are really good). They may cross their legs and their arms and may also point their body or feet towards the exit.
To confirm, simply lean towards them or get closer. Their body will fail them by giving out more body signs or they might just lean back to get away. This is because subconsciously, they feel exposed and vulnerable.
Related: Viewpoint: Honesty and White lies
Changes in speech pattern
Someone telling a lie would usually have some changes in speech pattern. This include hesitation when talking or answering a question; change in voice pitch, stammering, throat clearing, hemming and hawing. All these could indicate a lie. The person might also have slowed or fast speech. It all depends on the individual as everyone reacts differently. What’s important is that there’s a change in speech pattern. If your friend is someone that normally stammers, you really can’t use that as an indication that he/she is telling a lie.
Stories don’t add up
So, this is where I really catch liars. To me, it’s 90% guaranteed. Except the person lying is a good liar, they won’t be able to keep up with their lies. Somehow, there will be lots of inconsistencies in their stories. Their stories won’t just add up.
For instance, Jessica, an art major, went out last night and her roommate Ariel asked where she was. She replied that she was studying with Jane (her best friend) in her place. Ariel immediately pointed that she though Jane was a medical student. Jessica replied her by saying “Oh, we were studying for a different test, it’s about *inserts one course that could work as an excuse for Ariel to buy the story*”
From the example above, it’s quite obvious that Jessica is lying about where she went last night. She thought she was smart enough to use her best friend as an excuse.
Notice their reaction
If you accuse someone of lying or question their story, pay attention to how they respond. An innocent person may be offended and question you, but a guilty person might just overdo it. They may resort to tears, screaming, and accusations against you. Don’t get me wrong, an innocent person might also do this but with a guilty person, something seems forced about it. Push past this to get to the truth if you truly think they’re faking.
If someone is telling a lie, they may resort to manipulation. Instead of answering a question directly, they will do so in such a way that you answer it for yourself. They imply the answer instead of telling the truth.
For instance, if you ask ‘Is that my dress you are wearing?’, they may reply “didn’t you see me at the same shop you bought yours?” That immediately makes you assume that it might not be your dress.
When someone is trying to play things this way, I still go ahead to ask them. Is that my dress? Yes or no. If you do this, you will see that they either come clean or lie of which you can actually read them to be sure.
Trust your gut
If you get the feeling that you are lied to, then you are probably lied to. Sometimes, it doesn’t work that way, but most times, it does. It might not necessarily mean you are being lied to, it might mean there’s more to a story or there’s some kind of dishonesty somewhere. God has given us intuition; we can as well use it.
Apart from the 5 points mentioned above, there are others that you could look out for.
- Changing the subject – a liar would usually change the subject, so that what matters isn’t addressed.
- Misuse of tenses – When someone is lying, they may confuse their tenses. Where past tenses are to be used, they could use present tenses and vice-versa. This is because the story they are telling you isn’t true and they are making up the story as they tell it.
- Giving a lot of details – if someone is lying, they usually give out a lot of details. These details are not exactly relevant to the situation at hand but they give it regardless. This is because they want you to buy what they are saying, so it looks like they are really telling the truth. Watch out for those unnecessary details, they could help you fish out their lies.
As mentioned above, there is no exact or true way to know when a lie is being told. Another thing you can do to be sure is by establishing a baseline for the individual. That way, you have an idea of how the person is when they are telling the truth.
Therefore, whatever is new or different about the person’s behavior can indicate a stressor. It might mean the person is not being honest, it might also mean the person is reacting emotionally or psychologically to something. Either way, something is up!
What other ways do you use to know if someone is lying to you? What are your tell tales?