How to tell if someone is lying
Your boyfriend says he got stuck at the office, but something tells you he is not being completely honest. A colleague swears she left your coffee mug on your desk, but you do not believe her for a second. Your son says of course he has finished his homework, but you suspect there is a little something he has conveniently forgotten. Most people already have an innate sense of when they are being lied to. With these five insights into body language you can start turning sense into certainty.
Body language is a serious study and some specialists in this field even help with police investigations. Others become entertainment mentalists and amaze audience members when they read their minds'. In reality they are looking out for the subtle signs or tells' that show the experienced eye when we are not being truthful. So what are the signs that you should look out for if you think someone is lying to you?
They touch their nose and mouth a lot
When people lie adrenalin rushes to their noses, causing an imperceptible swelling of the capillaries. This is called the Pinocchio effect' and it causes itchiness, so fibbers rub their noses while they are speaking.
Another theory suggests that liars cover their mouths to prevent the lie from escaping. Children in particular try to cover their mouths when lying.
It is in the eyes
Liars try to appear as if they are telling the truth by using the appropriate facial expression. People who are genuinely happy or sad use their whole face to smile or frown. Liars only use their mouth. If a facial expression does not extend from the mouth up the cheeks and to the eyes, chances are it is not genuine.
Contrary to what many people think, liars do make eye contact. In fact, they make too much eye contact. People who are telling the truth may look around to help them think, or get distracted by objects. Liars fix their gaze on you in an attempt to appear to be honest. Looking to one side while you are speaking is also not necessarily an indication of lying.
Other eye tells are frequent or longer-than-usual blinking.
Watch out for sweating
Measuring sweat is actually one of the ways that a polygraph assesses whether criminals are lying. While these machines are sensitive enough to pick up minute changes in skin moisture, you can look out for visible signs of sweating and become a human polygraph. Just remember to take the weather into account before you make any accusations!
Follow their fidgeting
Fidgeting is a sign of nervous energy. Liars often play with objects, their clothes, their own hands or anything else that they can get hold of to distract themselves from the words coming out of their mouth.
Just remember that fidgeting is a sign of any kind of nervous energy. If the person is shy or uncomfortable, it's not necessarily a sign that they are lying.
Their bodies are stiff
When people are conversing naturally, their arms, legs and heads are relaxed. People who are lying will appear stiffer. They might also tip their bodies away from you, rather than towards you. Their responses might also be slower and stilted rather than natural and flowing because they are taking the time to think of an appropriate response.
These are just some of the tells that can indicate to a listener that a person might be lying. By becoming sensitive to these signs you can become a more astute judge of character. But remember, for putting on a show or hunting down the office thief, lie detection is best left to the professionals!