You asked how to avoid being lied to. I think this is a common question because there are many television shows based around telling if someone is lying. I’ve been studying, how to detect a liar, for many years and in this article I’ll briefly go through the process with you.
I’ll Show you How to Detect a Liar Based on
Goals and Objectives in How to Detect a Liar
Hand Body Language : How to Detect a Liar
The Handshake Test
Have you ever wanted to know what a person thinks of you? You can learn a lot by just shaking their hand. When you reach out to shake someone’s hand, present them with your hand in a straight up and down manor. Make sure to allow them to twist your hand, however they like. Now note, what they do with your hand:
There are many other hand gestures that show that a person is either in distress or dishonest. Research has shown, most of these gestures are caused because of natural chemical reactions in the body. I’ll describe the chemical reactions that occur in the body, when lying, in a future article.
To detect a liar, watch for and gestures they make towards their face. Bill Clinton, famously touched his nose 88 times, when he was being questioned during his Lewinsky testimony.
Here are 10 other ways to detect a liar based just on hand and arm movements:
Detect a Liar : Are the Eyes Lying
You can learn a lot about a person by studying their eye movements. We, as human beings, are hard wired to look in certain directions, depending on what we are thinking about. This information is based off of numerous research studies and specifically in a branch of psychology known as Neurolinguistic Programming. I’ll cover it, in a future post.
Either way, this is what a persons eyes do when thinking
This is true for 75 to 85% of people in the world. What is great to know, is that the other 25 to 15% of people just perform in the opposite manor. So, to find out how a persons eyes work, ask them a few questions that you know will produce truthful answers and study the eyes. With this ability you are well on your way towards becoming a human lie detector.
Are the Eyes Lying : A Few More Tips
There are a few more iron clad ways to find out if someone is being deceitful or distress, by watching the eyes. When you meet someone for the first time, the first person to look away is submissive to the other. This is always going to be true. I leave it to you, whether you want to have an intense stare down though.
People that lie often, will maintain uncomfortable eye contact. By uncomfortable, they will look you in the eyes for 70% or more of the conversation. 50% eye contact is considered normal.
Finally, a persons blink rate will increase dramatically during long periods of lying. These are the main clues all experts agree on, concerning Detecting a Liar through eye analysis.
The Other Ways of Detecting a Liar Through Body Language
This is not a complete list on spotting lying. I’m providing a list that includes every technique that all the experts agree on. I’ll now finish the list by explaining the last few techniques.
When a person is going through long periods of lying they will start to act very oddly. Lying is very hard on a person. I’ll explain more on this later in this article. They will begin yawning compulsively (Body Starving for Oxygen). They’ll begin having trouble swallowing (Dry Mouth). And at the worst, they will start moving in a very mechanical way rather than fluidly. Example: When reaching for a cup, they will seem to be moving in a series of steps like they have never reached for anything before.
Jiggling of the feet is also a great sign of distress and dishonesty. People have a hard time controlling their leg movements unless they are paying attention to them exactly. It has been proven that feet will point toward that which they want. So if you are giving a speech and everyone’s feet are pointing towards the door, it’s time to switch topics.
And the final body language gesture that all of the experts agree on is facial flushing. If you are talking to someone and their face flushes you can be sure that they are either being dishonest or they are most definitely distressed.
The basic rule for all of these techniques, is to pay attention when people seem to be giving you mixed signals. If a persons physical gestures don’t match with their words, trust the body language to help you detect a liar.
Now, I’ll explain a better way to spot lies than can be found through pure body language study. I’ll teach you how to study the words they use.
How to Detect a Liar : Why is it Hard to Catch Someone Lying
The fact is that people almost never lie. Why is that? Because it puts a lot of stress on us. Remember the excessive yawning, swallowing and mechanical movements I described a few sentences ago.
While people go out of their way to avoid lying, they will avoid the questions you pose. They will tell you what they saw or what they did, but never anything incriminating. “I wouldn’t do that” is not the same as “I didn’t do that!” When you ask a question, make sure they answer it.
Also make sure your questions are very direct. We find it is very hard to lie to direct questions during an interview with Timothy McVeigh.
Newsweek: “This is the question that everybody wants to know – Did you do it?”
McVeigh: “The only way we can really answer that is that we are going to plead not guilty.”
Newsweek: “But you’ve got a chance right now to say, Hell no!”
McVeigh: “We can’t do that.”
There are numerous examples of people who have been found guilty of a crime and yet couldn’t claim their innocence when posed with a direct question. I want to reiterate that. People given the choice of time behind jail or death, couldn’t lie.
How to Detect a Liar : Looking for the Lies in a Story / Pronouns Matter
One great way to tell that a story has gone from truth to lies is to inspect the pronouns. When a person wants to distance themselves from something they will start using pronouns that distance them. For example, they may refer to my car when they want to take ownership, while referring to it as the car when they want to distance themselves.
Susan Smith did that exactly. When describing her happy travels with her children she referred to My Car. However, when she described leaving the vehicle and seeing it submerge with her two boys inside, she referred to it as The Car.
How to Detect a Liar: Examine Verb Tenses
Remember when I said you have to make sure a person answers the exact question asked? By manipulating verb tenses, most people can get away with lying. If you ask: “Have you ever used illegal drugs?” and someone answers “I don’t use illegal drugs.” Did they answer the question?
No they didn’t. They simply stated that they currently are not using drugs. They may have used them in the past? They may have used them last week? It depends on their definition of don’t use, not the answer to your question.
Police pay much attention to verb tenses. Often in a missing persons case, the interviewee that refers to the missing person in the past tense is often a suspect.
How to Detect a Liar : Internal Dictionary
We all have an internal dictionary. We each pull words from that dictionary to describe events. We tend to use the same words, unless we are under stress or are being deceptive. If we refer to our car as a car, we usually will refer to it as a car. It is unnatural for a person to refer to it as a Car, Automobile, Vehicle, Toyota, etc in the same story.
If you question someone and they start using words from your own internal dictionary, they are probably lying. Here is an example:
Jim Lehrer: “You had no sexual relationship with this young woman?”
Bill Clinton: “There is no sexual relationship – that is accurate.”
( Didn’t answer the question + Changed the verb tense + Borrowed from Lehrer’s internal dictionary = Lying )
How to Detect a Liar : How to Detect Favoritism
The order in a list is very important! Parents who are asked to name their children, usually name them in the order of birth (Timelines and Superiority play a role in lists). If they break this rule, you’ll find favoritism there. If a boss names his employees, you’ll find the favorites there. When O.J. Simpson, referred to his wife having “downs and ups”, police noted that.
How to Detect a Liar : Answering a Question with a Question
If someone answers your question with a question, deception can be found there. Example:
Parent: “Did you take the cookies?”
Child: “Did I take the cookie, no?”
“Could you repeat that?”
“What did you say?”
A lie is coming! It’s up to you to decide on clarification vs. dishonesty.
How to Detect a Liar : The Best Way Most People Don’t Know About
The best way I have found to detect lies from the best liars is to look for unnecessary words. If a person starts a sentence with “I’ll try…”, “The truth is…”, “Truthfully…”, “To be honest…”, “Maybe”, “To tell the truth…”, “Actually…”, etc you can expect a lie to follow.
Better yet, if someone gives you an answer followed by a “Really” you probably just heard a lie. The spotting of really alone can turn you into a lie detector. Try it the next time you watch a celebrity or politician getting grilled during an interview.
One Last Note
I could write about the subject of detecting liars forever, but the end of the article has come. I will leave you with one last tip. Think of it as a thank you for reading the whole article. Research has shown that it’s easy to find out if someone could be inclined to do bad things. Just ask them the right question, phrased properly:
When you ask a person a rhetorical question they will usually use themselves as an example. They won’t even notice that you asked them for some very private information. I bet if they answer all the above positively that they are likely to take advantage of their spouse, steal from the workplace and hurt others to get ahead.
Till next time….