By Naomi Kent
They’re jabbering on, and you’re listening, but something just doesn’t jive. You suspect you’re being lied to. Sometimes lies are easy to detect: stammering, lack of eye contact and fidgeting are all the classic signals exhibited by a fibber – but those who are skilled at the art of deceit are much more difficult to catch, even in a bald-faced lie.
The following are common signs to look for if you suspect the wool is being pulled over your eyes:
1 – Touching the Nose
This is the classic sign of a fibber. Liars under pressure are typically unaware they’re exhibiting this odd form of body language since their attention is intently focused on persuading the inquisitor. Touching the ears or other parts of the face are also gestures that consistently indicate deception.
2 – Breathing Heavily Through the Nose
Again, the nose knows! Lying takes energy, and the brain needs more oxygen to deal with the extra cognitive pressure – hence the deeper, more concentrated breathing is warranted in order to fuel those overworked brain cells!
3 – Pausing/ Hesitation
Liars need time to think up a convincing story – this is a no-brainer. Bad liars stall for time to avoid inconsistencies and to conjure up doozies that might get them off the hook.
4 – Giving Too Much Detail / Unrelated Details
This is a big one: when someone is lying, they often try to turn the subject towards something unrelated. Sometimes the addition of detail is used to make the inquisitor think the liar is offering more information, but it’s really a deflecting strategy that allows the subject to turn the tables.
5 – Liars Go Left
The eyes are the window to one’s soul. When conjuring up a visual or audio scenario, a liar’s eyes will most often veer to their left. In a truth-telling scenario, a person will employ a recall mechanism in the brain, which forces the eyes to inadvertently move to the right.
6 – Being Overly Defensive
Denying an accusation is expected if someone is innocent, but repeated and overly exaggerated claims of denial should set off alarm bells.
7 – Adding Distance
A liar will frequently cross their arms, or place an object between themselves and the person questioning them to create a comfortable distance or “buffer zone.” A person who is being dishonest will sometimes attempt to turn away from the inquisitor to hide guilty facial expressions and to gain a sense of detachment to the situation.
8 – Comforting Themselves
Often fibbers will physically comfort themselves while telling a lie by stroking their leg or arm. Not only is this an attempt to buy time, but it’s also a way of relieving guilt-related stress.
9 – Sweating
Sweating occurs in extreme cases of nervousness, or when the subject is under a great deal of pressure. Unless the room temperature has risen significantly, those little glistening beads indicate anxiety and deceit.
10 – Redirecting
Liars caught off guard are quick to place blame on other possible suspects, rather than asking why they are being accused. Those who are telling the truth are usually more inquisitive about the accusation and are more inclined to offer assistance in an effort to clear their name.
Of course, detecting one or two of the signs listed above is not a foolproof way to identify a dishonest person. Nervous behavior can be brought on simply from the pressure of being accused. But if someone is displaying more than two of the classic signs, and your gut instinct is telling you something’s not right, chances are there is something fishy going on – and that’s worth probing into!
Top 10 Signs You’re Being Lied To
Author Naomi Kent
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