Do you know how to spot a liar?
I recently wrote a blog post about pathological liar Belle Gibson. Her lies are in the extreme where she believes she had brain cancer and in doing so has convinced the world to feel sorry for her and made a lot of money in the process. You would have thought someone in the media could spot a liar like Belle.
How do you know if someone is lying to you? This is great to understand and know the signs, especially if you have children as we all know kids never ever lie to their parents – do they? It is fun to watch for the signs but this isn’t an exact art so don’t make rash accusations if you suspects someone is lying to you.
There are many ways to spot a liar and it would take me forever to go through them. So here are the most popular ways to spot a liar:
1. Touching of the face. It is ok to touch your face but continuous gestures made towards the face is a way to spot a liar. It you think the person you are talking with is lying, keep asking questions and watch how often their hands moves to the face area. A nervous liar will almost have their hand at their face the entire time. The only exception to face touching is when a person slightly touches their chin as this usually means they are honest and actually really interested in what you are talking about.
- Did you know Bill Clinton touched his face 88 times when being questioned about Monica Lewinsky?
2. Watch the hand gestures. Many people talk using their hands but when you are trying to spot a liar, watch carefully how they are using their hand movements.
- Hands clenched – a sign of dishonesty
- Arms folded in front of body – a sign of protecting yourself and being dishonest
- Hands tightly in pockets – a sign of dishonestly or being annoyed
- Hands on hips – usually telling the truth but getting angry
- picking fake dirt off clothes – usually a sign to spot a liar
- palms open – usually telling the truth
- palms open but excessively flapping around – a good liar so watch out for this one
3. Watch their eyes. Eyes are the door to the soul and watching how the eyes react naturally in a conversation is very interesting. A good liar may be able to control these eye movements initially but after a long period of time, they forget about controlling eyes as they are concentrating on the story. So you need to know your left and rights here when trying to spot a liar.
- Looking to the RIGHT – this is a good sign that the person is telling the truth and either thinking about the story or trying to visualise what the conversation is about.
- Looking to the LEFT (upwards) – creating the lie and picturing it in their head.
- Looking to the LEFT (sideways) – creating the lie and verbally working out the story
- Looking to the left (downwards) – thinking about what they actually did and whether it is worth lying about.
4. Rate and the pattern of speech. When a person is telling a lie, often their breathing begins to change, increasing as the lie gets bigger and bigger. Also, the speed at which a person who is telling a lie alters – this can either speed up dramatically or slow down to give the liar a chance to work out the story.
5. Eye contact. Like I said before, eyes are the door to the soul or your subconscious and many people who are telling you a lie, cannot look you in the eye.
- Avoiding eye contact is a sign of a JUNIOR liar and one that is not experienced with telling lies (often little children).
- However, an experienced liar has overcome this problem and actually looks you in the eye to the point it can be uncomfortable. Pathological liars can look you in the eye over 70% of the time without hesitating, whereas in a normal conversation people give eye contact around 50% of the time.
- Excessive blinking can take over the eye contact and usually a sign of a liar who is struggling with the story.
So there you have it. How to spot a liar and have fun in the process. Try it and let us know if you were about to spot a liar.