In a society where it seems we don’t consider truth to be of the utmost importance, being able to tell when someone is lying to you is a crucial skill. There are people to whom this skill comes naturally, and so they do not need to actively force themselves to notice the signs of untruthfulness. For the rest, this skill can be fostered, and if it is practiced enough, it will become second-nature eventually.
1) Be Wary of Speech Changes, such as an Increase in the Number of Words Used
If you are talking to someone, and you notice that they start giving you lots and lots of unnecessary details, then that might be a sign you’re not getting the real story. Why? Many times, liars tend to rehearse the story they will tell you, and add in many details that are beside the point, simply to make the lie sound more real.
Confusingly enough, some liars may fall in the other extreme, which is not giving enough details. This tends to particularly happen when they’re lying by not revealing the entire truth. In an effort to ensure that they’re not giving away the details they want to remain secret, they will also skip on other, mundane details.
2) Change in Temperament
If you have asked a question, and you notice the person is becoming offensive, you might be lied to. How does that work? When someone is lying, they will undoubtedly want to turn the spot light from them to you. They’ll probably start accusing you of doing things that are irrelevant to what you’re discussing. That’s a BIG red flag.
Usually, when someone is being truthful with you, they will feel hurt after having been accused unjustly. They might get angry too, after a while of being constantly accused under false pretenses. But they usually don’t respond with anger right off the bat.
3) Is the Person’s Posture Compatible with Their Words?
If not, then it might be a sign of untruthfulness. What does honest body language look like? Well, for starters, the gestures are reflected by what is being said, and vice versa. Actually, usually speech comes after gestures, which means that if someone is saying “I am being honest”, and placing their hand on their heart after having said that, they’re simply acting out their gestures to interpret their language. Badly so.
If they’re telling you they’re sad, but their posture screams confidence, then you can assume that they are not telling you what’s really on their mind. How does a “sad” posture look like? It’s hunched over. Confidence is usually seen through a straight posture.
4) Are They Acting Like They’re Trying to Hide?
Attempting to hide themselves from you can take many forms. The most typical one is by placing an object between the two of you. This is usually done without conscious command, which means that the person doing it does not even realise it. However, placing an object between you and them gives them the illusion of being safe from the truth-digging you are doing.
Another form of hiding comes back at body language. If they are crossing their arms, or keeping their body turned away from you, it’s a sign they’re uncomfortable with the situation, and they’d like to be out of it.
These tips are pretty sweet, huh? Now you can just memorize them and BAM! You’re going to be the best human lie-detector ever. Well, that’s not true.
As with many things in life, lying is complicated and cannot be efficiently covered in one page or so of writing. There are good liars out there, and terribly bad ones as well. The latter are easier to identify, but the former? Not so much… Perhaps they are good actors, or have simply trained themselves to evade the signs of lying, meaning that just by using the tips above you will not be able to find the liars that are well trained.
Just as lying is complicated, so is the truth. The one advantage with the truth is that it does not put a tremendous mental strain on you when you’re telling it. What does that mean? Sometimes people may appear to be lying, when they are actually telling the truth. That can happen especially in cases where you have just asked them an embarrassing question. In fact, with this case, they might display all the things I listed above, though they are not lying.
Why Do People Lie?
Even if you are in absolutely certain that someone is lying, you should still take a minute to assess the reasons they might be doing it. This is hard, particularly when your ego is at stake, since you have the power to show that person just how much smarter you are than they originally believed.
However, take a step back and consider:
1) Some people just really hate confrontations. So much, in fact, that they are ready to lie in order to avoid it.
2) Some are lying to avoid hurting you.
3) Others are lying to save themselves from being hurt.
And, of course, there are bad reasons:
4) They might be lying to make themselves appear to be better than they really are. This goes both for the outside world and for themselves.
5) They are trying to make you act a certain way, which will benefit them.
Knowing why you are being lied to helps in deciding what action you are going to take. Perhaps you might not want to deal with someone who is lying to make you feel better in the same manner as with someone who is trying to get you to do something.
That’s about it for today! Do you know of any other signs that show people might be lying? Let’s discuss them in the comments!