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How To Detect A Lie: 5 Simple Steps

detect a lie

Come on, let’s face it. Everybody lies, and by everybody, I mean EVERYBODY. Every human being is capable of lying, and while some may indulge in white and harmless lies sometimes, some do actually take others for a ride.

Moreover, many studies have suggested that on average, people tell at least 1-2 lies every day. Now before you freak out thinking about how much you are lied to all the time, the good news is that you can detect when someone is lying, and all you have to do is observe them carefully.

If you want to find out if you are being lied to or not, you need to trust your instincts first. Sometimes, your instincts are enough in helping you understand whether someone is telling the truth or not. But in case that doesn’t work, you can study someone’s body language and their behaviors to know for sure about the signs of deception.

Related: Habitual Liars And Their Agendas

How To Detect A Lie: 5 Steps

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1. Hand movements and gestures.

detect a lie hand ges

A person’s hand gestures can tell you a lot about them, and whether they are being honest or not. When someone’s palms are facing open and are displayed while talking to you, it indicates that they are being honest with you, and you can trust what they are saying.

If you notice that the person you are talking to, is constantly clenching their hands, or have kept their hands clenched for the entire duration of the conversation, then there’s a lot of concealed disagreement, aggression, dishonesty, and distress beneath their words and personality.

If you constantly see that someone is keeping their hands in their pockets, and hardly taking them out, it’s a sure shot sign of lying. They have a lot to hide from you, and the reason why they are keeping their hands in their pockets is that they are thoroughly distressed and apprehensive about you finding out the truth.

2. Eye Movements

detect a lie eye mov

One of the best ways to detect if someone is lying to you is by watching their eye movements very carefully. Eyes truly speak a lot, and that’s why if you carefully follow someone’s eye movements, you will be able to correctly detect whether they have good intentions, or not so good intentions.

Looking to the left

Looking to the left generally denotes dishonesty, and when someone looks to their left while talking to you, there’s a strong chance that they are bluffing.

  • If someone is looking left but upwards, chances are they cooking up a lie visually.
  • When someone looks to their left, but sideways, they are probably creating a lie orally.
  • When someone is looking to their left, but downwards, they might be thinking about something they did.
lying red flags

Looking to the right

Looking to the right generally denotes honesty and transparency, and if someone you are talking to keeps on darting their eyes to the right, know that you can trust them.

  • If someone is looking to their right but upwards, chances are they are imagining something that has already happened, i.e. visual imagination.
  • If they are looking to their right, but sideways, they are probably thinking about something they have heard.
  • If someone is looking to their right, but downwards, there’s a strong chance they are talking to themselves.

Related: 8 Simple Steps To Spot A LIAR

Eye contact

  • If someone is deliberately and intentionally making eye contact with you, then it’s a sign of a liar trying to seem honest and sincere.
  • If someone is looking straight ahead but has a very lost and glassy look in their eyes, they are visually thinking of something that has already happened.

3. Facial expressions and gestures.

detect a lie face gestures

When you see someone cover their mouth with their hands, or even keep their hands close to their mouth, know that they are not being completely honest. Putting your hands on your mouth and covering them is a way to avoid the lies from tumbling out from the mouth. People who are honest will never feel the need to cover their mouths and will speak to you openly without displaying even a hint of discomfort and distress.

Another indication of lying is when someone touches their nose frequently and seems to always fidget with it. The reason behind this is when you are lying, a lot of adrenaline rushes to the capillaries of your nose, causing it to feel itchy and uncomfortable. That’s why you will notice that dubious and shady people tend to always itch their noses unintentionally while talking to others.

Additionally, if someone’s mouth appears hard and tense, and their lips thin and pursed, it’s a major sign of distress.

One more interesting thing you can look out for if you suspect someone of lying, is seeing whether their complexion changes or not. If you notice someone go white as a ghost while speaking, it might hint towards them being deceitful, and this happens due to the blood rushing out their faces. Too much sweating or dryness in the eyes and mouth leads to licking and biting lips, swallowing constantly, and blinking repeatedly – all signs of lying and untruthfulness.

4. The tone and way of talking.

detect a lie vocal

Vocal indicators can go a long way in helping you understand whether you are dealing with a liar or not. Their voice pitch, voice modulation, and tone can accurately give away their motives, and help you understand perfectly whether you are dealing with someone honest, or you are being taken for a ride.

Change in tone and volume

When someone raises their voice while talking to you, or they start talking to you in a harsh and mean tone, it’s a sign that they are not being completely honest. A sudden change in tone and volume is points to the fact that they are getting defensive and agitated and by raising their voice, they are trying to intimidate you into believing their version of the story.

Speaking in a high-pitched voice

When someone is nervous and apprehensive of being called out on their bluff, you will notice that they will start talking in a high-pitched voice. This is because when people are nervous and uncomfortable, their vocal cords tighten up, which is a natural reaction to stress, thereby leading to a high-pitched voice.

Additionally, you might also notice them having a creaky type of voice. Clearing their throat multiple times while speaking is also a huge sign of lying and dishonesty, which is caused due to the discomfort of having tightened muscles.

Here are a few more vocal indicators you can look out for:

  • Saying the same thing over and over again.
  • Stammering and stuttering.
  • Getting offended very easily.
  • Deviating from questions.
  • Providing too many details.
  • Overstating their opinions.
  • Speaking in a shaky voice.
  • Either talking very fast, or talking extremely slow.
  • Trying to stall the conversation so that they have more time to make up lies.

Related: 7 Obvious Signs You’re Dealing With A Liar

5. Body language cues.

detect a lie body lang

When someone is being untruthful with you, you will notice that they cannot sit or stand still for a long time. They will constantly be fidgeting and moving from one place to another. Shuffling their feet, cocking their head to one side, or constantly rocking their body – all of these are signs of being a liar. When someone is nervous, there are fluctuations in their nervous system, which causes them to feel tingles and itches in their body, leading to constant fidgeting and movement.

Playing with their hair, rubbing their eyes, scratching their hands, neck, or back, and trying to avoid eye contact, are strong signs of lying.

A few more body language cues you can look out for when it comes to lying:

  • Leaning away, and trying to put distance between you and them.
  • Blushing.
  • Gulping and swallowing frequently.
  • Trembling and shaking.
  • Nodding a lot.
  • Sweating.

Related: 40+ Body Language Signs To Strip Down Someone’s Personality

The next time, you feel like you are being lied to, keep in mind these pointers, and you will see clearly who is honest and who is not. Researchers and experts have relied on these factors for a very long time, to differentiate between people who are honest and people who are lying, and you can do the same too. Let us know your thoughts about this in the comments down below!

detect a lie pinop
detect a lie pin

Alexandra Hall

Hi there! I am someone who is trying to navigate through life, one day at a time. Writing is my passion and my job, and I am happiest when I am writing. I love reading comic books, watching drama movies, playing with my dogs and generally lazing around. An introvert by nature, you can find me in the farthest corner of the room in every party, playing with the dog and having my own party.View Author posts

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