The shocking truth as revealed by this study done by psychologist Robert Feldman is that in an average 10-minute conversation, 60% of people will tell 2 – 3 lies. What may be even more shocking than the fact that friends, family members, and co-workers lie to each other more often than not is the fact that many times, people did not even realize they had lied until after the fact.
Most people are pretty good at spotting liars, but because they don’t like feeling suspicious of other people, they tend to convince themselves that the other person wasn’t actually lying. However, for those who want to be more certain that somebody is lying to them, then they can look for several tell-tale signs.
Here are 8 ways to identify liars:
1. DETAILED REPETITION
Liars feel the need to convince you of the truth, even if you appear to be believing them, so they will often repeat themselves while providing excessive details about the story or subject. Staying silent is a great way to draw this behavior out, as liars will desperately try to fill the silence.
2. PROTECTING THEMSELVES
Liars will subconsciously try to protect themselves by covering their mouths or other vulnerable body parts such as their abdomen, neck, or head. As lying makes them feel afraid because they could be caught, they will instinctively try to protect their physical body.
3. MIXED SIGNALS
Although their words may be lying, their body language will not. Sometimes, when answering a yes or no question, a liar will say no but will nod slightly, an indication that they are actually lying. Smiling while explaining the tragic story of why they had to miss work is another indication of a lie.
4. LOOKING FOR AN EXIT
Another bit of body language to look for in liars is that they’re subconsciously looking for an escape route. They may be angled toward a door or even begin to move closer to the door without realizing it, or could glance towards the door while speaking.
5. EYE MOVEMENTS
This way to identify a liar works better if you know the person well because you need to know why they’re moving their eyes. Some people move their eyes upward to think and downward while lying whereas others do the opposite.
6. CHANGES IN BREATHING
There are several ways a person’s breathing changes while lying. They may start breathing heavier as their heartrate jumps up, or they could have trouble speaking because their mouth gets dry because of the adrenaline that is released when lying.
7. NERVOUS BODY LANGUAGE
As a liar gets nervous about being caught, they will often display nervous body language, such as fidgeting. They may play with their hair, touch their ears or face, shuffle their feet, or tap their fingers. These are all ways their nervous energy is trying to escape.
8. DISPLAYING AGGRESSION
Depending on the person and the severity of the lie, there are different levels of aggression that can sometimes be seen by a liar. On one end, a liar may suddenly become hostile towards the other person, and on the other end, they may simply maintain unblinking eye contact to intimidate.
There are some other things to keep in mind before assuming a person is lying. If a person has anxiety or ADHD, for example, they may naturally do more fidgeting or display nervous body language even though they aren’t lying. Psychopaths, on the other hand, will not display any of these signs. This is because they don’t feel guilty about lying, so it doesn’t make them nervous like it would most people.