As TARS says, “Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.” But many people we encounter in our day to day lives lie to us often. Even we lie at times. We’re all liars. But, not all lies are harmful. Sometimes we are willing participants for the sake of respect or keeping a secret so how to spot liars?

There are times where we are unwilling participants in deception. Nearly a trillion dollars are lost in frauds annually in the US alone. Studies show that introverts don’t lie as much as extroverts. Women lie more to protect others. Men lie about themselves. But the capability of deception increases with the intelligence of the species and humans have evolved to be better at it.


Everyone is willing to give you something, for whatever it is they’re hungry for. If you don’t want to be deceived, you’ve got to know what is it that you are hungry for.


Knowing the common body language of people when they are lying can help you to spot liars. There are professional lie spotters who spot lies almost 90% of the times. Common people can spot them about 54% of the time.


Take a look at the video below :



Mr. Clinton here was clearly lying. Here are the telltale signs –

  1. A non contracted denial
    People who are too determined in their denial tend to use formal, rather than informal language. (“I did not have..”)
  2. Qualifying language
    We heard distancing language (“..that woman”). Liars tend to unconsciously distance themselves from subjects, using language as the tool.


Body language:


1. Liars tend to freeze their upper bodies while lying.
Frozen body


2. To compensate for the common belief that liars don’t look you in the eye, they do that a bit too much.


3. They fake a smile. We can consciously contract the muscles in our cheeks. But a real smile also contracts the muscles near our eyes.
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4. They change their blink rate.


5. Liars shake their heads way too much.
giphy (1)


6. They tend to point their feet towards an exit.


7. They make their vocal tone much lower.


8. Once they tell a convincing story, they smile for getting away with it. It is called as “Duping delight”.
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Behavioral signs:


An honest person will be cooperative. They are willing to brainstorm, provide details and identify suspects. They help you in getting to the truth. A dishonest person, on the other hand will tend to add too much detail into his story to make it look convincing. Ask them to tell the story once again and they’ll cringe. They’ll get angry at you.

These signs are just signs (given to us by science). This doesn’t prove deception. They’re just indicators. Red flags. We as human beings make these gestures all day long. This doesn’t mean we lie all the time. When you see multiple signs at a time, that could be your cue. Don’t go accusing everyone of lying just because you see a few signs. Have some dignity and treat the person you are talking to properly. Do not shame a liar in public unless necessary.


Reference: Lie Spotting by Pamela Meyer


Hey, my world, our world, it’s going to be an honest one. My world is going to be one where truth is strengthened and falsehood is recognized and marginalized.

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