Spotting a liar 101.
Dishonesty is a cruel trait that all of humanity needs to distance itself from. No proper relationships have ever been built on lies and deceit. Dishonesty is a manifestation of someone’s lack of trust and understanding for other people. A lot of times, acts of dishonesty can lead to the victimization of individuals or even groups of people.
With the number of people that we are forced to deal with and interact with every day, it can become very difficult for us to discern whether we are being lied to or manipulated with. We have to always make an effort to protect ourselves from liars and deceivers. How do we do that?
How do we equip ourselves with the skills to identify when someone is being dishonest with us? If only we had the superpower of seeing through someone’s soul or reading someone’s mind. Then we would be able to know for sure whether we are being lied to. But since the laws of physics and biology reject that idea, we are forced to work with what we have. While there is no sure-fire way to tell whether we are being lied to, there are some signs that we can be looking out for to help us in our search for truth:
1. They refuse to make eye contact with you.
The eyes are the window to the soul, as they say. A great indication of whether someone is lying to you is when they refuse to look you directly in the eye. If you notice some irregular eye movement whenever you’re conversing with someone, then surely there’s something fishy going on.
2. They look like they have a lot of things on their mind.
Whenever you notice someone whose thoughts seem to be weighing down on them while they are talking to you, then they are probably hiding something from you. They might not be directly telling you blatant lies, but they are withholding substantial information from you; and this may be information that you need to know about.
3. They are acting nervous and anxious when talking to you.
A common tell of a liar is when they start getting very anxious when they talk to you. Anxiety can manifest itself in facial twitches, stutters, word-fillers, grand hand gestures, and boisterousness. They will try to divert the attention away from what they’re saying by distracting you with other points of interest.
4. You catch some inconsistencies in their storytelling.
Be sharp. Analyze every detail of their stories and alibis. If there are some facts, dates, figures, numbers, or places that don’t add up, then that probably means it isn’t the truth. If there are illogical aspects to their story, then you better grill them on it until they start making more sense.
5. They get defensive when you confront them about it.
Whenever you suspect someone of lying and you confront them about it, you are likely to get one of these two possible reactions: the innocent truth-teller will always respond to you with politeness and patience whereas the liar will receive you with utmost hostility. The liar will try to play the victim in the process so as to deflect their own faults unto you.
6. They deflect and try to change the topic when they are feeling cornered.
Another technique that liars like to use when they are confronted about their dishonesty is when they try to change the topic. They try to take the attention away from your accusations by masterfully diverting the conversation topic to something else entirely.
7. They like to keep a substantial physical distance from you.
Physical distance is always subtle tell that a person is being dishonest with you. It is an even more obvious tell if a person places an object between the both of you like a bag, a book, or a mobile phone in the middle of a conversation. That is their subconscious way of shielding you from the actual truth.
8. They will start talking incoherently and uncontrollably.
Word-vomit. They will start rambling randomly about the most nonsensical things in an effort to make you think that they are confident about what they are saying. They will try to talk on and on until you’re left mentally exhausted from listening to them. Don’t let up and keep on adding pressure until they crack and tell you the truth.
9. They are fidgeting and restless.
There is a nervous system’s way of dealing with pent up stress and anxiety. When a liar is feeling the pressure of having to keep up his/her dishonest deeds, then the nervous system will start to attack itself to the point where it’s practically visible for everyone to see. Whenever they are acting restless, you can be assured that something irregular is going on.
10. They change or manipulate the narrative later on.
One of the most blatant tells that a liar could give you is when they are inconsistent with their story-telling. When they give their alibis and they can’t keep track of their previous lies, they will be prone to slip-ups. You have to be vigilant and sharp in pointing out the inconsistencies in their narrative.