How to Know if Somebody Is Lying

people truth May 12, 2023

Trying to tell if someone is lying can be tricky; all too often, we find ourselves believing what we wish were accurate rather than acknowledging the reality of the situation. However, specific body language cues and other signs you can look for may indicate dishonesty. Learn what to look for in this blog post to trust your gut better and detect when somebody is not being truthful.

It can be possible to detect lies.

Knowing the truth is essential as it can clarify anything, no matter how painful. Unfortunately, however, many human beings do otherwise. Lying is one activity many people do, and although not everyone does it all the time, everyone can do it. There can be several reasons why people lie. Most of the time, it's to hide a painful truth they don't want others to discover, for fear of how they may react or treat the people lying for knowing something untrue. Other times, people may tell white lies, which technically still lies but are meant to benefit or protect someone for telling something else. Whatever the reason is, it can be painful to be lied about by someone, especially if it is someone close to us and we discover what they are hiding. Lies are also something that people with ill intentions can utilize to bring harm and benefit at the cost of others.

Fortunately, some actions and signs may tell if somebody is lying. They are not 100% indicators that someone is lying, but there is a chance they are if they do any of the following and you notice them.

1. Not maintaining eye contact

One of the most common things others will tell you that someone is lying is if they don't look straight into your eyes when they are talking to you or if you are talking to them. While it may be true sometimes, not maintaining eye contact is not a definite lying cue all the time. There can be other reasons why someone doesn't like staring directly at someone they are talking to, such as if a person is shy or introverted. Some people and cultures may also think it is offensive to stare at someone's eyes while talking to you, so consider the cultural background of the person you are trying to probe if they are lying. A person's natural behavior when telling the truth may also help. If you know someone well and know that they look into your eyes when they talk to you when nothing is amiss, and then at some point, you notice they keep looking elsewhere or avoiding staring into your eyes, that may indicate that something is up.

2. Changes in the way someone speaks

People usually have their unique style when speaking, such as how fast or slow they speak, the words they use, intonation, etc. It is especially easy to notice these from people you know, such as your friends or family members. So the moment you see changes in their speech while talking about something, it could be a sign that someone is lying. Some of these changes may include stuttering; delayed responses; inclusion of "uh," "um," "ah," and other words of the same nature; frequent pauses; or a change in pitch when speaking, such as talking in a higher or lower tone than usual.

Again, just because you notice these changes doesn't mean they are automatically lying. They could be nervous about telling you something because they may want to surprise you or not feel well. So take caution when making judgments, as you may hurt the feelings of someone if you ask them if they are lying when they are not. Try to gather other evidence to prove something is up in conjunction with why someone changes their speech patterns.

3. Fidgeting and other gestures

Detecting lies also involves body movements that may make no sense but can indicate lying. So, for example, when somebody is talking to you, and you suspect they are lying, aside from listening and looking at facial expressions, try to observe little body movements that the alleged person may make while talking. For example, you may notice their fingers making gestures, tapping their fingers or hands on the table, scratching their heads or other body parts, lips rolling back, or tapping their feet. These nonverbal signs can cue you in that somebody may be lying, and you can try probing further if your gut and judgment are right.

4. Listen well to the content of what they are talking about

Liars tend to create false stories to cover something. Unless you fact-check on the spot and know beforehand that what they tell is true, you may fall for their lies and think it is the truth. Try to probe further into their stories during conversations with a suspected liar. Ask further questions and make them explain the facts they are telling you in detail. Try to spot inconsistencies and contradicting facts, and you may prove they are lying about something. Also, while talking to a possible liar, you may notice them directing the subject to something else or talking about another person to move the focus away from them. This diverting behavior can be a red flag that someone is lying.

Detecting lies is no easy feat.

Discovering the truth can be challenging; the same goes when trying to see if someone is lying to us. No matter how well-versed somebody is when identifying human behaviors and the psychology of their minds, trying to detect deception and lies will always be challenging. The human mind is complex, coupled with the fact that we can do various actions and styles of speech to hide or distort the truth about something. However, some behavioral cues can show if someone is lying; the only problem is that even with studies conducted on these various behaviors, they don't offer a 100% conclusion that once somebody does these actions, they automatically lie. Our guts and judgments can still play a factor if we are suspicious of someone, and we can always try to probe further and research evidence and facts to refute what somebody is saying as the truth. Just don't go overboard and be suspicious of everybody you talk to; not everyone always lies, and trustworthy people exist.

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