How to Spot a Liar

Monday, 10 January 2011 15:03

 How to Spot a Liar

There are many signs you can look for when trying to find out if someone is trying to hide something from you. Body language, face expressions and tone of voice are very common ways to try and detect if someone is being deceitful, here is a list of things you should look for when trying to spot of someone is being honest.

Avoiding Eye Contact: One of the most common and well known ways to spot someone isn’t being honest with you is that they avoid eye contact, while this is true, so is the opposite. Because it is such a well-known method liars with often try to avoid it by making unbroken eye contact in an attempt to control eye movement.

Pupils will often dilate when someone is being deceitful.

Defensive Behaviour: Deceitful people will often become defensive when accused while innocent people should be offensive. Typical defensive actions could include –

·         Folding arms

·         Crossing legs

·         Sitting back in chair

·         Raised eyebrows

·         Place object between you and them as a barrier (could be as small as a pen)

Most of these movements are because liars will often try to take up as little space as possible.  Minimal hand gestures will be used, and those that are used are towards the body, rather than away.

They can also experience the urge to touch their face and neck, scratching the scalp nose or ears.

Words/Language: Liars often give themselves away though the things that they say or the way that they say them. It is common for people who are lying to not use contractions when making statements (e.g. saying Do not, rather than don’t)

Liars also add unnecessary information or words when responding, for example answering “no I did not” rather than just no, or trying to convince you with a story about what happened.

The speed at which they respond can also be an indication of deception, people who reply straight away have often thought out the answer already in their head and have it prepared ready, they answer quickly because they think if they do so, you won’t think they just thought it up on the spot.

Using deflections or half-truths to try and throw you off is also something people do when they don’t want to tell you what you have asked them. A deflection is defined by the person in question not responding directly to the question, maybe posting another question back at you. A half-truth is where they tell you part of the truth but not all of it. Example, if you ask “where were you last night” and they respond “I was out in my car, I went to the shop” this was true, but they missed out the part where they went round to someone else’s house. It is hard to spot a half-truth because they often won’t show the normal signs of a liar because they are telling the truth.

Unrealistic emotional response: Often the response you get might seem a little off, shock or surprise only lasts for a fraction of a second, people who exhibit prolonged raised eyebrows and wide eyes are likely to be faking it, they already knew what you told them. Another thing you can spot is false smiles, when people really smile, they use their whole face, not just their mouth. Eyes are squinted often forming “crow’s feet” either side, where as normal smiling just uses the mouth and cheeks. If someone tells you they are happy and smiles after they say it they too are faking that smile, if they are really happy they smile while they are saying it.


Please keep in mind that even if someone is exhibiting all of these it doesn’t mean they are a liar, experts spend years researching people who lie and the only way to know for sure is to catch them in the act. If you suspect a partner of cheating there are plenty of things you can buy on the website.