The Top Seven Signs that Someone is Lying to You
When it comes to finding out whether or not you're being
lied to, Gepetto had it easy. All it took was one look at
Pinocchios's growing schnoz and he knew. Of course, most of
us don't have it that easy but could sure benefit if we did.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth? Probably not--estimates say most
people lie once or twice a day!
It seems that we're largely a nation of liars, with some
estimates saying that most people lie to others one or twice
a day, and in about 30 percent to 38 percent of our interactions
Why we lie varies. Around the age of 4 or 5, when we start
telling lies, it's done not maliciously, but rather to gain
awareness and use the power of language, says Dr. Gail Saltz,
a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Later on, we lie to get things we want, for personal gain
or to stay out of trouble. We tell "white lies"
to protect other's feelings, and then there are the pathological
liars among us, the people who feel compelled to lie no matter
So, with liars all around us (don't lie -- we ALL lie at
one point or another, even those "little white lies"
count), it's imperative to know the signs that someone may
be lying to you. Here are seven of the classic signs to watch
out for ...
Seven Common Signs of Lying
No eye contact. Generally, if someone is lying
they will not look you in the eye, at least during a certain
part of the conversation. Normally, people make eye contact
for at least half of a conversation, so anything less
than this could be suspicious. One caveat: there are some
people who will take great pains to make eye contact with
you even if they're lying, simply to make you think they're
You don't need a lie detector test to find out if
someone's lying to you --just check out these seven
signs of lying.
Change in voice. A change in the pitch of a person's
tone, or a lot of stammering (umm, ah), or throat clearing
could indicate a lie.
Unusual body language. If a person taps their
foot a lot, fidgets with their hands, raises their shoulders,
turns away from you or brings their hand to their face
(to touch their chin or nose, etc.) -- in other words,
if they act nervous or uncomfortable -- it could mean
they're telling a lie. Also watch out for blushing (or
becoming pale) and increased blinking.
Something sounds fishy. Making statements that
contradict each other, are inconsistent or don't sound
quite right are usually part of a lie.
Overly defensive. Sometimes when a person is
lying they will become extremely defensive, refusing to
answer any questions and even accusing you of lying. This
may mean they have something to hide.
Changes subject easily. If someone is lying and
you change the subject, chances are high that they'll
go right along with it. A person telling the truth, however,
will likely ask why you changed the subject and want to
go back to it.
Humor or sarcasm. A guilty person will often
try to change the subject using humor or sarcasm.
Of course, no one behavior can tell for sure whether or not
someone is telling the truth or lying. While you should trust
your instinct, if you're not sure it's best to try to get
some evidence to back up your accusation. Rather than relying
on a specific behavior, catching a liar in the act is best
done by watching their normal behaviors. When those behaviors
suddenly change, that's when a lie has likely been told.
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Skills: How to Tell When Someone is Lying
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to Detect Lies
Why People Lie and How to Tell the Truth if They Are
to Know if Someone is Lying