Cheating Relationships

Become a Human Lie Detector

Liar Liar Pant’s on Fire! When you find out you’ve been lied to you it can take a while to sink in. Denial usually kicks in first and you will go through a host of emotions before you eventually end up angry with YOURSELF for ever believing the lie in the first place! That is, of course, if it’s all come out of the blue. Sometimes you can kinda know someone’s lying but it slowly dawns on you over time as you put the pieces together. You will also experience denial for a while and end up angry. With yourself.


Why should YOU have to feel this way when the other person is the douche-bag?

I’m going to give you some tips that you can use to detect lies to make save you some heartache in future. First of all, there is no single behaviour that indicates lying. You will need to watch the person in question and consider the context they are in also. Remember, just because someone shows some of the signs below doesn’t automatically mean they’re a liar. I think (as a woman) our gut feeling will confirm it in the end.

Find out their giveaways!

When someone is uncomfortable (because they’re a god damn liar and think they might get caught out!) the key to detecting deception is to recognize when people are uncomfortable. People who are nervous or uncomfortable do things without realising to make themselves feel better, things like this;

  • Face touching
  • Rubbing the back of the neck
  • Lip pursing
  • Hair stroking
  • Playing with jewellery
  • Covering the neck dimple (usually seen with women)
  • Eye blocking- closing eyes tightly or even covering eyes with hands
  • Rubbing palms on legs
  • Hand wringing

You’ve got to work out the suspects give-aways before challenging them out right about the evidence you have on them.

Get the traitor to relax

After you’ve figured out the person’s give-away gestures, get the bastard relaxed and comfortable with you. Make a bit of small talk. Watch their body language. They’ll lean in closer to you, they’ll open up their suit coat, they won’t have folded arms, and their feet might be bouncing underneath the table. Once you know they’re relaxed approach the topic on your mind gently, just a bit at a time, not in an accusing manner. Does their body language change? If so, note if they’re starting to do the gestures thats show they’re uncomfortable.


Be specific, not suspicious

Most people think that knowing the signs of deception is the only skill you need to sniff out a liar. Knowing the signs is necessary, but not sufficient; knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is another vital skill to uncovering a fibber.

First, ensure that when you ask questions, you so do in a cool, detached, and non-judgmental way. If you go at a person NYPD Blue style, you’re bound to taint the subject; even an innocent person will act nervous if they’re accused of lying or feel pushed into a corner. So be nonchalant about the whole thing. You might even be surprised what comes out of a person’s mouth when they think you’re not suspicious of them.

What questions you should ask mostly depends on the context of the subject, but generally, the more specific your questions, the better. Vague questions will get you vague, unhelpful responses.

Look for Other Signs of Deception

Keep your eye out for other signs of a liar!

Synchrony. When deciphering truth from lie, watching for synchrony is key. Synchrony is the proper alignment of what is said verbally and nonverbally, between events and emotions, and between the circumstances of the moment and what is being said.  For example, you normally expect a parent whose child is missing to be hysterical, begging for the police to get out there and find their baby. If a parent seems detached and aloof, something’s probably up.

Synchrony should also be present in the way a person moves their head. If a person’s head begins to shake either in the affirmative or in the negative as he speaks, and the movement occurs simultaneously with what he says, then you can typically rely on the veracity of the statement. However, if he does the head shake after he makes the statement, the statement is most likely false. You might even notice a person verbally saying “yes,” but shaking their head “no.” If what they say from their mouth doesn’t match with what their body says, you have a liar on your hands.

Little or no movement. Ever notice how animals will freeze when a predator is near? This instinctual behavior actually serves a survival benefit; it’s hard for predators to see something if it’s not moving. Well, humans do the same thing during moments of distress. When people lie, they tend to keep their body very still. The imminent danger in this case is getting caught lying. So our lizard brain will tell our body not to move, because maybe, just maybe, if we stay still, the other person won’t see that we’re lying. Got a friend who’s pulling a possum? Dude might be lying.

Lack of emphasis. When we speak, we naturally give emphasis both verbally and non-verbally to what we say. Hand gestures, inflections, and head movements accentuate our words. However, most of this happens unconsciously. When our limbic brain backs up what we’re saying, we’ll unconsciously use body language to  emphasize it. When our unconscious braindoesn’t back up what we’re saying, those emphasizing gestures will not be present. An innocent person accused of murder will probably pound their fist and yell, “I didn’t do it!” You probably won’t see that with a person who actually committed the crime (despite the show you see the guilty put on on Law & Order).

Are their palms up? One interesting hand gesture that individuals who lie tend to use is the rogatory position, or speaking with their palms faced up. People tend to do this when they want you to believe what they’re saying. It’s like supplicating in prayer. People who tell the truth don’t need to ask to be believed, so they won’t take on the rogatory position, and their palms will be facing down.

Check eye direction. When people concentrate on something visual, they tend to look upwards. If they look up and to their right, it means they’re concentrating on something visual that they’re remembering from their past. If they look up and to their left, it means they’re focusing on something they’ve created in their minds. So if the person you’re talking with looks up and to the left as they recollect what happened, they may be making up the story right there on the spot. Although you’d think they’d turn and look down and behind, since that’s where they’re pulling things out of.

Note: Remember that eye directions are based on the subject’s right and left. So when you’re watching them, when they look right it will look like they’re looking to your left, and when they look left, it will appear from your perspective that they’re looking right.

What to do with your findings

If you’ve got a bit of evidence and the suspects body language is letting you know they’re a little liar then go with your heart and make a decision. Have they lied to you or not? You can’t live your life not being sure. Either trust them, be with them and don’t bring the subject up again or decide they’re a liar and the only decison left it how to leave them.

See this post to find out the best kind of revenge…


By Hannah Jones

Hannah is a Manchester based writer who has spent many years studying and working in the field of journalism and psychology. Hannah enjoys swimming, meditation and dog walking. Her favourite quote is, 'If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.'