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11 Signs Someone Is Lying To You

1. They change their head position quickly.

If you see someone suddenly make a head movement when you ask them a direct question, they
may be lying to you about something.

"The head will be retracted or jerked back, bowed down, or cocked or tilted to the side," writes
Glass. This will often happen right before the person is expected to respond to a question.

2. Their breathing changes.

When someone is lying to you, they may begin to breathe heavily, Glass says. "It's a reflex
action."

When their breathing changes, their shoulders will rise and their voice may get shallow, she
adds. In essence, they are out of breath because their heart rate and blood flow change. Your
body experiences these types of changes when youre nervous and feeling tense when you
lie.

3. They stand very still.

It's common knowledge that people fidget when they get nervous, but Glass says that you should
also watch out for people who are not moving at all.

"This may be a sign of the primitive neurological 'fight,' rather than the 'flight,' response, as the
body positions and readies itself for possible confrontation," says Glass. "When you speak and
engage in normal conversation, it is natural to move your body around in subtle, relaxed, and, for
the most part, unconscious movements. So if you observe a rigid, catatonic stance devoid of
movement, it is often a huge warning sign that something is off."

4. They repeat words or phrases.

This happens because they're trying to convince you, and themselves, of something, she says.
Theyre trying to validate the lie in their mind. For example, he or she may say: "I didn't...I
didn't..." over and over again, Glass says.

The repetition is also a way to buy themselves time as they attempt to gather their thoughts, she
adds.
5. They provide too much information.

"When someone goes on and on and gives you too much information information that is not
requested and especially an excess of details there is a very high probability that he or she is
not telling you the truth," writes Glass. "Liars often talk a lot because they are hoping that, with
all their talking and seeming openness, others will believe them."

6. They touch or cover their mouth.

"A telltale sign of lying is that a person will automatically put their hands over their mouth when
they don't want to deal with an issue or answer a question," says Glass.

"When adults put their hands over their lips, it means they aren't revealing everything, and they
just don't want to tell the truth," she says. "They are literally closing off communication."

7. They instinctively cover vulnerable body parts.

This may include areas such as the throat, chest, head, or abdomen.

"I have often seen this in the courtroom when I work as a consultant for attorneys. I can always
tell when someone's testimony has hit a nerve with the defendant, when I see his or her hand
covering the front of his/her throat," says Glass.

"I never appreciated the potential use of this very telling behavior until I joined the FBI as a
Special Agent," she says.

8. They shuffle their feet.

"This is the body taking over," Glass explains. Shuffling feet tells you that the potential liar is
uncomfortable and nervous. It also shows you that he or she wants to leave the situation; they
want to walk away, she says.

"This is one of the key ways to detect a liar. Just look at their feet and you can tell a lot."

9. It becomes difficult for them to speak.

"If you ever watch the videotaped interrogation of a suspect who is guilty, you will often observe
that it becomes more and more difficult for her to speak," writes Glass. "This occurs because the
automatic nervous system decreases salivary flow during times of stress, which of course dries
out the mucous membranes of the mouth."
Other signs to watch out for include sudden lip biting or pursed lips.

10. They stare at you without blinking much.

When people lie, it's common that they break eye contact, but the liar could go the extra mile to
maintain eye contact in attempt to control and manipulate you.

"[Bernie] Madoff, like most con men, overcompensated and stared at people longer than usual,
often without blinking at regular intervals," says Glass. "When people tell the truth, most will
occasionally shift their eyes around and may even look away from time to time. Liars, on the
other hand, will use a cold, steady gaze to intimidate and control."

Also watch out for rapid blinking

11. They tend to point a lot.

"When a liar becomes hostile or defensive, he is attempting to turn the tables on you," says
Glass. The liar will get hostile because he is angry that you've discovered his lies, which may
result in a lot of pointing.

Become a Human Lie Detector (Part 1)

Warning: sometimes ignorance is bliss. After gaining this knowledge, you may be hurt when it is
obvious that someone is lying to you. The following deception detection techniques are used by
police, forensic psychologists, security experts and other investigators.

Introduction to Detecting Lies:

This knowledge is also useful for managers, employers, and for anyone to use in everyday
situations where telling the truth from a lie can help prevent you from being a victim of
fraud/scams and other deceptions.

This is just a basic run down of physical (body language) gestures and verbal cues that may
indicate someone is being untruthful. Remember: these signs don't indicate someone is lying, just
that they are more likely to be lying.

If you got here from somewhere else, be sure to check out our Lie Detection index page for more
info including new research in the field of forensic psychology. Last update: April 10th, 2013.

Signs of Deception:
Body Language of Lies:

Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm
and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.
A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.

Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear.
Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.

Emotional Gestures & Contradiction


Timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are
off a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays
longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly.

Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and


words. Example: Someone says "I love it!" when receiving a
gift, and then smile after making that statement, rather then at
the same time the statement is made.

Gestures/expressions dont match the verbal statement, such


as frowning when saying I love you.

Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone


is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe, )instead of
the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally
their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and
forehead push down, etc.

Also see our article on micro expressions & lying.

Interactions and Reactions

A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often


go on the offensive.

A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may


turn his head or body away.

A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.

Verbal Context and Content

A liar will use your words to make answer a question. When asked, Did you eat the last
cookie? The liar answers, No, I did not eat the last cookie.

A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: I didn't do it instead of I did


not do it
Liars sometimes avoid "lying" by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of
denying something directly.

The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you...
they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.

A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is
made the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.

Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. In other
words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.

The use of distancing language.

Also see our article on Statement Analysis for a more in-depth look at word analysis techniques
used by interrogators.

Other signs of a lie:

If you believe someone is lying, then change subject of a conversation quickly, a liar follows
along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent
person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous
subject.

Using humor or sarcasm to avoid a subject.

Final Notes:

Obviously, just because someone exhibits one or more of these signs does not make them a liar.
The above behaviors should be compared to a persons base (normal) behavior whenever
possible.

Most lie detecting experts agree that a combination of body language and other cues must be
used to make an educated guess on whether someone is telling the truth or a lie.

Eye Direction and Lying


Eye Movement and Direction & How it Can Reveal Truth or Lies

This is a continuation of our previous article Detecting Lies. Many comments by our visitors
asked about how eye direction can indicate the presence of a lie.
Can the direction a person's eyes reveal whether or not they are making a truthful statement?
Short answer: sort of. But, it isn't as simple as some recent television shows or movies make it
seem.

In these shows a detective will deduce if a person is being untruthful simply because they looked
to the left or right while making a statement.

In reality, it would be foolish to make such a snap judgment without further investigation...
but the technique does have some merit.

So, here it is... read, ponder and test it on your friends and family to see how reliable it is for
yourself.

Visual Accessing Cues - "Lying Eyes"

The first time "Visual Accessing Cues" were discussed (at least to my knowledge), was by
Richard Bandler and John Grinder in their book "Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic
Programming (NLP) " From their experiments this is what they found.

When asked a question a "normally organized" right-handed person looks (from your
viewpoint, looking at them):

Up and to the Left


Indicates: Visually Constructed Images (Vc)
If you asked someone to "Imagine a purple buffalo", this would be the
direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they "Visually Constructed" a
purple buffalo in their mind.

Up and to the Right


Indicates: Visually Remembered Images (Vr)
If you asked someone to "What color was the first house you lived in?",
this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the
question as they "Visually Remembered" the color of their childhood
home.

To the Left
Indicates: Auditory Constructed (Ac)
If you asked someone to "Try and create the highest the sound of the
pitch possible in your head", this would be the direction their eyes moved
in while thinking about the question as they "Auditorily Constructed" this
this sound that they have never heard of.

To the Right
Indicates: Auditory Remembered (Ar)
If you asked someone to "Remember what their mother's voice sounds like ", this would
be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the question as they
"Auditorily Remembered " this sound.

Down and to the Left


Indicates: Feeling / Kinesthetic (F)
If you asked someone to "Can you remember the smell of a campfire? ",
this would be the direction their eyes moved in while thinking about the
question as they used recalled a smell, feeling, or taste.

Down and To the Right


Indicates: Internal Dialog (Ai)
This is the direction of someone eyes as they "talk to themselves".
The Gist of it...

How this information is used to detect lies:

Example: Let's say your child asks you for a cookie, and you ask: "Well, what did your mother
say?" As they reply "Mom said... yes.", they look to the left. This would indicate a made up
answer as their eyes are showing a "constructed image or sound. Looking to the right would
indicated a "remembered" voice or image, and thus would be telling the truth.

Final Notes:

*** Looking straight ahead or with eyes that are defocused/unmoving is also considered a sign
of visual accessing.

*** A typical left-handed person would have the opposite meanings for their eye-directions.

*** As with other signs of lying, you should first establish and understand a persons base-
behavior before concluding they are lying by the direction of their eyes.

*** Many critics believe the above is a bunch of bull***t. In my own experiments I have found
these techniques to be more true than not. But, why not find out for yourself? Make up a list of
questions that like the sample ones, and give them to your friends/family anyone who would be
your guinea pig, observe their eye movements and record the results.

*** This guide is hardly in-depth, I recommend getting the book "Frogs into Princes: Neuro
Linguistic Programming" by Richard Bandler and John Grinder for a more thorough explanation
if the subject interests you.