1. How to Detect Lies
Watching facial expressions in order to determine whether a person is lying might just save you from being a victim of fraud, or it could help you figure out when somebody’s being genuine. Jury analysts do this when assisting in jury selection. The police do this during an interrogation. Of course a polygraph does this, but it is a little heavy to carry with you. Therefore, you have to learn the little facial and body expressions that can help you distinguish a lie from the truth.
- Observe how the person smiles.
Forced smiles are easy to spot since they only involve the muscles around the mouth. The person will appear as being overly relaxed and not really happy. Look at the mouth and see if the teeth are showing. A real smile will reveal a bit of teeth but a forced smile will not.
In a real smile, more facial muscles besides the mouth are involved. A dead giveaway is tightening around the eyes, which sometimes causes crows’ feet. Very few people can fake a smile and still control their eyes in this manner.
- Watch their hands, arms and legs, which tend to be limited, stiff, and self-directed when the person is lying. The hands may touch or scratch their face, nose or behind an ear, but are not likely to touch their chest or heart with an open hand.
- Check for sweating. People tend to sweat more when they lie.
- See if they are telling you too much, like “My mom is living in France, isn’t it nice there? Don’t you like the Eiffel tower? It’s so clean there.” Too many details may tip you off to their desperation to get you to believe them.
Notice the person’s eye movements. Contrary to popular belief, a liar does not always avoid eye contact. Humans naturally break eye contact and look upwards when remembering something. Liars may deliberately make eye contact to seem more sincere. Liars also tend to blink more often. A typical right-handed person tends to look towards his left (your right) when remembering something that actually happened (remembered images, sounds and internal dialogue) and towards their right (constructed images, sounds and kinesthetic sensations) when they’re making something up.
- Be sensitive to the person’s emotional expression, specifically the timing and duration, which tends to be off when someone is lying. Emotions can be delayed, remain longer than usual, then stop suddenly. Likewise, they might not match appropriately with verbal statements. And, as with smiling, facial expressions of a liar will be limited to the mouth area.
- Pay close attention to the person’s reaction to your questions. A liar will often feel uncomfortable and turn their head or body away, or even unconsciously put an object between the two of you. Also, while an innocent person would go on the offensive, a guilty person will often go immediately on the defensive.
- Listen for a subtle delay in responses to questions. An honest answer comes quickly from memory. Lies require a quick mental review of what they have told others to avoid inconsistency and to make up new details as needed.
- Be conscious of their wording. Verbal expression can give many clues as to whether a person is lying, such as:
- Using/repeating your own exact words when answering a question
- NOT using contractions
- Avoiding direct statements or answers
- Speaking excessively in an effort to convince
- Speaking in a monotonous tone
- Leaving out pronouns (he, she, it, etc.)
- Speaking in muddled sentences
- Equivocation. “Non-Answers” for example: Q:”Are these your drugs?” A:”I don’t even smoke.” Q:”Did you kill that man?” A:”I don’t even own a gun.” In essence, these subjects ARE answering TRUTHFULLY, however, the answers they are providing do not address the actual questions in any way.
- Using humor and sarcasm to avoid the subject
- Allow silence to enter the conversation. Observe how uncomfortable and restless the person becomes when there is a pause.
- Change the subject quickly. While an innocent person would be confused by the sudden shift in the conversation and may try to return to the previous subject, a liar will be relieved and welcome the change. You may see the person become more relaxed and less defensive.
- Watch his or her throat. A person may constantly be either trying to lubricate their throat when he/she lies OR swallowing to avoid the tension built up
- ust because someone exhibits one or more of these signs does not mean they are lying. The above behaviors should be compared to a person’s base (normal) behavior whenever possible.
- The more you get to know someone, the better you will become at recognizing their thinking style, and you will become better at knowing when they may be straying from the truth. In the ordinary course of events, you will see a consistent pattern of eye movements. If a person breaks their pattern, this may well suggest that they are deviating from the truth, though they may not be lying deliberately. To test the pattern break, ask more questions to try and clarify whether the pattern break was indeed an attempt to tell a lie.
- Some of the behaviors of a liar listed above also coincide with those of an extremely shy person, who might not be lying at all.
- Some of the behaviors may occur also when somebody is very concentrated on speech (for example when topic is sophisticated or person stressed)
- Botox or other plastic surgery may also interfere with ‘tells’ and give false positives.
- Some people may have reputations for lying; keep this in mind, but don’t let it color your opinions all the time — you have to take it on a case by case basis.
- Be careful how often you use this with your friends. If you are always looking for lies, you may soon not have any friends. Use wisdom.
- Remember that eye contact is considered rude in some cultures, so this may explain why they are reluctant to look you in the eye consistantly.
- Some people with developmental disabilities like Autism or Asperger’s syndrome are very reluctant to make eye contact or do not make eye contact at all. This is a trait of the Autism spectrum and not an attempt to lie.
2. How to Stop Lying
Take a look at why you are lying and you’ll find ways to help yourself stop.
- Don’t overpromise. Many lies feel necessary because you’ve gotten yourself into a situation and you don’t know how to get out of it. You can start by not overcommitting yourself with other people. Only promise what you can realistically do.
- Don’t make up too many rules for yourself. If you set yourself up by trying to be perfect, you will feel like you’re failing and feel like you have to lie. Instead of “I am never going to be late for school again”, try “I intend to stop being late as much as I reasonably can.”
- Talk to others about what you can realistically do. Are others making you stick to rules that aren’t realistic? Many times parents, teachers, employers, boyfriends or girlfriends box us into a corner by making us follow their strict rules. If you are in such a situation, you will find that you are lying because you can’t possibly live up to their expectations. You may not be entirely successful – sometimes you can’t change your parent’s ideas, but you can acknowledge to yourself that their expectation is ridiculous.
- Make sure your heart is in what you are doing. If not, try to find a way to make it so. You have to stay in school, so find something that you really are interested in. You need to have a job – find ways that you can enjoy some aspect of what you do.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. When you find yourself telling a lie, check it out. Why did you? What was it you were trying to hide? Is there a way you can be yourself instead? Recognize the situations you tend to lie in, and start practicing just telling the truth.
- Consider the consequences of a major lie. Coming out and admitting your mistake can make a world of difference, and sometimes the worst price is your self-esteem. That you can recover. If you can’t do it, try a middle ground. Write a letter to yourself admitting what happened. Find a counselor who can listen to you and advise you. Getting it out of your head is the most important step toward stopping your torture.
- Use your sense of humor to tell the truth. Laugh at yourself with other people. Just saying “Could I be any worse at managing my checking account?” out loud, rather than denying your problem can get you on the road to recovery.
- Guess what – the definition of being human is that we are not perfect. You will never be perfect! Don’t set yourself up thinking you should be.
- Come right out with your primary feeling. “Sam, I am so completely embarrassed by what I did. I’m hating myself. I told Kim you liked her, even thought you told me not to. Would you forgive me?”
- When you admit that you are a liar you are nearly there.
3. How to Deal With a Liar
- When dealing with a liar, the best policy is blinding truth. Lies always are shown in the end for what they are.
- Keep your words soft and hold your tongue. At times this may be the hardest thing to do when presented with a lie, either to you or about you. Simply state the truth. Do not use harsh words. Do not get angry.
- Let the lie be seen for what it is in time.
- Most importantly make sure you do not lie. If you are known as an honest person, who never fails the truth, when a lie is said the other will be known as false. “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil”. Plato
- If one speaks lies about you, then say nothing back but the truth. Even if it hurts sometimes. “Anger at lies lasts forever. Anger at truth can’t last”. Greg Evans
- Truth really is the best weapon for fighting a lie. “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander”. Abraham Lincoln
- Ask an elder for help in the matter. No matter what you are, be you 7 of 75, there is wisdom that comes with age, and presenting your problem to an elder, will often lead you to a result. Never forget that they have lived already and have the wisdom that accompanies that.
- If a child lies that’s considered immaturity, if an adult lies thats considered having an evil tounge.
- Words are cheap, but all the money in the world can’t buy back an exposed lie! Noel Gallagher.
- Speak nothing but truth. Liars hate to hear the truth because it exposes them to their reality (they have no real control over others) and that forces them to surrender control over the situation. ego shattering!
- Anger and harsh words only leads to more hate, and proves the others harsh words correct about you. Don’t be manipulated into making yourself look like a jerk this is a huge payoff (desired outcome) for a liar who backstabs and undermines others.