How to know if someone’s lying- human behavior

toa heftiba QHuauUyXRt8 unsplash
toa heftiba QHuauUyXRt8 unsplash

Lying is a fundamentally human behavior.  We have the ability to deceive others through our words and actions, so it’s not surprising that we have developed various ways to detect lies. 

Riddim Saunter has some more information about human behavior if someone’s lying.

Here are a few of the more common behaviors associated with lying:

1) Eye contact. 

A liar will often become anxious or uncomfortable as you look them in the eye during questioning, this will result in their attention being diverted from what they’re saying and focusing on you instead .

2) Changes in breathing patterns. 

Another indicator of potential deceit is how people breathe under scrutiny- if someone’s breath becomes shallower or faster then it may be an indication that something’s up.

3) Voice tone. 

A person giving a statement may attempt to keep their voice steady and even, but often they’ll take on a higher or lower tone under questioning (perhaps unconsciously).

4) Hand movements. 

One of the best indicators of lying is how people move their hands and fingers when telling you something- if they’re constantly fidgeting with their wrists or tapping their fingers as they speak it could be a sign that there’s something out of place.

5) Fidgeting. 

If someone’s really on the spot they may start to fidget a lot as they’re questioned- this is a pretty natural response to stress and it can be difficult to prevent yourself from doing if you’re particularly anxious.

6) Rubbing their nose or face. 

A more common sign that someone is uncomfortable with what you’re asking them is if they start rubbing their nose, covering their mouth or their face as they respond. 

This could be an attempt to conceal something from you or avoid the issue at hand. 

A dishonest person may try lying through omission of details rather than directly lying about it. Anyone can lie under pressure, but by knowing these telltale signs, you can avoid being taken in by those who try to lie to you.

7) Lack of blinking. 

If a person is lying to you they may forget to blink, which could be an indication that they’re trying to avoid ‘giving something away’. 

This can be a subtle sign but is often noticeable when you’re questioning someone for longer periods of time.

8) Lack of body language. 

If a person doesn’t move around then it could indicate that they’ve something to hide or are feeling anxious about what you’re saying- remember that we naturally fidget and move around in our seats when we get nervous and this can help to uncover liars.

9) Excessive sweating. 

Excessive sweating is another way in which people may try to conceal what they’re saying. However, it’s worth noting that this is not an indicator that someone is lying to you- it can be a sign that they’re nervous or stressed, or perhaps under the strain of giving an important speech. If this occurs when you’re questioning them it could be an indication that something is wrong.

10) Poor eye contact. 

If someone is lying to you then they’ll often look away from you and look down as they speak- this could be because the person feels uncomfortable with what they’re saying or because they want to avoid looking at you while speaking.

11) Slurred speech. 

Another way in which people may try to conceal what they’re saying is by slurring their words- this could be caused by a number of things but is often associated with stress and nervousness. 

If someone appears to be speaking more slowly and/or with an unclear tone while giving a statement then this could be an indication that something’s up.

12) Backward and forward head movement. 

A person lying to you will often look around them like they’re trying to spot something or someone before responding, or they’ll move their head backward and forward while making a statement (this can look like nodding).

13) Repetitive questions. 

Some people may not want to come clean with a certain piece of information and could repeatedly ask you the same question as a way to evade your questioning. 

They could keep asking where you think they were on a particular night, for example, as a way of deflecting attention away from themselves.

14) What you can’t see is often more significant than what you can see. 

The way a person behaves under pressure is often more significant than what they’re saying, so if you notice any of these signs above during questioning then it’s worth considering the possibility that they’re telling the truth. 

15) Transparency. 

One of the most common types of sign that someone may be lying is something called ‘transparency’.

This is where someone revealing information during questioning is left completely unguarded- they might say ‘I was at home with my girlfriend’ outright without any hesitation.


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