EASY WAYS TO KNOW SOMEONE IS LYING TO YOU
Added on: 9th Dec 2016
CLEARING THE THROAT
When we lie, our bodies prepare for a fight-or-flight
(stay-and-fight or run) scenario. To do this, our bodies
wick moisture away from our throats and send it to our
skin; if you suspect someone is lying, they may clear
their throat to alleviate the dryness.
Similarly, all the extra moisture now present in the skin
starts coming out as sweat, giving rise to the cartoon
image of liars overheating and sweating profusely.
SLIDING THE JAW
To get moisture back in the throat, liars often make
subconscious movements which give them away.
To stimulate the salivary glands to produce saliva, they
can open their mouths and move the jaw left and
right. Take a look at someone you think is lying to
see if they show this behaviour.
TELLING BARE BONES STORIES
If someone recounts a story with just the basic outline,
they may be lying. Truth tellers often use small, salient
details from the story, such as the time or setting of
the event they’re describing. Liars leave out these little
details because they are harder to keep track of. On the
flip side, liars may go into great (fake) detail when you ask
them a simple question. This is a form of overcompensating
for the lie by flooding the listener with details. (It
should be noted that when we experience a traumatic
event, our memory does not function properly and
sometimes omits either sensory or verbal details. Thus,
when someone is interrogated, it cannot be immediately
assumed they are lying if they have trouble remembering
THINKING TOO HARD
When we are under a greater cognitive load (such as doing
calculus rather than simple addition), it takes us longer to
think and process information. This greater load can lead to
slower, choppy storytelling which seems to cause the person
to think too hard.
LACK OF EYE CONTACT
Most people who lie often feel at least a little bit of shame in
doing so and will avoid eye contact. While the amount of eye
contact a person is comfortable with differs from person-to-person
and culture-to-culture, try noticing if they can’t look you in the eye.
EYES POINTED TOWARDS THE DOOR
Body language is one of the biggest ways liars give
themselves away. When their eyes aren’t looking
at you, notice where they are looking at. If their eyes
constantly point towards an exit such as a door, they
are demonstrating the desire to remove themselves
from the lying situation and the anxiety it causes.
THE ADAM'S APPLE JUMP
Since a liar has to be careful their fabricated story doesn’t
conflict itself, they’ll often speak slower than is
natural to self-edit the story on the fly.