Lying is normal human behavior, and every person possesses the ability to do it. However, being on the receiving end is not pleasant, and that’s probably why you are here.

There are different reasons why people lie, and while some lies might stem from good intentions, they can still cause pain.

So, in this article, we have compiled some of the signs of lying you can detect. While they might not be foolproof, they can still be of help. Besides, you will find out how you can benefit from online therapy.

Why Do People Lie?

Why Do People Lie?

It is a simple question, but it doesn’t have one universal answer. However, when lying, people share similar motives, and the common ones include:

  • To avoid being punished, whether as a child or even in adulthood
  • For a reward that one wouldn’t ordinarily get, e.g., lying in an interview to get the job
  • To protect other people’s feelings
  • To protect oneself from physical harm
  • For admiration from others
  • To get out of an awkward situation
  • To avoid embarrassment
  • To exercise power over another person is a dangerous motive

Types of Lies

Types of Lies

To better detect lies, you should know the different types of lies that exist. Lies can range from little white lies to serious stuff that destroys relationships and might require professional intervention such as seeking online therapy.

Here are the categories of lies:

  • Mistake: lying by mistake, and the person believes they are telling the truth
  • Omission: leaving relevant pieces of information out
  • Restructuring: altering the context of a situation, changing characters, or even the scene
  • Denial: the person refusing to acknowledge the truth
  • Minimization: belittling the effects of an error or judgment call
  • Exaggerating: representing as bigger, better, or greater than what is/was
  • Fabrication: a deliberately invented false story

White lies are normally harmless, and we sometimes tell them to benefit others or even to avoid hurting their feelings. The problem is that when encouraged, they can lead a person to become more dishonest.

Subtle Signs That a Person Might Be Lying

Detecting a lie is not as simple as one might think. Sings are subtle. Behavioral differences between an honest person and a liar can be difficult to detect, but there are helpful indicators you can use.

Spotting a lie is easier once you establish a baseline for how someone acts when they are being honest. From there, it becomes easier to note any changes. But even then, it is still not that simple.

With that in mind, here are some signs someone is lying.

1. A Quick Smirk or Frown

Microexpressions are facial expressions that last for a fraction of a second. They can tell you if someone is lying. It can be in the form of a quick smirk or frown, depending on what they are saying.

For example, when a person seems happy and speaks confidently, but when they stop talking, the corners of their mouths lower into a frown. It can be an indication that they doubt themselves deep down. The micro expression, in this case, contrasts with what they are saying.

Sometimes the micro expression matches the story. For example, if a liar believes they have succeeded in lying to you, they might let out a simple smirk or laugh, which might give them away.

It is known as dupers’ delight, whereby the liar rewards themselves with a smile for pulling off a good lie.

2. Taking Too Long to Respond

Again, spotting a lie is easier when you know a person’s behavior, including how long it takes them to respond when you speak to them. If they are taking longer than usual to answer, their brain might be juggling two different stories.

These are: what happened and what they want you to believe happened.

Fabricating or restructuring a story into a lie takes a lot of brainpower, and thus, it results in long pauses. It can also be accompanied by other verbal signs of lying, such as the person repeating your question to buy time or circling simple questions instead of just answering.

They might even include information you didn’t request.

3. Dodging Direct Responses

Another verbal sign to look out for is when a person can’t seem to answer simple questions directly. For example, “What time did you leave work?” A simple answer should be something like 4 pm.

However, a liar might go for manipulation like, “What do you mean? I left at the same time I always do. Why?”

When a person tries to evade a question and then, in turn, asks you a question, it is a major sign that they might be lying to you. They will sometimes even try to switch the focus of the conversation from themselves to you.

4. Non Congruent Gestures

Sometimes when someone is lying, their gestures will give them away in that they will not match with what they are saying. It can be easy to spot, especially in children who have not yet mastered lying.

An example is when a person is saying yes to something, but their head is shaking no, there is a good chance they are lying. Sometimes it can even be a nod while saying no.

5. Saying Too Much or Too Little

When making up things as they lie, sometimes liars tend to stretch the truth and add excess details to convince you and maybe themselves of what they are saying. They can add words that a person telling the truth wouldn’t need to. It can even include profanity.

On the other hand, some liars might seem to be withholding information. It is because they might not have anything more to offer beyond the story they fabricated.

These are likely to be the people who lie by omission. Their story can sometimes have holes in it, and they might be unwilling to add more information.

6. Unusual Change in Tone

When put on the spot, liars usually become nervous, and that can make their vocal cord muscles tighten. The result might be a higher-pitched sound than they are used to or even a creak. They might notice this sign and even try to cope with it by attempting to clear their throat.

Their volume can also change and can be louder than usual, especially when they are defensive about something.

7. Changes in Body Language

Aside from micro expressions, there are different ways the body language of a liar can give you a hint that they are not truthful about something. The signs to watch include the following.

a. Excessively Fidgety

The person might move their body back and forth, move their hide from side to side, shuffle their feet, fold or lick their lips, and other responses.

Here, the predicament they are in activates an anxiety response, and their body is trying to unconsciously calm them down during the nervousness of telling the lie.

b. Sweating or Dryness

Changes in the autonomic nervous system can make liars start sweating. It will mostly be around the T area of their face (forehead, mouth, chin, and upper lip).

However, they can also experience dryness which makes this sign a complicated one to notice.

c. The Eyes

They might stare or look away at crucial moments. In most cases, someone who lies will avert from a gaze and might sometimes even avoid eye contact. Furthermore, you can sometimes notice a liar blinking too fast, faster than their base behavior.

8. Unable to Retell the Tale

One tactic you can use to detect whether someone is lying is asking them to retell the story. It is called reverse order narrative. Since they will have already told the story in chronological order, you can ask them to retell it in reverse chronological order.

When they retell it, it is likely to sound scripted, while a person telling the truth might find some additional information that aligns with their story.

The Bottom Line

The best way of detecting a lie from someone involves establishing a baseline of their behavior and trusting your instincts. Your immediate gut feeling can be pretty accurate, and you should learn to trust it while still watching out for multiple signs from the above list.

The signs we have provided are not proven by numerical data, thus not quantitative, and are instead qualitative or confirmed by description. None of the signs above should be used alone to determine whether someone is lying.

So, you cannot base your evidence on body language alone. A person can be sweating and fidgeting for other reasons such as anxiety.

Finally, it’s important to prioritize your mental health. When someone lies to you constantly, it can affect you mentally, lower your self-esteem, and even make you develop trust issues.

Sometimes seeking therapy on Calmerry is the best way to preserve your mental health and to cope with any personal issues you’re facing. So, never be afraid to seek help when you feel you need it.

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Arina Smith

I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at OnlineNewsBuzz.

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