10 Ways to Tell if Someone is Lying to You

How to tell someone's lying

image: Imaxtree

Whether you’re trying to figure out if your boyfriend is a big fat liar or if your roomie did, in fact, drunk eat all your Jimmy John’s last night, don’t worry ladies, we got your back. Turns out, there are more than a few ways to tell when someone’s fibbing to your face. Use these tried-and-true tips, courtesy of body language expert for, Jared Sais, to call them out on it next time!

1. Changes in pitch or tone

It’s all in the voice! Next time you think someone is lying, listen very closely to the sound of his or her voice. While it’s not always the easiest thing to detect, any change in pitch (higher than normal) or tone (lower than normal) indicates you might have a fibber on your hands. Pay attention to the speed at which they talk too. You wouldn’t want anyone to pull a fast one on you (literally), would you?

2. Hiding behind the hands

You know how people will put their hands over their mouth after they accidently blurt something out? Well, liars might touch or shield their face with their hands, as though they’re attempting to hide behind their lies or legit stop them from spilling out. Watch out for any nose scratching or ear pulling as well, both signs of potential liars.

3. Excessive lip licking

Unless you catch your roomie right after the Jimmy John’s incident (in which case, she might still be licking her lips!), this can be seen as a sign of deceit. Lying puts a lot of stress on the body, and a major symptom of high stress is a dry mouth. Hence, why liars will lick their lips more than usual.

4. Shoulder shrugs mid-speech

A regular shoulder shrug means, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” So if someone shrugs their shoulder while they’re talking, it means they don’t agree with the words that are coming out of their own mouth. Take John Edwards, for example – when he told the world he didn’t have an affair, his shoulder flew up, signifying he wasn’t being honest.

5. Lack of hand gestures

Just as someone hiding behind their hands is a marker of deception, if someone suddenly stops using their hands to speak or becomes really stiff, it’s a surefire sign that they’re extremely uncomfortable. They may also grasp their hands together, in an attempt to protect something, usually their story or their guilt.

6. Speaking in a measured way

No surprise here! People who lie typically try to memorize their story. In doing so, this causes them to speak in a beat or like they’re reading straight off a script. Don’t fall for it, even if their performance is totally Oscar worthy.

7. Sweat and more sweat

Anyone who’s ever watched an interrogation on TV will notice how the guilty frequently break out in a sweat or are seen wiping sweat from their foreheads. This is because sweat is a natural stress response. And clearly when you lie, it’s stressful.

8. Prolonged eye contact

Believe it or not, great liars will actually look into your eyes longer than usual to make sure that you’re buying their lie. Prolonged eye contact is just as telling as no eye contact at all.

9. Gestural retreat

Keep an eye on those legs! No, seriously. Oftentimes, people who aren’t telling the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) will literally take a step back as they say something or right after the fact. For example, President Nixon was guilty of this when giving speeches.

10. Defensive body position

Last but not least, if someone is lying, they might try to close themselves off by using a purse or book to shield themselves or folding their arms across their chest. They also want to appear as small as possible so they don’t make a scene or have to answer any follow-up questions.