Children pick up cues early, on how to lie, this from their parents. The process is extremely subtle but also effective, inadvertently teaching them the art of slight deception. Parents will ask their kids, “Look me in the eye Johnny, and tell me what you did wrong?”
So what kids immediately realize is that if they want to tell a fib, all they need is to look them in the eye, and then just tell them what they want to hear. Most kids take this to school, and then into their adult lives, believing that they can get away with lying.
What many believe is that if someone avoids eye contact, that they’re admitting they’re lying. Intuitively, this makes sense since those who feel embarrassed or did something wrong, will look away.
People who are under stress also tends to avoid direct eye contact. What research shows however, is that there’s just a minor correlation between someone lying and direct eye contact, and it’s not a true identifier.
In fact, at times the opposite appears to be true, where proficient liars will purposely maintain more deliberate eye contact, than those who are honest.
Look At Me
Most people will just look away, look at others or things that they like, while avoiding eye contact with certain people, or things they don’t like.
What chronic liars learn is to avoid this natural instinct to look away, this when they’re lying, so they can make themselves more believable.
Experienced liars may overcompensate, this by maintaining longer eye contact, as the belief is those who look away are usually guilty, so they use reverse psychology.
Not A True Indicator
Commonly held beliefs regarding other clues of deception confuses our ability to detect liars. It’s found that the usual “tells,” aren’t reliable indicators when it comes to flushing out deceit.
The common thought is that liars gives off obvious clues. For them to be believable, what they’ll do is purposely mask the most well known ones, so there’s no dependable indicator.
So the next time someone tells you something that’s just too good to be true, look for other more reliable signals to determine whether they’re lying or not.
There are a certain set of nonverbal reveals which proves that they are lying, whether they realize it or not, so it’s just a matter of knowing what they are.
Most Lies Go Undetected
It’s estimated that the majority of lies, big or small, will go undetected. Go back when you were a kid, and all the little “white” lies you told to get what you wanted.
You were asked whether you ate a chocolate bar before dinner. Most kids will get a scolding if they admit, so lying saves them from punishment, this provided they don’t get caught.
This process that children go through, this to avoid getting into trouble at home or school, sets them up for a pattern of lying as they grow older.
Everyone gets away with lying, intentional or not. The majority of lies are easy to spot if you know the reveals, once you develop a way to read the nonverbal clues better.
Begin By Asking Unbiased Questions
Ask nonthreatening generic questions first, then you’re able to establish a core “baseline” response. Ask how they’re feeling, the weather, what they’re planning for the weekend.
Anything that will elicit a normal response that’s comfortable, natural, and true. Once they respond, closely observe their eye movement and body language, this when they’re being honest.
Do they shift their stance slightly, or glance away in one direction or the other. Do they look you directly in the eye. Make sure that you ask enough questions so you can determine a pattern.
Find A Trigger
Once you begin to move your questioning from neutral to the “lie” zone, you should then be able to detect minor changes in their body language, such as eye movement, facial expression, and sentence structure.
Everyone will give off different subtle clues when they’re telling a lie, which is why it becomes important to closely observe their baseline, this while they’re comfortable and telling the truth.
Monitor Body Movement
When someone is lying, they’ll often tend to pull their body inwards to make themselves look smaller, and less noticeable.
Most will slightly fidget, become a bit squirmy, conceal their hands to subconsciously hide their pulsing fingers, or their shoulders might shrug.
Observe Subtle Facial Expressions
The biggest tell is their facial expression although usually difficult to detect. Some will change their facial coloration to a slight blush, some will slightly flare their nostrils.
Other signs include rapid blinking, slight perspiration, biting of the lip. Each change in facial expression signifies increased brain activity, as the lying compounds.
Tone Of Voice And Sentence Structure
When someone is lying, they’re tone of voice and cadence will slightly change. Some will begin speaking slower, others quicker, with either a lower or higher tone.
At times, the sentences they use can become more structured, as their brain works feverishly in overdrive, attempting to build a storyline to their fable.
They’ll Stop Talking About Themselves
Those who are lying will slowly begin to remove themselves away from the story narrative, and then begin directing the focus and blame towards others.
What you”ll begin to hear are fewer “I’ or “me,” as they’ll attempt to try distance themselves away from the situation, framing the lie on others.
Keep in mind that everyone has their own unique set of behaviors and tells, so no one lie detection method works.
So it becomes important to compare their original baseline, with their new facial expression, body movement, eye movement, and tone of voice to determine if they’re lying or not.