Lies and deceit can be extremely hard to spot, but with a few simple tricks, you may be able to spot a liar in seconds. Nonverbal cues are one of the best ways to detect when someone is being less than truthful. Whether it’s a friend or a co-worker, being able to recognize a lie can keep you safe – and your relationship intact. Learning to read nonverbal cues can help you pick up on subtle shifts in body language and facial expressions that signal deception.
When someone tells a lie, they tend to be less relaxed because they feel conscious of their behavior, and this can often be reflected in their stance and posture. Someone who is lying might assume a rigid pose and stand in a manner that reveals tension, with arms tightly crossed over their chest. Their level of eye contact will also dramatically change; a person who is normally extroverted and meets your gaze often may now avert their eyes or look away for long periods of time. They may also blink more frequently and show signs of discomfort, such as shifting their weight from foot to foot.
Another tell-tale sign of a liar is too much movement; liars often exhibit hand gestures that are out of proportion. They may wave their hands around for emphasis, move them up and down in a nervous manner, or use their hands to shield their mouth or shift away from you. A person who is telling the truth will usually appear relaxed and focused while they talk, using gestures that are in line with what they’re saying.
Liars are also prone to hesitating or pausing before they answer a question. They may take an extended pause, or use filler words such as “um” or “uh” throughout their response. They might also try to buy time by answering with a question or repeating the same phrase multiple times. On the flip side, a person who is telling the truth will be able to answer quickly and confidently, without any pauses or signs of reluctance.
Liars often make up elaborate stories with unrealistic details in order to support their fabricated story. This can be a dead giveaway that someone is lying, as making up false facts requires them to focus intently on their story and remember the intricate details. With so much attention going towards creating a convincing story, natural emotion and behavior can be lost. If a statement seems overly elaborate or filled with complex details, it may be a sign of deception.
By learning to read nonverbal cues, you can easily identify when someone is not being truthful. From nervous hand gestures to changes in eye contact and posture, these signs can give liars away almost instantly. The next time you suspect someone of telling a lie, be sure to pay close attention to their behavior, and you may be able to spot the truth in seconds.
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