HOW TO SPOT A LIAR!
“the trust of an innocent is the liars most useful tool” this quote is so true, some people would call us gullible, however I think its just that we believe that everyone is good natured and they will not lie to us, unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Did you know that research has found that the average person lies about 2 to 5 times a day! You don’t believe me? Well ask yourself these questions:
- Do you ever give people compliments that aren’t completely genuine?
- Have you told someone you were doing well when, in reality, you were exhausted and having a terrible week?
- Do you ever tell people you are busy to avoid having to talk to them for an extended period of time or do something with them?
You haven’t? well your either an angel or your lying about lying which is even worse. This topic of “how to spot a liar” is very popular and I’m not going to lie that’s one of the reasons why I’m writing about it, I want as many views as possible, unfortunately because it’s so popular everyone wants to write about it and in turn they make some outlandish statements, although people do this I’m going to try and and give you the most reliable and valuable information. But before we look at how to spot a liar lets look at some facts!
9 facts about liars
- Beards aren’t feared: maybe its because we love Santa clause and we want to be on the naughty list but recent research has found that we are more trusting of men with beards over clean shaven men, its believed that we see these men as more reliable and with more charisma. So if you want to look more trustworthy let the fro grow!
- Naturally honest: I know you might have a bit of a naughty streak within you (guilty) but research in 2008 has found that were actually quite honest the researchers found that 100% of participants, when asked to conceal their true emotions, showed signs of their real feelings. This shows that lying doesn’t come naturally, not even in a large pool of different types of people.
- Liars never prosper: USA today found that lying can actually be detrimental to your health, this may be due to the added stress of telling them porky’s. Yes you might actually gain some skills later on about how to lie because you know what we’ll be looking for but just don’t, its bad for you.
- January liars: no this one isn’t about people who are born in January lie more, because that would include me and I’m an angel. It’s actually that people tend to lie more in January maybe this is because of when you go back to work or school and your friend asks If you liked their present and you say yes, when you know it’s getting recycled because you didn’t really like it. Or maybe its because you said that you was going on a post-Christmas diet yet we all know you’re not. The research has said that we lie roughly 7 times a day in January.
- Small lie: Due to the psychological toll that lying takes on a person, liars are bound to use fewer, more tentative words when speaking. There is only so much brainpower to go around, and a ton of it goes directly to concocting and performing the lie rather than to an impressive vocabulary.
- Lies are in the eyes of the beholder: At least according to a study conducted in 1985. Researchers found that it was easier to spot lies when the person was telling them to an attractive person of the opposite sex. I suppose that there is something to be said about feeling vulnerable when faced with an attractive stranger. So what can we take from this? You shouldn’t lie to me because I’m a good-looking mother trucker.
- Lie machine: I like to think of myself as a creative genius, not a liar however, a study published in 2014 suggests that cheating and creativity both share the need to break rules and move outside of your comfort zone. Therefore, cheating or lying can inspire someone, temporarily, to be a bit more creative. This doesn’t mean that creative people are more likely to cheat or lie, just that anyone who cheats may get a little burst of creativity.
- Human lie detector: you may think your great at spotting a liar and after this blog you probably will be, yet studies have shown that the average person can only detect lies about 50% of the time.
- Men vs women: you might think the opposite sex lies more than you however men and women lie an equal amount, but for different reasons. Men tend to lie to make themselves look better, while women tend to lie to make the other person feel better and more comfortable in the conversation.
So after reading all these facts you might want to know how to spot a liar? Well there is some great information out there like this video from Susan Carnicero who was a CIA agent but what we will be gathering our tips from is the book “Liespotting” who was wrote by Pamela Meyer. so if you don’t want to be the innocent like in the quote at the top, read the book after taking a short intro from this blog. So weather your employing someone new, think your partner is cheating or you just love analysing people like I do keep reading…
How can you spot a liar?
Speech: verbal dodging is one way that we can tell if someone is lying, this is when they use non contracted denial, when people are over determined to lie, you will more than likely see them use formal language over non formal language. You can also look for distancing language where you see that the person tries to unassociate themselves from the subject. For example, when bill Clinton was being questioned on his affair he said this. “I did not (formal) have sexual relationships with that woman (distancing)” which you can see here.
Body language: Freud said it best, “He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his finger-tips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.” When people are trying to hide something they’re not going to tell you that nor are they going to try and show they’re living, however there is minor details that you can see when a person is lying, these are known as micro expression’s, where the person makes a slight expression that to the untrained eye would go unmissed. You may think that a liar is constantly fidgeting however it’s been found to be the opposite where a liars body will go quite stiff. Another common belief is that a liar won’t look you in the eye however it’s been found that they may look you in the eye a bit to much to try and make themselves seem more convincing. You’ve got to look for minor details in the persons body language like a liar and a non liar can both smile however a genuine smile effects the whole face rather than just the mouth with a fake smile, you will see what I call crows feet which are the wrinkles at the side of the persons eye if their smile is genuine.
Attitude: If someone isn’t lying about something they’re going to want to help you get to the bottom of what you’re trying to find out, they’re going to be cooperative with you to brainstorm and ultimately come to a conclusion. If you accuse a innocent person they will be infuriated that you could even consider the fact that it was them. A guilty person is more likely to go easy on how the “lying” person should be punished just in case they get found out whereas an innocent would be strict.
What’s the story: When asking a liar to explain their story of events they’re going to go in to such fine details and elaborate on the stuff that isn’t relevant, never truly answering the question. They will try to convince you that they’re not guilty rather than conveying the evidence. A trained interrogator will subtlety ask the questions to make the liar tell the story backwards and see the liar squirm when they start to muddle up their story.
Duping delight: Duping delight is a term coined by Dr. Paul Eckman. He says, “duping delight is the pleasure we get over having someone else in our control and being able to manipulate them”. We see this in liars from when they are questioned they often have a micro expression of a smile as they believe they have gotten away with it.
Not all of these techniques will be right 100% of the time as we all do them sporadically and all have different behaviours but if these behaviours are unnatural or they happen in clusters you may have something to worry about.
Understanding people is such an interesting topic and I can’t explain all the things I want in one blog so here is some great books to help you read people better. the definitive book of body language, what every body is saying and lie detection