Pinocchio’s nose grows when he lies. Unfortunately, humans don’t have this trait which makes detecting a lie a lot more difficult. But there are some signs you can search for that can tell you that your conversation partner is lying.
Let’s start with the easiest detection of a lie: people who lie touch the vulnerable parts of their body when talking. This dates back to the olden days, when people could easily get killed for lying. Vulnerable parts include the neck, head, chest or abdomen. This trick is often used by consultants in law for detecting lies during the testimony.
Besides that, there’s also the obvious detection of repetition. When people lie, they tend to make their story as convincing as possible by repeating the facts they made up. By doing this, they do not only try to convince the person they’re talking to, but also their own brain. That’s not the only reason lying people repeat themselves though, it also gives them more time to make up more information surrounding the facts.
Similar to the detection of repetition, there is also the fact that people tend to provide too much information when they package a lie. When someone goes on and on about excessive details within the story, they’re probably lying. Other than that, liars believe that with all their talking and openness about the situation, they come off as more reliable.
As a reflex action, liars may start breathing more heavily when they’re asked about the situation or story. You can detect heavy breathing if their shoulders rise and if their voice becomes shallower. These are the changes your body experiences when you’re nervous and/or tense, which is common amongst liars.
Although most people believe that fidgeting is a common sign of lying, standing very still is also one. In a normal conversation, people tend to move according to their story. This is mostly unconscious, you can’t control these movements. But when people lie, their body starts to become tense and they don’t move as much.
Even when someone seems to move according to their story like the last detection suggested, they can still lie. Lying people tend to shuffle their feet whilst talking. This is probably the hardest motion to detect. The shuffling of feet indicates that the person is nervous. Even though this is one of the hardest detections, it is a very reliable one as this is something people simply cannot control.
So now that you are an expert in the detection of lies, it’s time for a little warning. Although these signs have proven to be an indication that the person may be lying, it is never a 100% guarantee. Every person is unique, and every liar is unique. So don’t change yourself into Buffy the Liar Slayer, chasing liars all around the world. Instead, always try to rely on your gut feeling and use these signs as the confirmation if you’re already 75% sure that something is off.