Learn How to Detect a Liar

Learn How to Detect a Liar

This post discusses methods for how to detect a liar. This can be very useful during travel as well as in all types of relationships. Amongst other things, it will help you to avoid con-artists and scams.

Photo Credit: By Tristan Schmurr via Flickr. Cropped.

How to Detect a Liar

In order to detect a liar you need to take notice of the signals others are giving off. This is the unconscious communication people use such as body language and the way they are speaking.

Establish a Baseline

The first thing you must do when trying to detect a liar is to establish a baseline, i.e., you must know what the person acts like when they are telling the truth.

You can do this by asking them questions which you know they will answer truthfully and then taking a mental note of how they act.

In NLP they take note of which ways their eyes go when telling the truth.

Read Their Body Language

Lying with words is quite easy for most people, but what most people don’t realise is that their body language usually tells the truth even if their words do not. This can help you to detect a liar.

  • People often use their hands to ‘weigh up’ something even though they say that they have made up their mind.
  • They may subconsciously point at something or someone whilst telling you that they don’t know where or who the thing or person is.
  • People may show impatience by drumming their fingers or feet.
  • If someone says that they are interested but their body language is closed (e.g., arms folded in front of them).
  • Increased blinking.
  • Shrugging of the shoulders.

Knowing how to detect a liar is an important skill in everyday negotiations and may even keep you out of danger. Learn more with Sam Fury’s Escape, Evasion and Survival Series.

Tone of Voice

Noticing a person change in someones tone of voice is another way to detect a liar.

  • Often when people do not want to talk about something, or are lying about something and want to get away from that line of conversation, they will use a lower pitch of voice.
  • The opposite is true when someone is talking about something they want to talk about. When people talk about something that exited them, their voice is often higher.

Their ‘Choice of Words’

Noticing the way people speak and ‘explain’ things can be another way in which you can detect a liar.

  • Using brief explanations.
  • Not using “I”.
  • Quibbling over irrelevant facts.
  • Using words like “honestly”.
  • Slowing down in their speech or replies, which gives them time to think. (This is why interrogators often use rapid fire questions to try to “trip” the suspect up.)

Telling the Truth

Know the signs of someone telling the truth will also hep you to detect a liar.

Some common signs of someone telling the truth are:

  • Unstructured time lines when retelling stories (most people will not honestly tell a story in chronological order)
  • Using a lot of detail and in particular, unusual details.
  • The telling of facts in context of his or her daily life.
  • Reproducing actual speech e.g. saying ‘then I said…’
  • Mentioning unexpected complications during the incident.
  • Describing their feelings and/or their insights into how they think others felt.
  • Instinctively correcting themselves while speaking.
  • Admitting to not remembering something.
  • The use of self depreciation, e.g., saying something like “I shouldn’t have done that”.

Final Note
It is important to note that although there are many signs to whether someone is lying or telling the truth, when trying to detect a liar, none of these signs alone should lead you to determine if someone is or isn’t being honest with you. They should be used in conjunction with each other.

Do you no other ways to detect a liar? Let us know them (or anything else you want to say) in the comments 😀 .

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