#1: Eye movements
When a person lies, generally he or she blinks more often. Now, this isn’t a telltale sign as some people naturally blink a lot, but if it occurs with other signs of deception, you may want to consider it a red flag.
Also, if a right handed person tells the truth, they tend to look up and to the left when they’re trying to recall details. However, if they are making up a story, they will look up and to the right.
For a left handed person, the directions are the opposite: up and to the right is for recall, and up and to the left is for fabrication.
Keep in mind that this may be just a quick glance so you’ll want to pay attention or you may miss it. Most people don’t even realize they do this which is what makes it a great detection move to watch for.
#2: Covering of the face
When a person tells a lie, they may bring their hand up to their mouth in an effort to cover it, almost as if they’re literally trying to conceal the truth.
They may try to hide this gesture by tapping their fingers on their lips as if they’re thinking or they may even yawn as if they’re tired. However, they’re actually lying square to your face and hoping that you can’t see through them.
A person may also put their head into their hands and rub it like they’re exasperated with the conversation or question, but they’re actually just trying to buy themselves time to formulate an answer that they hope you will believe. Either way, hands to the face can be an indicator or dishonesty.
#3: They fidget
Some people are nervous by nature, but even the calmest person can start to fidget if they’re not being truthful. It helps to know beforehand what type of person they are (calm or nervous), but if it is a friend or family member then you can probably pick out unnatural fidgeting pretty easily.
It may come in the form of twirling of the hair, tapping of the fingers, constant shifting of the body as if they’re uncomfortable or any other action that is repetitive.
Also, the fidgeting may come and go based on times when they’re being blatantly dishonest and times when they are giving you all or partial truths.
#4: They say “Um” a lot
Now, this one is a little difficult because a lot of people have the bad habit of saying “um” a lot when they speak. In fact, it’s not all that uncommon to even hear a professional speaker who repeatedly utters this word.
I’ve been to several conferences and trainings where the presenter said it so much I started to count the number of times. Certainly they weren’t lying about their information, it is just how they speak.
The key difference between someone that is just nervous and someone who is lying is generally when the “um” is presented. If it is the first word in response to a question, for instance, it almost always precedes a lie (as does the word “huh?”).
One example is if you suspect that your spouse is cheating and you ask him who the person is that keeps texting him. If he responds with “Um” as the first word, he is very possibly trying to give himself a little extra time to come up with his answer.
Obviously, if he was going to tell you the truth, he wouldn’t need the time.
#5: Their body language doesn’t match what they’re saying
Imagine if you ask me a question and I answer “yes” but shake my head “no”. You’d be confused right? Which one is true? Well, when you’re verbally told one thing but someone’s body language says something else, always go with the body because that can’t lie like the mouth can.
For instance, if you ask someone if they’re relaxed and they’re sitting there stiff as a board but tell you that they’re okay, then you suspect otherwise.
If they felt comfortable, their posture would be more relaxed. It is little discrepancies like this that you’ll want to watch for to determine if someone is being deceptive with you.
#6: Get better at reading body language
It can be hard to test your body language skills because often you don’t find out the truth until so far down the road that you don’t remember which signs you witnessed when you thought someone was lying. So, you want to get quick results to properly test your skills. The best way to do that? Talk shows!
There are a number of shows on television today that bring guests on to tell their stories, only to give them lie detector tests to “finally find out the truth.” While these shows can be a little annoying and silly at times, they’re also a great opportunity to test your lie detecting capabilities.
Listen to the person’s story and watch their movements. Try to determine for yourself whether they’re being honest or whether they’ve just made up a story that they hope is believable.
You may just be surprised at how well you do with matching your conclusion with that of the actual lie detector test. If you’re not that good, keep watching and work to improve your perceptions.
Unfortunately, there is no fast and hard way to find out if someone is being dishonest as everyone is different and may have quirks that make them unbelievable even when they’re being completely genuine.
When in doubt, follow your gut. It may be picking up on things so small that your mind hasn’t recognized them.
You certainly don’t want to walk around doubting everyone’s story, but now you know what to look for if you are. Put this knowledge to use and never be lied to again.