How To Know if Someone is Lying? 4 Easy Cues to Look For!
Out of all human traits, lying is one of the most common ones, even if we don’t like to admit to it. I mean, let’s face it, according to one of the surveys, it is said that a little over 90% of people lie, occasionally. So, I’m not lying when I say, we all lie. Well, poor puns aside, it is true that among adults and children – lying is one trait that we all never truly grow out of.
Now, when I say “lying” I include white lies and harmless lies too. While many can claim to be honest people, there is still a small group of people who lie frequently. Whether intentional or not, it’s up to them.
In truth, we all lie – sometimes to protect ourselves from getting hurt and other times to protect the ones we love – but lying, as I said, is something that we truly never stop doing. This human trait or behavior raises a simple question; “How to know if someone is lying?” “Are there signs to watch out for?”
Let’s understand the basic cues that you should learn to read if you want to tell when someone is lying to you. Before that, let’s start by understanding the signs that someone is lying.
How can you tell if someone is lying:
The signs that someone is lying to you can be quickly noticeable, but other times people are quite creative with deception so it’s hard to understand or spot a lie. Here are some common signs that can help you spot a lie;
- The other person is being too vague and offering very few details of the situation
- The other person is repeating the questions you pose before they answer them
- The other person is speaking hesitantly or in fragments as if reluctant to answer
- The other person fails to offer specific details when their narrative is questioned
- The other person fails to hide nervous tics like playing with their hair, averting their gaze, etc.
These telltale signs can help you spot a lie, but can these signs be enough? Let’s see the four important cues you need to know to tell if someone is lying to you.
How to Know if Someone is Lying?
With these cues, you can easily learn and know when someone is lying;
1. Body Language
The one thing that’s easy to understand is body language and facial expressions, especially when it comes to knowing when someone is lying to you. Each person has their own “tell” or “nervous tic” that they subconsciously revert to when lying. Some of the most common ones can be;
- Having a blank face or expression
- Shrugging instead of responding verbally
- Having a lax or bored posture
- Playing with their hair or tapping their feet
However, not all body cues can be a sign of lying. Some can just be from nervousness or anxiety. So how to tell if someone is lying? Look at their eyes. If they have shifty eyes aka averting their gaze or not making eye contact, then it can be a telltale sign that they might be lying to you. You can also look at their hands (fidgeting), sweating, or flushed face to truly know if they are lying.
2. Vocal Cues
Another cue that can help you learn if someone is lying can be vocal cues. How is their speech? Are they forming well-structured sentences? Or are they responding in broken fragments? Not having a well-structured speech can be a sign of discomfort and guilt. If someone appears to be insecure in their speech, you can take it as a sign of them lying.
Also, pay close attention to their tone and cadence of voice. Are they speaking in a higher pitch or do they have a low pitch? Are they speaking slower than usual or faster than usual? Also, notice how their sentences are. Are they giving vague information? Avoiding details? Or including too specific information?
Language can also be another important cue to tell if someone is lying. It’s all in the details, after all. Liars usually put a lot of mental energy into creating the lie, monitoring their actions, and assessing their responses – all to make sure their lives are not caught. When someone’s telling the truth, they don’t put a lot of mental effort, unlike lying. When this happens, the behavioral cues become more noticeable and prominent.
When someone is lying to you, they will avoid words like “I” or “me” and would prefer to speak in the third person. This is a sign of them mentally distancing themselves from the situation and by extension, the lie. Another common occurrence would include instant responses. When you ask a question, they’d reply instantly without pausing or taking time to understand the question. These rehearsed responses can also be a cue to help you know if someone is lying.
4. Gut Reactions
The last one but also one of the most important ones is your gut reaction and instinct. When you want to know if someone is lying, all you need to do is read your gut reaction and trust your instinct. I know, this cue sounds too vague, but hear me out. Your automatic and subconscious reaction can be at least 50% right if not 100%.
Your intuition can speak to you. So, learn to listen to it and trust the process. Here’s an example; when someone is telling the truth, they don’t have to add a clause, right? However, when someone is lying to you, they will add something like, “I am being honest” or” To tell the truth”. These clues can tell you when someone is lying so pay attention.
What to do Next?
If you truly notice the little cues such as body language, vocal cues, facial expressions, and language structure then you will be able to tell when someone is lying to you. With some practice, you can become a pro at spotting lies. Just pay attention to the above-mentioned cues and you’re all set! These cues might also help you catch pathological liars.
While these cues might only help you learn when someone is lying, you can’t use them as conclusive signs. These cues can also indicate nervousness and anxiety, not always lies, so be careful or you might end up falsely accusing someone innocent.
Most importantly, learn to trust your guts. If your intuition is telling you that someone is lying, then at least take it at 50% of face value. And even after you want to learn how to deal with a liar, you can consider speaking to a counselor or a therapist to learn more about it.
I hope this article helped you learn how to know if someone is lying to you. You can leave your thoughts on these cues in the comments below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to help and hear from you!