Monday, May 18, 2009

Liar, Liar How Can You Tell?

If only it were as simple as the “liar, liar, pants on fire” nursery rhyme to tell when a person is lying to you. Ahhh, yes, if only their lying pants would burst in to flames life would be so much easier. Unfortunately liars rarely spontaneously combust and so we must find other ways to identify when somebody is being untruthful.

6 Tell Tale Signs that some body is lying

1. Liars fidget. They fidget a lot. They shift their feet, they sway while talking and they gesture awkwardly and inappropriately with their hands.

2. It’s all in the eyes! Liars don’t like to look you in the eye for too long. Or, conversely if a liar is aware of this fact, they may look you in the eye much longer than social norms dictate. Liars also blink less frequently than the norm, as if they need to keep their eyes open and on you in order to assure themselves that you believe their tale.

3. Liars touch their face and mouth a lot. This is something that most liars can’t control even if they are aware they are doing it.

4. More often than not, liars look down when telling a story. It’s as if they are thinking of what to say next. It is a well known and well studied reflexive psycho-social reaction that people who are truthfully recounting a real event look up when trying to recall the details.

5. Liars mix up fine details. When a liar spins a lie they make a point of registering the core of what is being said for future use but they often forget the minor credibility building details they’ve incorporated in to their lie.

People who lie tend to get defensive or they take a defensive posture with others when confronted about the lie, even if they are not actually being accused of lying.