No Lies: How to Recognize if Someone Doesn’t Tell You the Truth 

According to one theory about the origins of language, ancient people learned to communicate because they had a need to negotiate. The social function of language is the most important one, but we owe the emergence of lying to it: by learning to talk, people immediately learned to lie.

Lying is all around us: there is hardly a single person in the world who has told only the truth all his life. Statistics show that 60% of people lie at least once in a 10-minute conversation. And you should remember this, even while talking to your friends or searching for the best live football betting odds. However, no one wants to be deceived for some reason. How to understand that the interlocutor lies, and to determine the reason? Let’s figure it out together.

Why People Lie?

People often lie to put a price on themselves or to get others to do something. Lying may be associated with socially accepted conventions that one does not want to break. For example, when asked “How do you like our specialty?” when we are a guest, we are likely to say, “It’s delicious” – even if it really isn’t.

Depending on the communicative task we can distinguish other varieties of lies:

  • Mystification: plausible but untrue statements.
  • Falsification: substitution of true facts with fictitious ones.
  • Simulation: imitation of some state, when in fact the person feels something else.
  • Plagiarism: attributing authorship of a work.
  • Flattery: ascribing to someone superior qualities that person doesn’t actually possess.
  • Bluffing: a statement of intentions that the person doesn’t really have.

Separately, pathological lying should be singled out – there are people who tell untruths not for profit, but in order to draw attention to themselves.

Non-verbal Signs of Lying

Statistically, more than 80% of lies go unnoticed. About half the time, when the deception does come to light, it’s accidental. Language is flexible, it gives a person a lot of opportunities to deceive and manipulate the interlocutor. By analyzing what a person says, it isn’t always possible to find signs of deception, but fortunately, there are nonverbal means of communication, the main assistant in the detection of lies.

Changing the Position of the Head

If you ask a person a question, and he, before you answer, throws his head back, leans forward, or turns to the side – he probably wants to deceive you.  

Changing Breathing Patterns

Not everyone can tell a stress-free lie, unless they are a spy who has been specially trained. The average person tenses up when telling an untruth, and this manifests itself in an increased heartbeat and breathing rate.  

Static Posture or Excessive Mobility

During a conversation, a person makes small unconscious movements, such as nodding, wiggling a leg, or changing the position of the hands. If the interlocutor is frozen like a statue and doesn’t move at all – that’s a reason to be alert: maybe he is tense, because he is going to misinform you. Excessive looseness of movement – frequent changes of posture, rocking on the chair, fidgeting – also signals a possible insincerity.

Characteristic Gestures

A typical manifestation of lying is when a person covers his mouth with a hand or simply touches it, as if blocking the channel of information transfer. During lying, people instinctively touch vulnerable parts of the body – for example, put the palm on the chest or on the throat, cross their arms on the chest.  

Kneeling From Foot to Foot

If the interlocutor is standing during a conversation, he may begin to shuffle from foot to foot. Even if his tone is perfectly calm and his facial expression isn’t suspicious, his feet give away the cheater – the body signals that he is uncomfortable.   

Dry Lips

During stress, the flow of saliva decreases, and when a person is nervous, he often feels thirsty. He may often swallow or lick his lips and bite them.

Blinking Frequently and Avoiding or Blinking Blank Stares

When telling an untruth, people instinctively avoid eye contact by averting their eyes. The opposite is also true: the cold, hard stare, which advanced deceivers use to subdue, control, or intimidate the other person. If the interlocutor is looking into the upper left corner, it means that he is fantasizing and making things up at the moment. Looking up and to the right indicates that the person is immersed in memories, trying to recreate a real picture from the past.

Verbal Signs of Lying

Signs of insincerity in verbal communication are present at all levels: the intonation and tempo of speech, choice of vocabulary, the structure of the text.

Repetitive Words or Phrases

If a person repeats the same phrase several times, he may be trying to convince you (or even himself) of its veracity.  

Too Much Information

If the person talks fast and a lot, it’s likely that he is lying, or trying to deflect attention from something really important. Liars bombard the person with a deluge of information in the hope that it will hide the untruth.

An Overly Structured Text

A story that is prepared in advance to mislead someone usually differs from spontaneous speech in its structure – it will be more orderly and logical, but it will contain fewer secondary details.

Attempts to Switch Places With the Interlocutor

A liar who is forced to hold a defense sometimes behaves aggressively. For example, a person who has broken a promise made to friends may start “attacking” them, claiming that they are not perfect and have let him down more than once. By shifting the blame from bad to worse, liars try to avoid responsibility.