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Body Language ... How to detect a lie?

Updated on April 10, 2013

Be ready to be shocked and disappointed whenever you find out someone is lying to you. Just try not to punch anyone while you're at it.

One of the many benefits of learning about body language is detecting a lie. Like I mentioned in the basics of body language hub -Body Language 101- nothing is 100% accurate. So these are just guidelines that are most likely to be true.

So, let's get started.

Detecting lying signs requires some practicing and a good observation ability as they are micro expressions that happen in a fraction of a second.

  • Eyes:

Moving eyes to the left usually means that person is thinking and remembering details about something. Moving them to the right means they are making up something .. LIE DETECTED.
This is the case for right-handed people. It's the opposite for left-handed people.


Telling a lie is usually associated by increase rate in blinking. Other the blinking rate, notice its speed. While lying it tends to blink slowly and heavily. Unless it's just a habit which is common among a lot.

Eye contact:
Liars tend to avoid eye contact. Some people manage to do it though and are trained to think of something else while lying.

Rubbing & covering:

Moving the hand towards the eye and rubbing it usually indicates the presence of a lie. It's a subconscious way to block the fact they're lying.

  • Nose:

Covering up and scratching the nose most likely means the person is lying. Lying makes the brain exceed more effort coming up with them plus the fear of being caught leads to the release of adrenaline in your system that might cause some itchiness on your nose.
Please do not judge someone with flu :D

  • Mouth:

Liars tend to cover up their mouth, same as with the eyes, the person subconsciously tries to hid in the lies that are pouring out of their mouth.

  • Reactions:

A liar ALMOST EVERY SINGLE TIME goes defensive even if the situation didn't really require any explanations.

  • Sweating:

People lying tend to sweat more often than normal. This is due to nervousness and fear of being caught and exposed. It doesn't have to be pouring down sweat kind of sweating. It can be as small as just having a reddish -about to sweat- face on.

  • Head movement:

Nodding and shaking the head usually means that person is lying. It's a mistake not so many does though. It' more like an off guards kind of lie.

  • Throat:

Like we mentioned before, lying cause the secretion of adrenaline in your system, which is associated by increase in the secretion of saliva, hence increase in swallowing rate and clearing throat.

  • Fidgeting:

Fidgeting is a definitely sign of lying. A person who lies suffers from stress, nervousness and fear which leads him to fidget with his body or with random stuff around him.

  • Breathing:

Normally a person who's scared and nervous will suffer from increase in breathing rate.

  • Details:

A person who's lying will ALWAYS exaggerate things. Throw in useless details trying to back his story up even though no one acquired him to do so. It's part of the whole going defensive thing.

  • Voice:

Lying can be accompanied by raise in the voice or lowering, being faster or slow ... Basically a lie usually comes with a change in the normal voice tune.

  • Pay attention:

Someone who's telling the truth can say the same story with the exact same details over and over again without exceeding any effort as it's embedded in his memory you know, it's the truth. A liar who's making up a story can miss a thing or two when telling it again. Pay attention to little details. No matter how good that liar is, no one makes a perfect lie.

  • Sarcasm:

Using sarcasm to dodge a question can be used as an indirect way of lying *used it before and works like magic, lol* .People drift off the conversation into a sarcastic mode making you confused whether he's telling the truth? lying? or simply joking?

Now before using these, please note that you must remain calm and subtle about it. Catching a liar is much easier when he/she is off guard.

Were you ever successful before in detecting a lie?

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    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      Angel21518 hope your experiment went well :D

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Lies told are so often ignored and not taken into consideration but with these tips one can detect a liar a mile away.

    • Angel21518 profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting...I want to experiment after reading this information. Just when my friends already considered me to be crazy! : )

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      Dexis .. is it weird that sometimes when I know someone so well I can actually tell if they feel via text? They just go off the -usual- way of typing. Less words, floods of words, back to back short messages, overloaded with emoticons, no emoticons at all .... when you know them so well you're familiar with how they type, hence you'd observe any change in it. Doesn't work all the time though :D

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      ahahahaaa, well every rule has an exception I guess .... Just stay away from the police :D

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      Thank you :))

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      The hard swallowing and nose rubbing are so common among people :D ... I usually tend to ask and concentrate on little details that they most likely didn't think of making up something for so they end up being exposed :D

    • DexisView profile image


      7 years ago from New England

      I like to observe people and when it's someone I know well I can read their body language. Guess that's why text messages are so popular these days. It's much harder to lie in person. All this texting is a cop out when it comes to honesty.

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      Thank you :)) ... And I'm willing do do more articles about this. Maybe how to know if someone actually is into you. People might find that interesting.

    • Randomovic profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Egypt

      Thanks for the comments :)) .. I'm truly fond of body language it can be a curse sometimes, you know what they say, ignorance is a bless :D .. Sometimes you just don't wanna know ..

      I'm really thankful for the feedback, comments and sharing. This definitely motivates me to do more articles. Maybe even more about reading body language in details.

      Have a nice day :))

    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 

      7 years ago from uk

      Oh dear, I'm right handed and nearly always look to the right recalling details, rather than the left - honestly! Hope I'm never interviewed by the police. Interesting hub.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is really useful information. I like knowing how to spot a liar as I am one of those very gullible people who tend to believe most everything. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will tweet and share.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! Awesome information & useful to keep handy. I've noticed people coughing and clearing their throats often while talking to others. Rubbing their nose is another one and pretending not to hear what you said the first time so they say what? these few seconds gives them time to fabricate their story. Lol. thanks for sharing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi random, this is great! I used to do psychology and your points are spot on. Especially the one about looking to the left and right, it's a straight give away! lol! voted up and shared, nell


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