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How to become a human lie detector

Updated on October 6, 2009

The background on lying

According to Webster's Dictionary, a lie is a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive. People lie for a variety of reasons, sometimes with nefarious intentions and other times with wholesome intentions. It could be to maintain a secret, to protect someone from harm, to protect someone's self-esteem from getting hurt, to avoid punishment, to lead someone astray, to damage someone, etc.

10 common traits of liars

These should send some red flags:

  1. Stiff body movements and gestures. Kept close to body
  2. Too much information. Telling too much may be a desperate attempt to get you to believe them.
  3. Unusual eye movement. This doesn't mean avoid eye contact. Truthful people also avoid eye contact from time to time. Right-handed people usually look to the left when coming up with a lie and reverse with left-handed people.
  4. Liars usually go on the defensive when asked a question. They want to convince you of their "honesty".
  5. Liars might look away or put an object between you when asked a question
  6. Lies come either very quickly (as they were already thinking of the "answer" before you asked) or very slowly (as they are having a quick mental review and coming up with the lie)
  7. Liars tend to use your exact words and phrases in the answer (e.g. Q."Did you sleep with my man?!" A."No, I did not sleep with your man.")
  8. Using no pronouns or contractions
  9. Avoiding direct answers (like politicians)
  10. Joking around with the subject to lower the tension

Please comment. Don't lie when you do : )

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