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How to become a human lie detector
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:
- Stiff body movements and gestures. Kept close to body
- Too much information. Telling too much may be a desperate attempt to get you to believe them.
- 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.
- Liars usually go on the defensive when asked a question. They want to convince you of their "honesty".
- Liars might look away or put an object between you when asked a question
- 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)
- 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.")
- Using no pronouns or contractions
- Avoiding direct answers (like politicians)
- Joking around with the subject to lower the tension