The Invention of Lying And How To Deal With It

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

It’s something that happens to every person every day, whether it be a little white lie to a child or a full on ‘no where near the truth lie’. These are things that are inevitable in life, some people are natural-born liars, but if you know these people well enough then there are a few tips and tricks you can use to spot some ‘untruths’


A common misconception with ‘spotting liars’ is the old chestnut about not making eye contact, stuttering, fidgeting and the like.  This is all well and good but the key is everyone is different, some people are rubbish at speaking in front of people and they may stutter in what they are saying, others are naturally insular and self-conscious and don’t feel confident making excessive eye contact during a conversation.  Does this make them liars? Nope…not always.

The key is Change most people are incredibly uncomfortable when lying and unless they are professionals at deception like poker players for example, then the signs of lying are easy to spot.  You know this, if you have ever told a lie you know how much you want to be believed and yet there is an anxiety about getting caught out.  Now chances are you spend more time with the people at work than you do your family, especially if your office based, this doesn’t really apply if your lucky and work from home.  So chances are you know the people around you well and you can use this to your advantage.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

So we know were looking for change, but where are we looking?  A common misconception is it is all in the face but this is just one area where clues to deception are hidden.  Eyes are an easy one, if someone usually has no problem making eye contact, but suddenly does not want to look at you, be wary but continue looking for further clues.  Obviously this works in the total opposite if a normally shy person starts making quite intense eye contact, their body is forcing this action as it is perceived as being more trustworthy so when lying they usually over compensate this action.

The torso and legs however are perhaps the best lie detector giveaways as these are the actions that the brain struggles to hide at times of nervousness or anxiety.  It is often so busy trying to hide the facial expressions that it forgets to hide the actions of the rest of the body.  Usually when lying the person will feel uncomfortable, triggering that natural ‘flight or fight response’  This means someone feeling uncomfortable while saying something will often give it away with their whole body language.  The two key ones here are the torso and legs.  Usually the person will cross their arms across their chest ‘protecting the key organs’ it is the ultimate defensive stance and as such is one to look for.  The second is the legs, when that feeling of uneasiness arises they automatically point to the exit.

Seriously….watch…next time you see someone in an awkward position such as getting a bit of a bollocking from someone senior or when someone is questioning them, their feet will point straight to the nearest exit.  (I’ve read this response comes from cave man times, escaping predators etc)

What Not To Do

This information is purely that, just information, it is never a fool-proof science.  I am not suggesting as soon as you see a behaviour change you should start shouting LIAR at the top of your voice.  Instead just bear it in mind, look for the clues, and even then it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is lying, they may just not be telling the whole truth or are trying to hide something.  This way you can get a bit idea of what is really being said and not necessarily what is being said.

I have read a many books about this subject and the one that I cannot recommend highly enough is this one:

As cheesy as it sounds it is definitely true, by just being aware of what Joe Navarro brilliantly describes and illustrates in the book above and learning how to spot these ‘micro expressions’ it really will tell you ‘Every Body Is Saying’

GA, GE and GN


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