Want to Know how to Unmask Liars?

As suggested by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke, a forensic psychologist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley – our instincts to spot lies are actually quite strong but our conscious minds at times fail us. Fortunately, there are important signs that can help us detect a lie. To unmask a liar, you need to first understand how the person would act normally. Only then you can identify the difference by paying careful attention to their body language, speech patterns, and facial expressions.


Here are top 10 signs to look for to know if someone is lying to your face

  • Head Positions Change Quickly

If you find someone impulsively changing head positions on being asked a direct question, then it is highly possible that they may be lying to you. Dr. Lillian Glass, a behavioral analyst who has worked with the FBI, says, “The head will be retracted or jerked back, bowed down, or cocked or tilted to the side.”

  • Breathing Pattern Changes

Breathing heavily is a common sign especially when a person is lying. “It’s a reflex action” says Dr. Lillian Glass. This usually happens because of the stress or nervousness that elevates the heart rate and blood flow. The change in breathing is followed by rising shoulders and shallow voice.

  • Still Body Movement

If you notice closely, sometimes people become completely still while lying to someone. They don’t move at all. As per behavioral analyst, Dr. Lillian Glass, your body makes natural movements in a relaxed or subtle manner when you engage in a normal conversation. So when you notice catatonic posture lacking any movement, it is highly probable that something is not right.

  • Tendency to Repeat Words

Liars often talk too much and have a common tendency of repeating their words or phrases. This happens when trying to convince the listener and validate the lie in their own minds. Reiteration probably buys them time in their attempt to gather the thoughts.

  • Touching Mouth

A significant signal of lying is that the person automatically puts their hands over their mouth, either touching or covering it. Putting hand over the lips is a gesture signifying that the person is not revealing the entire truth. It precisely indicates closing off communication.

  • Covering Vulnerable Body Parts

The vulnerable areas generally include chest, abdomen or throat. Glass says –
“I have often seen this in the courtroom when I work as a consultant for attorneys. I can always tell when someone’s testimony has hit a nerve with the defendant, when I see his or her hand covering the front of his/her throat.”

  • Shuffling Feet

Toddling feet is also one of the key signs indicating a person is nervous and uncomfortable. This also suggests that the person wants to flee from the situation. This is basically the body taking control over the distressed mind.

  • Tend to Pinpoint

Liars become too much defensive or hostile during their encounters. Such a person will certainly try to turn the tables against you, which results in a lot of pointing.

  • Difficulty to Speak

Besides talking too much, there are also situations where a person lying finds it difficult to speak. Glass explains, “This occurs because the automatic nervous system decreases salivary flow during times of stress, which of course dries out the mucous membranes of the mouth”. Sudden lip biting or pursued lips are other significant signs of spotting a lie.

  • Eye Blinks

In effort to convince the listener about the lies, liars might go an extra mile to hold the eye contact. Generally when people say the truth they hardly move their eyes around and look away. Contrary to this, liars use cold and steady gaze for manipulation and intimidation. In addition to significantly less blinking, look out for rapid eye blinks as well.

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