How to Spot a Liar

Lies are not easily detected, but if you pay attention to some verbal and behavioral signs when talking to people, you can learn how to spot them. 5-Minute Crafts wants to teach you several techniques that will help you find out if someone is lying to you.

1. Identify their baseline behavior.

✅ At first, observe the person’s normal (baseline) behavior without any stressors or triggers. Find out what’s normal for them, like in their body movements, facial expressions, eye movements, and verbal habits. For example, some people never look you in the eyes and stare down at the table when talking, and this is their typical behavior.

✅ To understand the person better, engage in a non-confrontational conversation:

  • Ask them basic neutral questions about the weather, their plans for the future, or anything else that will be comfortable to answer.
  • When they respond, carefully observe their body and facial language to learn how they act when telling the truth.
  • Make sure that you ask enough questions to witness their specific behavioral patterns.

✅ When you know someone’s baseline behavior, you’ll be able to compare it with their behavior in a particular situation and evaluate their credibility better.

2. Observe their body language.

✅ When talking to this person, pay attention to their posture. The signs of lying might be:

Pointing their feet toward the exit

Indifferent or bored posture (as if the person is trying to avoid expressing their emotions)

Pulling their body inward and shrugging (as if they’re trying to make themselves smaller and less noticeable)

✅ Carefully look at the person’s gestures and body movements to find the following signs of lies:

Chattering with fingertips and hiding their hands

⭕ Touching their face (as if trying to calm themselves down)

⭕ Grooming behavior (playing with their hair, pressing fingers to their lips)

⭕ Nervous behavior (being squirmy, tapping their feet)

⭕ Taking barrier objects and putting them between you and them

3. Pay attention to their facial expressions.

✅ If you notice the following changes when talking to the person, they might be signs of lying:

⭕ Changing their facial color to a light shade of pink

⭕ Flaring their nostrils

Biting their lips

⭕ Shifting their blinking rate

Sweating

Swallowing or yawning

4. Spot a fake smile.

✅ Look at how the person smiles — the real smile always includes the entire face with crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes in addition to contracting muscles in the cheeks. But the signs of lying are:

Pressing the lips together

⭕ A smile that looks forced or tense

Disconnection between the eyes and the mouth (when the mouth smiles and the eyes show another emotion, such as contempt, anger, or disgust)

5. Listen to their speech.

✅ Look for the following signs of lies when listening to the person’s tone and manner of speech:

Coughing and clearing the throat

Uncertainty in their voice (sounding unsure or insecure)

Changes in tone and cadence (speaking more quickly or slowly with a higher or lower tone, or even louder than normal)

Cracking in the natural tone of voice (usually occurs at the point of deception)

✅ Explore the structure of the person’s sentences. The signs of lying might be:

⭕ Less personal sentences (trying to remove themselves from their story, focusing on other people, and not using as much “me” or “I” in the story)

⭕ Changes in sentence patterns (speaking in fragments, using more complex sentences)

⭕ Using too many compliments (always agreeing with your opinion, constantly praising you, laughing at all your jokes), possibly meaning they’re trying too hard to make a good impression on you

⭕ Using formal rather than informal language (signifying that the person may be stressed)

6. Pay attention to their “no.”

✅ If you ask the person a question and their answer is “no,” look for the following signs of lying when they’re pronouncing this word:

⭕ Closing their eyes

⭕ Looking in a different direction

⭕ Hesitation

⭕ Saying “no” in a singsong manner

⭕ Saying “noooo” as if they’re trying to stretch it over a long period of time

7. Ask additional questions.

✅ Ask follow-up questions as if you’re trying to learn more details about the story. The signs of lies, in this case, will be:

⭕ Using extreme superlatives or exaggerated words (like “awesome” or “brilliant” instead of “good”)

⭕ Failing to provide specific details of the story

⭕ Repeating questions before answering them

⭕ Providing very short answers

Contradicting their own story

⭕ Becoming obviously evasive or erratic in their responses

✅ You can also ask the person to recall events in a reversed order rather than a chronological one and look for the following signs of lying:

⭕ Keeping the story the same (truthful people usually tend to add and remember more details when they repeat the story)

Simplifying the story

⭕ Unexpected cracks in the story

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