10 ways to catch a liar

10 ways to catch a liar

Experts offer us 10 tips that let you know if someone is not telling you the whole truth.


  • 1 How to know if someone is telling the truth or not
  • 2 First: Look for inconsistencies
  • 3 Second: Ask something unexpected
  • 4 Third: Changes in behavior
  • 5 Fourth: False emotions
  • 6 Fifth: Look at the times he assures you that he is telling the truth
  • 7 Sixth: Microexpressions
  • 8 Seventh: Look for contradictions
  • 9 Eighth: Eye contact
  • 10 Ninth: Excessive details
  • 11 Tenth: Find out what's behind the lie

How to know if someone is telling the truth or not

J.J. Newberry is a well-trained federal agent from the US, an expert in the art of deception detection. So, when a witness of a shooting sat down in front of him and explained that when he heard shots he didn't look at anything and just ran, he knew he was lying.

How did Newberry reach this conclusion? The answer is in the recognition of signs that reveal that a person is not being sincere, as inconsistencies in his story, a different behavior than expected, or expose too many details in an explanation.

While using the signs to catch a liar requires extensive training and a lot of practice, anyone can learn to identify when someone is lying.

Experts have described 10 characteristics to detect a liar.

First: Look for inconsistencies

If you want to know if someone is lying, look for inconsistencies in what you are saying.

For example, when the woman who was questioning Newberry said she ran and hid after hearing shots, and all this without looking, the agent immediately detected the inconsistency.

There was something that just didn't fit. According to the woman, he heard shots but did not look, the agent knew immediately that this was totally abnormal behavior in these situations.

So when she wasn't paying attention, she hit the table. She looked directly at him.

When a person hears a noise, it is a natural reaction to look to him for guidance and know what happens. Newberry was certain that when the woman heard those shots, she looked in the direction they were coming from, saw the shooter and then ran.

And indeed, he was right.

His story was simply illogical, according to Newberry. And that is what you should look for when you are talking to someone who is not being honest. Are there inconsistencies that just don't fit?

Second: Ask something unexpected

About 4% of people are accomplished liars and can do really well, says Newberry. But there are no answers to all lies, so you have to catch them.

Liars often weave a true web that seems impossible to untangle. So how can you catch a person in their own web of lies?

"Look at them carefully," says Newberry. "And then, when they don't expect it, ask them a question that they're not prepared to answer."

Third: Changes in behavior

One of the Most important indicators of dishonesty are changes in habitual behavior of the person, says Maureen O'Sullivan, a professor of psychology at the University of San Francisco. We can pay attention to someone who is generally anxious, but now looks calm, or vice versa, someone who is generally calm, but now seems anxious.

The trick, O'Sullivan explains, is to look at his usual behavior. Is the behavior of now different in any way? If it is, that could mean that something is hiding.

Fourth: False emotions

People don't smile all the time, let alone in an interrogation, says O'Sullivan. But people who lie can try to smile all the time to look closer. Occasionally they can combine extreme seriousness with a fake smile.

These false emotions are a good indicator that something is failing.

Fifth: Look at the times he assures you that he is telling the truth

Those who "sell" the integrity of their responses, often use phrases with emphasis on the validity of their statements, such as "the truth is ..." and "I swear ..." These verbal expressions are used more frequently when someone who lies wants to emphasize their arguments. Most people when they speak sincerely do not express themselves this way.

Sixth: Microexpressions

Psychologist Paul Ekman is a professor of psychology at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco and a recognized expert in emotions, who has deeply studied facial microexpressions.

A microexpression is a very short expression, usually about 25 seconds, which is always a hidden emotion, says Ekman.

That's why when a person is acting as if he feels happy, but is really upset about something, his true emotion will reveal itself in a subconscious flash of anger on his face.

If the hidden emotion is fear, anger, happiness or jealousy, that feeling will appear on the subject's face in the blink of an eye. The trick is to see it.

Ekman conducted a study with more than 10,000 people, and almost all of them, up to 99%, failed to identify microexpressions. But luckily it is something that can be taught, Ekman concludes.

In fact, in less than an hour, a normal person can learn to see microexpressions.

Seventh: Look for contradictions

As a rule, when a person speaks but his words do not fit with his body language, means you may be lying, warns Ekman. For example, although it may seem incredible, sometimes when people are lying you can say something like this: "Yes, he is the one who took the money", but he will do so without realizing that he shakes his head slightly with a 'no' . This is a gesture that completely contradicts what he is saying in words.

These contradictions, Ekman explains, can be found between voice and words, gesture and voice, gesture and words, or face and words.

It is a very subtle and often difficult to detect aspect of behavior, but it is contradicting its initial argument.

Eighth: The eye contact

When someone does not make eye contact when speaking, or quite the opposite, they do it in excess, it can mean that they are not being honest.

Looking away, sweating, showing restlessness ... anything that is not normal and indicates anxiety or attempted excessive control is suspicious.

Ninth: Excessive details

If we ask someone what they were doing last week, they will have to pause and think to give us an answer. That is even more true in children and adolescents, who generally do not have the ability to tell an elaborate story on the go. Therefore,when someone gives us an excessively detailed answer, where there is no hesitation before answering a question, is a clear indication of falsehood.

Too much detail in an explanation could mean that much effort has been put into rehearsing how to get out of an embarrassing situation, and that is why a complicated lie has been elaborated as a solution to the problem.

Tenth: Find out what's behind the lie

It is not always the most effective to focus on the lie, if not try to find the truth buried under that lie, it can often help us find the answer to the most important question: Why is a person lying?

The previous 9 tips can help you detect deception. But what they don't do is tell you why a person is lying or what that lie means.

When you think someone is lying, you have to figure out the reason you can have to make your lie.

Even if you know how to detect a microexpression effectively, that does not mean that you know the reason for it. You have to be a good judge of people to understand what your lie means, so yes you will find the hidden truth behind his deception.

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