1. Is her face giving it away?
You may think a smile can easily disguise your true feelings, but the expressions that flash across a liar's face will give away what she's really thinkingâwhether she knows it or not. Experts advise paying close attention to hard-to-hide micro-expressions; these clues are often so difficult to detect that even trained experts have trouble discerning them. But you may be able to spot a liar by the red color on her cheeks, since anxiety can cause people to blush. Other indicators of lying? Flared nostrils, lip nibbling, deep breathing, and rapid blinking, which hint that the brain is working overtime.
2. Does the body language follow the story?
Itâs more important to examine a personâs entire demeanor, as thereâs no one feature thatâs apt to give away a liar. Honesty is characterized by features that are in sync with one anotherâso besides posture, note the fit between face, body, voice, and speech. Like an animal avoiding detection, a liar may pull his arms and legs inward or keep his movements to a minimumâanything to appear smaller. Liars often shove their hands behind their back because those fidgety digits might give them away.
3. How is the person smiling?
A smile can sometimes mask a personâs true feelings. Pay close attention to how a person smiles as well as other facial movements. You may be able to detect the emotions he or she is trying to hideâsuch as fear, anger, and disgust. A true smile will incorporate both a personâs lips and eyes.
4. How is the person speaking?
Although a change in voice can be the tip-off to spot a liar, experts say that to be sure, you should also pay attention to a personâs speech rate and breathing patternâif either speeds up or slows down, chances are youâre not hearing the whole truth.
5. What is the person saying?
Liars tend to avoid exclusionary words like âbut,â ânor,â âexcept,â and âwhereas,â because they have trouble with complex thought processes. Also, they are less likely to use the words âI,â âme,â and âmine.â In their attempts to distance themselves psychologically from their tall tales, liars will tend to communicate using fewer personal pronouns.
6. Is your subject behaving uncharacteristically?
Experts believe changes in a personâs baselineâhow she generally conducts herselfâare worthy of your attention. You should weigh rate of speech, tone of voice, posture, and hand gestures against what you know, along with the context of the situation. When your husband says âI loved the tie you bought meâ while heâs wearing a tight smile that doesnât reach his eyes, expect to see him in a turtleneck.
7. Is the question simple or embarrassing?
Itâs normal for someone to look away when asked a difficult question. But when someone avoids your gaze when asked a simple question, you should be suspicious.