The Best Way to Spot a Liar (That Has Nothing to Do with Their Body Language)

Updated: Oct. 23, 2023

The clue is hiding in a very unlikely place.

this-body-language-clue-will-tell-you-if-someone-is-lying-and-has-nothing-to-do-with-the-persons-face-442888018-WAYHOME-studioWAYHOME studio/ShutterstockHave you ever caught a liar in the act? We’ve already shared some clues for spotting a liar, but there’s one body language signal that stands out.

A good liar might already know to hold eye contact and use other body language that builds trust to escape suspicion. So looking at the fibber’s face might not reveal much.

Luckily, there’s one big clue that you won’t find on the other person’s face—or anywhere else on the speaker. Body language and communication expert Lillian Glass, PhD, tells TODAY that the most revealing body language could be your own.

Even smooth talkers give off tiny stress cues when they’re lying, says Dr. Glass. Even if you don’t consciously notice those little hints, your body might actually clue you in. “When someone lies, your own autonomic nervous system can pick it up,” says Dr. Glass. So without even thinking about it, you’ll tilt your head, squint, or purse your lips, she says. Give it a try if you’re on the lookout for signs your coworker is untrustworthy.

The trick is being mindful of your own body language to catch a liar. “If you pay attention to your own reactions in terms of the nuances of your own body language, it can help validate that you have just heard a lie,” Glass says.

Just don’t overthink it. Body language expert Patti Wood adds that convincing yourself there are signs of a lie could put you on edge. By creating a stressful situation when the other person really is telling the truth, you’ll mess with your natural body language.

Plus, truly experienced liars are smooth enough to avoid giving off stress cues, says Wood. For instance, con artists use these tricks to win your trust. So just because your body language doesn’t sense the stress doesn’t mean the other person is telling the truth.

But hey, you might have no reason to be suspicious anyway. See if your partner gives off these signs of a trustworthy relationship.