There are certain signs people should pay attention to, to tell if someone is lying. Two lying experts have revealed how to tell if someone is being untruthful ‘The visible signs appear as changes in a person’s behaviour,’ they said The experts have covered body language, facial expressions and eye contact
Although it isn’t possible to have the power to read people’s minds, there are particular signs to look for to tell if someone is lying.
Two Australian lying experts have revealed how anybody can easily tell if someone is being untruthful.
‘When a person tells a lie the tell-tale signs can show up because of the stress caused within,’ former police woman and leading truth and deception communication specialist, Elly Johnson, told FEMAIL.
‘The visible signs may appear as changes in a person’s verbal or non-verbal behaviour.’
Here, FEMAIL takes a look at what you need to look out for.
International profiling and communications specialist, Alan Stevens, said that everyone has the ability to pick up on whether someone is lying but don’t always know what the indicators mean
Figuring out if someone is lying is more complicated than looking out for a particular facial expression or one body movement as it encompasses a variety of things.
‘If you have a gut feeling it’s because you’re picking up on certain indicators, such as their speech changing, the tone of their voice and their stance,’ he said.
‘It’s always important to let people know that they need to look at things in context and not just look at one item on its own.’
Micro expressions are important to pay attention to as they give away how people are feeling. Fear plays out on the face through raised upper eyelids and lips slightly stretched
• A sudden change in behaviour connected to a question or topic
• Not answering a simple question
• Increase in stress indicators such as heavy breathing
• A cluster of changed behaviour
• Answering a question with a question to buy time to think of the best answer
• Hand to face gestures – particularly covering the mouth
• Micro-expressions of an emotion that doesn’t match what they’re saying
• Evasive, omissive or dismissive behaviour
EXTENDED EYE CONTACT
Mr Stevens said that the idea that someone who looks away in a conversation is lying has been generalised way too much.
He explained that it’s natural for people to look away occasionally and people should instead be concerned if the person is providing an extended amount of eye contact.
‘If we’re sitting in a cafe and something catches the corner of my eye or I think I see someone I know, I’m going to look away,’ Mr Stevens said.
‘The idea that if someone’s eyes are moving you can’t trust them is rubbish. If they hold their gaze for ages it’s because they’re practicing something they’ve rehearsed,’ he added.
‘If someone stares at you really hard they’re also trying to figure out if you caught them lying or not, they want to concentrate on you really closely.’
There is often only one indicator of contempt playing out on people’s faces, and that is through the corner of the lip being tightened and raised on one side of the face
Disgust is shown through the wrinkling of the nose and the upper lip being raised
Mr Stevens said that the face can pull over 10,000 expressions, but there are seven that are universal, which are anger, contempt, disgust, happiness, fear, sadness and surprise.
What the eye line indicates
• People look up to remember something visual
• They look left or right to remember how something sounded
• People glance to the right to recall how something felt
• They look left for internal dialect
• If they look down it’s because they’re thinking about their feelings
‘There are little twitches that happen on the face as we respond unconsciously and our face gives away an expression that indicates how we’re really feeling inside.’
Micro expressions are important to pay attention to but they happen in 1/20th of a second.
For example, a twitch near the nose on one side of the face is contempt and if someone is angry their eyebrows will pull together and the mouth tightens.
‘No particular facial expression equals a lie – rather that if there is a conflict between the spoken word and what the face is saying it may become a “hot spot”,’ Ms Johnson said.
This means that if a person’s face reveals one of the seven known expressions but it doesn’t match with what they’re saying, there is a chance they’re lying.
Surprise shows on the face in three key areas: the eyebrows, eyes and lips. The eyebrows will raise momentarily, the eyes widen and the mouth opens
Body language to look out for
• If they change their head position quickly it could indicate that they’re lying
• Standing very still can indicate that they’re readying themselves for confrontation
• Someone covering their mouth can reveal that they don’t want to deal with an issue or answer a question
• If they instinctively cover vulnerable body parts what is being said may hit a nerve
Another important thing people need to pay attention to if they’re trying to figure out if someone is lying is their body language, but it isn’t as easy to determine as people may think it is.
‘When looking at a particular body movement you also need to look at the rest of the body language as well,’ Mr Stevens said.
‘Folded arms could be they’re switched off or they’re intimidated by you or what is being said.
‘If their feet and body are facing towards you, they’re being open and communicative but if they’re not, it could mean they’re concealing something.’
Sadness is displayed on the face when the upper eyelids droop, focus is lost in the eyes and the lip corners pull down slightly
Anger is shown when the eyebrows pull down and together, the eyes glare and there is a narrowing of the lips
Spot the liar! See if you can detect lies as well as a new AI
Ms Johnson’s tips on how to get more truth
• Consider someone’s motivation for hiding the truth – when you can understand the ‘why’ you have a better chance of developing strategies to prevent a lie
• Make it safe for someone to tell you the truth – check that you are not the one pushing truth away or discouraging it by your behaviour
• Don’t show judgement as you can shut someone down and consider how your own filters and unconscious cognitive biases could impact
• Get a commitment for truth from the start – when someone commits to truth they are more likely to act in a way consistent with their commitment
CHANGE IN DEMEANOUR
‘Keep in mind there is no ‘Pinocchio nose’. What that means is there is no one behaviour that if present always equals a lie or if absent always equals the truth,’ Ms Johnson said.
‘One of the keys to spotting signs of deception is to look for a change from a person’s baseline or normal behaviour.’
Even then she said people need to be careful that they don’t jump to conclusions and instead take note of their observations before gathering more information.
This is something Mr Stevens agrees with as he said people need to know someone’s normal behaviour if they want to be able to tell if they’re lying or not.
‘If they’re suddenly a lot quieter than how they usually are then there’s usually something else going on,’ he said.
‘For everybody in your life you’re looking for changes and variations in how they act.’
When someone is genuinely happy, their smile will include crow’s feet wrinkles, pushed up cheeks and there will be movement from the muscle that orbits the eye
I very well hope this article has been of help to everyone out there trying to figure out how to know when a person is being truthful or not.
Now you know.
Apply these theories into your everyday life and see what amazing results you get.