A very useful skill to be able to employ is the ability to tell if you are being lied to. Being able to spot a liar is useful at home, at work, and in the marketplace. The following are five of the top ways to tell if someone is lying.
Someone who is lying, particularly someone who feels a sense of guilt for the lie they are telling, will sometimes adopt defensive body language. (This also occurs when someone is being asked about something they don't wish to discuss, so be aware that defensive body language doesn't ALWAYS mean a person is lying.) Watch for arms crossed akimbo across the chest, a turning away of the shoulders and legs that are crossed away, not towards, you.
People who are lying tend to do one of two things with their eyes. Occasional liars tend to have difficulty maintaining normal eye contact, and their eyes may appear "shifty". (People with low self esteem also have this mannerism, so only apply it in a context in which you suspect a liar.) Habitual liars have done more to perfect the art, and they frequently will make overly bold, unblinking, almost staring eye contact as they speak. This person is probably more dangerous overall than the "shifty eyed" liar. Additionally, watch for dilated pupils. The pupils of the eye will frequently dilate when a person is lying.
Someone who is lying frequently makes up their "facts" as they go along, some of which can be difficult to remember. Sir Walter Scott was right when he said, "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Watch for inconsistencies and contradictions in what a person says. In particular, be alert for retellings that differ from one another, for "facts" that appear to be made up on the spot, and for things that in general for things simply don't "add up".
If you get the unexplained feeling from nowhere that someone is lying, they just might be. Some people have sharper intuition into such things than others. If your "gut feelings" are generally correct, it would be wise to pay sharper attention and to look for some of the other signs that someone might be lying.
A person who is lying will sometimes go overboard in his or her efforts to convince you he or she is telling the truth. The overuse of such phrases as, "Well, to tell the truth ..." or "To be honest, ..." can sometimes be a tip off to the fact that the person is not telling the truth.
No one likes being lied to. A study of the habits of habitual liars can ensure that you will never be lied to again. Do follow some of the links listed below and learn to protect yourself from liars!
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