We all like to believe we have a great BS detector. But most people aren’t as good as they think. Because we all still lie, and we all still expect to get away with it.
Luckily there are real ways to sniff out when someone’s lying, and they’re a lot more specific . . . and effective . . . than “going with your gut.”
1. They change the way they talk- Everybody has a certain way of talking when they have nothing to hide. And when they start lying, it changes. They talk faster or slower, or the pitch of their voice goes up or down . . .
Maybe they start saying “um” or they stop saying it. But if something in their voice is out of the ordinary, it’s a good sign they’re not telling you everything they know.
2. They avoid saying “I.” Research has shown that people are less likely to use personal pronouns when they’re lying. It’s a way of creating psychological distance between themselves and the lie.
3. They have an answer for everything- When you’re telling the truth, there’s no pressure to convince anyone. But someone who’s lying doesn’t want it to look like they’re lying . . . so they tend to hesitate less, because they want to appear sure of themselves.
4. They fidget unnecessarily- Not just nervous movements, but fiddling with random objects.
If someone keeps rearranging their desk, or brushing dirt from their clothes, it might be an unconscious attempt to distract you from what’s being said. Or maybe the guilt is just making them anxious.
This one is tricky though, and the jury’s out. Because it depends when they do it, how often, and whether they normally did it before.
5. They keep saying, “To tell you the truth.” A lot of liars have a tendency to keep proclaiming their honesty, with phrases like, “To tell you the truth,” or “To be perfectly honest . . .”