Are They Cheating? How To Become A Human Lie Detector.

Hey there, Steve here and welcome to this week’s private eye post. If your partner is cheating they’re going to be telling you lies.

But studies have shown that without any training the average person’s ability to detect a lie is about 50%. In other words, you may as well flip a coin to see whether someone is lying. With a little practice, you can improve these odds substantially.

And that’s the topic for this week’s post. I’ll take you through just 5 points. And then it’s up to you to go out and practice with people you know.

Research shows that each of us is lied to around 200 times every day. So, if you do make a conscious effort to look for these signs of lying over the next couple of weeks, you’ll find that you can push your accuracy to over 70% and within not much more time, over 90%.

Disclaimer: Look, I’m not going to pretend that after reading just one article you’ll be a human lie detector. Like anything, this takes observations and practice. For help with an individual situation, please contact us or use the live chat feature on this page.

#1 Close-Mouthed
It takes a lot of cognitive power for a person to lie. Especially if that person knows they may have to prop up the lie with further small lies to ensure their story remains consistent. One of the ways liars deal with this is to tell as few lies as possible, and this means not saying too much in the first place. The preference then is to remain close-mouthed, not say too much and just stick to one lie. People who are telling the truth might initially just answer something quickly and to the point, but if pressed, they have no problems expanding on their initial answers.

#2 Justified
Liars are quick to justify their actions without being prompted. So, the liar might remain close-mouthed but then immediately tell you why they did something. Be careful – people who are telling the truth but who think you might judge them, will also explain their reasons for their actions.

#3 Delaying Tactics
When someone asks you a question, and you need to make up a lie, you’re going to need some time to think of an answer. What liars do is put in small delaying tactics to provide them with the time they need to do that thinking. There are a couple of common ways to do this. The first is to repeat the question back to the person asking it. The second is to start speaking but much slower than usual. The dead giveaway with this second method is when the person reverts to talking at a healthy pace. It’s almost like a switch flicked once they had their lie ready.

#4 Respondent Monitoring
When you’re telling the truth, you don’t have the background worry that your story won’t be believed. It’s the truth, why should you? But when people tell lies, there’s inherent desire to monitor the person you’re saying the lie to, so you can ensure they’re buying your story. So, if someone seems to be tracking your response carefully, it’s a good indication they’re telling porkies.

#5 Soothing Gestures
Most of us aren’t accomplished liars. We all use the same tactics, and we all feel uncomfortable when telling lies. You can look out for what we in the trade call ‘soothing gestures’. These are little strokes of comfort people unconsciously give themselves, such as stroking their lip, leg or back of their arms. Look for them, and you’ll start spotting them everywhere.

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Until next week,