Eyes When Lying — What To Look For

What are the changes to look for in the eyes when lying?

We’re all taught to look at people when we’re speaking with them. So, even though there are many signs of lying, by observing eye movements closely you may be able to detect deceit.

Hey there, Steve here and welcome to this week’s private eye post where I’m going to cover the typical eye movements when people lie. If this is new to you, get started by observing the eye behaviour of people as you go about your everyday life.

With practice, it’s possible to hone your skills and become quite adept at picking off lies. Especially in your partner, if you think they might be lying about cheating.


Disclaimer: This information is for general educational purposes only and may not apply to all situations — everyone is unique after all. For help with an individual situation, please contact us —the first call is free, and we may just be able to put your mind at rest!


#1 The Basics Of Eye Movement

The first thing we need to discuss is “Why do people move their eyes at all?

The answer lies in how our brains have been “conditioned” over the years. We have all “trained our brains” in some manner to reflect our senses, emotions, language and respond to the world around us. (Some people call this Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP.)

This includes our sense of where we are in the world, how we “map it” so it makes sense to us, and how we recall memories.

Everyone is different, but the majority of people fall into just a few broad categories.

Some people are much more visually inclined, some more auditory inclined (hearing), while others are much more kinaesthetically inclined (touch.)

Some people remember their memories in moving pictures like they’re at the cinema watching a screen. Others see still black and white images, while others remember as if they’re reliving the moment through their own eyes — with all the senses of taste, smell, and sound being recalled.

In general, looking up is visual, to the side is audio, and down is touch. (The easy way to remember this is the eyes are above the ears which are above the hands.)


#2 People’s Timeline Of Memory Recall

The majority of right-handed people in the Western world view time in front of them. The left side is the past, the right side is the future, and directly in front of them is the present. (Some people view time the other way around — right to left — but they’re a small minority.)

Some people view time as running “through” their body, instead of in front of them. They still go left to right, but the past is directly to their left, the future is directly to their right, and the present is “in their body.”

Others view time running through their body from front to back (not typical in Western countries.)

The important thing to note is that there are differences between individuals.


#3 Eye Behaviour & What It Means

Now we’re going to combine the sense of time with the visual, audio and touch senses, and then translate that into typical eye behaviour.

(Assuming you are right-handed and view time from left to right and in front of you.)

Looking to your own left (reversed when viewing someone else)

Eyes Up and Left
If I asked you to picture the number on your door, your eyes should naturally glance up and to your left. This is because I’m asking you to see something in the past.

Eyes Level and Left
If I asked you to sing your favourite song, your eyes should naturally look to your left and be level. This is because your brain should be accessing the auditory senses.

Eyes Down and Left
Most people when “talking to themselves” look down and to the left. Also, if I ask how you felt about something in the past, this is the natural response.

Eyes Up and Right
If I asked you to picture a pink elephant on the moon your eyes should naturally glance up and to your right. This is because I’m asking you to see something imaginary. This would be the same if I asked you to picture yourself in a situation in the future.

Eyes Level and Right
If I asked you to imagine a sound, your eyes should naturally look to your right and be level. This is because your brain is constructing a sound.

Eyes Down and Right
This is where people look for their sense of remembering taste, smell and touch.


#4 Eyes When Lying — Putting It All Together

It should be obvious that you will need to establish someone’s baseline behaviour. This can usually be done fairly quickly. You will also need to practice. A lot.

But once you get going, you’ll be easily able to see when someone is accessing memories or “imagining” something. And if they’re imagining something, then it hasn’t happened.

Continuing with the example — a person’s eyes when lying will look to their right (and up). Your left as you face them.


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Until next week,