Hey there, Steve here and welcome to this week’s private eye post where we’ll be taking a look at some of the specific facial body language that occurs when people lie. So, if you suspect your wife, husband or partner or cheating on you, these are some of the best ways to tell if they’re lying just by looking at their face.
The facial clues will vary dramatically by individual. Some people will have such obvious lying tells, they may as well grow their nose like Pinocchio. For others the clues will be slight and hard to see, so it’s best to observe the person talking about things they’re comfortable with first. Once you have a baseline of their behaviour, you’ll be more able to notice when things are different.
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 or use the live chat feature [when available] on this page—the first call is free, and we may just be able to put your mind at rest!
#1 Dry And Compressed Lips
The lips are a great source of information, and most people are too busy looking into someone’s eyes to even observe them. As a result, the information they’re presenting is often ignored. The lips are highly vascular and rich with nerves. They react instantly to what’s happening around us.
There are few things you can look for from your partner’s lips, when trying to work out if something is wrong.
First, you may notice that your partner’s kisses seem “off.” Second, you might see their lips tighten and compress as they hear something they don’t like. These first two are the result of the constriction of blood flow to the lips. Your partner’s kiss seems off because his/her lips are hard, and not warm and pliable. The tightening and compressing can almost make lips disappear completely.
Third, you might see their lips purse after they tell a lie. This is because their mouth goes dry, and the pursing helps moisten their lips.
Fourth, you might see them biting their lips after they tell a lie, or are “stressed” about something they hear. This is as soothing behaviour like stroking your chin.
#2 Head Shaking
This is one of those crazily obvious things, it sounds ridiculous when you read it. But when some people lie, they literally shake their heads as a “no.” Some people will say “yes” and shake their heads “no” and vice-versa. Once you notice it, don’t look at the person too hard, and instead try and use peripheral vision to watch them. That way, they won’t easily become conscious of what they’re doing.
Blushing is a natural and limbic reaction. Often people who lie will blush immediately afterwards. This is usually most noticeable in women.
#4 False Smile
False smiles involve just the mouth. When someone smiles naturally they use the upper facial muscles, and smile with their eyes and cheeks. Try smiling with just your lips yourself and look in the mirror — then smile normally and see what a difference it makes.
There are a few things you can look for in the eyes, including the direction someone looks when they’re talking, but the following three are more reliable indicators of stress.
Blinking rapidly — some people start blinking a lot when they’re lying.
Elongated blinks — other people instead of blinking rapidly shut their eyes for an extended period of time. If it’s about a second or more then they’re doing this. (Again try it yourself and record on your phone so you can see what it looks like.)
Eyes darting back and forth — from times gone by, our old limbic response of fight or flight has us looking around for the options to escape. And that’s exactly why some people’s eyes are all over the place when they’re lying.
There are many parts of the body you can pay attention to and find out if someone is lying. Most people are already looking at the person, so the face feels like the natural place to start looking for clues to lying. Practice makes perfect, so try and pay more attention to the body language of everyone you engage with on a daily basis. Before you know it you’ll be a human lie detector.
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Until next week,