Unfortunately, Pinocchio is just a cartoon...
We’ve been taught not to lie since we were little, but somehow, most people end up doing it anyway, whether a white lie about how beautiful a bride looks or a really bad lie, like calling in sick when you really just want to catch up on Game of Thrones.
But no matter how much you lie yourself, experiencing someone else lying to you is horribly disappointing. Luckily, Readers Digest have provided a guide to seven helpful ways you can figure out when someone isn’t telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help them God.
Behold, here are the clues…
1. Watch their face
Trained liars may keep a nonchalantly calm or casually cheerful expression on their face while fibbing away, but experts pay attention to the micro-expressions that flash across people’s face without them even realising. These are the signs experts watch out for to detect a lie. The most common signs of lying include a flushed cheek, flared nostrils, lip nibbling, deep breathing and rapid blinking, which may indicate that someone’s brain is working overtime.
2. Body language
You’re unlikely to catch a liar out through just watching singular features – it’s important to carefully examine the whole demeanour of a person. People whose features are out of sync with each other are likely to be lying, so watch how the face, body and voice interact together. Also, watch out for someone restricting their own movements – liars often conceal their hands behind their back
3. That smile
They might be bearing their teeth in a grin, but pay closer attention to how they’re smiling, as well as other facial movements. A true smile, in the words of Tyra Banks, will use both someone’s lips and eyes – so try to deduce whether there is any fear, anger or disgust hidden beneath the surface.
4. The voice
While higher or lower pitches are important for detecting lies, experts say that you should also pay attention to the speech rate and breathing pattern of the person, as if they speed up or slow down, chances are they’re telling porky pies.
5. The actual words
If someone is avoiding saying ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘us’ and other personal pronouns, they may be trying to distance themselves psychologically from the lying. They also may avoid saying exclusionary words like ‘except’ and ‘whereas’, because while lying, they may find it tricky to manage complex thought processes.
6. Uncharacteristic behaviour
If someone behaves out of the ordinary, alarm bells should ring – and that includes the rate of speech, tone of voice, posture and hand gestures, as well as taking in the general context of the situation.
7. Can they look you in the eye?
It’s not unusual for someone to look away when you ask them a tricky question. But if someone avoids your gaze when faced with a simple question, they’re probably lying.