It’s a fact: other people’s lies make our lives more difficult. They distort and twist the truth, con us into believing things never happened, or took place when they shouldn’t have. There are literally thousands and thousands of ways people’s untruths and falsehoods taint and make living our daily lives more of an effort than it really should be.
So what can we do about it?
How can we put a stop to lies the second we hear them and reveal the real truth, the actual facts, the exact situation?
The answer is natural lie detection – techniques, strategies and knowledge that give a person the rare and invaluable ability to separate the real from the fake and always know what to believe and what to question.
So, what does it consist of? Well, natural lie detection uses no machines, test papers, no video or audio recordings. It is, as the name suggests, a science based on human perception and skill.
It has 3 main components. They are the interpretation and analysis of: body language, psychology, and verbal communication. By having a deep and expert knowledge of all three, you can become capable of spotting 99 out of 100 lies, whether they’re spoken over the phone, in person or even over the internet or via text message. Although learning these special techniques isn’t difficult when you have the time and proper reading material, it does require more space to explain than this short article allows. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t go over one way many liars give themselves away. This collection of principles falls under the body language category of natural lie detection and focuses solely on how a dishonest person uses, or avoids using, their hands when they’re being deceitful. There are 3 main hand-related signals of deceptiveness.
Signal #1: HAND GESTURE FREQUENCY. People use their hands to visually illustrate and emphasise their statements – it’s a way of painting an abstract picture in the air to better help the person or people they’re talking to understand the concepts being covered. When someone lies, however, their mind works differently to how it normally operates. Their thought process is dominated by the act of being dishonest convincingly and they therefore tend to change how they use their hands. The first change you should look for is in how often they gesticulate with their hands while talking. The majority of people, when they lie, lessen the amount of movements they make with their hands because they subconsciously want to restrict the volume of information being given to the person they’re lying to – out of fear of saying too much, either verbally or physically, and getting caught out or questioned. More proficient liars, or people who have rehearsed or planned a lie before telling it, actually tend to increase the frequency of their hand gestures. They’ll slice the air more with the blade of their hand or point their finger and clench their fists more frequently to illustrate and back-up what they’re saying. So, in short, look for a marked difference between the amount of hand gesticulations a person uses when in normal, day-to-day, obviously truthful conversation and when you suspect they may be lying to you or have a good reason to twist or otherwise alter the truth.
Signal #2: HAND-TO-FACE ACTIONS. The second signal you should look out for is an increase in the number of hand-to-face actions a person makes when you think they could be lying. The main reason they touch their faces more often when lying than when telling the truth is because of the internal social pressure they’re feeling, which leaks out in the form of hand-to-face actions. Look for moments when the person momentarily covers their mouth with their hand or fingers. This is a subconscious attempt to stifle themselves and physically block the lie from leaving their lips – they do this to futilely try to block their falsehood from reaching you and thereby decrease the chance of getting caught and lessen their feeling of guilt. However, many people are on some level aware of how mouth covers may be interpreted (as a sign that they’re lying) so instead try to camouflage the action by instead lightly touching their nose (which indirectly covers their mouth with their hand). Another reason many liars touch their noses is because of the increased blood-flow that occurs in its deep tissues, which creates an almost imperceptible tingle that, although not consciously felt and reacted to, causes the liar to unwittingly touch their nose for a moment. So, always keep an eye out for increased hand-to-face actions, especially those that cover a person’s mouth in some way or another.
Signal #3: THE HAND SHRUG. When people don’t know the answer to something or want to convey the messages: “I’m not sure,” or “I don’t care,” they often lift and quickly drop their shoulders in a shrugging motion. A variation of shoulder shrugging is the hand shrug: a quick lifting and dropping of one or both upturned hands. Like shrugging with the shoulders, it’s a way of expressing a type of diminished responsibility in regards to an issue or topic – and that’s why liars tend to overuse the hand shrug while being dishonest. Instead of using it only to accompany words that express a feeling of uncertainty or ambivalence – the way people do when being honest – liars use the hand shrug alongside verbal statements that don’t relate to “not knowing” or “not caring.” They do this subconsciously to distance themselves from the lie they’re telling.
Look for these 3 signs of potential dishonesty whenever you suspect someone might be lying and you’ll be a step closer to becoming a true master of deceit detection – a human lie detector.
About the Author: