If you suspect someone isn’t being totally honest, listen carefully to what they’re saying and how – you might spot one of these four signs
What was the last lie you told? If your answer is along the lines of ‘so long ago, I can’t remember’, that’s most likely a big fib – because we lie up to 200 times a day!
This isn’t to say you’re a shady Machiavellian character . Often the lies we tell are along the lines of “I’m fine” when someone asks how you are.
Our motivation isn’t necessarily to deceive or cover up our tracks. According to Lifehacker , we lie predominantly because “we want to connect ourselves to who we think we should be.”
But if we’re churning out the lies, it means others are too. And while some are innocuous and will have no impact on our life, there’s a chance some will.
Short of forcing someone to take a polygraph test, there are four indicators.
So, how to spot a liar?
1. Third person
Someone who’s lying will try to keep the self-references to a bare minimum.
They use the third-person as a means of distancing themselves from the deception.
So, for example, instead of saying “I didn’t do it” they might say “that didn’t happen”.
2. Being negative
Listen out for the sort of language someone you suspect is lying is using.
If they’re using negative language, that’s a good indicator as liars express a lot of negativity because they subconsciously feel bad about lying.
3. Keeping it simple
Because it’s difficult for liars to come up with a complex story on the spot, they often offer simplified stories, with no nuance.
Have you ever been caught out lying? You can tell us via the form below or by emailing [email protected]
Watch out for generalised and over-simplified terms explanations.
4. Overly-complex phrasing
But, somewhat confusingly, although their stories, excuses and explanations are simple, the phrases they use tend to waffle and go on a bit.
Keep and ear out for complex and disjointed sentences with unnecessary detail – it’s a good sign they’re telling porkies.