7 Tips on How to Know if Someone is Lying


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Even the most honest people find themselves telling white lies at some point in their lives, but others may lie more frequently to be deceptive about something they don’t want you to know about. The good news is that there are techniques anyone can use on how to tell when someone may be lying. Below are several tips from our experts on the best ways to spot a liar.

Always Ask Follow-up Questions

Liars often forget details about what they have lied about. By asking follow-up questions, you may be able to discern if something is made-up or if some details of the story do not add up to the initial version. Oftentimes, liars can get confused when questioned, as the more complex a lie, the more difficult it is to remain consistent. For example, a new candidate for a job may lie about having certain experience with a specific application. If they cannot answer basic questions about how they did what they claimed to have achieved, then it’s easy to spot them as a liar.

Verify the Story Backwards

You can ask for the details of events in a backward manner or even try to jump from the beginning to the end to the middle, and so forth. Liars will often have a difficult time keeping up with all the made-up details and they will be easier to flush out. People who are telling the truth will have no issues with this as they will be simply recalling what truly happened and will not have to create details on the spot.

Watch Out for Too Many Compliments

There are plenty of truly nice people in the world, but be aware that liars often try to make a good impression by doling out too many compliments. This is a way to distract you from the truth or to see that they lack sincerity and authenticity.

Build Rapport

Just as in the old adage of good cop vs. bad cop, liars will often take down their guard and eventually tell you some truths when they feel that you are empathetic towards them in a conversation. You always catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Come Up with Surprises

Habitual liars are often very good at anticipating the next question, so they can prepare for it in advance. By asking them things that they are not expecting you to ask, it will throw them off their game, which may lead to them blurting out information that they were not planning to give out.

Listen to More Than Speech

There are many ways to tell if someone is lying and these include gestures, body language, as well as the tone and speed of their speech. The following are some ‘tells’ that someone may be lying, however, you should be looking for clusters of these behaviours and not just one in specific:

  • Cracking of the voice
  • Obvious tension in speech
  • Speaking too fast
  • Repeated clearing of the throat or coughing
  • Using too many gestures than the usual
  • Creating barriers. Ie. Crossing of the arms

Watch Out for Behavioural Changes and Cues

People generally exhibit behavioural tells when they are lying such as:

  • Speaking more formally
  • Refusing to provide details
  • Giving only short answers
  • Giving too many details in responses in an attempt to sound convincing
  • Sudden lapses in memory to avoid giving answers
  • Excessive use of superlatives or exaggerated responses

Dealing with constant lies can be exhausting and unfortunately some liars may be so adept at what they do that these tips may not work on them. If you want to know the truth about some things that are bothering you, hiring a private investigator might be the right choice for you. Remember, your peace of mind is priceless. If you’re looking to avail of private investigative services in Toronto and nearby areas, do not hesitate to contact us at Haywood Hunt & Associates. We are here to help.

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