3 Ways To Spot A Liar
I’m currently writing a book on the psychology of self defense with my wife – who has a psychology background and a lot of knowledge when it comes to people and body language. One of the topics we’re covering is how to spot a liar.
Being able to tell when someone is lying to you is a very handy skill set to have. I’m not talking here about the every day white lies that people tell like “Sure that haircut looks good on you, honey.” or “I think your mother is wonderful, dear.”
I’m talking about someone who is lying to you in order to con you, swindle your or take something from you that you’re not willing to give. When someone is lying to you in this way, it is an act of covert aggression towards you. And just like you have to be able to defend yourself physically, you should also be able to defend youself psychologically.
So while this is a huge topic in itself, I thought I’d list 3 of the most common signs that people give off when they’re lying to you:
#1 The Mouth Cover
When someone’s lying, they may cover their mouth a lot. This goes back to the impulse that children have to immediately cover their mouths after they tell a whopper.
#2 The Momentary Pause
If someone is lying, you may notice that they take momentary pause before answering a question.
For example, if you ask someone “Did you take the money out of my purse?”, a truthful person will be able to answer you right away – ‘Yes’ or ‘No”. That kind of answer should not take a few seconds to think about – unless you’re trying to come up with a lie that sounds plausible.
Note that this only applies to questions that most people should know the answer to immediately – not for questions that they should rightfully have to think about first like “What were you doing last Saturday?” or “What did you have for dinner last Tuesday night?”
In those cases there should be a pause before the person answers (since they are taking time to access their memories). If they answer too quickly in that situation, it can actually mean they’re lying.
#3 They Repeat Your Question Back To You
A police officer once told me that the number one way he knows a suspect is lying is when they repeat his question back to him.
“Do you have drugs in your car?”
“Are you asking me if I have drugs in my car officer?”
“Did you hit that woman?”
“So you’re asking me if I hit her?”
Like the pause in #1 above, this is another way the person is playing for time in order to come up with a lie that sounds plausible.
So those are three common ways to spot a liar. There are many more, which I’ll be posting in the future – so stay tuned!
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