Signs of lying

My signs of lying page will show you what to look out for if you suspect that your partner is lying to you.

Most of us tend to be very shocked and surprised when we finally work out that our partner has being lying to us. Why? Shouldn’t we be able to spot a lie immediately since we know and live intimately with this person?

The sad truth is that we all suffer from “truth-bias”, meaning that loving someone “blinds” us to their faults. We open up to them, give them the benefit of the doubt and generally don’t expect a loved one to lie in our face. Seeing the truth is simply too painful and we unconsciously choose to ignore our inner voice warning us. We rather choose to ignore the signs of lying.

We usually end up making excuses for our partner and find explanations for behavior that seems a bit off, ignoring our instincts and somehow hoping things will sort themselves out in time.

Discovering a lie usually comes as a painful shock, but looking back most of us can say there were signs and a feeling of “something is not right” that we ignored. We saw the signs of lying but ignored it.


So, how do you figure out if your partner is lying to you?

Unfortunately, there is not a definitive list of things to look for that I can supply you with. Most of the usual signs of lying can also be attributed to feeling tired, stressed, upset, pre-occupied or that you need a good nights’ sleep.

There is one fail-safe way to catch a liar, but you need to really know you stuff to be able to do it. It is all about micro-expressions. A micro expression is your true emotions that flash across your face for one-fifteenth to one-twentieth of a second before your brain takes over and controls your face. Unfortunately, it is very hard to detect and very few have to ability to read that flash of emotion before it is gone.

Another way to catch a lair is to make a study of it so that you will be able to recognize a lie when you see it. There is an excellent book on this that was written by Dan Crum, an ex-CIA agent: Is He Lying to You?

For those of us that need clear and easier to understand signs of lying, take a look at the list below:

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 Signs of lying


    • Facial expressions will seem “off.” A real smile involves the whole face. It will reach the eyes, the cheeks and jaw while a forced smile will go no further than the mouth pulling up. We use different muscles for a fake smile than the usual muscles for a real smile.
    • The timing of an emotion will be off. In the case of a surprise the moment of a “WOW” will be held for longer than is normal and will usually be exaggerated and overplayed.
    • When confronted with a question it will take a moment longer to answer than normal, as if he must quickly get the answer worked out in his mind before saying the words out loud.
    • A liar either will avoid making eye contact or will look you squarely in the eyes without blinking. This will cause their eyes to become dry, forcing them to blink repeatedly to ease their burning eyes.
    • A guilty person will turn their head or body away from you. They will also try to unconsciously place an object (coffee, folded arms, pillow) between you and them as a protective shield.
    • A liar will repeat your words back to you in an effort to distract your attention or to create the impression of being clear and thorough.
    • Avoiding to directly answer an accusation by implying an answer or talking around the subject is commonly used to distract attention away from himself.
    • Sarcasm and humor are sometimes used to make you feel silly and melodramatic about making the accusation in the first place.
    • A guilty person will usually be uncomfortable with pauses and silence during a confrontation and will try to fill the gaps with talking and long explanations.
    • Instead of directly answering an accusation, you will have to answer questions such as: “Who told you that?”, “Do you really think … ?”, “How could you think that … ?”
    • A liars’ responses will seem planned and well rehearsed since it will be very smoothly delivered, very detailed and supply you with more information that is applicable to the situation.
    • Your questions will be repeated back to you, word for word, concealed as answers. “Did you read my private emails” will be answered with “No, I did not read your private emails”. An innocent person will be outraged by the accusation and will rather answer with “Nooo, I didn’t”.
    • If you suddenly change the subject, a liar will visibly relax while an innocent person will feel confused about the change of subject, wanting to settle things.
    • The body reacts to stress by pumping extra blood thru-out the body. This will cause the edge of the nose to fill up with blood causing a tingling feeling. Touching and rubbing the nose is a dead give-away of a Pinocchio nose! A tell-tale sign of lying! This is also true about the rest of the face, fingertips and even the feet.
    • A liar that feels pushed into a corner goes into fight or flight mode and will feel a need to move. Walking up and down, touching his face, scratching or even just moving their feet are good indicators of dishonestly.
    • The lying voice tends to have a slightly lower or higher pitch than is usual for them and their voice will sound as if it is under stress.
    • A guilty conscience will try to deflect blame by directing it at you by blaming you for telling lies. It comes down to attack before being attacked.

Take note that you need a combination of enough of these signs to be sure that someone is lying to you. One or two of these signs in isolation means nothing.

Follow your inner voice and remember: If someone lied to you once, it can be done again!

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