The conscious mind speaks through our words and the subconscious mind speaks through our body language. No matter how much you control it, it will give clues to how you are truly feeling. This fact makes non-verbal communication an ideal tool for lie detection.
A person’s eyes, head, voice, or hands can leak out important cues for withholding information or deception.
Do you know that there can be up to 10,000 body language cues that can be packed in every minute of a deceptive encounter?
When someone is not telling the truth, his or her body will surely find a way to tell you about it.
It’s actually a myth that liars avoid eye contact. Sometimes, they do, but this is an unreliable cue. Most liars, especially the most brazen ones, will overcompensate in order to “prove” they’re not lying. As a result, they’ll force too much eye contact and hold it much longer than they usually do. Don’t rely on one single signal. Look for a cluster of behaviours to increase your chances to spot a liar.
It’s hard for liars to give a genuine smile when they have the intention to deceive. The genuine smiles crinkle up the corners of the eye and change the entire face. Fake smiles include the mouth alone.
Generally, the person will hesitate a few seconds longer when answering a question when a he or she is not being truthful. Truthful answers come sooner than lies. When the lie is planned or rehearsed though, they start their answers at a quicker rate to go through what they have memorised or planned.
When a person is lying, a person’s vocal tone will raise to a higher pitch. Other verbal cues may include rambling, selective wording, stammering, or the use of qualifiers. An example of a qualifier may be, “I could be wrong, but…” or “Well, as far as I know…” In some people, it has been noted that liars use fewer contractions. For example, they will say, “I did not avoid you” instead of saying, “I didn’t avoid you.”
One non-verbal cue is pupil dilation. The larger pupil size gets bigger because of the increased amount of tension and concentration. A liar’s blink rate will also change. A person’s blink rate slows down once he or she decides to lie. It will increase rapidly after the lie has been said.
When people lie, you’ll see an increase in their foot movements because of their nervousness or anxiety. If you see their feet fidget, shuffle, or wind around each other or something (furniture, for example), then something is up.
It can be difficult to catch these micro-expressions. However, if you ever spot a fleeting expression that contradicts a verbal statement, then believe what you see, rather than what you’re hearing.
A person’s nose may not grow like Pinocchio’s when he or she lies, but notice how a person unconsciously rubs his nose when he does. This is most likely because a rush of adrenaline opens the capillaries and makes the nose itch. Other signs may include touching the mouth by covering it or covering the eyes.
When a person holds their bodies unnaturally still, it can mean they are trying to keep the truth locked in. They can also bite their lips, rub their hands together, or fidget with their jewellery or hair.
If a person believes the lie, there can be no way to detect the falsehood. For most of these cues, you’ll detect them in the person who’s trying to lie to you. But you have to be careful about observing how they are when they’re not lying to eliminate any mannerisms.