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How to Tell if Someone is Lying

by Patti Richards

Honesty is one of the most important parts of any relationship. Learning how to tell if someone is lying can be a useful skill, especially if you suspect someone you love is being less-than-honest with you. Habitual lying can be a sign of a deeper problem, both for the person who lies and for those she is involved with. Watching for small changes in behavior can signal a person has issues with honesty.

It’s All in the Voice

Often a change in the way someone speaks can signal that he is not telling the truth. FBI criminal profiler and crime analyst Greg McCrary tells "Real Simple" magazine, in the article "How to Tell If Someone Is Lying," that he begins interviews by asking a person questions he already knows the answer to, like name and date of birth, to give the interviewee the chance to speak in a normal voice. Once a vocal pattern is established, he moves on to questions he does not know the answer to. If the person’s vocal patterns shift abruptly, speeding up, slowing down or becoming agitated, chances are the person is lying, asserts McCrary.

Head Bobbing

Certain body language, like the way a person moves her head when she is talking, can be a “red flag” for dishonesty. If the person you are talking to suddenly makes an unusual head movement, it could be that she is lying to you, suggests behavioral analyst and body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass, in the Business Insider article, "11 Signs Someone Is Lying to You." The head will jerk back, tilt to one side or bow down right before the person responds to a question with something less than the truth.

Something in the Eyes

Rapid eye blinking with an otherwise normal or sad facial expression may be a sign that someone is lying. These microexpressions -- facial expressions that show up for less than a second on a person’s face -- can be difficult to detect for those who are not trained to look for them, warns Clark Freshman, J.D., a professor of law at the University of California Hastings College of Law, in the Huffington Post article "How to Tell if Someone Is Lying to You." But if you notice rapid eye blinking as an unusual behavior during a conversation with someone you know well, it could be a sign that he is being less than honest with you.

Take a Deep Breath

Often a change in the rate of respiration can be a signal that someone is lying. When a person is lying, she may begin to breathe heavily, says Glass. This heavy breathing is a result of an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Essentially, the person lying is out of breath because she is nervous, agitated and tense in her efforts to conceal the truth.

About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

Photo Credits

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