How to Spot a Liar—5 Red Flags

Genevieve Fish

Unfortunately, everybody lies. In 2002, University of Massachusetts Amherst psychologist Roberts S. Feldman conducted a study that found 60% of people lied during a 10-minute conversation. And we’re not just talking about one little lie. The average number of lies told was two to three in that 10-minute period. Fortunately, FBI consultant and human lie detector Dr. Lillian Glass has published a book that will let you catch liars in the act.

Look Out for Sudden Head Movements

If you’re having a conversation with someone whose head abruptly cocks to the right, tilts slightly down, or jerks to the left, chances are they’re most likely lying to you.

Notice Changes in Breathing Patterns

If your friend starts breathing heavily, think twice before you trust what she’s about to tell you.

Still as a Statue Is Not a Good Thing

Fidgeting can often be a sign of nervous energy and potential lying. But beware of the person who maintains a rigid or catatonic stance. Dr. Glass says that a lack of natural body movement is a huge warning sign that something is off.

Hand Placement Says It All

If you’re talking to a friend or colleague and they inadvertently cover their mouth with their hand, they are being deceptive. Dr. Glass states, “They are literally closing off communication.”

Be Wary of Information Overload

Over-embellishment can make a plausible story seem entirely fictional. Sometimes TMI is your friend’s way of covering up a lie.

Interested in the signs of lying? Head over to Business Insider for the complete list.

Keep notes on the liars in your life with some of our favorite journals, below.

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