Is your boss telling you the truth? Is your lover lying? If you pay close attention, you can probably tell if you’re hearing the truth or a lie. Call it your own personal lie detector. Lying is actually fairly common. University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman says 60 percent of us lie at least once in a typical 10-minute conversation! Bankrate.com talked to several experts, including Nick Morgan, author of “How to Read Body Language”; Phil Houston, CEO of QVerity and co-author of “How to Spy the Lie” and Lillian Glass, author of “The Body Language of Liars” to get tips on how to spot a lie.
1. Look at body language in context
If you ask a pointed question and the other person starts fidgeting, you could be hearing a lie. Tapping a foot or drumming a finger on a desk can indicate a lie in progress–unless the person doing that fidgeting does this sort of thing all the time. Body language will tell you a lot about whether someone is telling the truth–or not–but you need a baseline for that person’s nonverbals or it won’t mean anything. If you’re talking with someone new, first discuss mundane topics, such as the weather, sports or movies. Then ask the loaded question. “Even if they’re trying to maintain composure, the feet don’t lie,” Glass told Bankrate.com. “The truth leaks out through their feet.”
2. Look for personal grooming
When someone grooms himself or his surroundings, it can indicate a discomfort with what he is telling you. “They’re dressing themselves up to look more presentable, so you’ll buy into what they’re saying,” explains Houston.
3. Listen for verbal loopholes
Houston calls them “exclusionary qualifiers” — a fancy way of saying someone is hedging on what he is saying. For example, if you hear “fundamentally” or “I think” at the beginning of a sentence, it gives the speaker a bit more latitude for telling the truth.
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