How can you tell if a person is lying? Clues that can give away a lie

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How can you tell if a person is lying? Clues that can give away a lie

One of the most searched questions on the internet is how to tell if someone is lying. In this article we look at the clues that can give away a lie…

How can you tell if a person is lying? Clues that can give away a lie

Is it possible to tell if a person is lying by their body movements? The answer to this question is controversial. For example, a BBC article published in 2021 said: “You can’t tell if someone is lying just by looking at them. While psychologists have introduced some techniques that work, some of the indicators that are still in use have already been scientifically debunked.” So it is a subject that needs attention. In this article we look at different sources to answer the question of how to tell if someone is lying. Of course, first of all, we need to understand whether this is a pathological lie or a white lie. And we only talk about possibilities. Because a person who you think is lying based on prejudices may actually be telling the truth.


The health website healthline explains that pathological lying is when lying becomes chronic. So unlike the occasional white lie, such as to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, a pathological liar lies for no apparent reason. Healthline lists the characteristics of pathological liars as follows:

  • Their lies appear to have no clear benefit.
  • While a person may lie to avoid an uncomfortable situation, such as embarrassment or getting into trouble, a pathological liar may tell lies or stories that have no objective benefit.
  • They tell stories in which they portray themselves as heroes and talk about personal achievements.
  • Their stories are detailed
  • They respond quickly to questions, but the answers are often vague and do not answer the question.
  • There may be different versions of the same story due to forgetting previous details.
  • The stories they tell are often dramatic, complex and detailed.
  • Pathological liars are great storytellers. Their lies tend to be very detailed and colorful.
  • Although obviously exaggerated, the pathological liar can be very convincing.
  • Sometimes they portray themselves as victims.
  • They may tell lies that appear to be aimed at gaining admiration, sympathy or acceptance from others.
  • Sometimes they seem to believe the lies they tell.
  • They are eloquent and know how to communicate.
  • They are usually quick thinkers who do not show common signs of lying, such as long pauses or avoidance of eye contact.
  • When asked a question, they may talk incessantly without answering the question.

How can you tell if a person is lying? Clues that can give away a lie


Actually, many people can tell lies, most of which fall into the category of white lies. They are seen as harmless, small lies, small lies with no malicious intent, small lies that can be told to avoid hurting other people’s feelings or getting into trouble. Lying about why he or she was late, saying that he or she paid the bill when he or she forgot to pay it, etc. fall into this category.


So, why do we lie in relationships? Speaking to FEMAIL, Jessica Alderson, a London-based relationship expert and co-founder of dating app So Syncd, explains the most common reasons for lying. Here are some of the reasons, according to the Daily Mail:

  • If a person is unsure about who they are, to show that they are different from their true self,
  • To avoid conflict and fighting,
  • Insecurity
  • Hesitation to raise issues that cause tension or lack of energy to do so,
  • Avoid hurting your partner’s feelings,
  • White lies, such as pretending to like the birthday present or the outfit the spouse bought,
  • Financial matters,
  • “Some people lie to themselves and others by saying they are happy in a relationship,” says Jessica. Breakups can be devastating, and to avoid or delay this distress, we can lie and pretend we’re happy when we’re not,” Jessica says.
  • According to research from Indiana University, sexuality is also a common lie.

How can you tell if a person is lying? Clues that can give away a lie


Jessica also warns: “Trust is one of the pillars of any relationship, and if you break someone’s trust by lying to them, it can be very difficult or even impossible to rebuild, depending on the extent of the lies.”


Jessica continues: “It’s not something to discuss on a first date, but for example, if you want to have children, it’s important to be honest about what you want. It doesn’t make sense to lie about these things. In healthy relationships, you should never have to lie about where you are. Of course, independence is important in a relationship and you shouldn’t have to tell your partner where you are every minute of the day, but lying about where you are is a different story. If you feel the need to lie, you are probably doing something that you know your partner will not be happy about and you need to work it out together through open and honest communication”


“People sometimes lie about past relationships to protect their partners. However, if it’s comparing your current partner to previous partners, it’s better not to do that than to lie about it. If it’s something more serious, like cheating in a previous relationship, you might want to lie about it, but you should be upfront and honest no matter where you are as a couple.”


Dail Mail lists some of the signs that may indicate that a person is lying as follows:

  • Pause: Lying is a very complex process that the body and brain have to deal with. First, your brain tries to invent the lie, leading to a longer pause than usual before responding, as well as a verbal distraction technique such as ‘Why are you asking that?
  • Attention to the eyes: If we are trying to hide something, our eyes can give it away. The guilt of a lie often causes people to resort to breaking eye contact, such as looking down or away.
  • Breath: Hiding the truth causes an immediate stress response in some people. The mouth becomes dry, the body sweats more, the pulse quickens and the breathing rhythm changes to shorter, shallower breaths that can often be both seen and heard.
  • Exaggerated body language: The person who is lying will often over-perform, both talking and gesticulating a lot to be more convincing. These exaggerated body language rituals may include excessive gesticulation.
  • Poker face: Some people may adopt a poker face, that is, a facial expression that is meaningless, with no understanding of what they are thinking.
  • Face hiding: When a person is lying, they may have a strong desire to hide their face. This can sometimes lead to gestures such as touching the nose or closing the mouth.
  • Self-soothing touches: The stress and discomfort of lying often produces gestures such as rocking, stroking, curling or playing with wedding rings.
  • Micro gestures: These are very small gestures or facial expressions that flash across the face very quickly and are difficult to see.
  • Hands: The most difficult body parts to move are the hands or feet, and liars often struggle when lying. When gestures and words contradict, this is called incongruous gesturing, and it is usually the hands or feet that tell the truth.


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