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How to identify falsehoods in communication: different approaches and useful literature


All people lie and even the most honest lie. How to understand that you are lying here and right now? Recognizing a lie is easy if you know the methods and techniques of special services.

Back in 2002, a study by the University of Massachusetts, conducted under the guidance of psychologist Robert Feldman, showed that 60% of people have time to tell lies during a ten-minute conversation, and during that time they manage to lie on average 2-3 times.

Fortunately, lying is pretty easy to identify, especially if you know how to do it.

According to the FBI consultant and a specialist in behavior and body language, the author of the book “Body Language of Liars”, Dr. Lilian Glass, the most important thing, if you really want to recognize a lie, is to understand and distinguish between the usual behavior of your interlocutor.

People are significantly different from each other in temperament, and what for one is behavior on the verge of a nervous breakdown (if we are talking about facial expressions and motor activity during communication), for the other - an absolute norm that expresses almost complete peace of mind.

When you can distinguish the norm from unusual behavior, pay attention to the facial expressions, movements and manner of speech of your interlocutors.

Perhaps the interlocutor is deceiving you if ...

... twists his head

If someone’s first reaction to your direct question was an unexpected and abrupt movement of his head, it can be assumed that someone is going to tell a lie.

“The head can jerk up, or, conversely, down, or to the side. This often happens just before a person begins to answer a question, ”Glass writes.

... begins to breathe hard

When people lie, they breathe harder than usual.

“It's a reflex reaction,” Glass says.

When the breathing rate changes, the shoulders rise, and the tone of the voice can become more superficial. In essence, the respiratory rate changes because the heart rate and blood pressure change. This is a natural reaction of the body when we are nervous or feel stressed. Both happen when we are time. ”

... stays too calm

We all know that when a person lies, he is nervous and twitches. But Glass assures that even closer attention should be paid to those who are too calm and do not move at all during a conversation.

“This may be a sign of a primitive neurological reaction of the body, expressing readiness for a“ battle ”, the response of the body to a possible confrontation. - says Glass. - When you speak or take part in a normal conversation, during which there is nothing to hide, it is completely natural to move. These are the relaxed, not too sharp and for the most part generally unconscious movements that our body makes constantly. Therefore, if you observe an interlocutor in a catatonic state, then this is one of the sure signs that something is wrong here. "

... repeats words and phrases

This is because lying people are trying to convince you and yourself of what they say.

“This is an attempt by the liar to legalize the lie in his own mind,” Glass says.

In addition, repeating the same phrase is also a way to find a little time for yourself in order to collect your thoughts and decide what to say next.

... covers his mouth

An eloquent evidence of a lie is an attempt to automatically cover one’s own mouth with a palm. This happens when someone does not want to answer the question.

“When adults cover their mouth with a palm, this usually means that they are hiding something and simply do not want to tell the truth. Covering their own mouths, they literally show reluctance to communicate, ”Glass writes.

... shuffles

“So the body gives itself away,” Glass explains. Shuffling his feet tells you that a potential liar feels uncomfortable and nervous. It also indicates that he or she would like to escape from the situation right now.

“This is one of the key points in identifying lies. Pay attention to the feet of the interlocutor, they can tell you a lot about what is happening with their owner. "

... says a lot

When an interlocutor speaks and speaks incessantly and literally overwhelms you with information, especially the information that you did not request, especially if he goes into details, this is one of the possible signs that he or she is lying somewhere.

“Most often, liars talk a lot because they hope that because of their talkativeness, they look open and the rest will believe them,” Glass writes.

... Over time, it becomes difficult for him to speak

In a literal sense. Purely physically.

“If you looked at a sufficient number of recordings of interrogations of suspects who turned out to be guilty, you would have noticed how over time it has become harder and harder for them to pronounce words,” Glass shares his experience.

This process has a fairly simple physiological explanation. This is because at the time of stress, the nervous system automatically reduces the release of saliva and in the mouth of the person lying becomes too dry, which complicates the speech process.

Another sign that the interlocutor is hiding the truth from you is biting his lips.

... often pokes a finger

Glass considers this a manifestation of aggressiveness. And aggressiveness in this case is a direct consequence of self-doubt, which is not surprising.

“When a liar becomes hostile or begins to actively defend himself, he tries to“ turn the arrows ”. A liar becomes hostile because he is angry that you can reveal his lies, so he attacks first, ”Glass explains.

... looks at you without blinking

It is traditionally believed that when people lie, they try to avoid eye-to-eye contact. However, the hardest and most desperate of the liars do exactly the opposite: they look into your eyes without stopping in an attempt to control and manipulate you.

“When people tell the truth, in most cases they look away, sometimes they even avoid looking into the interlocutor’s eyes,” Glass assures.

But the liar is not like that, he often uses the game of peepers to put pressure on the interlocutor, intimidate him or incline him to his side.

By the way, too often blinking interlocutors can also cause concern.

How lies manifest outwardly

Imagine that you decided to deceive someone. That is, you own certain information, but deliberately transmit it to the interlocutor in a distorted form or generally replace it with other data. In this case, everything happens spontaneously. You need to spend energy in order not to give out the truth and control the flow of fraud, so that no one could catch you. Concentrating on this, it is difficult to control facial muscle movements and gestures.

These external signs appear due to an internal feeling of anxiety that can reveal you, as well as due to the characteristics of our brain. Further we will understand everything in more detail.

How to recognize a lie by external signs

To begin, we recommend that you read the material about lies on Wikipedia (opens in a new tab). Pay special attention to the types of deception.

By the expression on the person’s face, you can understand what kind of emotion he is experiencing. But if you try, then it is also possible to determine a lie in the face.

In our case, special attention should be given to the eyes. Deceivers often look away because It’s psychologically difficult to lie to a person by looking in the eyes When communicating, it is important to pay attention in which direction the eyes are turned away - it is quite possible your interlocutor is trying to remember something.

Subconsciously, a liar can "close" from you. An example of this is covering the mouth (trying to "hide" the words), touching the nose or ears. By the way, such people are constantly trying to take their hands: pulling clothes, removing specks or twirling something in their hands (spinner, for example 🙂).

A change in complexion can also be a sign that a person is insincere. The cheater may turn red or pale.

Speech and Voice

Observing a face and immediately recognizing a lie is a difficult task and requires some experience. Therefore, you can start with the fact that you will listen to what your interlocutor says and how he does it.

A frequent sign of cheating is an answer with the repetition of words from a question. Example: “Did you break the plate?” - “I didn’t break your plate!”.

It’s worth considering if you don’t hear direct answers from a potential liar. To the same question about the plate, you can hear something like: "But how could I break it?" Excessive details may appear in the answer with a gradual distraction from the subject matter of the question. The liars with the experience of practicing "talking" to the interlocutor, translating the topic of conversation in another direction.

Liars often touch the face

Broadcasting lies is in some way a little test for a person. And due to the excitement at these moments, the timbre of his voice may change. This also includes problems with the construction of speech. Pronunciation, reservations, syntax - all this should cause suspicion.

Sometimes a trickster automatically takes a defensive position towards you and feels uncomfortable. When communicating, his attention may switch to something else.

If you want to test the liar, try changing the subject. The interlocutor will willingly support you in this, because there will no longer be the need to spend energy on deception. If we again return to an unpleasant question for him, then we can observe a sharp change in the behavior of this person.

In the explanations of the deceivers there are logical inconsistencies and confusion. You can catch him on this just by asking suggestive questions.

Interesting fact! According to researchers, the average man lies 1092 times a year, and a woman - 728 times. At the same time, men regret perfect deception only in 70% of cases, while women - in 82%.

Liars love to hide the truth, translating the topic of conversation into a playful channel. In this case, to our question: “Didn't you break the plate?” We can get the answer: “Hah, flying or something?”. Thus, we again do not get a direct answer, and the topic of conversation is ridiculed and supposedly has become less significant.

When you try to convict a cheater, you can stumble upon a violent emotional reaction. Such protection is especially characteristic of girls and women. Example: “Beloved, but it’s not you who accidentally spent all the money from my card?” - “Forever you blame me for something! Do you think I’m such a spender? ” The example is exaggerated, but graphic: we again see a transition from the topic of the question to another channel, and besides, the one who asked the question begins to feel guilty.

Psychology Books

It is possible to study in detail the mechanisms of lying and master the methods of its detection by reading special books. Authors such as Alan Pease and Paul Ekman, more than one decade devoted to this issue, releasing a number of interesting works. Among them:

  • The Psychology of Lies (Paul Ekman),
  • “Recognize the liar by facial expression” (Paul Ekman),
  • “Psychology of emotions” (Paul Ekman),
  • “Body Language” (Alan Pease),
  • “Language of male-female relationships” (Alan Pease),
  • “A new body language. Extended version ”(Alan Pease).

An interesting video about the signs of a lie:


Our brief educational program on how to recognize a lie is over. It is clear that it’s very difficult to notice all the signs at once, and not always their presence says that a person is insincere, because he can just worry about something of his own. In any case, with the help of this knowledge and your intuition, you can better protect yourself from hanging noodles on your ears.

How to recognize a lie in the eyes

When speaking with a person, look in which direction he is looking. This is the best way to recognize lies in the eyes. If a person begins to look initially to the left, and then down, this means that the person is trying to find words. It may also mean that his words are not sincere at the time of communication. But one should not conclude that a person is lying. Just keep watching for other symptoms.

If during a conversation the eyes of a person are directed upwards, then this means that at this moment visual memory or information prevails. If a person looks sideways, then he works with audio memory.

If a person looks down, then at that moment he remembers his feelings or controls his words. Remembering some information, a person can visualize it and at the same time, he usually looks upwards. If a person invents information, then he looks upwards to the right.

The most important is the first reaction to a question or voiced information. Therefore, closely monitor this reaction.

For example, if after a voiced question or information a person looks upward and then downwards, you can be almost sure that the person lied, since he first constructed a certain image that he had never seen in his life, and then he began to select words.

The science of how to recognize lies in the eyes is both easy and complex at the same time. In this case, it is worth considering that some people are used to harvesting their lies in advance and presenting the desired picture.

At the same time, he will remember his lie in the form of certain visual images and the eyes of this person will be directed upwards. Judging by this, do not rush to believe this person.

If you have already caught your interlocutor in a lie, then it is better to remember his strategy. Remember what phrases he says, where he looks and how he behaves in order to identify a lie in his eyes. Knowing the interlocutor’s lie strategy will protect you from untruthful information.

Talking lies

They probably know how to deceive everyone. First, in childhood, children tell their fantasies, then in adulthood it becomes a deception of others. I would like to understand how not to fall for his bait before they started to deceive you. Everyone can cheat. For example, men of women to gain favor, children of their parents, parents of their children.

How to recognize a lie and distinguish a person who is telling the truth from a deceiver? Let's try to understand in more detail what a lie is when we are told a lie and when a lie can turn into a pathology. Lies are not true information told to the interlocutor during the dialogue.

3 types of people trying to cheat

People who in any situation always and everywhere try to seem smarter than others and take part in conversations on various topics. Sometimes, not knowing thoroughly the topic of discussion. Recognizing their lies is easy.

During the conversation it is necessary to ask leading questions that more detail the topic under discussion. You will see that the deceiver is trying to get out of the situation with general phrases without specificity.

Deception for the sake of self-interest. As a rule, it consists in the fact that the liar endlessly tells you all kinds of compliments. With this, he tries to lull your vigilance and achieve your goal. This is a dangerous category of liars. In solving the question of how to recognize a lie from this category, your observation power and intelligence can only help you.

People endowed with the gift of deceiving by nature. Such liars are able to play before you a whole performance, which they themselves believe in this. Thanks to the sincerity and refinement of their skill, you can easily fall for the bait. Recognizing such a lie is very difficult and almost impossible to determine immediately what lies to you. This can be done later by analyzing the conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

Pathological tricksters. These people always lie and themselves believe in what they say. They need lies in order to appear in the eyes of the interlocutor above, to have attractiveness and respect. Often they like to tell that they have a noble background or a high position at work. Recognizing their lies is very simple. It is only necessary to demand any evidence. You will see that at the same time a person begins to move away from direct answers, referring to the loss of data.

How to learn to recognize a lie - recommendations

Unfortunately, very often we cannot understand whether a person is telling the truth or lying. There are a number of methods by which you can recognize a lie. The main thing is to closely monitor the person.

Method. False answer to a question

You ask your opponent a question about what he reacts like this:

  • often and accurately uses the phrase from your question, or completely repeats the whole question before answering,
  • thinks for a few minutes

Both of these options indicate that the person is insincere with you, because basically people behave this way because they do not have time to come up with an answer, therefore, they delay the moment of answers in order to construct a plausible version.

Method. Lack of no response

Recognizing a lie in this case is not difficult. Instead of an answer, they tell you a joke or laugh it off. After a person receives a “funny” or witty answer, he usually laughs and decides not to return to this question, since he does not want to look like a bore and bother a funny interlocutor.

Method. Behavior Lies

Instead of an answer, your interlocutor begins to cough, as if trying to clear his throat, in addition, he can dramatically change his speech from normal to faster, this indicates that he is lying, or nervous, as he will have to lie. Иными словами ничем не обусловленное изменение тона говорящего, его голоса требует быть поосторожнее с ним, так как человек пытается выйти из ситуации, возможно, используя ложь.

Иногда во время процесса рассказа человек может возвратиться назад и дополнить свой рассказ чем-то: уточнить, сказать, что забыл что-то упомянуть, добавить кое-какие детали, все это говорит о том, что человек искренен с вами. Because the story invented on the fly is not stored in the person’s memory, therefore, the narrator is unlikely to be able to return to the middle of his story, and then continue to think through it, as a rule, he may get confused or lost.

Method. Gesture Lies

Sometimes during a conversation people can scratch their heads, touch their nose, all these gestures will help you recognize a lie. They say that a person is trying to put a barrier between you, this is all done at a subconscious level.

In addition, shifting from one foot to another or trying to take a small step back indicates that your interlocutor wants to leave, move away from you, because he is afraid to give out something. Still, an attempt to close yourself from you can be called backward or lowering the head down. Remember all these methods, since learning to recognize a lie is a very complicated matter that requires effort and a psychological approach.

Eyes to eyes

When a person lies, he tries not to look you directly in the eye, or often looks away. If a person is lying in a conversation with you, then most often he thinks that you value his every word, so such a person tries to look either at the floor or not in your direction. Some liars, on the contrary, try to look directly into their eyes, thinking that in this way all the information they said will seem more plausible to you.

Amplification of words in spoken phrases and counter-questions

Liars often raise their voices and emphasize specific words in their phrases. “Yes, I’ve never met this girl in my life!” Thus, liars try to make a person no longer ask new questions, developing this or that topic further. They try to show that they are absolutely clean in front of you, but most often this technique makes the whole story they told even more implausible. Another frequent trick of the liar is the counter-question: “where did you get this information?” Or “who told you that?” Thus, the liar is trying to buy time to come up with an answer to your question, while you yourself will answer his posed question.

Strange gestures and behavior

Very often, liars try to turn away from the person with whom they are talking, begin to blink often, smile less. The tone of their voice changes slightly. They can cross their arms, thereby trying to “close” themselves from you and your questions, or they are constantly not saying anything. Sometimes people too often fidget while sitting, for example, in a chair. Of course, this may indicate that the chair on which they are sitting is not very comfortable, but most often they thereby show that they feel uncomfortable in a conversation with you. Some people who like to lie, touch parts of their face, rub their earlobes, or scratch their nose, or begin to play with their pocket items: keys, a phone, a pen, or any other object that is in their hands at this moment.

Extra information

Liars very often try to provide additional information on your subject, even if you do not ask them about it. They think that if you make your story more detailed and voluminous, then it will seem to you more believable. But, unfortunately for them, in the end the story becomes more confusing and less true. The longer their response, the greater the likelihood that it has nothing to do with the truth, or at least partially it is.

Defensive position

The person who starts to lie to you takes a defensive position. He will try to distract your attention from himself by all means and often begins to get angry even, it would seem, with the most simple and innocent question. People who tell the truth, usually act differently - take an attacking and active position. They do not begin to come up with answers. This becomes apparent when in a conversation this person simply tells you that he would like to change the subject of the conversation.

Focus on minor details

If a person is lying, then he tries to focus on the insignificant details, thereby trying to distract you and miss important ones. Excessive emphasis on minor details allows a liar to feel more comfortable talking with you, however, a person who hears a lie will begin to feel that something is wrong here and the opponent clearly misses important information. In this case, a liar is very easy to bring to clean water if you write down the details that he talks about, and then ask questions related to these details, and thereby check whether he has missed something.

And the eyes are cunning

Watch the eye movement of the opponent you are talking to. If a person tries to remember something (and if he is right-handed), then his gaze will be directed up and to the left. If this person is trying to come up with something, then his gaze will be directed up and to the right. It is the same with left-handed people, only in this case a person will remember the truth, looking up and to the right, and compose a lie, looking up and to the left. In addition, people who lie often blink or rub their eyes. As a rule, liars keep their eyelids closed for a little longer than with normal blinking. Closed eyelids are longer than usual - a sign that a person does not like what he hears. In addition, a liar can make hand movements at eye level, which may indicate that he wants to "close" from the truth.

Yes, you are sweating!

Some people, telling a lie, sweat more than usual. However, it should be borne in mind that although increased sweating can really be a marker of whether a person is lying to you or not, you should not perceive it as a canonical indicator of truth or falsehood. The fact is that some people begin to sweat when they are nervous or shy. But the combination of signs of excessive "fluidity", facial flushing and obvious problems in swallowing is already a more suitable indicator that a person is trying to lie to you.


The most honest emotions, as a rule, appear on a person’s face for short moments only at the very beginning of a conversation. It can be a half smile that lasts the first five seconds, or an excited look that lasts about the same amount of time. These microexpressions of emotions are sometimes seen literally on a subconscious level and allow you to correctly determine whether a person is lying or not. Although you may not even understand how you found out. Many people literally feel “inwardly” that the person sitting opposite them is lying. Usually, observations of microexpressions allow us to come to this conclusion. Typically, such expressions of emotions occur very quickly, but if you are careful, you can definitely notice them.

Tell me all over again

Ask a liar to repeat his whole story from the beginning. If the story is fictitious, then it will be very difficult for a person to remember all the details that were present in it. You will immediately notice that a person will feel uncomfortable and excited and will begin to select words.

In most cases, it is very easy to determine that a person is lying to you. Just because you literally feel it, and also know that this person cannot tell the whole truth one hundred percent. If you begin to closely monitor the behavior and movement of a person during a conversation, you will begin to notice much more details. Initially, you will most likely write off everything to your “gut”, but soon you will realize that you have become more observant than you yourself thought. Following the basic principles, you can easily not only incriminate liars, but also become more attentive and observant with the people with whom you are talking.