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8 Proven Indicators Someone is Lying To You

8 Proven Indicators Someone is Lying To You

There’s a good chance that anyone reading this has told a lie at least once in their life. Whether it was a little white fib or a convoluted, George Costanza-esque whopper of a tale, stretching the truth is something the majority of us do from time to time.

But would you tell so many lies if you knew how easy it is for others to tell you’re lying? Believe it or not, your body gives off a number of telltale signs when you’re lying- most commonly without you even realizing it.

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If the person you’re talking to exhibits any of the following, you might want to take their words with a grain of salt:

1. They quickly change their head position

When a person is asked a question and they’re preparing to lie when they respond, they’ll often move their head in an unnatural and uncomfortable manner. Whether they retract or jerk their head back, or bow it down, it will often be a sudden movement that contrasts with their previous body language. In doing so, they may be trying to avoid eye contact, and also reacting nervously to a question they don’t have a good answer to.

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2. They change their breathing pattern

When a person is lying, they become hyper-aware of the situation which forces their heart rate and blood flow to change. This tension also causes their breathing to become very heavy and labored. Watch out for them taking deep breaths, and listen to their voice, which will get more and more shallow as their breathing gets heavier. Such an involuntary, and otherwise unprovoked, change in their breathing pattern is a surefire way to tell someone isn’t telling the truth.

3. They stand completely still

You’ve probably heard of your body’s primitive ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. Liars who stand perfectly still are exhibiting the ‘fight’ defense, as they feel as if they’re holding their ground. During normal conversations, most people are relaxed and fluid in their movement. However, when lying, we often enter a rigid physical state because we feel as if we need to prove something. It’s a sign that we’re on guard, aware of every minute movement we’re making in front of someone we’re lying to.

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4. They repeat words or phrases

Liars will often repeat themselves ad nauseam when telling a half-truth or a complete falsehood. This is done for three reasons. First, they will repeat a lie over and over in order to solidify the ‘facts’ in their mind, so they can stick to their story. Secondly, they’re trying to convince you that they’re telling the truth by solidifying their words in your mind. Lastly, they repeat themselves in order to buy time to come up with the next part of their story. If they were telling the truth, they’d be able to recall everything without thinking about it.

5. They cover their mouth

When a person covers their mouth while speaking, they’re more than likely hiding something. Subconsciously, they’re putting a barrier between themselves and the person they’re talking to. It’s as if they’re shielding themselves from being heard, or making it seem as if they’re not actually saying the words that are coming out of their mouth. If a person puts their hand over their mouth while answering a question, they might be withholding information from you. Lies by omission are lies nonetheless.

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6. They cover vulnerable body parts

When a liar covers their neck, head, or chest, they’re exhibiting the ‘flight’ mechanism I mentioned earlier. Contrasted with the ‘fight’ response, being in ‘flight’ mode means a person does not want to be in the current situation they’re in. They feel physically uncomfortable and exposed, and are instinctively protecting the most important parts of their body. Watch for what a person does with their hands while they’re talking, and you might be able to catch them in a lie.

7. They shuffle their feet

Not only should you watch a person’s hands while they’re speaking, but also check their feet during the conversation. This also has to do with the ‘flight’ instinct, as shuffling feet is a sure sign a person wants to bolt from their current situation. According to behavioral analyst and body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass, shuffling feet is “one of the key ways to detect a liar.”

8. They babble

When a person gives too much information when questioned, it’s because they have rehearsed in their head exactly what to say, and exactly how to say it. They also feel that if they’re able to give a full story, they’re more likely to be believed. However, this often just shows they’ve anticipated what the other person will say next, and jump right into answering subsequent questions before the questions have even been asked. If someone seems to immediately have every answer for all the questions you have for them, they’ve most likely constructed a huge lie in their head and are ready to stick to it no matter what.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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