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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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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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