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How to Spot a Liar within Seconds

How to Spot a Liar within Seconds

Lying is pretty high up on the list of negative traits. No one likes to find out they’ve been deceived, yet it’s something nearly all of us do on a regular basis.

According to James Patterson, author of The Day America Told the Truth, among two thousand Americans, 91 percent lied regularly both at home and at work.”

Surprised? Possibly not. Most people aren’t out to deceive us for selfish gain. With loved ones, you’re more likely to be lied to in order to save your feelings from being hurt and we’re usually none the wiser.

But what if you really want to know when you’re being lied to? Can you really tell if you read the signs well enough?

The Biggest Giveaway of a Liar

So how can you spot someone who’s lying? Words are hard to decipher when it comes to lying. What someone says can be rehearsed and controlled especially if a person is particularly good at it.

When it comes to spotting clues, actions really do speak louder than words because it’s all in a person’s gestures. Unlike words, these tend to be uncontrollable and automatic so to know the truth, you have to focus on the body language.

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The Crucial Body Language That Exposes a Liar

What exactly are the typical gestures people give away when spinning a lie?

These are the most common signs to look out for.

They smile less when lying

Research has found that people tend to smile less when they’re lying – and especially in men. In his research, Paul Ekman felt this reflects the idea that people associate lying with smiling and so enter into a double bluff by reducing the smile factor. If someone does smile while lying, it tends to be less genuine meaning they smile more quickly and hold it for longer.

They scratch their neck as they feel nervous

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    Another giveaway is when someone scratches the side of their neck just below the earlobe. This usually tends be done in a specific way – namely with the index finger of their dominant hand.

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    This is a typical signal of insecurity, doubt and uncertainty which is running through the mind of someone who isn’t telling the whole truth.

    They tend to touch their faces a lot

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      Bringing a hand to the face is probably one of the most common signs of deception. This could be covering their eyes or putting their hands on their forehead or cheek and most likely stems from childhood characteristics. Children often cover their mouths, cover their ears, or cover their eyes in order to stop talking, stop listening or stop seeing. These are always exaggerated but as we get older these gestures become quicker and less obvious yet still used subconsciously.

      It doesn’t always indicate blatant lying, however. It could just mean that the person is holding back information which for some can be seen as equally deceitful.

      They cover their mouths uconsciously

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        Covering the mouth, in particular, is a subconscious reflex that can literally mean someone is trying to suppress the deceitful words that are coming out of their mouth. It could manifest as a literal hand over the mouth or even a finger placed over the lips in a ‘ssshh’ gesture. This is likely to come from parents who may have made this gesture to indicate a desire to keep quiet but in adulthood, it could indicate an attempt for someone to tell themselves to withhold feelings or words.

        They touch their noses while talking

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          We’re all familiar with Pinocchio’s nose and the effect lying had on it. Scientists at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago has found the human nose actually expands whilst lying. This is caused by chemicals being released due to the pressure of telling a lie causing the tissue inside the nose to swell.

          While you won’t actually be able to see the effects, what does happen is this swelling can create a tingling sensation which the liar will want to itch therefore creating the nose touch.

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          They pull their collar as their neck tissues become more sensitive while lying

            This is a classic tell-tale sign of a liar and the reason behind it comes from the sensitivity of the delicate facial and neck tissues. When someone lies it creates a tingling sensation in these areas which the liar will want to touch. The pressure of lying also causes sweat to increase around the neck which is why the collar pull is so known.

            They rub their eyes so as to avoid looking at you

              This one is, again, stemmed from childhood. Children often cover their eyes when they don’t want to look at something and this doesn’t entirely leave us in adulthood. We will still subconsciously rub or touch the eye area when we don’t want to look at something (in this case the person we’re lying to). It’s the brain’s coping mechanism to block deceitfulness and the pressure of facing the person we’re deceiving.

              Actions Are More Honest Than Words

              With these signs, you’ll be less likely to be cheated by people no matter how sincere they sound. Sometimes you don’t even need to hear the true answer because you already get that from their body language. Practice observing these signals and spot out people who are lying to you.

              Featured photo credit: Burst via pexels.com

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              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Last Updated on February 11, 2021

              20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

              20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

              Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

              Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

              Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

                If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

                The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

                Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

                There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

                Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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                Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

                Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

                Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

                • The idea for Google -Larry Page
                • Alternating current generator -Tesla
                • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
                • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
                • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

                …and many, many more.

                Fact #4: Premonition dreams

                There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

                You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

                • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
                • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
                • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
                • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

                Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

                Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

                Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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                Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

                In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

                Fact #7: Sexual dreams

                The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

                Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

                  Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

                  Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

                  • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
                  • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
                  • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

                  Fact #9: Dream drug

                  There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

                  Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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                    The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

                    Fact #11: Increased brain activity

                    You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

                    Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

                    As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

                    Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

                    In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

                    Fact #13: Pets dream too

                      Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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                      Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                      Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                      Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                      Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                      Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                        It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                        Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                        Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                        Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                        You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                        Fact #19: Gender differences

                        Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

                        Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                        As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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