How do you know if you are being deceived?
Do you want to know when someone is lying to you?
“Lie spotters are armed with scientific knowledge on how to spot deception.” –Pamela Meyer
Pamela Meyer will help you spot a liar. She’s the author of Liespotting and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Surprising Facts about Lies
Some interesting facts about lies:
- We lie more to strangers than to our coworkers.
- Extroverts lie more than introverts.
- We learn to lie as babies by faking cries for attention.
- The more intelligent the species, the more they are apt to lie.
- We are lied to on average between 10 and 200 times per day.
Pamela tells one particular story that grabbed my attention. Koko, a gorilla, loved cats and was given a kitten. On one particularly destructive day, Koko managed to rip her sink right out of the wall. When asked about it, Koko signed to her humans that the kitten had done it. Amazing.
The Telltale Signs of a Lie
What are some telltale signs of a liar?
Meyer touches on some patterns of deception including verbal dodging and body language slips.
Verbal dodging includes:
- repeating the question
- telling a story in strict chronological order
- offering irrelevant details
But lies are not only verbal; we can have body language slips. Meyer explains that liars:
- chatter with their fingertips
- shrug their shoulders
- freeze their upper bodies
- say yes and shake their head no
- shift their blinking rate
- give an overabundance of eye contact
- show a smug smirk on their face when lying (which she calls duping delight)
- point feet to the exit
- place barrier objects between them and the interviewer
And a cautionary note. Most of us may read the book or watch the video, but that likely doesn’t qualify us to know for “certain.” Be careful when making your own conclusions.
Still, it was a fascinating view into a world I knew little about. These signs are not proof of deception, per se, but she says to watch when you see clusters of them appearing together.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” –George Orwell
Interested in learning more on how to spot a liar? Check out Meyer’s book Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception.
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