10 Surefire Ways to Spot a Liar (And Tell Better Lies Yourself)
Seeing that you probably can't go ten minutes without lying (according to this study), you're probably interested in becoming a better liar. The best way to do so is to learn what makes a bad liar, and then do the opposite.
According to psychologist Paul Ekman at the University of California, San Francisco, people conceal their feelings in small facial expressions that last only a 25th of a second. However, by simply recognizing the link between your own expressions and internal feelings, you can control your micro expressions.
Liars avoid shortening sentences with contractions. "I did not," often replaces a more natural "I didn't." So, the next time you get caught having an affair, say "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman" instead of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Due to our cultural unconscious associations with pride and truth, a liar is unlikely to touch their chest with an open hand. Next time you feel like fibbing, put your hand directly on your heart, look the person in the eye, and say "I didn't do that."
Liars touch their ears and face. They make shields to cover their eyes and expressions but end up looking nervous and guilty.
Saying "I don't remember doing that" is unfalsifiable. No one can prove that you haven't actually forgotten something, so liars use this to escape the responsibility of a lie.
Liars exhibit a slight delay between the vocalization of an emotion and the physical expression of it. So, when you get a sweater from your grandmother next Christmas, make sure your "thank you, it's so beautiful!" and smile are perfectly in sync.
Next time you suspect someone of lying, quickly change the subject. A liar will jump on it immediately. Next time you're lying, refuse to change the subject. "No, wait. I still can't believe you're accusing me of this."
Liars will rush to truthful statements that cast them in a good light, "I have been to work on time every day! Why would I steal money from you?" If you want to tell a good lie, purposefully admit some of your faults, "I know I've been late several times, and I've angered more than a few customers, but I didn't steal from you."
Bad liars hyperbolize untruthful feelings with their mouths. In reality, the muscles around our eyes are much better at expressing our emotions and should take priority when faking an expression.
Within the first thirty seconds of an accusation, many liars fix their hair, adjust their ties, straighten their jackets, adjust their cuffs, and a perform number of other grooming gestures. If you're going to lie, act natural. It shouldn't matter what you look like because you're not lying, right?
Now that you know all of the mistakes a bad liar makes, you should know how to avoid them and start telling more perfect lies.