Ever had that hunch, where you just knew that your partner was lying?
Maybe you shrugged it off, through fear of coming across as paranoid, but deep down, it kept niggling away at you.
People are bad at spotting liars because they look for the wrong signals, according to research presented to the British Association’s annual science festival in Leicester, UK. (BBC News)
So we have compiled a check list for you so that you know what you really should be looking out for.
Always listen to your intuition: It sounds obvious right. But let’s be honest here. How many of us hear our intuition but then try and rationalise or ignore what it is saying to us?
The issue, is that once we have that ‘gut feeling’, we are not quite sure how to act upon it. But don’t just stifle your inner voice, because more often than not, it is trying to tell you something!
It’s all about their eyes: Assume that if they’re lying they will no longer look you in the eye? Dr Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire says otherwise.
“People are really dreadful at detecting when someone is lying. They think that liars avoid eye contact and fidget a lot. In fact, liars maintain more eye contact and they don’t fidget.”
A general rule for eye movement is if they look down to the left they are lying and if they look to the right they are remembering an actual event.
A handy tip: So, leading on from Wiseman’s advice there, have you assumed that your partner will fidget more if they are lying?
Contrary to popular belief, evidence now suggests otherwise.
Those who are usually expressive with their hands are more likely to have them stiff and rigid when they are in the process of lying. Infact their whole body is likely to stiffen up.
Say what? It’s all about the throat!: Does your partner’s speech seem to speed up, or slow down?
Are they becoming more and more erratic, perhaps frequently clearing their throat (a sign of built up tension and nerves)
Usually, nerves, which are common when someone is lying will demonstrate themselves, via the vocal medium.
Itch here, scratch there: He or she just cannot seem to stop scratching their nose today right?
Particularly when you ask them a question. This is not always a sign of lying; it can of course be a genuine case of the itches! Or, it could be a nervous reflex.
But more often than not, this accompanies the eye movements, and is a great giveaway as to whether someone is telling the truth or not! Scratching the nose, behind the ears, both are equally common.
Ever heard of a micro expression? A lying person may alter their facial expression, in the vague attempt to ‘look as though they are not lying’.
However, every now and then, a flash of their true feelings may become visible on their face; for example, someone who is nervous or stressed may show a flash of their eyebrows raising and forehead tensing.
But almost as soon as it’s visible, they switch back to their original facade.
These little ‘flashes of emotion’ on the face, are called ‘Micro expressions’ and may be harder to spot than some of the other signs I have mentioned but will definitely be visible to someone who knows what they are looking for.
Deflection: Do you find that you ask your partner a question, and he or she comes up with a very good content rich response, but somehow, they seem to be talking around the situation rather than directly answering your question? This is called ‘deflection’.
An example of this, would be, ‘So did you spend the night with another woman or not John?’ And John’s reply is ‘Oh my God Mary, how on earth could you ask such a thing? You know how much I love you.
I was telling my friend Michael just the other day that I am crazy about you’ Now if you look at that reply (and John would have continued to ramble), he does not actually answer Mary’s question.
Instead, he goes off on a tangent, and also adds in a little guilt when he says ‘Oh my God Mary, how on earth could you say such a thing?’ You may have been a victim of deflection yourself.
You probably came away feeling like ‘oh why did I ask that?’ or like you had started an argument. But the reality was, your partner was just clever enough to use deflection and make you feel that way.
Whatever you notice, remember that we are all individual, so look out for behaviour that is different to how he/she would typically demonstrate.
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