5 Signs Someone Is Lying to You

You may not have an intuitive sense of another person’s trustworthiness, but you can learn to notice details that will tip you off to dishonesty.

By: Rhett Power

We would all like to avoid that sinking feeling we get when we realize that we have believed a lie someone has told us. As helpful as this would be for avoiding hurt feelings and broken relationships, in the business world a single lie could mean the difference between success and failure.

Great business owners develop almost a sixth sense for determining when they are being lied to. They have to make quick decisions about whom to hire, fire, partner with, and offer contracts to, and if they believe lies from the wrong people it could have a devastating impact on their business.

Here are five signs someone is lying to you.

1. Touching the face, mouth, or throat.

This subconscious body language may indicate that someone is lying to you. If you notice someone touching his or her face who normally doesn’t, it is a little red flag to keep in the back of your mind.

2. Repeating words and phrases.

If someone begins to stammer, repeating words or phrases, it is a sign that he or she is trying to think of what to say next. This may indicate an effort to concoct a story to tell. Again, compare such nervous speech to what is normal for this person. Some people always stammer, so for them it is a normal part of speech, not an indication of dishonesty.

3. Pausing before answering.

A long or abnormal pause before someone answers a question may be a tip-off that he or she is lying. This is especially true if the answer should be simple and obvious. A pause before answering a seemingly easy question may mean that this person is trying to keep track of what he or she has already said and how to keep the lie going.

4. Looking toward the door.

Subconsciously, we look where we want to go, and someone who is uncomfortable may look toward a door, or at the minimum break eye contact with you when he or she is lying. Others may look at their watch, signaling their desire to not spend more time in the conversation.

Not blinking.

Some avid liars have learned to telegraph confidence, so instead of breaking eye contact, they will stare at you and not blink. If it seems like their eye contact is too intense, it may be a sign they are trying to cover up their nervousness.

You may not have an intuitive sense of another person’s trustworthiness, but you can learn to notice details that will tip you off to dishonesty.

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About Amr Badran

An Egyptian Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer since 1997. I've trained on Management, Leadership and Soft Skills to thousands of people from many nationalities, backgrounds and professions in more than 10 countries across the Middle and Far East. Holder of an MBA and a Candidate for Doctorate in Business. Find more about my Management and Personal Skills Courses at AmrBadran.com and feel free contacting me at Amr@AmrBadran.com
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