Monday, January 23, 2006
Traits of a Liar
at 10:28 AM
Sure, some liars may scratch their heads more frequently, but so may an honest person. If you apply this "rule" across the board, you will, I guarantee, be convicting a lot of honest people, too.
The clues liars give off that they are lying are as diverse as the lies they tell. For every trait you identify a liar doing, I can find an honest person doing, too.
Many times, honest people avert their gaze frequently, scratch their head over and over, won't give you eye contact, and may even appear nervous! Next time you are telling the truth and you are being grilled because someone doesn't believe you, tune into your own behavior. What do you do?? You are probably "acting guilty" by do the exact things supposed liars do.
I've watched myself over the years, and I am amazed at how guilty I act, and I can't even stop it whenever I am being questioned, and yet I am telling the dead-honest truth.
"The traits of a liar are as diverse as the lies they tell."
-Eyes for Lies
Let's face it, even when we are grilled and telling the truth, most of us flinch, because we are not being believed. Not being believed when we know we are telling the truth does a number to our mind, body and soul, and we react: we show behaviors that are often confused with someone who is lying.
In all my watchfulness, I have only found two traits so far that liars do more often than honest people (though honest people do them, too, from time-to-time: salivate for no apparent reason when telling a story that isn't true—which causes them to swallow frequently in a very short period of time (perhaps nerves?), and speak in a fake high pitched voice when trying to act very scared, afraid or shocked.
Most often, in 9-1-1 recorded phone calls, in which the caller has killed someone or knows that situation they are representing is not true, they will speak in a very high-pitched voice. I don't even think they are aware they are doing it. This behavioral trait that is seen less often in honest people.
So the next time you are watching someone tell you something, and you think they are lying because they are looking away, they aren't giving you eye contact, don't right away assume they are lying. Remember, the traits of a liar are as diverse as the lies they tell, and it takes many elements to identify a liar, not just a few simple behaviors that otherwise honest people can exhibit, too.
*Updated 2-19-2009 for accuracy
Labels: How I Detect