A Follow Up on “How to Spot a Liar?”

Dear Friends, I have received dozens of comments in connection with my previous post How to Spot a Liar? and would like to thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me. Here are a few follow up ideas about the topic. I just read another dozen of articles about identifuying liars (many of them seem to repeat each other) and found a few more little details which I would love to share.


First of all, I thought that each of us, of course, has some skills in lying. Even those who try to always tell the truth and only truth, have to say white lies now and then, anyway. Remember the moments when you need to take your kids away from an ice cream kiosk, or when you tell your elderly parents that you are doing great knowing that your office or private life has been quite stressful 😉 Yes, let us face it: each of us has to lie once in a while. And- however surprising this may sound, our first teachers in lying are… our own families (parents, grand-parents, siblings, all those who we love the most)!

Some kids become very good at identifying lies already in very early childhood, especially if they have to adapt to some challenging enviroinment. The kids who live in fear of being misunderstood or punished, usually develop certain social skills very early, by the age of 3 or 4. At this age, they can easily identify our dishonest behavior by analyzing our mimicks, intonation patterns and body movements. At the same time, other kids, who do not have to be so self-protective, may not develop the skill until they are teenagers or even grown ups. So, all of us have different ability to identify a liar and to deal with those who lie. To follow up with my yesterday’s article, I have put together a few more little tips. I have collected them from a dozen of articles (some academic, some popular) which I have read this morning:

  • Liars are usually good at acting. Why don’t you act a little bit, too? Simply play the one who cares. Ask them questions they don’t expect and look at the reaction.

  • It is difficult for deceitful people to be consistent with their lies; they forget where they started the lie and where it ended. If you are beginning to sense this, ask the person to recall events backward rather than forward in time… and again, enjoy watching the reaction.
  • Liars tend to listen less and speak more with unnecessary information, because they need to distract, convince, and sway you into believing them. As soon as this begins to happen, stay alert.
  • It is good to always keep in mind that when stressed, people usually begin to speak faster, and often- louder. Cracking in the natural tone of voice may also occurs at the point of deception. Repetitive coughing and clearing the throat are other signs of tension.
  • You should be cautious when liars say “no” and immediately glance in a different direction or say “no” and close their eyes, or when they say a long “noooooooo” in a singsong manner.
  • When your conversation partner all of a sudden starts speaking formally (happens when the stress levels are high) or starts giving exaggerated responses, or begins to forget critical things during a conversation, or if they apparently look a bit confused/distracted by something, these are also the right signs of hidden lie.
  • It is necessary to watch out for someone who is trying too hard to make a good impression or showers praises constantly, or laughs at all your jokes and keeps reminding you of your qualities and talents.
  • If this happens, try asking follow-up questions. If your conversation partner starts responding to questions with short answers, or refuses to provide details when cross questioned, you have all the reasons to suspect such people of lying to you.


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