Signs of Deception

Not surprisingly, no one likes to be lied to.

And, I think it is pretty cool, rare, and unique when a person can detect deception in another person through nonverbal hints.

The two cases I most commonly see this happening are when mother invariably knows or the professional cases of the most experienced and seasoned detectives.

But, of course I am here to spill all the secrets =).

Deception can be detected if you know what to look for, especially when dealing with suspects and witnesses because suspects and witnesses tend to reveal more than they intend to through their choice of words.

  1. A number one sign of deception is suspects is their lack of self-references because they are fabricating a story rather than being truthful. Truthful people will make frequent use of the pronoun “I” to describe their actions whereas suspects will describe events in the passive voice. For instance, “The building was left unlocked” rather than, “I left the building unlocked.”
  1. Also, even liars have a conscience and would prefer not to lie. So, before having to lie they may use semantics to avoid lying or to dodge the question. A common method to avoid answering the question is to answer questions with questions. “Did you rob the bank?” “Why would I have to rob a bank?”
  1. And, then there is the proliferate way to lie by not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truthful statements contain specific and relevant details whereas liars avoid detail when fabricating their stories. Missing prime consequential details is a deceptive sign.

Now, those are three prominent linguistic cues to detect deception but nonverbal cues related to the psychology of lying are equally as delineating, yet sometimes harder to be faithfully telling.

The chief psychology behind lying is the anxiety, nervousness, and stress that arise from the additional mental effort needed to lie.

Therefore, when people are lying the tend to blink more, fidget more, and stumble over their words making more speech errors (umm, ahhh,uhhh).

  1. Arms act as a defensivebarrier when across the body and when interpreted with other body language, the arms are quite reliable indicators of mood and feeling. Therefore, limited and stiff arm movements are indicators of lying.
  1. Also, scratching or touching the nose or behind the ear indicates lying.
  1. Perceptibly, liars are aware that they need to be misleading and deceptive so they may force lighthearted micro expressions such as a “polite” smile. However, a forced smile only engages the muscles directly around the mouth whereas a natural smile involves muscles groups in the cheeks, jaw, and eye to involuntarily move. Also, timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are unnatural and at an abnormal pace when lying.
  1. Lastly, liars love to avoid eye contact so stare that suspect unwaveringly in the eyes and see how he or she reacts.

There are a ton of behavior cues that could indicate lying but becoming an expert at detecting lies is intense and takes time paying attention to detail.

The signs I discussed are good indicators but only when they represent a change in the suspect’s normal behavior, which would mean that you have noticed the behavior prior to the suspected lie.

Even more, sometimes the truth can be just as difficult and stressful than lying so behavior cues are just as important as the context in which this suspected lie is happening.

Even highly trained professionals have a difficult time detecting deception at a high rate of success.


As you should know by now, I am all about never limiting yourself and moms and law enforcers do not have to be the only human lie detectors!


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  1. I thought I had read once that when people are lying they often look in one direction (of course, now I can’t remember if it was to the left or the right) but it would be when you ask someone a question and they pause to think about it… it was like if they pause and look one way, then they are thinking of what really happened but if it was the other way, then whatever they are about to say is probably a lie. Guess it would have been more helpful if I actually remembered the direction!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. My grandson is 25 now, but when he was living with me when he was 16, he could tell me the biggest lies, until one day I felt the beginning of an awareness that he was telling me a lie. And I think he saw the realization in my face, because when I said to him, “that’s not true, is it?”, he got this silly grin on his face and then he laughed out loud! But, that experience helped me to pay better attention to my “intuition” when dealing with others.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good information, I had someone once tell me something about the eyes when they look up and to the left it means they are looking to create a story as the the left side of the brain is the creative side. To the right means they are mapping their memories. Something or other I found a pretty cool site that explains this I’ve added the link for you please if you’d like to look in to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am becoming soo good at detecting lies from my 4 year old, Son #1, although his self-referencing is still weak when he tells me he did nap when he really didn’t! Honestly, I think he just learned how to “lie” and thankfully, he’s pretty terrible at it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so timely for me Kamala. My 5 year old boy can make up stories. I prefer to call him a story teller instead of a liar. The first time he ‘lied’, I realised later that he actually made things up when I found signs of where he got his information from. It was just like that movie where the bad guy gave a wrong information to the police based on the names he saw in the cop’s office. When my son was at it, he was looking around but I didn’t take it as anything. So, when he starts lying now, I kind of know . But I still second guess myself sometimes . one can never be too sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on The World According To Neema and commented:
    I study kinesics as a hobby and this post is very helpful.


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