This is a natural health site. So why am I publishing a post on how to tell if someone is lying?
This is why.
Mental health is very important. It impacts our physical health.
Dealing with a deceitful person can ruin our health. (I know this from first-hand experience.)
So smoking out a liar can (hopefully) protect us.
It’s not always easy to tell when someone is lying. But there are clues. We shouldn’t ignore them.
Oftentimes lying and personality disorders go hand in hand. Not everyone who lies has a personality disorder.
But I’ve yet to meet someone with malicious narcissism who doesn’t lie. Lying for a narcissist comes as easily as breathing.
Even though those of us without mental health credentials cannot diagnose malignant narcissism, we can spot a liar. You don’t need a degree to do that.
Lying is very destructive. It erodes trust. Trust that can probably never be regained again.
You think twice about entering a relationship with someone who lies.
If you’re already in a relationship with a liar you have my condolences.
The best way to deal with compulsive liars is not to deal with them at all. Spot them from the outset, and act accordingly. Like run fast and far, in the other direction.
Unfortunately, though, this is much easier said than done.
How To Tell If Someone Is Lying
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)
As always, bear in mind that I’m not a mental health professional. I’m writing from personal experience only. So never make major life decisions based upon my blog posts.
Listen to the experts.
Fortunately, according to the experts, there are often no easy giveaways that someone could be lying. But there may be tip offs that tell you when someone is wearing a Pinocchio nose.
You just have to learn to spot these warning signs. But, again, this is not always easy.
That’s because some people are very good liars. So you may not immediately pick up on the fact they’re spinning tall tales.
But, in general, there is universal body language that might give away a liar. But you have to know what to look for. Some mental health and law enforcement professionals have made a career out of spotting liars.
They generously share their tips with the public. However, I’ll warn you that it’s not always easy.
One of my favorite sources on lie spotting is Joe Navarro. He is the author of several good books on deception and how to protect yourself from deceitful and dangerous people.
In his book called What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex FBI Agent’s Guide To Speed Reading People, he explains that body language is generally more honest than the spoken word.
That’s because most people are unaware their body language shows their true feelings.
Once you learn to read body language, Navarro explains, you possess valuable information that can help you in business dealings, as well as with personal relationships.
Actually, I wish I had this information years ago. When I ran into a vicious person who displayed the traits of covert narcissism. It might have helped.
What’s covert narcissism? This post I published earlier attempts to explain this maddening condition.
How To Spot A Liar
So, anyway, how do you spot a liar, according to former FBI agent Joe Navarro.
I just ordered his book, What Every BODY is saying. So I can share a few tips. I now feel as if I’m a little better at spotting those fakers than I was before reading it. As I reread the book, I hope to sharpen my skills even more.
And I have to say I was already pretty good at smoking out over narcissists and covert narcissists. Even though there’s no sure way to detect them.
Coverts are the really sneaky ones. They are very good at appearing meek, mild and unassuming.
They often haunt churches and religious settings. (There, they find a steady supply of trusting targets.) Because I like to go to church, I have my radar set high for coverts. (Because I’ve been burned once or twice.)
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Lying
Professional lie spotter Joe Navarro believes someone will become uncomfortable when pressed about something they don’t want to discuss.
He says to look for “distancing” behavior during a particular exchange. Someone may lean back in a chair as far as possible. People may move their feet or their torso in the direction of an exit.
All of this is done unconsciously. But oftentimes body language doesn’t lie.
He also advises caution when people say something, and also use their hands for emphasis. Palms up is a red flag.
My favorite tip involved the eyes. People may look at you squint eyed when they don’t like you. Raised eyebrows mean they’re happy to see you.
(Recently, I had my doubts about someone. So I looked at the eyes. This person squinted at me. So I don’t think he really likes me.)
But all of the above requires careful observation. Careful attention to detail. Establishing a baseline.
It’s not easy. That’s why if you’re serious about learning his method, you’ll probably want to read Navarro’s book, which is filled with tips on how to get much better at reading body language.
How To Tell If People Are Lying
If it were impossible to get away with lying, the world would be a much better place.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Deceitful people walk among us. Some are dangerous. They try to destroy your life, once they gain access. That’s why it’s so important to head them off at the pass.
If we can just spot those lies. Beforehand.
There’s an old saying, “Once a liar, always a liar.” This is (for the most part) true.
Barring a dramatic conversion, a person who has lied to you has lied to others in the past. They’ll continue to lie in the future.
Think long and hard before letting a liar into your life. There’s really no upside for you.
Instead, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by rooting them out, beforehand. Even though I’m not a mental health professional, I’ve dealt with my share of morally disordered people. Watch out for any red flags. These include:
- Stories that don’t add up. This is a big tell. Don’t ignore it. This is something that tipped me off early about a deceitful person who later turned out to be pretty toxic. I didn’t immediately end the relationship because I wanted to be sure. Later actions left no doubt.
- Your gut feeling that something is off. Don’t disregard a sense that someone is not being honest. This is something gleaned from a lifetime of dealing with people. There’s even scientific evidence to back this up. One 2014 study published in the Psychological Science journal found that having a sense that someone is lying is a pretty reliable indicator. So listen to that little voice in your head that says, “Something is wrong.”
- A sense of entitlement. Let me stress that I’m not a mental health professional. Or a professional lie spotter. But I’ve had a lot (like way too much) experience with malignant narcissists and difficult people. For me, personally, an inflated sense of entitlement sets off alarm bells. It tells me I don’t want to get much deeper into a new relationship, when I see this red flag. It may not mean someone is a compulsive liar. (But all of the compulsive liars I know had this personality trait.) But it does mean you’re dealing with a difficult person. And that the relationship WILL be one sided.