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How to spot a liar

10 April 2014, 11:02

Abuja - Whether it is a little white lie or an elaborate and extravagant fabrication, dishonesty can have devastating consequences. And, being able to identify when someone is lying could save you from being crooked.

Here’s how to spot a liar:

Tone of voice
When someone lies their voice often deviates from their normal speaking tone. It will tend to be higher than usual, but in some cases it can be notably lower.

Noncommittal phrases
A liar will use words such as "I think," "I believe," "to the best of my knowledge" or "kind of”. They try to keep the details of the story as vague as possible.

Upon being asked a question, somebody who isn’t telling the truth may need a few moments to compose their response.

Liars will try to shy away from dwelling on their deception as much as they can. They will do this by using ‘softer language’. So instead of saying ‘I didn’t steal the bag’ they may say ‘I didn’t take the bag’.

Negative emotion words
Liars will use words such as hate, worthless and sad as if subconsciously expressing their guilt or anxiety.

Extraneous information
Liars will try to convince you of their story by adding extra information about what happened.

Staying neutral
Liars tend to avoid the pronouns “I” or “we” as they feel detached from the situation they are creating.

Mix up small details
Honest people have a clear picture of what happened and will be consistent with the smaller details. Without this mental image, liars will have trouble with minor things and will not be as consistent about them

Unable to work backwards
Someone who isn't telling the truth has difficulty telling their story in reverse. They change the details or struggle to remember the sequence of events when asked to recall the details of their story in a different order.

- Health24

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