How to Catch a Liar

Are you being lied to? Find out how you can tell.

1. How is the person speaking?
Although a change in voice can be the tip-off to a lie, experts say that to be sure, you should also pay attention to a person's speech rate and breathing pattern -- if either speeds up or slows down, chances are you're not hearing the whole truth.

Jupiterimages CorporationJupiterimages Corporation2. What is the person saying?
Liars tend to avoid exclusionary words like "but," "nor," "except," and "whereas," because they have trouble with complex thought processes. Liars are less likely to use the words "I," "me," and "mine." In their attempts to distance themselves psychologically from their tall tales, liars will tend to communicate using fewer personal pronouns.

3. Is his face giving it away?
You may think disguising your true feelings is easily accomplished with the help of a smile, but the expressions that flash across your face will give away what you're really thinking -- whether you know it or not. Experts advise paying close attention to the micro-expressions that a face can't hide. These clues are often so difficult to detect that even trained experts have trouble discerning them.

PLUS: 13 Things Your Bartender Won't Tell You

4. How is the person smiling?
A smile can sometimes mask a person's true feelings. Pay close attention to how a person smiles as well as other facial movements. You may be able to detect the emotions he or she is trying to hide -- such as fear, anger, and disgust. A true smile will incorporate both a person's lips and eyes.

5. Does the body language follow the story?
It's more important to examine a person's entire demeanor, as there's no one feature that's apt to give away a liar. Honesty is characterized by features that are in sync with one another -- so besides posture, note the fit between face, body, voice, and speech.

PLUS: 20 Secrets Your Waiter Won't Tell You

6. Is your subject behaving uncharacteristically?
Experts believe changes in a person's baseline -- how she generally conducts herself -- are worthy of your attention. You should weigh rate of speech, tone of voice, posture, and hand gestures against what you know, along with the context of the situation.

7. Is the question simple or embarrassing?
It's normal for someone to look away when asked a difficult question. But when someone avoids your gaze when asked a simple question, you should be suspicious.

Adapted from Quiz: Can You Spot a Liar?

Popular Links:
11 Crazy Things We Do While We Drive
19 Weight Loss Secrets From Around the World
13 Things You Never Knew About Your Weight
15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
11 Secrets of Getting Better Doctor Care
13 Things Your Supermarket Isn't Telling You
13 Camp Counselor Secrets
13 Things a Burglar Won't Tell You
13 Things Your Plumber Won't Tell You
13 Teacher Secrets
13 Things Your Shoe Salesman Won't Tell You
13 Hotel Secrets
Get more insider secrets!

Sign up for the 13 Things newsletter to receive insider secrets.

New Games
Enhance your IQ with our new Word Power game!

Download our Life IQ trivia game for your iPhone.