How To Tell When People Are Lying to You (in a crisis)

Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis June 6, 2017 09:33

How To Tell When People Are Lying to You (in a crisis)

Why Do People Lie?

People lie for various reasons such as, but not limited to: appear credible, appeal to someone, obtain something or get their way or even to diffuse dangerous situations. After all, the tendency to lie is part of the human personality and some people are going to lie more than others. It’s important to recognize when you’re being lied to especially when in a situation where law or rules aren’t followed and chaos wreaks havoc. lie detection infographic microexpressions

Learning about lying and deception is important because it will be a matter of life or death to determine who to trust when SHTF. Follow closely as we go through the different signs of liars usually show, as well as misconceptions about the subject.

Eye Movements

It is common to think that someone that blinks often is a liar. However, since it is a common piece of knowledge for those familiar with lying, they may react differently in the moment of lying. For example, not blinking as often as anyone else. Another example that takes those keen on detail to discover is that the pupil becomes larger for those who engage in lying.reading the eye movements lie vs. truth

Another thing to pay attention to is that it’s been noted that individuals will usually look away  when lying – which over time it has only become a myth. For example, before being properly documented, this ‘tip’ has caused poor performance among law enforcement officers and the FBI has gone as far as removing that tip from their training.eye movements lie vs. truth

Looking away isn’t very uncommon and most people will look up when picturing something in their head. But what gives off a lie is that a person will specifically look up and then to the left. This is a method that has been researched to be worked with the training of those FBI trainees who eventually become agents for the Behavioral Analysis Unit and law enforcement officers. Additionally, the Global Deception Team sampled thousands of individuals in 75  countries and uncovered that most people are not able to detect lies because they believe myths that are often shared about lying.


The University of Edinburgh of Scotland completed a research on verbal cues and what is often believed to be perceived as the truth or a lie. Most people believe that there are a lot of “ums” and broken sentences when it comes to telling a lie. While that is sometimes the case, liars are more likely to carefully control what they are saying by speaking slower. In fact, one of the oldest tips about lying is that people are more likely to speak without contractions. And that’s true because they’ll say “I did not do it,” instead of “I didn’t do it.” By relying on speech only and no other observation of the individual, there’s a little less than 50% chance of knowing if someone’s lying or not.microexpressions spot the lie

It is also important to pay attention on how a person tells their story. Liars are more likely to tell their story in chronological order because they’ve rehearsed it in their minds. They are also less likely to admit that they’ve forgotten something when repeating their stories. In order to determine the validity of a story, accredited professionals (i.e.:law enforcement officers and the military) employ the Criteria-Based Content Analysis method by asking the culprit to recount their stories several times in order to examine story-line. This is the most accurate way of distinguishing between truthful and fabricated criminal allegations.

When caught with a lie, an individual may begin to refuse to talk or may even flee if it is serious enough. Since some people are more likely to lie, it is important to be wary of outgoing people who are more intelligent. Researchers have found that these individuals are a lot more likely to lie than anyone else.

Body Language

Body language is the easiest part that can be “read”and, therefore, it must be taken with a grain of salt depending on what matter is being assessed. It has become common knowledge that a liar will have visible responses such as tapping and more sweating. That isn’t entirely incorrect, but keep in mind that the personality of a person can influence them even if they are telling the truth. A more timid person may show similar responses to the stress brought from questioning.lie detection infographic

However, because stress is a part of the behavior someone is lying this section is still important. The stance of a person is a big cue that indicates if someone is lying or not. When someone is lying, that person may stand on what is called a “closed stance” that is with their arms crossed or if they are sitting they may cross their legs as well. A liar may even begin playing with their hair or touching their face more often than usual. They may also begin tapping their feet where they are standing or sitting, this is a very common occurrence.

Tips For The Future

Don’t feel discouraged at all when practicing lie detection. It is important to make your own checklist that you can keep mentally. Once a person meets more and more criteria they are more likely to be lying.

Also, researchers have found that the more practice a person does in lying recognition the more effective they become. While other researchers showed that law enforcement officers and ordinary people were very similar in finding out who is lying before acquiring some training. If you’ve read this article to this point you know more than the average person about lying and now you can detect possible myths with actual proven methods.

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Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis June 6, 2017 09:33
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  1. Barney June 6, 13:16

    Too bad that the remembered answer and the indication in the article are backwards: the article states this: But what gives off a lie is that a person will specifically look up and then to the left.

    The constructed version shows the person looking up and to the right while the remembered drawing shows the person looking up and to the left.

    Reply to this comment
  2. JB June 6, 14:21

    It’s up and away from the dominant hand is lying. I’ve had people write or draw something to tell which hand is dominant.

    Reply to this comment
  3. suzie queue June 6, 16:31

    I think the article is based on incorrect assumptions by law enforcement. All the things that they listed as lying can be done by someone who is truthful, but under a lot of stress – especially under certain specific circumstances such as:
    1. Suspicion of a crime
    2. General unbelief

    I have been accused of lying many times when I was telling the truth. In fact, I am so truthful, that I get myself in trouble for not being politically correct, tactful, or for CYA – mine or someone else’s.

    If I see that someone is looking cynical or doubtful of something I am saying, I fidget, or roll my eyes about and sigh heavily, or raise my voice and “construct” my sentence – for emphasis – and repeat it slowly again, just to make my point. If I am made to wait for a long time, I cross my arms or put my hands in my pockets or pace, too. Doesn’t make me a liar. The fact is, unless you can read minds, even a lie detector can’t always tell when someone is lying – (especially a sociopath).

    Reply to this comment
    • Older prepper June 6, 18:47

      suzie queue; Thank you! I was raised in a home, where I was not allowed to talk or express an opinion, if I did, I was mocked and laughed at and told, ‘How dumb I was’. Being raised like this, makes me more afraid of people. I blink a lot, (mostly for dry eyes) and I have a difficult time LOOKING SOMEONE DIRECTLY in the eye. I my culture, that was disrespectful to the person talking. Bold, Brazen. So, I have a difficult time doing that. I look away a lot. Like you, I am very truthful and sincere, but because I can’t look a person direct in the eyes (afraid, kowed)) some may think I am lying. I realize these are just examples,but we have a 50/50 chance of being wrong or right, without all of these ‘clues’.
      Bill Clinton. ‘I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN”! Looking straight into the camera ‘eye’. Then try to make the woman out to be a liar. Obama, another polished liar. Everything HE said was a lie, yet some people believed him.

      Reply to this comment
      • Older prepper June 6, 19:33

        P.S. in time of CRISIS, just believe, that EVERYONE IS LYING! EASY . LOL

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck June 6, 23:47

        Older Prepper: That is known as a “lawyer lie.” It is a lie that doesn’t reach the level of perjury. In the Clinton case, it relied heavily on a very narrow definition of “sexual relations.” Within that very narrow definition, no, he did not have “sexual relations.” To anyone in the real world, try to convince your spouse you didn’t have “sexual relations” if you had done the conduct that Clinton did. If you can do that, I wish I still had my company because you are the greatest salesman in the world and you could have made me a billionaire.

        Another famous lawyer lie is, “Your president is not a crook.” “Crook” being narrowly defined as someone who has been convicted of a crime involving theft. Even if convicted of the crime he actually did commit he would still be able to boast that he was not a crook based on the narrow definition above.

        Lawyer lies are a fine art form and are practiced daily by many professions. I had a lawyer lie told to me by a doctor when I upbraided him that he had told me something different during our pre-surgery interview. He responded, “I know exactly what I told you.” Instantly I knew I was going to hear a canned lawyer lie which had been memorized in order to mislead patients. Anytime you hear “I know exactly what I told you,” you can expect to see a shining example of a lawyer lie.

        On the other hand, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” didn’t rise to the level of a lawyer lie, it was just a plain old straight out lie. The whole concept that you can provide medical care to a vast group of very ill people without an increase in costs is such a monstrous lie that it rises to the level of “Arbeit Mach Frei.”

        And then there is the whole field of statistics. “There are lies, damned lies and statistics,” according to Mark Twain and he hit the nail directly on the head. Like so many professional fields, you can buy a statistician who can provide figures to prove anything you want to prove. Do I have a jaundiced view of the truth? You betcha. I spent too many years in court listening to lies, damned lies and statistics.

        Reply to this comment
        • Older prepper June 12, 19:34

          Left coast chuck. RIGHT ON!

          It is sad that, we don’t know the truth, till AFTER, the doctor pulled his scam on us. They also lie by OMISSION. We as lay people, do not know everything in the medical field, to Know, what to ask! Then they put it on the patient. “You should have asked.”

          Reply to this comment
        • Catman April 2, 17:44

          Dude, people like you want to make me puke. You are willing to twist words to suit your own point of view with no more remorse than any other right wing fascist.
          Just for the record. Instituting the ACA was a long and involved process that looked nothing in the beginning as it did when it finally past.
          At the time the ‘you can keep your doctor’ was made it was not a lie.
          Warping words of truth into lies whether through omission or design are what has brought our nation to the point of frustration in both parties that they were willing to be conned into believing that a lying monster was going solve all our problems by doing as much damage to our country as he can before turning it over to the Russians.
          You and all the hatefully unreasonable people like you are why we have to prep to begin with… it’s why I’m stockpiling ammo. Well be coming fot you first.

          Reply to this comment
          • Tex July 10, 16:33

            Wow….you are one hateful “dude”, aren’t you? Well, “dude”…you seem to have a hard-on for our president and if I’m incorrect on that I apologize. But if you’re convinced he’s going to turn over the country to the Russians you are truly a left wing troll with not much to offer except fear and hatred. Having said that I double dog dare you to come out here to the ranch with some of your stockpiled ammo and see how an “unreasonable” person like me greets you. Now FO!

            Reply to this comment
          • Bluespiral July 31, 23:34

            I have simply stopped responding to this anti-intellectual right wing sheep. Save your energy for something more positive. These posts have all had the stench of toxic masculinity. Hang in there, November 3rd I s not far away.

            Reply to this comment
          • DaretoDenise October 3, 12:43

            Your screed (that’s the perfect adjective) better known as a manifesto is barely decipherable. Put down that pitcher of toxic bolshevik KoolAid and go back to school; better yet, start reading as much as you can and learn independently, especially to avoid the relentless media brainwashing.

            Reply to this comment
          • Omega 13 March 18, 16:40

            Look in the mirror, catdude.

            Reply to this comment
        • catman July 11, 13:22

          Said like a true alt-right fascist.

          Thanks for making my point.

          The TRUTH matters dumbass.

          If you can’t handle it light yourself on fire! Nothing else is going to work for you because the truth is always going to defeat you and your bilk.

          Like a good little cultist you follow your lying king and will blame everyone but him when his treasonous lies bring us all to ruin.

          EVERY SINGLE THING he has done has made us weaker as a nation, emboldened our enemies and spread fear and hate around the entire world.

          I’m not surprised in the least that you lick his boots. Hate is all you people know and all that ever leads to is death and dispare. My only regret is that people like you are alwsys willing to heap grief and mysery on others but are the first to cry and whine when it rubs off on them…your reply more than proves my point here.

          I’ve found some matches, once your good and soaked with gas I’ll be glad to help you…fire up!

          Stupid bastsrd, don’t read my mail and shove your reply right up your hateful ass and then….burn baby burn.

          Reply to this comment
      • Imagine That July 27, 22:01

        Re: older prepped. If I were able to give you an infinite number of 👍 I would simply because it’s awesome to see that there are still people it there that can see through the b.s. and call a liar a liar at the risk of not being or sounding “politically correct”, i.e., comment about Bill Clinton and Obama. Only wish more people could see things as they are instead of what we’re told they are.

        Reply to this comment
        • red July 29, 03:27

          Like the saying goes, hindsight is always perfect. Neolibs love to be the center of attention. When BO was in hot water over something that his owners got mad about, and so did a lot of us, Jimmy Carter announced he had brain cancer. Normally, all the world would have focused on that and given sympathy. You could have heard a pin drop. FDR used polio like a club, but it no longer works. Millenials may be liberals, but they’re not rabid about it the way their grandparents were. But, why we’re here is to give the liars and BS a face palm, maybe a nuggy, and a 3 Stooges Special in the eyes 🙂 niio

          Reply to this comment
        • Midsummer September 7, 09:03

          Well the right will have tear gas, ar15’s, police officers, military, and we the people on it. So; on that note, If he’s on the other side, he better do more then stock up.

          Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 2, 18:07

      I’ve been in the same boat! LOL The thing that I’ve noticed about liars is that they will look you right in the eyes when they’re doing it and they’re quick to deflect or counter attack. I tend to figure everyone is lying or will lie and let the outcome prove me wrong.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Tim June 7, 04:52

    Two things.

    One of the actions often associated with liars is crossing the arms. That may very well true in the general population, but there is one group I know of that it never applies to: Mormons. From a very early age, Mormon children are taught to cross their arms. It helps to control active children while in church, and teaches them to show respect while in the Lord’s house.

    A group of people that most of those tips don’t apply to, are those with Asperger’s Syndrome. A key feature of these people is body language. They usually cannot read it, and seldom use it properly. For example, for them, eye contact is very hard, and sometimes impossible. I have often been thought to be lying, when, in fact, I almost NEVER lie (lack of tact and diplomacy is another hallmark, which has often gotten me in trouble), all because of the lack of eye contact.

    It took me many years of adult life before I realized how much “normal” people lie, on a daily basis.

    Reply to this comment
    • Older prepper June 12, 19:50

      TIM . Yes. In time of crisis, I would just assume, EVERYONE IS LYING. Since, we do the white lie, so much in our daily lives, why would we, NOT LIE IN A CRISIS? The excuse about ” traffic”, when in fact that person do not plan their TIME very well. “Something came up.” Yeah, lack of courtesy to show up on time. It especially galls me, when people start to tell you, they got a phone call, or someone came over, instead of telling them, they had a prior appointment,,with YOU! They might as well say, “you are not important only their issues are”. One person who called for the Visiting teaching time, HER TIME, and I made my time, for that schedule, stood me up. Her excuse was she started to weed her garden and did not want to stop.

      People start asking you , how much do you have in storage? I would say, none or hardly any. What is the purpose of asking you? Who to rob?

      Reply to this comment
  5. pelagiaeast June 7, 12:32

    Wish the chart of How to Detect a Lie was improved so the text would be readable! Or maybe send me a better copy?

    Reply to this comment
  6. JC June 7, 15:21

    “Truisms”, if you will :
    People LIE, all day, every day, to SURVIVE!
    Women say, they want an “HONEST” man. Well, life as you know it, will end! Thirty seconds after you answer the question : “Honey, does this dress, make me look fat?”! (it doesn’t matter, that you shout “NO!”. If there’s the slightest interval of time, between question and answer!).
    Survival, begins at home!
    The best indication of lying politicians, lawyers, and salespeople… their lips, are moving!
    The consequences, of lies and liars, are NOT easily predicted : “It’s not my fault”! “I didn’t do it”! “I don’t know”! “I’m ok, you’re ok”, “There are no bad children, only bad parents”, “You’re entitled…”, has been pounded into us, since before our parents were sperm!
    Disaster, brings out the BEST, (and worst), in humanity, in equal measure! People WILL change, the person you have worked and socialized with, for years, will gut you for your shoelaces, under the right circumstances. Your Governor will ignore the “Posse Comitatus Act”, and send the police and National Guard to your home and confiscate your weapons, when you need them most! (Oh yeah, our last President, has removed that annoying impediment to “Martial law”, now things will only get worse… I wasn’t born a Pessimist, life made me that way!

    Reply to this comment
    • Older prepper June 12, 19:57

      JC. EXCELLENT. lol You are just in reality! GOOD JOB.
      Not pessimist, realist. I never asked my husband how I looked. I had a mirror. Women really ask that?

      Reply to this comment
  7. Tranquil August 2, 16:40

    Being an Corrections Officer for many years and lied to constantly on a daily basis, I would have to validate some parts of the article to be spot on. Lie detection comes from experience such as an auto mechanic listening to your car run and telling you what your problem is and/or a medical doctor listening to your back and chest with a stethoscope making an “observation” from experience. It’s up to the person your talking too on how much experience they have in deception and how much experience you have in uncovering the truth. How well you know the person is a major part of the detection, while on the other hand by research everyone will refrain from certain elements of the conversation when lying or after being caught in a lie. It just take years of experience, like an artist.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck August 29, 19:26

      The term “con” referring to an inmate in a prison does not derive from “convict” but from the slang term “conned” meaning being deceived. As Tranqil pointed out, inmates in prison con the guards on a continuing basis. It is almost, if the inmates lips are moving, he (or she’s) lying if they are talking to a C.O. Just like a politician or a bureaucrat.

      If it is an emergency situation, you can bet everything you own on being lied to by politicians and bureaucrats and you won’t go broke.

      Reply to this comment
  8. roger October 17, 02:42

    I’m still waiting on a printed copy of the Lost Ways. It’s been about a year now, I guess it got lost on it’s way.

    Reply to this comment
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  10. Graywolf12 August 11, 17:12

    To bad the chart is unreadable. I tried to enlarge x 400, but that higher I went the worse the fuzziness became.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Herschel December 8, 20:45

    They already assume guilt anyway. They will find anything to piece together what they want to believe. They are not your friend but they will try to talk like they are. The best thing to do is sit calmly and if you do speak to them, just know they will twist it.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Miss Kitty December 9, 16:25

    This also doesn’t take into consideration the fact that a person can tell you a lie, but if they believe it’s truth it won’t register as a lie.

    Reply to this comment
    • Rebecca June 27, 21:52

      There are other ambidextrous oddballs like myself out there. This chart wouldn’t work. You’d have to know us and good luck in gaining our trust. LOL
      Not only can we shoot both ways but being bluntly honest and direct with eye contact tends to throw people right off. Makes them very nervous. I do this to liars on purpose. Also, being introverted means you get to observe a lot of different people from all walks of life. Vegas has TONS. Too many people on this planet lie to much, I want to be beamed to another one. Just assume everyone is a big liar, until they prove otherwise. I taught all three of my sons caution and moral integrity, I hope it sticks. Trust your gut, Period, unless your paranoid that is, if that’s the case at least make one good friend to trust.
      My son is on the spectrum and I grew up in an abusive home. Pretty sure I may be rockin the spectrum with my son but at least I have taught him how to adapt. He is considered “high functioning.” To me this just means we think faster and are sensitive to the BS and excessive stimuli of our company and environments.
      Just my opinion. Also, just be wary of the abundance of crazies suffering from the stupid. Like I tell the boys, it’s an epidemic, there is no vaccination.🤘🏻
      Ps. I tell my husband there is no need to dig holes, not with all the predug graves….I mean mine shafts in the desert. Probably where Jimmy REALLY is. #jimmyhoffa57

      FYI: Take it from me and never EVER tell a liar what their cues are, they will be all annoying and attempt to adapt on you. Just know that you KNOW and be amused as they dig their own shaft..I mean hole. Try to resist the urge to ask if they need a shovel. Trust me they just won’t get it.

      Reply to this comment
      • red June 28, 20:17

        If you stare at someone, it means you want to attack them. 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with being blunt, so long as you use diplomacy!

        Nah, Hoffa never left Jersey, so family in Jersey tell me. That’s why the New Jersey dump is called the Jimmy Hoffa Memorial…niio

        Reply to this comment
  13. Mel July 16, 21:46

    The chart was unreadable, maybe i could be emailed a better copy.. Thanks anyways

    Reply to this comment
  14. Mabib July 28, 18:02

    When I was in primary school, I taught some actions to show discipline and respect. These actions of body language and eye movement was included; crossed arms when talking to aged people, parents, teachers or some one respectful in the village, and to adopt this way, the teacher was telling us to make everyday when he comes in the class. .Another teacher taught us to not look directly to the respected man, other wise if we look at him directly he may feel badly.

    Reply to this comment
    • red July 29, 05:00

      Cultural differences! If I cross my arms when talking or listening to someone, it means I’m not interested. When talking or listening, quick glances at the person’s face shows interest without staring. To not look at all means to be not interested. To stare would mean hostility or just to be disrespectful. Middle finger or thumb raised and a grin, you wish luck on another man. Middle finger up and the grin at a woman and she might see that as flirting, or might see it as insulting, depending on how well she knows you. Most of our language is silent, body language, in any culture. niio

      Reply to this comment
  15. P September 7, 13:47

    Her: Til death do us part.
    20 years later
    Her: There are all kinds of death.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Mike November 22, 06:53

    What most are not finding is that lying is in the very nature of man. A baby is born and eventually learns that crying gets it attention. Next it learns to crawl then walk and then it learns to talk. First words are mama and daddy but the next one is really ‘no’. You stand there and see them do something and and question them, the answer is no. It takes quite awhile to get them out of this stage from saying to everything ‘no’. This is at about two-to-three years of age.
    But the act of lying continues until death, just that the human learned other ways to lie other than just saying no.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dee June 11, 16:00

      This article isn’t that accurate. I do most of the things on the list every day. I’m a fidgety person to begin with and my eyes wander all over the place. I cross my arms all the time. Usually because I’m cold. Lol

      Reply to this comment
    • Bluespiral July 31, 23:54

      With my daughter the order of her first words were: Momma, Da Da, Bubbie (brother) and MINE! No kidding, true story. She was a real material girl. I n the end turned out well,

      Reply to this comment
  17. Omega 13 March 18, 16:38

    With regard to eye movements, it is the opposite if you are left-handed.

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