body language tips

Body Language Tips



truth indicate exaggerate
way tell (2) probably
avoid hesitate eye-contact
shrug voluntary complicate
justify provide necessary
desire genuine muscle (2)
aware behavior symmetrical
partial deception potentially
stutter obvious make things up
tend cross (3) contraction (2)
tend truthful statistically
likely unlikely exhibit (2)
instinct confuse involuntary
key (2) major (2) around (2)
fake sign (3) turn away
voice comfort discomfort
slight spot (3) frequently
addict journal according to
non recount line up (2)
blink pitch (3) speed up
typical palm (2) as you go
obvious response doesn’t necessarily mean
inflate deflate gloss over
dilate pupil (2) chronology
denial broad (2) sweeping (2)
lip purse (2) statement
touch average obfuscate
focus relevant irrelevant
detail as far as consistent
explain hedge (2) contradictory
sign (3) separate preface (2)
gloss inclusive long-winded
gesture deception consciously
strict place (2) object (2)
verbal specific unconsciously
vivid rest (2) defensive
crash offensive distancing






“There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can’t tell the truth without lying.” Josh Billings.

Here are twenty-five ways to tell is someone is lying to you.

25. This is probably the one you know instinctually, but liars will be hesitant to make eye-contact with you.

24. To complicate things, if someone is lying to you, they might make too much eye-contact, possibly because they are aware that liars are known to avoid eye-contact.

I know, it’s confusing.

23. A liar tends to provide more information than necessary, or to answer questions that they weren’t even asked in the first place. This may come from a desire to justify oneself.

22. A genuine shrug indicating uncertainty is usually complete and symmetrical. A partial shrug may indicate deception.

21. For potentially obvious reasons, liars are likely to stutter: it’s hard to speak straight when you’re making things up as you go.

20. A liar tends not to use contractions. For example, “I didn’t do it,” statistically tends to be a more truthful statement than, “I did not do it.”

19. A liar is unlike to exhibit a Duchene smile. What is that? A Duchesne smile is when you use the involuntary muscles around your eyes as well as your major muscles around your mouth.

The key word here is involuntary, meaning you can’t fake a true smile.

18. A liar will tend to turn away from you or show signs of discomfort.

17. While it’s difficult to spot, a slight increase in voice pitch indicates that somebody is likely to be lying.

16. According to a study in the Journal of Non-verbal Behavior, liars blink less frequently during a lie, and then speed up to about eight times faster afterwards.

15. Crossed arms are typically never a positive sign in conversation: they are the opposite of having your arms open with your palms out, which indicates warmth, inclusiveness and obviously openness.

Although crossed arms by themselves don’t necessarily mean somebody is lying, they’re just another sign to look for.

14. A liar will often use their own words in their response, for example, if you ask someone, “Did you deflate my tire?” They may answer, “No, I did not deflate your tire.”

13. A person’s pupils will likely dilate if they are lying. In fact, because this is a involuntary behavior, this is usually a much better indicator than some of the others on this list.

12. Someone who is lying will tend to give a very specific denial rather than making a broad sweeping statement like, “I never do ______ .” A liar would be more like to say, “I did not do this, at that time, with this person.”

11. When someone is lying, they will often purse their mouth and lips.

10. Liars will often touch their face, nose or mouth with above-average frequency.

9. People who try to obfuscate the truth will tend to focus on irrelevant details.

8. One of the most obvious signs of someone lying is inconsistent or contradictory explanations.

7. Liars will sometimes hedge the things they say. For example, someone might preface their explanation with, “As far as I can remember . . .”

6. If someone is lying, then their gestures and words might not line up.

5. According to Israeli researcher, Avi Noam Sapir, liars will often give long-winded introductions full of detail, but then gloss over the important parts of the story — where the deception is.

4. Liars will sometimes unconsciously place objects between themselves and you.

3. A liar will usually tell a story in strict chronology; someone telling the truth will usually recount the most vivid emotional detail first, and then explain the rest.

2. Someone who is lying will tend to go on the defensive. Someone telling the truth will tend to go on the offensive.

1. Liars use distancing language. This allows them to separate themselves from the action. For example, “I crashed my car,” becomes “I crashed the car.


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1. If a person looks down or to the side when they talk to you, they are lying, while if someone fixates intensely at your eyes, they are telling the truth. Is this entirely true, mostly true, yes and no, maybe, perhaps, in the middle, mostly false or completely false?

2. What happens when someone gives a very long, detailed explanation of what happened?

3. Does it make a difference whether a person gives a genuine or fake smile?

4. What can you say about pitch of voice and stuttering?

5. Can you tell if someone is lying by watching their irises? Can they control their pupils?

6. What happens if a person scratches their chin, ear or hair?

7. A person places a bag, purse or smartphone in front of them. What could this mean?

8. Does a liar explain what had happened in chronological sequence?


A. Have you noticed these types of behaviors in others in your class or office?

B. Are there people in your class or workplace who have a reputation for honesty? Are there dishonest individuals?

C. Would it be helpful to you if you can read people’s body language accurately?

D. What will happen in the future?

E. Would it be good, bad, both, neither if everyone could understand other people’s body language and way of speaking?


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