How To Tell If Someone Is Lying To You

At some point in everyone’s life they’ve been lied to. Whether it was a little white lie or something that really affected your life down the road it definitely would have been helpful to call BS right then and there. 

For every liar there are a specific set of characteristics present at the time of the lie. Recognizing these 10 tell tale signs can help you become adept at identifying dishonesty one lie at a time. 


Is their story the same as what it was before? Think about how you’d react to a situation. Play into it. We’re not all that different. 

Ask the Unexpected

Throw in a curveball or a very direct question it can throw even the greatest of liars of from time to time. 

Gauge Against a Baseline

One of the most important indicators of dishonesty is changes in behaviour. You want to pay attention to someone who is generally anxious, but now looks calm. Or, someone who is generally calm but now looks anxious.

The trick is to gauge their behavior against a baseline. Is a person’s behavior falling away from how they would normally act? If it is, that could mean that something is up.

Look for Insincere Emotions

Most people can’t fake smile. The timing will be wrong, it will be held too long, or it will be blended with other things. Maybe it will be a combination of an angry face with a smile; you can tell because their lips are smaller and less full than in a sincere smile.

Look for gut reactions

“People say, ‘Oh, it was a gut reaction or women’s intuition,’ but what I think they are picking up on are the deviations of true emotions,” O’Sullivan tells WebMD.

Watch for Microexpressions

When Joe Schmo has a gut feeling, Paul Ekman, a renowned expert in lie detection, sees microexpressions.

A microexpression is a very brief expression, usually about a 25th of a second, that is always a concealed emotion.

Look for Contradictions

The general rule is anything that a person does with their voice or their gesture that doesn’t fit the words they are saying can indicate a lie. For example, this is going to sound amazing, but it is true. Sometimes when people are lying and saying, ‘Yes, she’s the one that took the money,’ they will without knowing it make a slight head shake ‘no.’ That’s a gesture and it completely contradicts what they’re saying in words.

A Sense of Unease

When someone isn’t making eye contact and that’s against how they normally act, it can mean they’re not being honest. They look away, they’re sweating, they look uneasy … anything that isn’t normal and indicates anxiety.

Too Much Detail

Too much detail could mean they’ve put a lot of thought into how they’re going to get out of a situation and they’ve crafted a complicated lie as a solution.

Don’t Ignore the Truth

It’s more important to recognize when someone is telling the truth than telling a lie because people can look like they’re lying but be telling truth