How to tell if someone is lying, besides using polygraph services


Today, polygraph services remain one of the most reliable truth detection tools to exist. Not only have they assisted in domestic disputes and work related problems, but they have also helped to close criminal cases that have resulted in dangerous criminals being put behind bars. However, polygraph services are not always available to us every time we may wish to establish whether or not someone is being deceptive. Fortunately, there are some nonverbal giveaways that reveal when someone is not telling the truth, and in this brief article, find out how to tell if someone is lying without the use of polygraph services.




The matter of lies


We are all guilty of telling lies of some kind throughout our lives. White lies, in particular, which slip out almost automatically at times for no apparent reason. An American study found that the every-day citizen is likely to tell around 11 lies each week. Another shocking study included in the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology revealed that around 60 percent of people cannot go even 10 minutes in a conversation without lying at least once. Since we began to talk as infants, most of us were instructed by our guardians not to lie. So why do we do it?


It is widely argued that in most cases, people tend to lie in attempt to protect themselves in some way or form. For example, they may be protecting themselves from painful emotions, shame, judgement as well as embarrassment. Although white lies are largely considered to be harmless, many are of the opinion that lying altogether is a slippery slope, and that the practice tends to have a snowball effect. If this is indeed the case, it means that essentially, the more you lie, the easier you find it is to do it, and the more extravagant the lies become.


How good can we become at detecting lies?


In general, most of us are not so good at picking up on lies, especially if they are told in a way that include many points of truth. Experts argue that while it is our conscious biases and decision making skills that interfere with our lie detection radar, we do know on a less-conscious level when someone is being deceptive. Interestingly, a relevant study on the matter revealed that emotionally intelligent individuals are more easily deceived by liars. Further, researchers say that all of us have pre-set instincts that help us detect liars, but these instincts are often overlooked by the conscious biases mentioned above.


This is not a tragedy, as most lies told are not a matter of life and death. Sometimes, our loved ones may even be telling us small fibs to protect our emotions– which is not the worst thing in the world. Other times, however, deceit may be far more nefarious. We can never truly know how far those around us will go to keep the truth from us. And for this reason, there are certain situations where vetting lies is a seriously important skill. For example, if you have the suspicion that your partner is being unfaithful, or a business partner is giving you the short end of the stick.


Nevertheless, you may be happy to hear that there are a few active steps one can take to improve one’s lie detection radar. Behavioural scientists and seasoned interrogators argue that the key to unearthing deception is by watching, rather than listening. It may not be possible to hear a lie, but it certainly is possible to see one if you are aware of the following 5 tips:


Establish a baseline


According to behaviour analysists, a “baseline” observation refers to the nonverbal attributes of an individual that has not been introduced to stresses or triggers. In other words, the “normal” non-verbal reactions a person experiences during a non-confrontational conversation. It is easier to establish a baseline of behaviour of those with whom you are closest, such as your partner, children or friends.


Once you have established the baseline, or what is considered to be the normal non-verbal reactions in the person with whom you are conversing, you are more likely to notice when they deviate from these standards, or in other words – being untruthful.


It’s in the eyes


We have all heard the saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul. The same applies when trying to spot a liar, wherein studying the vulnerable windows can often reveal the truth. There exists the common, and arguably misinformed, view, that aversion of the eyes while in conversation is a sign of deception. Scientists have attempted to debunk this myth with the belief that liars do not more frequently avoid eye contact than those telling the truth.




When it comes to watching the eyes for signs of deception, it is about noticing eye movement that is not in line with an individual’s normal, baseline behaviour. This could include taking notice of the aspects of eye contact, focus, and dilation or constriction of pupils. For example, if the individual with whom you are conversing was maintaining frequent eye-contact until a stressor or trigger question was posed, this could be a certain sign of deceptive response. Further, experts recommend that we should make note of how slow or fast an individual blinks in comparison to their baseline when posed a question.


Keep an eye out for micro-expressions


A significant amount of research reveals that it is the face that will betray the true emotion of an individual who is attempting to deceive you. Experts argue that the face will often “crack” briefly during verbal deception and consequently show glimpses of true emotion beneath the composed surface. These leaks are referred to as micro-expressions. Sometimes, these expressions are so quick that we can often fail to pick them up at all.


Even the most seasoned of deceivers can experience cracking that leads to the display of true emotions. This is because the face comprises a complex musculature, more complex than anywhere else in our exterior bodies. Some muscles in the face simply cannot be controlled. On the other hand, you may notice an absence of sincerity in the lack of emotions on a person’s face that can be indicative of insincerity and deception. It is difficult to put on a consistent “false face” that attempts to mimic universal emotions to further advance your deception.


Some experts allege that when someone is telling a lie with severe consequences, their face is extremely likely to reveal this duplicity. While body language can to a large extent be controlled, it is not possible to constantly monitor what is occurring on your face. The “cracks” or micro-expressions only last around one-fifth of a second, many of these comprising of emotions such as guilt or anger.


Learn to recognise a fake smile


Some researchers are of the opinion that when lying, people are more likely to press their lips together, which leads to a smile that appears tense or forced. It is not just about taking notes on the lips, however. It is the combination of the mouth and the eyes that are key in picking up whether someone is being deceptive. A truthful or genuine person smiles with their entire face, usually showing crow’s feet at the corners of their eyes.


The same researchers that believe the above note that it is unreliable to rely on the eye behaviour of an individual when establishing whether or not they are being honest. This is because there are other, even innocent explanations for such behaviour, such as shyness or difficulties dealing with confrontation in a social setting. But taking note of someone’s eyes while they are smiling is a good way to rule out the above explanations.


Look out for signs of stress


If you have applied the above measures and are suspicious that an individual may be lying to your face, it is likely that you will feel the instinct to continue this line of questioning, perhaps by asking them for more clarification around their statement. This is a wise instinct, as the potentially guilty individual is likely to exhibit some physical shifts that will give you an indication of their discomfort.




For example, when our brains experience stress, their temperature rises and can be noticed through perspiration on the forehead and upper lip. Fidgeting hands and foot tapping are two other common indicators of discomfort. However, keep in mind the baseline of the individual, which you should have established by this point. These behaviours may very well be habitual for the individual.


However, experts note that you should keep an eye out for excessive swallowing, face-to-hand rubbing, significant changes in blinking speed, hair twirling and yawning. These actions are said to be highly indicative of duplicity.


Why some people are better at lying than others


Unfortunately, it is not always possible to root out the truth from someone who is an expert liar. Some people do not follow the norms and standards of society-expected behaviour, which means applying the above tools to establish whether they are being deceitful or not is next to impossible.


There are several reasons why some people are so good at lying:


They are master manipulators


Also known as “Machiavellians,” master manipulators are usually great liars. This is because in most conversations, even confrontational ones, they have the ability to appear confident, talented and relaxed – which makes it difficult to pick up whether or not they are lying.


They distract with eloquence


People who are eloquent speakers, also known as silver-tongues, are capable of confounding those around them with long-winded and witty responses, as they use this time to think up a more plausible answer.




They resort to unverifiable responding


It is much easy to conceal deceit from someone by using unverifiable responding, such as statements like “I honestly don’t remember,” for example. It is less obvious than a constructed lie, mainly because the individual questioning cannot confirm nor disconfirm it.


They keep responses short


Those who practice information frugality tend to say as little as possible when confronted with your pointed questions. This makes it more difficult to confirm details.


They may be attractive


If an individual is generally considered attractive, they face being judged as more honest and trustworthy. This may be unfair but many argue it to be the truth. It makes for excellent opportunity for deceit.


Why are polygraph services a more reliable tool


When practicing the 5 truth-detection techniques discussed above, we often become too emotionally invested in the conversation to keep a level-enough head in order to check out the signs. We may become overwhelmed under an individual’s lies and manipulations. Enlisting polygraph services eliminates that possibility.


  1. Polygraph services are entwined with a long legacy and history of use in the court, workspace and personal applications.
  2. Polygraph services are an affordable option for accurate lie detection.
  3. Polygraph services technology is well-known in media and culture which makes it a socially acceptable course of action.
  4. Polygraph services are fast and no-fuss.
  5. Polygraph services results count as corroborative evidence for court cases.




Polygraph services by Polygraph Truths


We at Polygraph Truths offer affordable and accurate polygraph services. We are seasoned professionals committed to providing you with the best experience in the hopes of solving your problem and rooting out any deceit. For high-quality polygraph services, do not hesitate to contact us for a solution.