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Did you ever want to know if someone is lying to you or not? Perhaps you are a parent and are concerned your child is not being honest and you wonder if there are certain body or facial cues which will unlock the truth.

Does Body Language Provide Clues about Lying?

If so, count yourself among the majority because there are millions of people in the world that would love to know if they are being lied to or not and want to know how to recognize the signs in another person.

There are a series of signs which will belie whether or not a person is being honest or deceptive; certain gestures, physical motions and facial expressions are a dead give-away if someone is lying.  If a person exhibits a stiff facial expression with few arm and hand movements, and avoiding eye contact, it could be a sign of lying.  If an individual touches the face, throat or mouth, touches or scratches at their nose during conversation, it could be a sign of someone being deceptive. 

Other signs of lying may not be as obvious as body language or facial expressions, but these are also a good indication of whether or not you are being lied too.  If a person has emotional gestures and emotions that seem “off” or if the words being said do not match the emotion, it could be a sign of dishonesty.  Expressions that are limited to mouth movements only could indicate when someone is lying, and when someone smiles naturally the whole face will appear to “light up” and if the person’s eyes appear squished, it is a sign of real emotion and happiness, which only a small percentage of people can actually fake.

Verbal Cues That Show Someone is Lying to You

When interacting with someone that is lying, an individual that harbors feelings of guilt will react defensively or appear angry or irritated.   An innocent person will appear to be offensive and a liar will avoid confrontation and may turn the head or body away from the accuser.  Other signs a person could be lying might including putting space or an object between the liar and the accuser, in order to afford a “comfort zone.”  A liar is very uncomfortable when confronted with the truth and will want to avoid going head-to-head with the honest person.

Not only are the above mentioned signs a good way to judge if someone is lying, there are also verbal clues and content which can be an indicative of someone that is being dishonest.  A person lying to you will use your words against you and when confronted will use the same phrases in the response to the questions you ask.  A statement that contains a contradictory phrase is more likely to be honest, and someone that is lying will oftentimes not make a direct statement, but rather imply an answer.

When someone is lying it is common for the person to speak in a garbled or soft tone and the individual’s sentences might be muddled and unclear.  Sometimes if you think someone is lying to you, changing the subject will make the person appear more relaxed and willing to talk about something else.  The person that is lying wants to change the subject, but someone telling the truth will seek to return to the topic until the point of honesty is proven.


Just because you think someone is lying to you does not mean it is true.  If someone exhibits some of these behavioral traits and the body language is questionable, ask more open ended questions and use your best judgment.  Follow your gut feeling and observe the person’s whole demeanor and body language and you should be able to ascertain as to whether or not the person is being honest with you or not.