There are many nonverbal signs of lying, and these signs can often be easy to detect. Telltale signs of untruths are plainly visible in the way a person expresses himself or herself by using body language, hand movements and facial expressions.
If a person is telling a lie, they usually will not look you directly in the eye. While some feel bad because they are lying to begin with, they may also think that looking someone square in the eye while telling a lie makes it even worse. The fact is lying is lying, whether it is a bold face lie or a little white lie.
On the other hand, while one of the nonverbal signs of lying is avoiding eye contact, it can be just the opposite. A person may think if they look directly in the eyes of someone while lying, it may make the lie seem more believable. There are also those who meet the look of another, but avert their gaze by rapid eye blinking, or their eyes may dart from place to place instead of focusing on the subject.
People who are lying are often on the defensive. Because of this, they may fold their arms across their chest as a way of creating a wall in which they can hide behind for confidence. Putting objects or barriers between themselves and another is like protection from being caught in a lie.
One of the most common nonverbal signs of lying is when a person is constantly scratching their nose, touching their face or rubbing their hands together. Another sign is fidgeting, such as twirling a pen or pencil in their hand, or folding and unfolding glasses. Some may even shuffle paper back and forth in an attempt to draw attention away from themselves, forcing one to focus on these insignificant acts of displacement.
Some people display nonverbal signs of lying by the way they constantly adjust themselves in their seat, such as leaning forward, shifting from side to side or rearing back in a chair. Some will also straighten their tie, lick their lips often, or present a smile that is forced or strained.
There are many different reasons why people may feel the need to lie. There are those who lie in order to protect themselves, to place blame on others, or who may lie in order to avoid hurting another person’s feelings. Lying comes in many different forms, from lying to the boss about being late or pretending to be sick, to those little untruths we may sometimes tell our children in order to protect them.
Lying can become a habit if done often enough. There may even come a time when a person becomes so good at it, they start believing the lies they are telling. However, learning to recognize the nonverbal signs of lying and confronting a person with the truth may break this habit, and help them to realize that honesty is the best policy.