People lie. That’s a fact. If you ask some researchers, each and every one of us is lied to about 200 times a day (which probably means that we’re doing quite a bit of fibbing ourselves). Want to know the most depressing part of all? We only detect about half of those lies, because everything is terrible and humans are the worst.
Let’s change that, shall we? Add these tips to your myth-busting arsenal and watch the liars drop like disingenuous little flies.
1. Keep an eye on mannerisms and come up with a baseline.
There’s no standardized list of human behaviors that will help you pinpoint when someone is lying. The key is to learn the basic mannerisms of each person you talk to on an individual basis. If someone’s mannerisms seem unusual or forced, they’re probably pulling a fast one on you. Does your best friend usually look around casually when she’s talking to you? Stay on your toes if she starts maintaining steady, unflinching eye contact. She’s probably about to ruin your life or something.
2. The person you’re talking to avoids using “I” or “me.”
People like to distance themselves from their lies because they know that they’re being absolutely awful. Liars often truncate their language in really subtle ways to avoid associating themselves with the lie. There’s a difference between someone saying, “I loved that meal,” and someone saying, “Loved that meal. Really awesome.” If they go with the latter, you might want to forsake your cookbooks forever.
3. They always have the answer.
It probably seems counterintuitive, but someone who has all the answers is probably just lying right to your face, which isn’t cute. It’s natural for people to pause before answering questions, so be on the lookout for people who respond with zero hesitation. If a story seems rehearsed, it probably is.
4. They can’t tell you their story backwards.
You probably shouldn’t base your lie-detection skills off of what goes down on Criminal Minds if you don’t want to look like you just got off the bus from Crazytown, but there’s one thing that happens on crime shows that has real-world potential. If someone lays a ridiculous story on you, ask them to talk about the details in a random order. When they can’t, be ready to call them out on it.
A little bit of bridled paranoia can go a long way when it comes to figuring out who’s lying to you, right? Maybe not, but these tips could come in handy the next time your friend tells you that all-over madras is a good look.
Trust no one, friends.