10 Tell-Tale Signs That Someone Is Lying To You, According To Body Language Experts

Date March 29, 2018

People lie all the time - sometimes for a good reason, sometimes without any reason at all. They lie to make themselves look good, or to cover up their wrongdoings, or to protect their loved ones, or when they pretend to be nice to someone, or "just because." Few people are professional liars and could pass a polygraph test without batting an eye. But most people aren't that adept at lying, and there are signs that can give them away.

If you notice the signs listed below, keep in mind that they don't always mean that the person is lying. But a combination of these signs may be a clue that someone isn't telling the truth.

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1. They tell the story in the same words every time.

If the lie you are being told was prepared in advance, the person will likely tell the story again using exactly the same words, phrases, and expressions he or she used the previous time. It's difficult to remember all the details of a made-up event or story.

2. They overuse superlatives.

"Exactly," "undoubtedly," "absolutely" - it's normal to use these and other words for emphasis. But if someone uses them in every sentence, they may be lying to you. But if you know the person well, and that's the way they always speak, don't count it as a sign of lying.

3. They pause for too long before answering a simple and direct question.

To respond to a question that calls for an elaborate answer, people need a pause to gather their thoughts and search for the answer in their memory. But a prolonged pause before answering a direct yes-or-no question is a red flag.

4. They cover their mouth.

When someone isn't entirely honest, they tend to cover their mouth with their hand when speaking, as if their subconscious is trying to prevent them from spilling the beans.

5. They clear their throat or swallow before answering the question.

If your interlocutor clears the throat or swallows before giving their response to your question, it can mean their nervousness is getting the better of them, and their throat and mouth is dry, which is one of the things that happen on the physiological level when someone is lying and gets nervous.

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6. They rub their face, scratch their neck, or pull at their earlobes.

It's common for people to touch their face and head when they are lying. That includes fixing one's hair, scratching the neck, pulling at the earlobes, or rubbing an area on the face.

7. They fix their clothes before or during speaking.

It's another sign of nervousness caused by a question they don't want to answer honestly. Someone who's lying may pull at their sleeves, fix their tie or collar, or do other manipulations with their clothes.

8. They either fidget too much or keep too still.

It's a manifestation of the fight-flight-or-freeze response on the physiological level. Your questions are perceived as a threat by someone who's lying, and they may either freeze (as if trying to become unnoticeable), or fidget too much and shuffle their feet (they are uncomfortable and want to escape the situation).

9. They go into unnecessary details.

A liar may start telling details you haven't asked for, in an attempt to distract you from the main subject.

10. Their facial expressions don't match what is being said.

Only professional liars can be in an almost complete control of their emotions and expressions when they are telling lies. If the person you're talking to isn't one of them, a mismatch between the facial expression and the emotion that is supposed to accompany what they are saying can give them away.

Source: Business Insider,, Parade

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