How to Tell if Someone is Lying to You According to a Former FBI Agent

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Before you get all excited, we aren’t talking about 1970s spy movie tactics that involve crotch lasers and/or genital destroying knots (see James Bond movies for reference), we are talking about good old fashion observation techniques that will help you discern if someone is being an Honest Abe or dirty lying Pinocchio. Here are some signs someone is lying to you according to a former FBI Agent.

See Also: True Nature of Lies: Why Do People Often Choose to Hide the Truth?

1. The Wrestle

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Imagine an interrogation, or any conversation in which one party is trying to get information from the second party, a hypothetical boxing match. As one punch is thrown the recipient either dodges it and counters or takes it on the chin. If the “bout” lasts for a reasonable amount of time, then both “fighters” start to recognize patterns or repeated techniques the other person uses. One such technique is moving the question away from simple yes and no responses to the ambiguous Land of Is. If the person you are talking with is asked a yes or no question and they veer off into the realm of “well…what is “is”?” it’s an attempt to use half-truths and convolute the answer to hide the truth. If you ask them the same question again and they use this technique or start with “well…” then you should definitely consider that a red flag.

2. The Eyes Chico, They Never Lie

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As mentioned in the now famous gangster film Scarface Al Pacino’s character tells his cohort Manny: “ the eyes chico, they never lie” and although it’s from a fictional Cuban drug kingpin, its actually very true. According to ex-FBI LaRae Quy the “No” never lies also, I know that sounds stupid as hell, but I’ll get to more sensible stuff in a second. Quy says that the way a person says “No” when they are being asked a question can help you flag sketchy behaviors. Some of these indications while saying no include: closing their eyes, looking the other way, stretching out the vowel “o” or even pausing for an extended period before saying it.

3. Misconceptions

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A lot of people think that a lack of eye contact or touching of the face is a sure-fire sign of a liar but former FBI agent and author of What Every Body Is Saying Joe Navarro begs to differ. He claims that sometimes people in a stressful situation will “self-touch” as a way to comfort themselves, while liars have been shown to make more eye-contact than non-liars.

4. Cartoon Logic

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We’ve all seen cartoon characters pull with one finger at their collar when they are feeling uncomfortable, guess what? That is actually a thing and it is called: Ventilating. If someone is uncomfortable about answering the question or feels like his/her answer might expose their wrong doings they will instinctually try to ventilate themselves, or cool themselves. Imagine how hot you get when you are embarrassed, your cheeks and ears become red and you feel immense heat coming from your midsection, it’s a similar effect if you try to cover up the truth to a question that might be embarrassing, making you want to cool yourself.

See Also: How to Deal With Lying Colleagues

If you would like to further read up on the subject check out these interesting articles here and here. If you think you have some good insight let me know in the comment section below.