It’s good to know how to spot the signs that someone could be telling youa whopper. Lie detection expert Janine Driver, author of the new book,You Can’t Lie to Me, fills us in on the words that give away a liar.
Sure, sometimes ‘left’ is the only word you can use in a situation, but there’s some kind of drama involved when someone uses it in place of another word that will do (think: “I left the gym at six” vs. “I went home at six”). It could be due to one’s desire to “leave” the lie behind.
The big thing to look out for is when someone says “never” when “no” will do. It’s a sign he’s overcompensating.
Like never, it depends on how someone uses it. If he puts “that” in front of a noun, like “that money,” it’s a subconscious attempt for him to distance himself from the word. This is a common trick of manipulators.
If the person skips “no” and goes straight to “I would never do something like that!” when talking about a past event, be wary.
If the person is a Southern gentleman, then this doesn’t apply. But if he suddenly says “ma’am” to you out of nowhere, be cautious. It’s a sign that he feels like he’s feeling stressed and knows he’s in trouble.
“By the way…”
Liars use phrases like this to try to minimize what they say next – but usually it’s what’s most important to the story. Pay extra attention to what the person says afterward.
Liars usually try to downplay what they say with this word, so pay attention when he says something like, “I know this is going to sound strange, but…” or “I know you think I’m lying, but…”
“Why would I do that?”
It’s a favorite stalling line of liars, so they can buy a little time to work out what to say next. These phrases also fit the bill: “What kind of person do you think I am?”, “Are you calling me a liar?”, and “I knew this was going to happen to me!”