5 Deception Cues You Can Rely On

Deception Cues You'll Probably See Today

The question I’m asked most often is “How can I tell if someone is lying to me?”  People are fascinated with that information.  And for good reason.  So I’ve put together a short list of 5 Deception Cues You Can Rely on.  Scott Rouse - ghe 5 Deception Cues You Can Count On

It’s important to keep in mind that there are no absolutes in body language especially when is comes to deception detection.  Having said that, know that this list is based on science and research as well as the deception indicators most often seen out in the wild.  

The places you’ll see these the most are at work, when you’re out socializing, and when you’re dealing with situations where there isn’t a whole lot at stake if someone is caught in a lie.  (IE “Did you eat that blueberry yogurt in the refrigerator?” etc.)  So, here we go…

#1: Not Breaking Eye Contact 
Most people are under the impression that a liar will break eye contact when they are answering a question about a questionable situation they are involved in.  That’s incorrect.  The person who is being dishonest will most likely keep looking you right in the eye.

For two reasons – The first is because they know you probably think liars break eye contact.  The second is because they want to watch your face closely.  If they see the slightest hint of doubt, they’ll want to start adding qualifiers to reinforce their false statement in hopes you’ll believe it.

 

#2: Not Actually Answering The Question 
It seems to make sense from a third person’s perspective.  If you’re asked a question you don’t want to answer, then don’t answer it.  So the deceptive person will answer with something that sounds close to the proper answer to the question, but it will be missing that key information you asked about.

For example:  Phil asks Jeff “My flash drive is missing did you take it?”  Jeff answers “Please, the last thing I need is another flash drive.” Or “You gotta be kidding me.  You lose more stuff in this office.”

 

#3: Invoking Religion When Answering The Question
Quite often you’ll here someone answer with something similar to “Hey, I swear to God it was not me.”  I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to swear to, or on, anything when I’m answering anybody’s question if they aren’t an attorney and I’m not on the stand.

Sometimes they’ll go as far as showing you their prayer list or little Bible they carry in their pocket while saying “I’m a very religious person and I would never think of doing anything like that.”  Think about it.  If the person was that religious and tight with God, they wouldn’t feel the need to do or say anything about it.  They would just answer your question.

 

#4: Not Using Contractions When Answering The Question
This is one of my favorites.  When a person uses contractions they will say “Won’t” instead of “Will not”.  They will say “Didn’t” instead of “Did not”.

If you ask the person in question “Did you take the money out of my purse?” and they answer with “No, I did not”, they aren’t using a contraction.  If you ask the person in question “Do you remember seeing the earrings sitting on my desk?” and they answer with “No, I do not”, again they aren’t using a contraction.

What’s the problem with that?  It sounds weird.  If you asked me if I wanted to go to Arby’s and I said “No, I do not”, that would be weird.  If you asked me if I was the one looking at Mitch’s car earlier today and I said “No, that was not me”, then you’d think for sure I was weird.  Because nobody talks that way.  Robots probably do, but not normal humans.

I would say “No thanks, I ate Arby’s yesterday” and “No, that wasn’t me.  Did it look like me?”.  My answers don’t sound like I’ve been practicing them in my head without saying them out loud.

 

#5 Reverse Yes And No Head Shake
I talked about this not long ago and showed Lance Armstrong in one of his depositions shaking his head “No” as he was lying while saying “Yes”.  He did the opposite of that as well when he shook his head “Yes” while lying and saying “No” at the same time.

This is one you’ve really got to pay attention to.  Because most of the time it isn’t the person who is vigorously shaking their head “Yes” while saying “No”, it’s the person who is being still and saying “Yes” while their head, just ever so slightly, shakes “No”.  It’s almost imperceivable sometimes.  So you really have to be watching for it.

There you have it.  A list of 5 deception cues you can rely on.

#1: Not Breaking Eye Contact

#2: Not Actually Answering The Question

#3: Invoking Religion When Answering The Question

#4: Not Using Contractions When Answering The Question

#5 Reverse Yes And No Head Shake

Most likely, you’ll see at least 2 of the 5 today and all 5 by the end of the week.  Are there cues you see specific people leak when they’re being deceptive?  Do you have specific cues you use when you’re telling a “little white lie” that others have pointed out to you?  Think about it…

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