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Posted: July 31, 2015

5 Ways to Spot a Lie in Normal Conversation:

Lying is something that a lot of people would admit to have done at least once in their lifetimes… some would probably admit to lying a lot more often than they should, whilst others can even go as far as to become “professional liars,” bluffing their way through life.

If you’ve ever been lied to, you would know that it can often make you feel betrayed, hurt, angry or worse; paranoid and constantly distrustful.

In our line of work, it’s our responsibility to help people uncover deceit and expose the truth – whether it’s a matter of infidelity, theft, occupational misconduct, fraud or a hidden past, Precise Investigation has practiced that art of lie detection for nearly 30 years so we really know what to look for.

It’s with that in mind, and with the weekend coming up, that we thought we’d share a few pointers on how to spot a lie, for yourself. If you feel that you’re onto something, then having your initial suspicions backed up by a professional’s opinion is something that we can easily help you with.

So, just for you, here’s 5 really obvious ways to tell if someone’s telling porkies:

1) Ask for details

That might sound obvious, but you’ll notice that when a person is telling a story that isn’t true, when pressed for more details they will often stumble over answers, give long-winded and inaccurate details or try to avoid the question entirely. Some even go as far as to get angry at the point that your questions have little or nothing to do with the story. For example, your husband has just come back from work, rather late, and he tells you that he had to stay behind with a few guys to finish up a few things.

“Ah, shame darling, I’m sorry to hear that… how many people were still in the office when you left?” Followed up by something like, “how did everyone feel about having to stay so late?”

You’ll notice that when a person is telling a lie, they will tend to think harder and longer about the answer, or answer in a way that doesn’t fully address the question. For example, the last question above would warrant an answer like, “Yeah Dave was pretty pissed because he missed the game…” whereas you’d likely get, “We had to do it, so nobody cared” or, “Huh? Oh, uhm, yeah they weren’t too happy about it.”

In the truth, details are easy to recount. A liar would have to make them up, which requires more thought.

2) Look for unusual behaviour

You can even tell if someone’s lying by text, albeit a little harder – when we say look for signs of “unusual” behaviour, we are referring to the fact that when a lie is being told, people can often act, speak or write differently to the way they usually do. For example, if a person is usually somewhat quiet or soft-spoken, when it comes to telling a fib they may tend to speak louder and more clearly. In text, answers can become far more detailed and long-winded than necessary. With body language, contrary to popular belief, people will fidget less and remain more focused on the conversation because they are actually concentrating on what to say next.

3) Intense thought

Some people claim that when another is about to lie or already in the process of lying, that their eyes will dot around, that their legs will bounce or that their hands will start to play with things… this isn’t always the case, in fact, usually it’s just the opposite. People who lie tend to lose interest in other things as their speaking, unconsciously in the hope that you will notice that they care about they’re saying, whilst actually just having less of a mental capacity to handle other ideas as they construct the lies. Let’s say you’re about to go to bed, and your running your fingers along your partners shoulders to ease them to sleep while having a quiet conversation. If your partner suddenly tells you that they don’t like the feeling of your touches on their back, when usually they do (or at least don’t mind), then it’s likely an indication that they’re having to think harder about how to answer your questions, and your touches are actually just distracting them.

4) More frequent mistakes

When a person is lying, you will find that they stumble over words, jumble up sentences, slur or mispronounce certain words, pause for long periods of time during speech and repeat what they’ve already said. These are all really good indications that the person is trying really hard to think about what they’re saying. If it’s the truth, people can just recite or recall their actions with ease. Lying takes a lot of cognitive power, especially if it’s going to be a “good lie.”

I personally have a friend who is a compulsive liar. He lies for the sake of lying, nothing more. If I ask him what he did today, when I know he stayed home, went for a coffee and played solitaire, he would say something like, “Meh, not much… just took the dog for a walk… met a nice lady in the park though!... How about you?”

In that sentence alone, he paused three times, which would be unnecessary for such a simple memory to call forward, and immediately returned my question.

5) Test their memory of answers to their own questions.

Take the last example – He bounced my question right back at me. It’s a good way to spot a lie in progress if you answer their question with a long and detailed answer, on purpose, and then later on in the conversation (or even later on that day), test their memory on what you said. Evidence suggests that they would not have been concentrating on your answer and would therefore be less able to remember what you said. The best way to test this is: Let’s say in response, I told him that I’d gone to the movies to see “Batman” with my partner, and it was amazing. Later on, when the topic was over, I’d ask, “So have you seen Superman? As I said, I saw it today and I thought it was pretty good – the effects in movies these days are crazy!” If they follow suit and don’t realise that you’d mentioned a different movie, then chances are they were probably lying in your previous conversation.

Precise Investigation has studied, recorded, researched and determined over a thousand tell-tale signs of lying, some specific to love and relationships, others to the workplace and more regarding different aspects of everyday life.

If you feel that you’ve been lied to, or you’re starting to lose trust in someone, it’s best to have your suspicions confirmed by a professional. While we won’t necessarily interrogate people for you, we can arrange to have a multitude of surveillance operations carried out around them, perform background checks and employ a host of technological solutions that will help to expose the truth.

To find out more about what we can do, it’s best to hop over to our homepage where you’ll find a simple menu detailing our most popular services. Just click here to have a look.

One call to Precise Investigation can really change your life.

Call Precise Investigation today on 1300 856 011 for a professional, Private Investigation Service

Wherever you are in Australia, Precise Investigation has an operative nearby that is more than capable of helping you get to the bottom of your troubles. Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and many more remote areas of the country are just a stone’s throw away.

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