However, we may be swimming in lies, but spotting a liar is not so easy. Often, it’s not what a liar says, but how they say it. A person’s delivery and body language can often tell if they are lying. Is the person relaxed, making eye contact, and speaking directly? Are they moving in their seats? Do their voices sound harsh at times?
The words people use and the way they speak can reveal their dishonesty. There are a few phrases that indicate that someone might be lying. These 10 common phrases are warning signs that someone is lying to you. It’s important to understand that using these phrases alone is not enough to indicate that a person is lying, but when taken together with other clues, they may indicate that deception is taking place.
- Stop tactics: “Did I do that? Of course not!”
It is natural to repeat part of the question, but it is not necessary to rewrite the whole question. Liars repeat questions almost verbatim to give them time to formulate their answers.
For example, if you ask someone, “Did you do that?” And they say, “Did I do it? Of course not!” There is a good chance that they are hiding something. Other stalling tactics involve repeating questions or playing dumb to get more information.
- Skip the contraction: “I didn’t do that.”
People who lie may have rehearsed what they are going to say and become more formal when denying it. Skipping expletives and other common colloquialisms is a common tactic to emphasize and sound confident.
Instead of saying, “I didn’t do that,” you’ll say, “I didn’t do that.” Or they will say “I can’t remember” instead of “I don’t remember”. They are basically exaggerating their lies in an attempt to appear stronger and less repulsive. But if you’re telling the truth, formal language isn’t necessary (and sounds unnatural).
- Make sharp statements like “I never do” or “I always do.”
Nonspecific language, generalizations, and misleading statements are common tactics used by liars who try to avoid providing hard facts and information. Instead of focusing on the details of the situation or providing specifics, liars dance around the truth by using irrefutable overgeneralizations.
These tactics are easily noticed in a job interview or when someone tries to avoid telling the full story. A person with low confidence will try to exaggerate their skills or develop without providing specific information. Phrases like “I never,” “I always,” or “I’ve done it a million times” sound inflated and unfair when not backed up by facts.