Vinoba, kept patting her hands as she repeated that lie to her father, “Dad I am really sorry, I lost the ring. It was a really hot day and I just wanted to remove it for a few minutes while I sat in the bus. I never realized that it would fall out and that I would lose it.” She kept looking down and even hid her face in her hands while she was talking and she assumed that she just felt guilty for losing the ring. But had they observed closely, that would realized that it was guilt all right, but the guilt came from lying and not from losing the ring. In reality, she had just presented that ring to her boyfriend and was lying to cover up her tracks.

Studies show that a lot of teens lie, and that they are very good at it. Sometimes, when people whom we trust lie to us, we just cannot figure out if they are saying the truth or are lying. If you ever find yourself in such situations, there are certain body mannerisms or signs to look out for which would indicate, that the opposite party is lying.

Mismatched expressions: Facial expressions not matching words or tone is a total give. Their expressions may be limited to around the mouth, instead of involving the eyes, eyebrows, and forehead. Smirking while narrating a sad story or thinking for a split second on what emotion they should display are examples.

Hiding the eyes/ face: Some may avoid direct eye contact, close ones face with hands or a kerchief or attempt to sob with eyes closed. Sometimes their eyes may dart around the room, mentally seeking escape. They may be uncomfortable speaking facing front to front, and turn off at an angle. But this is tricky as some people do even when they are telling the truth.

Movement of hands: A lot of people tend to move their up and down when they believe in what they are saying. Hands clamped together behind their back or at the groin lie could mean a rehearsed lie. On the other hand, some will touch their face or neck repeatedly while lying.

Changing topics: They can use humor or sarcasm or shift topics quickly, to distract you. They might give an abundance of facts and details in an unusual manner (talking very fast) and once they finish they’ll seem physically relieved and relaxed.

While these pointers could help you out for a start, it’s important that you must study the whole package of an event or situation before coming to any conclusion. Stress or depression could also lead to any of the above body mannerisms. It takes adequate knowledge of a person, and their personal habits and expressions, to be able to clearly point out what behaviors are odd and out of place, and which ones are normal for them. Unless the liar confesses, there is no way of knowing for sure.

By Divya N