Deception in Relationships: How to Catch a Liar

If only spotting a liar in real life was as easy as spotting him/her on TV. The sweating, fidgeting and eye darting are the classic signs we look for—thanks Hollywood—yet in reality, very few people actually get THAT bent out of shape when they lie.

Where Hollywood has failed us, psychology has stepped in to save the day!

As it would turn out, there are ways to spot a liar. That being said, the science isn’t foolproof and it also warns us that we’re less likely to notice the lies in friends, partners and loved ones because we don’t expect them to lie to us.

Check out these steps on catching a liar so you can avoid being deceived by strangers, acquaintances and even loved ones.

A. Follow Your Gut

Remember your hippie-bohemian friend who always tells you to follow your intuition?

He/she might be right since science proves that our intuition and gut feelings are usually more accurate than our well-thought-out, rational feeling. Why?

Our subconscious doesn’t have the bias that our brain has (Translation: Your subconscious doesn’t make you feel bad about doubting the boyfriend that brought you flowers).

B. Look At The Eyes

Research suggests that people who lie tend to look to their left (your right). Why?

Because lying involves making the truth up and the region of the brain that is used to create something up (lie, imagination, etc) results in a person looking up and to the left.

Scientists found that when they asked subjects to imagine something (say a blue unicorn), their eyes looked up and to the left and when they asked subjects to imagine their breakfast, their eyes went to the right.

C. Listen To The Voice

The voice inflection of a person lying changes noticeably, which makes lying relatively easier to spot in a loved one than a complete stranger.

If your friend’s voice goes up two pitches or suddenly drops low, then consider yourself warned!

Many believe that sentence formation also reveals a lot: someone telling the truth will use a contraction as opposed to a liar (Example: “I didn’t say that” vs. “I did not say that”).


At the end of the day, I think my method of lie detection is the easiest: I look for abnormalities.

I find that people who are normally vague may be lying when they offer an elaborate explanation, and vice versa.

For instance, if I were to ask a friend to hang out who normally answers with “sure” or “nah, got class,” I’d be suspicious of lying if he/she went into excessive detail about why he/she won’t be able to hang out this one time. It breaks consistency and is obvious.

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