How to spot a liar from a psychologist who trains the FBI

You confront a co-worker who you suspect may be drinking on the job, or you sit down with an employee who strongly denies the sexual harassment allegations.

How do you tell if you’re dealing with a liar or someone telling the truth?

“By paying close attention not only to what people say, but how they say it, you can discover what’s really going on inside their head,” writes David J. Lieberman, Ph.D, author of the new book. Mindreader: The new science of figuring out what people really think, what they really want, and who they really are.

He is not lying. Dr. Lieberman is an experienced psychotherapist who uses science-based techniques to read people’s words and actions. For the past 25 years, he has trained the FBI, CIA, and other security agencies to be human lie detectors.

Related: This Body Language Expert’s ‘Triangle’ Method Will Help You Catch A Liar In The Act

In an exclusive interview with the Write About Now Podcast, Dr. Lieberman shared some telltale signs of deception and manipulation.

Here are seven things to keep in mind.

1. Liars talk too much

Hear someone’s immediate response after asking if they’ve done something.

“As a general guideline, a truthful answer is short and direct,” said Dr. Lieberman. Liars, on the other hand, often engage in a long soliloquy with a lot of “pontifying” and “moralizing.”

Liars qualify their answers with all sorts of excuses like “I’m not that kind of person” or “As I told you earlier.” Basically, they talk about a hundred things less than a direct answer to your question.

2. Liars try to sell you the truth

When someone tells you the truth, they are not interested in convincing you of anything. They just want to tell you the truth.

“A liar is interested in selling you something,” says Dr. Lieberman. “They need you to believe them, which means they tend to oversell way past the point where an honest person would have stopped. There’s a tendency to overexplain.”

Related: 10 Revealing Phrases That Indicate Someone Is Not Telling The Truth

3. Liars are relieved when the conversation is over.

Lying requires much more energy than telling the truth, it can be exhausting. For this reason, liars are often relieved once they finish spinning their web of deceit.

But Dr. Lieberman says this feeling of relief can also be a red flag. “Put yourself in the position of an honest person who was wrongfully accused of something. When that conversation ends, you say, ‘Wait a second. You just accused me of something. You’re upset and upset, maybe resentful. But you don’t feel relieved.

4. Liars smile with their mouths, not their faces.

Watch for the “say cheese” smile on a liar’s face. “When someone is faking an emotion, it’s not covering the whole face,” says Dr. Lieberman. “The smile does not include the upper part of the face, but only the lower part of the face.

Liars smile with their mouths closed, their lips pursed, with no movement on their foreheads. A genuine smile lights up the whole face.

5. Liars pretend to be calm.

“When someone is pretending to be innocent of something, like an accusation, they try to present the image of someone calm and confident,” Dr. Lieberman said.

They tend to do very conscious things, like picking imaginary lint off their pants or stretching and yawning.

Why? Because common sense tells them that this is how an innocent person acts and that the guilty act nervous.

This could not be further from the truth. “A person who is wrongly accused of something is not going to be calm and confident, she is going to be upset.” explains Dr. Lieberman. “A person who wants to convince you that she’s not nervous will seem much less nervous than the person who really isn’t nervous because, again, liars often exaggerate an emotion they don’t really have.”

6. Liar stories are too perfect

When a person tells the truth, particularly about something that is dramatic, the story will probably not have a logical flow. Dr. Lieberman says they often start with the most dramatic part and then fill in the blanks as they go.

“A person who is making up a story, after they get to the main event, they will finish. They won’t continue because, in their mind, that’s what they have to sell you,” Dr. Lieberman. said. “But an honest account of what happened will include an emotional aftermath, how the person felt.”

A liar will also fill out a story with many superfluous details. Why? Because they don’t have real details, they overcompensate and “put in a lot of details that are irrelevant.”

7. Liars use impersonal pronouns.

Dr. Lieberman trains law enforcement to pay attention to the personal pronouns used by suspects.

“Pronouns can reveal whether someone is trying to distance themselves or completely separate themselves from their words,” he writes in mind reader.

Just as a liar might look away from you or have trouble making eye contact, you will distance yourself from your own words, avoiding personal pronouns like I, I, mine, or my.

Instead, the liar will often speak more in the second person with lots of “you” statements, or keep referring to “they” or “that” person. The subconscious says here that they are too guilty of lying to refer directly to themselves.

There are no one trick ponies

Dr. Lieberman emphasized that each of these accounts by themselves may not prove that someone is lying. His techniques “aren’t one trick ponies,” he said. “But if you have 7, 8, 9 markers in a single sentence, then you can tell very clearly whether someone is telling the truth or not.”

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