How to recognize a lie by facial expressions and gestures?

How to recognize a lie: 10 mistakes fans of lying and effective ways to determine deception

Hello friends, here is Ludmila Redkina and today I want to share with you techniques that will help you “read” a person as soon as you see him. Isn’t that a good skill? And it turns out it is not hard to learn. Probably many people know the TV series “Lie to Me”, where the main character recognized the lie by the smile, body position, openness of the eyes. The first time I watched it, I was impressed, and I myself wanted to expose everyone in the same way. So, today we’re talking about how to recognize a lie, and what you need to know and do to do this.

What is a lie and what types it comes in

Lying or lying is the deliberate untruthful provision of information. Much to my surprise, not telling the truth is also a lie. For example, if a mother asks a schoolboy what grade he got, and he tells only the high score, and hides the lower one, it is considered a lie.

Well, in this case everything is clear, but it turns out that there are still some types of lies, which many people use in everyday life, not even suspecting that at this point they are deceived. So, let’s look at the main types of lies:

  1. Fraud. A person tells only the information that is profitable to him, this technique is used by sellers when they conceal the gaps of the goods. In business, this is a common phenomenon.
  2. Gossip. Oh, oh, how many fortunes are ruined by gossip, I’ve been caught more than once myself! “Do you know…” – Usually with this phrase begins a thriller about how Vasya beat Petya because of Olya, and she chose Kolya, and so on. In this case, the information is embellished, and added their own assessment, speculation and perception.
  3. Speculations. “I didn’t make the bed because I was looking for a shirt, carefully brushing my teeth and helping you!” Sometimes a child says, actually saw a toy, played with it, and completely forgot about his task. And as a result, you have to make excuses. This, too, is a lie.
  4. Empathy. Sometimes when we empathize with another, we have to lie. These situations are actually not a few. And here it is debatable whether to hide the bitter truth that the guy dumped, the aunt is terminally ill, or it is better for a person to get used to a difficult situation…
  5. Politeness. Out of politeness, we often have to lie, too: we want to impress, to be remembered “on high,” to remain perfect in public. “Oh, how beautiful you look! I missed you so much, girlfriend!” Far from always this phrase is true.
  6. In little ways. I didn’t take the red candy (well, I didn’t say the pink one!). You didn’t invite me to the party,” says the girlfriend, although the company she was standing in was all invited, including her, who knew that the star needed a personal invitation!
  7. Bragging. “It’s just a matter of waving a finger, all the men will follow me!”, “I shot a pheasant like that today!”, “And I accelerated mine up to 200 km/h, it’s holding up like a tank!” Men are more prone to bragging, Freud attributed it to the sexual energy of alpha males, and I will say that men just have a need to constantly assert themselves among friends.
  8. Sneaking around. “Let me help you this and that, and that,” even though I know there’s no altruism involved! “Honey, I’m sorry that was the last drink of the week!” and you, honey, believe it, and you shouldn’t.
  9. Self-deception. If a person lies to others, it can be attributed to low self-esteem, selfishness, pride, envy, fear, etc. But often there are cases of self-deception, when justification of themselves reaches the point where a person begins to believe in their own fantasies. Gradually withdrawing into the world of illusion, avoiding the truth, he sets a trap for himself.

10 mistakes of a liar

A pioneer in the definition of liars was Paul Ekman, who said that the human body is a letter to read sincerity. Psychology gives us the ability to determine right away whether or not the person we are talking to is deceiving us by the 10 mistakes made by a liar. Take the secrets of exposure!

Mistake 1: feelings cannot be deceived

The left side of the body displays feelings and experiences, as right-handed people are accustomed to controlling the leading side throughout life. When lying, the person is focused on hiding information and trying not to give the lie away, and forgets about controlling the left side.

If you follow the person closely, the hand on the left will be dangling or fixing the hair, gesturing, lifting, etc. It is easy to tell from such gesticulation whether a person is lying or not.

Mistake 2: Uncontrolled hands

You can tell if your interlocutor is lying by your hands. If you suspect that you are being “tricked,” look at how your hands “behave”: covering your mouth, rubbing your nose, touching your face or neck. So, take the following secret: if such movements are repeated often, you guessed it – they are trying to deceive you.

But don’t try to play the universal whistle-blower, without experience you might mistake scratching a mosquito bite for lying!

Mistake 3: Disruption of normal speech

Many wives have used this secret to expose men’s lies by suspecting infidelity. So, try to follow the liar’s speech closely. Often such people allow a lot of understatement, the pace of the story is constantly changing.

The thing is that at first the person starts to get out of the situation slowly, then, in fear that you will find out about his deception, speeds up the pace of the story, then pauses a little, in order not to give himself up.

You will also pick up notes of untruth in his voice: you will hear a tremor or a repetition of your words. “Where have you been all night, I’ve been waiting for you!” – “I was at work all night, we have the annual report.” BUT! be careful what you conclude, maybe your husband was out all night preparing a surprise birthday party instead of relaxing in the bathhouse!

Mistake 4: ah, those eyes

The eyes are the mirror of the soul, and it is a well-known fact. Children of famous people are taught from childhood not to look into the eyes of strangers. And for good reason! Through the eyes you can read a person, looking into his eyes, you can manipulate him.

You can also expose a person through his eyes. In the eyes you can easily determine whether a person is lying or not. He will avoid looking directly at you, averting his eyes; if you pay close attention to his “mirror of the soul”, the untrained person will be embarrassed.

Lying in the eyes

Mistake 5: recognize by emotion

There is a well-known to all psychologists definition of emotion – it is a reaction to the event. So, knowing it, see how a person reacts to your questions. If the emotions do not coincide with the words or lag behind, then you are definitely communicating with a liar.

You can tell from the facial expressions. For example, a friend meets the other and says, “I’m so happy to see you!” but the smile lags by a fraction of a second, you can conclude that she is insincere.

Mistake 6: Keep it short.

Any deceiver will shorten his speech so that he won’t be caught off guard with unnecessary questions. So subconsciously he wants to end the situation in his favor. After the story, he will observe whether you will believe what he has said, or whether you will start to check his version.

Mistake 7: Pathological details

And when you do suspect something is wrong, the liar begins to dedicate you in all the details of the situation. Here you will hear the maximum amount of information, even that which was not asked. By reciting the smallest details and details, the man himself begins to believe his own untruths, making you believe them too.

Mistake 8: Building a defense

You can also recognize a liar by his defense: “You don’t believe me?”, “Do you think I’m lying to you?”, “Have I ever lied to you?” and other phrases. As soon as he notices that the story is stressing you out, you ask clarifying questions, immediately a defense like “Do you respect me?” is “turned on”.

Sometimes the defense is built on humorous phrases, jokes. But you can not judge the person if you do not know him, maybe he is such a humorist by life?

Mistake 9: focus.

Deceiver, as a rule, carefully watching whether you “swallowed” his text or not. If you show your emotions, he will consider it as distrust of your words or your loss (you believed). If you show doubt, he will “engage” all his skills to convince you that he is right.

You can even conduct an experiment: in the middle of the story to frown his eyebrows, the liar will immediately change his tactics of persuasion. The tiniest details or defenses will begin to emerge.

Mistake 10: Tell the story backwards

This is a very telling mistake. If the deceiver is asked to tell the story from the end, he will get confused about the plot, dates, time, and actions. I tested this method on my children, and it works! The main thing is to watch closely the facial expressions and chronology of events and time, otherwise a skilled liar will cheat you here too!

How do you know if a person is lying: Ways

For you, as for me, of course, it is important in time to stop the manipulator of our trust! So, gaining experience on how to identify lying.

By a person’s gestures.

A person’s gestures and posture can tell you a lot. Let’s start with the “closed posture” – the person crosses his arms and legs, he closes down. This is due to either discomfort or a desire to close himself off from you.

If the interlocutor is constantly fidgeting, it’s obvious that something is bothering him! And most often it is the possible exposure, especially if the palms are closed.

Everyone talks at a certain pace. So here is another secret of psychology: if his speech and gesticulation do not coincide in tempo, then he is a straightforward liar!

A few more signs of lying:

  • the person frequently touches his nose;
  • hands constantly in the area of the throat, mouth;
  • rubbing of hands;
  • fingering different objects;
  • the interlocutor tries to smoke when you start pestering, or he bites his lips;
  • position in space also changes – it’s as if the person is trying to increase their distance, so they step back, but it works when you are perceived as a real threat of exposure;
  • the palms are considered the second indicators of truth after the eyes, so if they are carefully hidden in pockets, behind the back, etc., it’s a clear indicator of lying.

By facial expression

Lying is not peculiar to man, he has to lie in circumstances that threaten him. Therefore, unreliable information is accompanied by tension. When the interlocutor deceives you, watch his facial expressions.

The main signs of lying by facial expressions:

  • The color of the face changes: either darker or paler;
  • There is a slight twitch of the eyelids;
  • Watch his blinking – it speeds up.

Such phenomena are often accompanied by rubbing of different parts of the body. This is a reaction of the brain – it wants to block out the untruth. But blinking betrays an internal desire to close your eyes to everything.

By the eyes

Psychologists no longer claim that liars hide their eyes in conversation. There are skilled in their craft manipulators and deceivers. Still, it is possible to suspect a lie through the eyes.

To begin with, lying, especially to a beginner, is stressful. And how does our body react to stress? In conversation, you may see dilated pupils and an unnatural glint in the eye.

Statistics, a stubborn thing, says that women often look up when cheating, and men, on the contrary – down.

Even pay attention to frequent blinking, aversion of the eyes, which is replaced by a close observation of you. So the interlocutor watches, whether you listen to him attentively and trust.

Want to learn how to “read” people’s eyes – watch the video below:

By facial expressions, eyes and gestures it is much easier to detect a cheater than by correspondence. What’s on paper or a medium is hard to change somehow. That’s why people are less likely to lie to their acquaintances through correspondence. But how do you know if you are being lied to by correspondence on the Internet? Determining when a person is lying, grab some tips:

  • Long typing (if you can see it) indicates that the person is picking up words, and this is the first indicator of insincerity;
  • If you do not get an answer to a burning question, or you get an answer on another topic in the text – a sign of withholding information, which is a lie;
  • you ask a question, and you are blamed for playing on your feelings, conscience, and all the deadly sins – the person is lying or hypocritical;
  • In sensitive areas, you ask a straightforward question, and the opponent “plays dumb,” pretending to forget or devaluing your feelings;
  • Constant excuses or complaints – insincerity of the interlocutor;
  • Constantly receive phrases like “maybe,” “I’ll try,” “anything can happen” – manipulation or deception.

Keep in mind that lies can be for different reasons, and people can be talkative or taciturn, so it is better to talk “honestly”, so as not to get lost in guesswork and not to invent problems with the person.

But it is difficult to distinguish the truth from the lies in a relationship, especially if the guy or girl is interested in you. To do this, connect all the methods: look at the gestures, in the eyes, ask direct questions and watch the reaction. But don’t overdo it either – there’s a danger of losing a real relationship.

Useful books on the psychology of lying

As I said before, by the face and other parts of the body you can perfectly determine whether you are being lied to. For this I recommend such books:

  1. Paul Eckman’s “Know a Liar by Facial Expression,” “The Psychology of Lying. Fool Me If You Can.
  2. Allan Pease “Body Language.
  3. Eugene Spiritsa “The Psychology of Lying and Deception. How to expose a liar.
  4. Alexander Tarasov “Learn a Liar! How to recognize deception. 12 practical tips”.
  5. Joe Navarro “Louder than words. How to understand nonverbal signals.
  6. Charles Ford “The Psychology of Deception. How, why and why even honest people lie.
  7. Pamela Meyer ” How to spot a lie. Effective methods of detecting deception.”

How to learn to identify lies with the help of training

And now it’s time to give you a little bit of grief! This is something that I also encountered. After reading a lot about the psychology of deception, I naturally began to work it out on those around me. But the problem is that few wanted to deceive me! So gradually the techniques and knowledge of gestures and facial expressions of liars were forgotten. You will also notice that it is not enough just to read a useful book, you need practice.

Therefore, I came to the conclusion that such useful knowledge should be immediately practiced in a group, that is, in the training. This is a great way to consolidate practical skills.

  1. Recognize a lie by the postures, gestures, facial expressions and voice of the interlocutor.
  2. Know when you are being manipulated.
  3. See right through people.
  4. Understand why people do things.
  5. Identify false emotion.
  6. Identify lies in writing.
  7. Anticipate your opponent’s actions during negotiations.

Training includes:

  1. A set of practical profiling techniques.
  2. Tools and exercises for practicing techniques.
  3. Trainer to recognize micro-expressions.
  4. Tests on the skill level.

Cost – 990 rubles.

If you do not like the course, you can get your money back within 7 days.


When trying to become a whistleblower, do not play on people’s feelings, it could cost you dearly. BUT also don’t let yourself be manipulated, because no one has the right to influence your happiness!

  1. When you recognize micro expressions on the face or gestures, note that the person expresses only emotions arising here and now, in fact he may treat you differently, but you his phrase reminded him of something.
  2. Recognizing lie by chattiness or silence in response, consider that people can be extroverts and introverts, and maybe do not want to deceive you at all, but just tightly thinking or chatty.

That’s all I wanted to tell you in this article. If the information was useful to you, share the article in social networks, express your opinion in the comments. And I’ll say goodbye until the next article!

Sincerely, Ludmila Redkina

Hi! I am a professional psychologist and in each article I put my soul and a part of my experience. All the advice I have written for this blog will help you to become a little better. I am very happy to share my ideas with you, I believe that together we will change this world for the better! You can read more about me in the section “About the authors”.

How to spot a lie: the gestures, facial expressions, in communication

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. The world is built on lies. To recognize that in today’s society the boundaries of the moral dilemma “lie-truth” are very much blurred is not to be cynical. It means being a realist, despite the cynicism of such a judgment. Everyone lies: the media in pursuit of ratings, politicians in order to increase the number of followers, advertising in order to increase sales, and what the hell, we ourselves lie. Occasionally, the goal is to get some kind of preferential treatment, and sometimes it happens involuntarily.

The flip side of the coin is that no one wants to be deceived. We do not want to fall for the tricks of fraudsters, to buy a low-quality product, to make a deal with a dishonest person. Many of the techniques used by police and forensic psychologists to recognize lying can be useful to people in other professions, such as HR managers or employers, and anyone else who does not want to be deceived.

Introduction to lie detection

At one time the topic of lie detection became quite a topic of discussion due to the popularity of the TV series “Lie to me” created by S. Baum (translated into Russian as “Lie Theory”). The characters of the series masterfully investigate crimes based on observations of the behavior of suspects. The main character is the prototype of a real person, Paul Eckman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, who is known for his works in the field of detection of deception by means of micro-expressions, changes in the voice, vegetative signs (blush, sweat, rapid breathing), a lie detector.

At the same time, many experts point out that the show is largely idealized and hyperbolized. Psychologists who study deception argue that there is no reliable way to incriminate lying, because lying is not a separate psychological process with its own unique behavioral indicators. This aspect plays an important role, because it is difficult to determine when a person is lying and when he or she is telling the truth, but is nervous because of pressure and more psychological stress. Recognizing the line is very difficult, and this is something to keep in mind when resorting to the techniques described below. Remember:

1. No technique gives a 100% guarantee of detection that a person is lying.

2. Do not directly accuse others of lying. Draw conclusions for yourself. Accusation is based on facts, not guesswork. Excessive suspicion (unless, of course, it is a professional skill) is fraught with difficulties in the communication process.

3. nonverbal cues are not always proof of lying. In some cultures, staring at another person is considered bad manners and can damage relationships.

4. Many of the physiological elements by which it is advised to detect untruths, such as excessive sweating or a dry throat, may be present in a person due to individual characteristics.

Recognizing lies by facial expressions and eyes

Microexpressions. A person who lies subconsciously displays the emotion of distress. Outwardly, this is expressed in the involuntary raising of the eyebrows, resulting in the formation of folds on the forehead. Asymmetry, a different expression of emotion on the right and left sides of the face, will help judge the untruth. Such inconsistency is a sign of the fact that the emotion is invented, not experienced.

The nose and mouth. According to researchers, a liar is much more likely to touch his nose than a person who is telling the truth. This may be because the adrenaline rush in the capillaries of the nose causes itching. A person’s willingness to cover their mouth with their hand or press their lips together can also indicate a lie.

Eye movements. The person blinks more often when lying. The eyelids remain closed longer than usual during lying. Men often have a tendency to rub their eyes when withholding the truth. The direction of the gaze can easily tell if a person is making up information or not. For example, a right-handed person’s gaze directed upward to the left indicates imagination, while upward to the right indicates recollection. Although the postulate that a person looks away or down during a conversation has recently been actively criticized as a tool for determining the truth, the methodology is quite interesting.

Body Language

Sweating. It was said above that this sign is not always true, but statistics are relentless: the person who lies sweats more than the one who is truthful.

Nodding of the head. As a rule, we nod involuntarily to confirm our words or agree with what is said. When a person is lying, there is a delay between the words and the nod of the head.

Fidgeting. The hat burns on the thief. General fussiness, nervousness, inability to sit still, unnatural posture will be a good help in determining the truthfulness of the person’s words.

Movement. A person who tells the truth leans towards the interlocutor, a liar on the contrary moves away. During communication, many unconsciously use mirroring – repeating gestures of a person. When a person lies, this subconscious reaction is suppressed. An unrestrained hand position (smoothing the hair, fixing the tie, the desire to squeeze something) also give away a liar.

Swallowing of saliva and breathing. Increased breathing may be an indication that the person is on thin ice. He begins to breathe faster to pump the brain with oxygen, which is necessary for orientation in a critical situation. Excessive saliva production is related to the release of adrenaline, so frequent swallowing can give away a liar.

Analysis of verbal responses

Voice. Changes in the speed and timbre of the voice can be good indicators of lying. Similar evidence may be hesitation before an answer or a sudden stammering, long pauses.

Excessive talkativeness. Reason to doubt the sincerity of the person may serve the fact of his answers to seemingly simple questions, requiring a direct and short answer. Instead, the liar begins to specify unnecessary details, and often seeks support by your agreement with his words.

Emotional response. Watch your interlocutor’s behavior throughout the conversation. A truthful person who has nothing to hide reacts differently than a liar whose reactions vary spectrally from feignedly careless to aggressively outraged.

Verification. In the movies, we quite often see experienced investigators catching liars at odds with each other through their questioning. Indeed, to verify the truthfulness, you can memorize the answers to some questions over time to ask the same questions and match the words. Untruthful people often get confused, cut off phrases in the middle, joking off uncomfortable questions. At the same time, frequent use of the same “memorized” mechanical answers most likely indicates untruthfulness of the data.

Don’t fall for tricks. Often when a person wants to hide his true motives, he resorts to a set of long invented tricks. Frequent compliments, abrupt transitions from topic to topic after uncomfortable questions, distractions to irrelevant details can be an additional reason to doubt the sincerity of the person.

Feedback and comments

Once again, don’t get overly involved in spiel games and be objective in your assessments. Discuss the practicalities involved in using techniques to determine a person’s truthfulness by using the form below.

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