How to spot a liar

If you suspect someone is telling you a lie, look for four key signs. Photo / Getty
If you suspect someone is telling you a lie, look for four key signs. Photo / Getty

According to the experts, us humans are terribly prone to telling lies.

So much so, that 60 per cent of us are unable to last ten minutes without telling a fib, and on average we let slip 10-200 lies per day.

However, communications coach Noah Zandon, author of TED-Ed lesson The Language Of Lying, says its possible to spot a fib using four simple steps.

Whether it be a vague untruth or a nasty deceit, most people tell lies in order to make ourselves look good, Zandon says.

"We lie partly to paint a better picture of ourselves, connecting our fantasies to the person we wish we were rather than the person we are," he told the Daily Mail.

"Stories based on imaginative experiences are qualitatively different from those based on real experiences."

Here's what to look for if you suspect someone is avoiding the truth:

Liars refer to themselves less

Fibbers like to distance themselves when making untrue statements.

This often includes referring to themselves in the third person, and saying things along the lines of "the car wasn't driven by anyone", rather than "I didn't drive the car."

Liars are negative

Whether or not they are fully conscious of it, liars feel guilty about their actions, and this makes their language more negative.

Zandon says examples could be, "I didn't cheat on that stupid test" or "the traffic was awful - I hate my commute".

Liars keep it simple

As they are often making it up as they go, liars can tend to simplify their stories. Zandon says to watch out for over-simplified explanations that don't add up.

Liars use long sentences

Despite keeping their stories simple, liars tend to pad out their explanations with unhelpful waffle. If you suspect someone is telling a lie, see if they are embellishing their stories with unnecessary detail.

-nzherald.co.nz

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