Everybody lies. We asked body-language expert Patti Wood to help us spot hidden clues that serve as red flags. That way you’ll know if what you’re being told is a lie, or if you’re just a paranoid wacko with trust issues.
TRUST YOUR GUT — ESPECIALLY WITH FRIENDS
“Your central nervous system acts like a human lie detector,” Woods explains. “So when you think someone is lying to you, it reacts with a stress response.” Problem is, it’s not always on target. It works better with people you know because you already have an idea of how they act when they’re not lying.
ASK QUESTIONS IN REVERSE ORDER
Most liars practice their stories from beginning to end, so asking them to convey information out of sequence can trip them up. So if your idiot buddy starts to tell a long story about why he was so late meeting you at the bar, interrupt him with questions rather than letting him tell the story from beginning to end.
EXAMINE BODY LANGUAGE AND RESPONSE
Hands in pockets, head pointed toward the floor, and shoulders slouched are all good indications that a person isn’t being forthcoming. If you question a part of a person’s story and react strangely — she Hulks up and gets angry, or laughs a little too hard, or begins to fidget with her hair — she may be trying to mislead you.
TIME THEIR TICS
Just because someone touches his nose or mouth, or blinks excessively, doesn’t mean he’s lying. If you notice it from the start of the conversation, don’t pay attention to it. But since stress can trigger nerves around the nose, eyes, or lips, if the tics begin right when you think the lying begins, you might be onto something.