How to Detect a Lie

Are you getting the whole truth and nothing but? The answer may be lying right in front of you.


Up next in How to Improve Your Communication Skills (68 videos)

Whether you're dealing with friends, family, a lover, or co-workers, you'll benefit from the communication skills taught in this Howcast video series. Among the advice included: how to tell someone off; how to deliver an ultimatum; how to complain; how to solve creative differences; how to give a compliment; how to take criticism; how to apologize; how to read social cues; how to learn to say no; and much more.


You Will Need

  • A good ear
  • Good eyes
  • A healthy skepticism


  1. Step 1

    Watch their hands

    Watch the suspected liar’s hands. Body language studies show that people tend to touch their face and scratch their nose when they lie.

  2. Step 2

    Follow their eyes

    Follow their eyes. Liars tend to blink a lot and don’t maintain eye contact.

  3. Step 3

    Note their words

    Note their words. A liar will skip contractions--saying 'I did not' instead of 'I didn’t'--and avoid pronouns, using someone’s full name instead of 'he' or 'she.'

  4. Step 4

    Check their smile

    Check their smile. People who are telling the truth use many facial muscles, but liars smile with just their mouth.

  5. Step 5

    Note their posture

    Notice their posture. Liars tend to keep their body posture closed (by folding their arms, for example). They may also unconsciously put an object between you, like a cup of coffee.

  6. Step 6

    Pause before responding

    Pause momentarily before responding; if the silence makes them uncomfortable, they may be lying.

  7. Step 7

    Note the details

    Pay attention to details. If they provide more information than necessary, that’s a bad sign. People tend to be overly specific when they’re making something up.

  8. Step 8

    Change the subject

    Change the subject. If they seem relieved, that’s probably a red flag that they’ve been lying straight to your face!

  9. Step 9

    Teach your liar a lesson

    What you do from here is up to you. It may be smart to file your knowledge away for future use. However, if you're noticing a trend, it might just be time to teach your liar a lesson.

  10. In a recent poll, 91% of Americans reported lying on a regular basis.