Little white lies aren’t a really harmless thing, we’ve all sneakily got out of a night out by saying we aren’t well.
But even so, some people are better than others at telling those porkies, and now we can quantify how and why.
According to a recent study, the average person fibs about 11 times per week, which equates to around twice a day.
It could be a little lie, like how you enjoy the new track a friend has showed you which you actually can’t stand, or something a bit more serious, like stealing that last slice of pizza out of the fridge.
There are, however, some telltale signs of how to spot whether someone is lying about that last slice of pizza, in case you are thinking of setting out on some path of retributive justice.
According to Paul Ekman PhD, a psychologist who specialises in lying (must come in handy), there are a handful of specific clues to look out for. Here are a few.
The first sign is the head: look at how the accused is moving their head when they are denying something.If they are continuously shaking their head when they’re in the hot seat, then they could well be lying.
If they were genuinely telling the truth, they wouldn’t have to be so OTT about their physical denial of something.
Secondly, look at their face, and look at their expressions. For one fleeting moment of revelation, the accused will reveal what they really think as it passes across their face.
Think again back to that time your mate showed you that god-awful new track which you had to pretend to be into.
Thirdly, look at the hands of whoever you think is lying. We all know a certain orange politician who is known for his hands, and I’m not saying he’s a liar, but there we go.
There are different types of hand expressions according to Ekman, and one of these types denotes untruthfulness: an emblematic slip. This is when the body language reveals something which the person is trying to conceal.
Those who do this are apparently exhibiting clear giveaways that they’re being less than economical with the truth.
Now this one might seem obvious, but listen to the speech of whoever you think is lying. Not just the content of what they’re saying, but the way they’re saying it.
If the person speaking is taking constant breaks when they’re trying to wriggle out of a difficult situation, then it’s because their brain is trying to work out what lie to spout next.
Truthful statements come much more naturally than lies, so it’s a much smoother conversation.
Bam, there you have it, if they’re really overdoing it with the hands and umming and ahhing about what they’re saying, they’re dirty liars!
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.