Sniffing-Out Liars and “Truthists”

I wonder if you’ll agree,…. the truth has morphed into an occluded term in our Millennial 2012 World. There’s a prevailing aura of mistrust amongst the community of mankind, one that has replaced an earlier more prevalent “confidence in our fellow man.” We’ve even got a new word for the truth’s modern shadowy dimensions invented by Comedian Stephen Colbert: “Truthiness.”

It’s the quality of seeming to be true according to one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like: the growing trend of truthiness as opposed to truth. Condensed definition: “Bull-Shit”.
So first, here’s one of the easiest methods you can tell if someone is being “Truthy” with you. They’ll begin by or follow-up their statement with an oath, or testaments of their “Truthy” sincerity. Something like: “Cross my heart and hope to die or I swear upon my parents graves,…I would NEVER lie to you. May God strike me dead if I lie” (this last one could be pricey for the “Truthorist”). If it happens, ““Shields-Up”!  You’ve just been strafed with a warning shot over the bow. Somebody may be being “Truthy” with you. Their facts may be marginalized. They could be “” you.
 If you’re an Alcoholic or Addict trying to overcome and live with your affliction living out your life in recovery, you know that for most of us, the worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. And “are-we-ever” talented when it comes to being “Truthy” with the man or woman in our mirror. In our active phases, (hopefully past like….”way-past”) we live in self-denial of what we are doing, what we have done in our past and most of all, our motivations for why. We rati0nalized justifications for our crazy thoughts and actions, thinking and believing our lies were really the truth of things.We know know that was “Truthy’. How can we explain why we did this? Here’s my answer for today. One of the biggest reasons we did and do it still sometimes – because we’re afraid of:

A. Not getting what we want
B. Losing what we have
C. Getting caught at something

“I can quit anytime I want”

It’s the fear of some dreadful unknown outcome. We’re frightened that we will not find love, and if we do – we presume we’ll lose it. We’re scared that if we do not have love in our lives, (or our misplaced understanding of it) we’ll be forever unhappy.

Perhaps we forgot or never really understood a reasonable definition of Humility: “knowing who and what we are and what we can be if we apply our spiritual principles to our daily lives and all their events.” Acceptance of and living by that axiom is a fear-breaking confidence builder. Am I right?

We succumb to the greatest lie of all, the one our imagination tells us of premonitions; fearful intuitive flashes of the future, those diabolical speculations of our lives outcomes not yet known.

Now,….once we get a little seasoned at this “life in recovery, we discover that most thing don’t turn out the way we thought they would and “we had nothing to fear but fear itself.”

This reminds me of a saying from a movie I just watched: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Don’t worry, everything will come out okay in the end. If things don’t seem okay, it’s because the end hasn’t come yet.” When we try to predict the future from a twisted faith in our emotional intuition, we are most often just – plain – wrong. Once we realize that we don’t know and cannot predict our future, we stop torturing ourselves with our so called: Crystal Ball. the one that sees everything and knows – nothing.

In the last edition of the blog we talked about types of liars. NOW,….let’s discuss how we can tell if someone’s lying to us or sniffing out the Pinocchio’s.   It’s a place where your “Gut Feeling” might be a valid sign to pay attention, but once again we need a more scientific method to be sane and more certain about our hunches. First, the standard disclaimer: this is NOT a guaranteed set of methods, but I’ll give you links at the end for checking out the resources.

How to tell if someone is lying to you

There are signals that you can watch for in their body language, mannerisms and tone of voice.

If their demeanor or voice changes rapidly; If they avoid saying “I”; if they have a quick answer for everything; when they seem to fidget and fuss for no reason; if they claim their honesty repeatedly, you just might have a live one.

* Source: Joseph Buckley is the president of John E. Reid and Associates, in Chicago, which trains law-enforcement investigators.

Signs of Deception:

Body Language of Lies

  • Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.
  • A person who is lying  has a hard time maintaining eye contact.
  • Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch their chest or heart with an open hand.

Emotional Gestures and Contradictions

how to see a fake smile
  • Timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are off what you’d consider a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly.
  • Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words. Example: Someone says “I love it!” when receiving a gift, and then smiles after making that statement, rather then at the same time the statement is made.
  • Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement, such as frowning when saying “I love you.”
  • Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe,) instead of the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and forehead push down, etc.

Interactions and Reactions

  • A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.
  • A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away.
  • A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.

Verbal Context and Content

  • A liar will use your words to make their answer a question. When asked, “Did you eat the last cookie?” The liar answers, “No, I did not eat the last cookie. What makes you think I would do that?
  • A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: “ I didn’t do it” instead of “I did not do it”
  • Liars sometimes avoid “lying” by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of denying something directly.
  • The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you… they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.
  • A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is made the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.
  • Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. In other words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.

Other Ways to Catch a Liar

If you believe someone is lying, then change the subject of a conversation quickly. A liar follows along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous subject.

Ways to tell someone is not being truthful

  1. Look for physical clues, especially sweating and fidgeting
  2. Seek Details: Push your subject for particulars and minutiae. The more details they have to give the more likely they are to slip up.
  3. Beware Unpleasantness. Liars are noticeably less cooperative than truth-tellers. Liars also make more negative statements and complaints than truth-tellers do, and they appear somewhat less friendly and pleasant.
  4. Observe Eye Contact: a subject’s failure to make eye contact is often a sign of deceit.
  5. Signs of stress. Look for dilated pupils and a rise in vocal pitch. Both phenomena were more common in liars than truth tellers. Listen for the Pause:Forced to make up a story on the spot, most speakers will take a beat or two to collect their thoughts.
  6. Ask Them Again:Police interrogators often ask suspects to repeat their stories, and listen for inconsistencies to ferret out lies. But be careful: “Smart people maintain the consistency of lies better than dumb people.
  7. Beware those people who project to much:Someone who consciously is trying to make you think he’s honest–for instance, by injecting the phrase “to be honest”–may be lying. Most people assume they will be trusted most of the time. If someone expects otherwise, take a moment to ask yourself why.
  8. Know Thyself: One reason liars succeed is that listeners don’t really want to know the truth, so be honest with yourself about what it is you want to hear. You may wish to believe this trusted person is telling the truth, but does their story actually make sense?

Here are those cites for the two above references, to which I acknowledge and express thanks:
10 ways to tell if someone is lying to you

Now that we are all armed with lie detective skills, (and for those looking to become more convincing liars – new avoidance signals) let’s close with this thought and a little poem about lying and how quickly it changes peoples attachments and attitudes..

It is much easier to live with the truth than a lie. Remember: No matter how much “Truthiness” you send about ahead of it, sooner or later the real truth will catch-up.

For that reason and for integrity – that virtuous quality of honesty in all one’s affairs – that the truth is better than a lie. In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote:

I must be cruel, only to be kind. Thus bad begins so worse reminds behind.”


The moment of confession

I believed you.
Swearing every single word
that  you spoke was true
There wasn’t any way
I would doubt a single thing you said.
But I never dreamed you’d
lie right to my face.

But you did (yes you did)
Now I’ve lost my faith
And I don’t see it coming back.
Even though you swear you’re sorry,
It’ll never make-up for the fact.
How can I believe, anything that you say?

Yes you fooled me once, that’s a shame on you.
You won’t fool me twice – there’s nothing you can do,
When you lied to me and said it was true
It blew your trust away…….

Nothing’s gonna be the same.

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