The Truth about Lying ~ Part 2

Before we delve into examples of how my undercover cop hero (or you) might tell if someone is lying, I must warn you that it’s not a good idea to tell others about their signs of deception.

An intelligent liar will merely use the information to throw you off the next time. Hmm, now that might be an interesting plot twist!

On to the examples:

1) Frequently pausing before answering questions (if this is not a normal speech pattern) can be a strong indicator of deception, while stuttering or mumbling are generally not reliable indicators.

2) Nervous laughter might be a sign of evasiveness, or it might simply be a release of stress. But a single deep sigh after a subject has been uncooperative, often signals a readiness to confess.

3) Hand movement to the mouth, nose, eyes, or ears while talking often indicates deception.

4) Contrary to popular opinion, using the eyes to identify deception is unreliable. There are a lot more variables at play in whether someone frequently breaks eye contact, or moves their eyes in a certain direction.

5) Of course…since #4 is a popular belief, a liar may go out of his way to maintain eye contact to convince you of the truth of what he’s saying. An interesting observation I might use in my next cop story. *grin*

6) The movement of a person’s body away from you (often toward the door) is a strong indicator of deception, especially if accompanied by other cues.

7) Bargaining. “I was keeping up with traffic, not speeding.” Or a politician may have “misspoke” or been “quoted out of context.” These are all examples of attempts to disguise reality.

8) Attempt to remake the interrogator’s image of him, for example, by saying, “I’m a veteran.” or “I’m a faithful husband.” or “I’m a good employee.”

9) Attempts to stall. Examples: answering a question with a question; pretending didn’t hear; cough, repeating the question.

10) There are many more examples (and cautions) in the book, but I’ll end with the use of blocking statements. Example: “Why would I lie about something like that?”

Your Turn: Can you think of a memorable line or action you’ve seen in movies or read in books where someone is lying?

Like Lie to Me when they’d point out a “tell” then flash clips of famous politicians who’d been caught doing that very thing, such as Clinton touching his nose during his testimony about Monica Lewinsky.

Giveaway Notice: Kav has posted a fabulous review of my March release and is giving away a copy to one commenter this week, plus a copy of a January LI book of their choice! Here’s the link:



  • This has been interesting, Sandra….never thought about actions when lying (i.e. he touched his nose! lol). I am headed to Kav’s to enter for your new book… the cover!!!

  • Oooh, these are so interesting. Hmm. The only tell I know about is the eye movement, which you’ve just said is unreliable. lol
    The pausing thing is the most interesting thing to me.

  • I was watching an old episode of JAG last night and the female officer said that she didn’t duck. “Marines never duck. We take cover.” A great example of making something seem not as bad as it appears. 🙂

    Best wishes on your entry, Jackie!

    Jessica, I often pause when talking so establishing a baseline of behavior is soooo important.

    Loree, my characters swallow hard a lot 🙂

  • Loved the post! Such good info! I posted about lies this week too! We must be on to something 🙂

    Love the cover art for Shades of Truth! Even if I win it I’m still gonna buy one! Crossing my fingers for the big win either way.

  • I really enjoyed this book. Having read many like this, this has been the most detailed and easy to understand. In my experience people who don’t usually laugh much, tend to laugh when they are lying (I’ve noticed this more with women than with men), along with the good old ‘no eye contact’. After reading this book I’ve definitely been able to notice a lot more. I can now laugh inside when all the signs point to someone being insincere, being able to notice how obvious the deceptiveness is, and how much they are truly giving away, it enables me to worry less about what people are actually thinking and move on. A definite must!

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.