At the races

How To Catch A Liar

TJ is a former hostage negotiator for various branches of the US government. He gave me five tips you can use to spot liars in the middle of the act. As we all know, good liars are hard to spot — look for these telltale signs.

Their Stories Don’t Match Up

It seems obvious, but one of the easiest ways to catch a liar is when their stories change. Remember when your wife told you she was out bowling with the other ladies from work, and two weeks later she said that on that night she was working late at the office? It was shocking when you found out she wasn’t doing either of those things — upon further investigation, you stumbled upon a secret lab where she is building a robot replication of you, and a big sign on the wall said that launch date was on your birthday coming up in three days.

Changes in Demeanor

TJ said to look for changes in their normal behavior. If someone is nervous, it doesn’t indicate they are lying if they always seem nervous. On the other hand, if someone who always seems nervous is suddenly calm, it is a strong indication they are holding back the truth. It may also indicate they are in the last stages of cardiac arrest, and you should call for an ambulance.

Fake Facial Expressions

i never change my expression-image courtesy Carol Highsmith via Library of Congress--920w

Your face is a window to the soul. TJ said many people try to cover lies by grinning and smiling. However, most of the time when they are smiling to cover a falsehood, the smile appears fake and pasted on. That’s why he suggests if you are going to lie, actually paste a fake smile on your face using a cut out from a clown’s mask and a bottle of industrial rubber cement.

Natural Reactions

Very few people can cover their natural reactions. If you tell them you have cut them out of the will, look to see how they respond. If they nod their head quietly and say, “I see, I understand,” you can be reasonably sure they are lying. Instead, if they cry, sob, crawl along the ground to your feet, then stand, look up at the sky and yell, “You can’t do this to me. You can’t do this to me. You can’t do this to me! May God have mercy on your soul!” you can be confident they are telling the truth.

Piling on Details

When someone is lying, they tend to pile on extra details, as if more information would convince you they are not lying. It’s like when you ask your kid if they broke the coffee table in the living room and they say, “No, I was just walking through the living room minding my own business when a large cow came through the front door and knocked me over but I caught my balance just in time to be picked up by a large crow who had followed the cow through the door, and the crow flew me around the house and out the front door high above the neighborhood, and I was beginning to pass out when he let go of me and I fell more than 4000 feet into a pond in the field behind our house which made a giant fish fly out of the pond and over the house, and the cow was just coming back out of the house and he got hit by the fish and he stumbled back and fell and broke the coffee table.”

Look, you can get a little crazy with this stuff, so try to be more trusting of people. Unless they are under 30-years-old. Then you can be sure they are lying.


About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at jditzel@joeditzel.com as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.