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Former FBI Agent Details 3 Ways To Determine If Someone Is Lying


Lying is an everyday occurrence for most people whether they admit it or not. It could be a harmful lie or a little white lie, but it is something that undeniably happens every day. With the help of former FBI Special Agent Jack Schafer, who specialized in behavior analysis, you now can learn to detect lies when you hear them. 

According to an article from Schafer on The Muse, there are three tell-tale signs that someone is fibbing to you. Also in his book, The Like Switch, Schafer compiled several techniques to detect deception in ways that people will not know you are testing them.

1. Land of Is

Schafer writes: "Yes or no questions deserve a yes or no answer. When people cannot or do not want to answer yes or no, they typically go to the Land of Is. This concept was derived from President Clinton’s now infamous statement, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is."

In order to distinguish between truth and fiction when talking to people, Schafer advises that you should, "simply ask them a yes or no question." He also explains: "If they fail to answer yes or no, a red flag should pop up. After someone provides a convoluted answer to a direct question, ask the same question again. If he or she once again fails to answer with a yes or no, the probability of deception increases significantly."

2. Well...

Another signal of a lie is that when you ask someone a direct 'yes or no' question and they use the word 'well' in response. In this case, someone is likely telling a lie. "When a person answering a direct question begins with 'well', it indicates that he or she is about to give an answer that he or she knows the questioner is not expecting."

3. Why Should I Believe You?

According to Schafer, "When truthful people are asked why others should believe them, they typically answer, 'Because I’m telling the truth' or some variation thereof."

Liars, however, will likely struggle to say this statement because they are not telling the truth. A liar will probably respond with a variations of the statement such as "I'm an honest person," or "you don't have to believe me if you don't want."

Do you think there are any other clear signs that someone is lying to you?