Detecting a liar can be frustrating, difficult, and unfortunately, sometimes all but impossible. In general, liars are artists in their craft—but pay attention for the red flag phrases below and you’ll stand a far better chance of catching them in their acts.
#1: “There’s no way you can prove that.”
If you here this phrase spoken aloud, a “Ding! Ding! Ding!” noise should immediately sound in your mind, because you are almost certainly being lied to: someone who is telling you the truth will say “I didn’t do it” as opposed to highlighting an absence of proof.
#2: “Yeah, that’s about it.”
This is code for “what you just said is true, but you’ve left out other info that reveals I’m to blame.” Liars will often admit to or confirm details that do not incriminate them, and hope that by doing so the search for the deceiver (them) will fall elsewhere.
#3: “I’m not sure—I don’t remember doing it.”
Even if a liar is sure they have done something culpable, and even if they remember precisely how they did so, they will frequently deny any recollection in the hopes that their uncertainty will make you uncertain.
#4: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
This is code for “I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I’m entirely to blame.” In this situation, liars try to sell their innocence by using exaggerated phrases like “no idea” or “no clue,” but an artful lie detector will hear these red flag phrases and try even harder to expose the truth.
#5: “Are you accusing me of lying?”
This is an attempt to put you on the defensive, and to accuse you of lying about them being a liar! Don’t fall for it: an appropriate response would be, “Yes—and this is why I suspect that you are lying” (then, proceed to spell out your logic).
#6: “Why would I even want to do that?”
Again, this is an attempt to put you on the defensive and force you to answer the liar’s questions, instead of vice versa. A good response would be, “I don’t know, you tell me. All I know is that you did it.”
#7: “Do you really believe I’d do something like that?”
Once again, the liar is attempting to turn the tables on you, and to make you feel bad or guilty for suspecting them of any wrongdoing: don’t let them. A fair and effective response would be, “I never thought you would, but it’s blatantly obvious that you did, to be frank.”
As the common theme of this article suggests, always remember that liars are the ones in the wrong, and that you are the one who has been wronged under these circumstances. St. Augustine once said that “Truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” You just may want to keep this quote handy so you don’t get sucked in to having to unjustly defend yourself against dishonest people.
That being said, checkout the video below if you’d like even more ammo:
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here