I can’t think of a better person to advise on detecting deception than someone who has trained detectives and intelligence officers from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Marines. Let’s be real chances are your boyfriend doesn’t quite have the same skills as a marine when it comes to lying, but the tips R. Edward Geiselman outlines in his recent UCLA paper can still easily apply to your man.
Geiselman and three other researchers analyzed over 60 studies on detecting deception and published their findings in a recent issue of American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry. They outlined a number of red flags we all see, but may not be aware of, when someone is lying directly to our faces.
While the following cues can definitely help you detect a lying boyfriend, Geiselman warns that we should take them with a grain of salt, saying, “without training, many people think they can detect deception, but their perceptions are unrelated to their actual ability. Quick, inadequate training sessions lead people to over-analyze and to do worse than if they go with their gut reactions.” So although I still think it’s important to be aware of the signs of deception, there’s no better way to detect a liar than trusting your intuition.
9 Signs of Deceit:
- When questioned, deceptive people say as little as possible.
- Though they say little, they tend to spontaneously give a justification for what they are saying, usually without being prompted.
- They tend to repeat questions before answering them, perhaps to give themselves time to concoct an answer.
- They often monitor the listener’s reaction to what they are saying. “They try to read you to see if you are buying their story,” Geiselman said.
- They often initially slow down their speech because they have to create their story and monitor your reaction, and when they have it straight “will spew it out faster,” Geiselman said. Truthful people are not bothered if they speak slowly, but deceptive people often think slowing their speech down may look suspicious. “Truthful people will not dramatically alter their speech rate within a single sentence,” he said.
- They tend to use sentence fragments more frequently than truthful people; often, they will start an answer, back up and not complete the sentence.
- They are more likely to press their lips when asked a sensitive question and are more likely to play with their hair or engage in other “grooming” behaviors. Gesturing toward one’s self with the hands tends to be a sign of deception; gesturing outwardly is not.
- Truthful people, if challenged about details, will often deny that they are lying and explain even more, while deceptive people generally will not provide more specifics.
- When asked a difficult question, truthful people will often look away because the question requires concentration, while dishonest people will look away only briefly, if at all, unless it is a question that should require intense concentration.