How to Become a Human Lie Detector

PrintBody language is often a dead giveaway of lying, but so is language. In Never Be Lied to Again, author David J. Lieberman makes the case that liars use certain words, phrases and syntax. These prevaricators spit out responses quickly like a parrot thinking it conceals what they’re doing, and they repeat your own words when answering your question. For example, ask your boyfriend, “Did you ever cheat on me?” and he might respond, “No, I never cheated on you.” Ever becomes never.

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Here are my 10 favorite takeaways from Never Be Lied to Again that I’ll be using on dates.

  1. A person who believes the world is corrupt tends to be more corrupt. If he asks if you’re lying or cheating, he could be projecting his own behavior.
  2. A liar is more self-conscious. A person who is lying tries to get his story straight, so his story is usually one-dimensional and rarely includes other people’s point of views.
  3. A liar is less interested in whether you understand him and more interested in sounding believable. He will keep adding information until convinced that you believe him.
  4. A liar will answer your question but asks none of his own unless stalling while calculating a believable response.
  5. A liar might deflect the question. If asked, “Did you lie to me yesterday about having to cancel our date because you had to work late?” he might answer, “Of course not. You know how I feel about lying.”
  6. A liar wants to change the subject as quickly as possible, and when successful appears happier and more relaxed.
  7. Be cautious around people who use these phrases: “To be perfectly frank…” or “To tell you the truth…” or “I never lie” or “Why would I lie to you?” Someone who is telling the truth doesn’t feel the need to convince you.
  8. A liar tends to respond with humor or sarcasm to your question.
  9. Beware of a person who anticipates your question and whose answers sound rehearsed and unnaturally detailed.
  10. A liar can also be too vague, implying an answer but never stating it. Asked if he’s working, a prospective date might say, “Well, I have an extensive résumé and enjoy my work.”


There is an art and a science to detecting lies. It isn’t easy, and tactics could be contradictory. So don’t forget to activate the bull meter in your gut. If you think he’s lying, he probably is.

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Photo: leutie/iStock

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