Detecting deception utilizing verbal cues remains a difficult task. The best way or method to predict deception compares what a person says against external evidence or known truth. At best, certain statements can indicate a higher probability of deception, but there’s no one verbal cue that will accurately predicts deception.
However, certain words or groups of words can signal an area in an utterance wherein deception is likely to occur. If the conversation is important, knowing where potential deception resides can provide a distinct advantage, in business or social interactions.
The below 4 statements are signs someone is lying to you :
1. “That’s about it.”
The word “about” is a word qualifier, which indicates the speaker has more to say but does not want to elaborate. If the speaker told the entire story, his or her response would be, “That’s it.” The word “about” signals that the response falls short of the entire story. Truthful people relate all the facts without fear of legal or social consequences. A less truthful or deceptive person does not tell the complete story because there’s something they do not want to disclose.
2. “You can’t prove that.”
The word “prove” suggests that evidence exists to verify the supposition or accusation posited, but the speaker failed to discover the hidden proof. Honest people do not think in terms of proof: They know that no evidence exists because they did not do what the speaker accused. Less Truthful or Deceptive people know proof of their deception exists but the speaker has not yet discovered sufficient evidence to support the accusation.
3. “Why would I do that?”
Answering a question with a question is a huge red flag indicating the possibility of deception. Honest people make direct denials. They typically respond, “I didn’t do that.” Less Truthful or Deceptive people are evasive, and when they are caught off guard, they need extra time to think of a believable response. A response like, “Why would I do that?” buys the deceptive person precious time to formulate such a response.
4. “Are you accusing me?”
In addition to answering a question with a question, the accused may subtly try to turn the tables on his / her accuser, putting the questioner on the defensive. The unspoken words of the accused are, “How dare you accuse me? Prepare to defend yourself.” This subtle counterattack prompts the accuser to justify his / her accusations. In doing so, the accused buys time to press a counterattack or prepare a believable story. The simple answer to this question: “Yes, I am accusing you, or I would not have brought the topic up in the first place.” This response parries the counterattack and puts the accused back on the defensive.
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