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“To find out if she really loved me, I hooked her up to a lie detector. And just as I suspected, my machine was broken. ”
-Dark Jar Tin Zoo
23 years in the FBI taught Agent LaRae Quy how to spot deception when it counts.
Truthful people tend to add details and remember more facts as they repeat their story. Liars, on the other hand, memorize their stories and try to keep them the same. (If they add details, they often don't add up.) If you suspect someone is being deceptive, ask the person to recall events backward rather than forward in time.
For example, start at the end of a story and ask them to explain what happened right before that point. And then, before that... and so on.
For truthful people, this makes recall easier. Liars often simplify the story to avoid contradicting themselves.
A subtle change in a person's deportment can be a strong sign of deception.
Be careful if a person:
· exhibits lapses in memory at critical times (despite being alert in earlier conversation);
· answers questions with very short answers, refusing to provide details;
· begins speaking more formally (this is a sign the person is getting stressed);
· uses extreme superlatives or exaggerated responses (everything is "awesome" or "brilliant" instead of good).
"No" is a key word to observe if you suspect someone is trying to mislead you.
A person is often demonstrating deceptive behavior when they:
· say "no" and look in a different direction;
· say "no" and close their eyes;
· say "no" after hesitating;
· say "noooooooo," stretched over a long period of time;
· say "no" in a singsong manner.
A deceptive person will try to anticipate your questions, so that their answers sound instinctive and natural. They may even practice answering specific questions ahead of time.
Ask them something they don't expect, and they'll stumble.
Liars tend to speak more than truthful people in an attempt to sound legitimate and win over their audience. They will also use more complex sentences to hide the truth.
Of course, none of us want to be lied to. But it's important to remember that people are uneasy with certain questions due to personal embarrassment, or because they are extremely dependent on the outcome of the conversation.
If you're puzzled by a response, explore with follow-up questions.
When in doubt, continue to ask discerning questions. In time, you'll be able to spot deceit like a pro.
Don't get me wrong, there are genuinely nice people in the world. But watch out if someone is trying too hard to make a good impression.
Agreeing with all of your opinions, constantly offering praise, and laughing at all of your jokes are signs that one lacks authenticity and sincerity.
Come across as empathetic in conversation, and you'll get the person to open up more than when you are cold and accusatory.
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