Sunday, September 06, 2009

Can You Spot a Liar?

I read an interesting article called “He Lied, She Lied” by Kiri Blakeley of about lying. From a writer’s point of view, the article’s especially useful research material because nearly every writer creates characters who lie. Just try and write a mystery without one. Blakeley’s article discusses why, how, and when we lie, plus what we lie about. She also notes some interesting differences between men and women liars. To read more go to

Another useful link at the bottom of Blakeley’s article will take you to an article by Melanie Lindner, also of Forbes, that lists eleven tips to help you determine if someone’s lying. Here’s a few that you can use in your fictional, or even your real life:

# 1: Liars won’t face you directly, but at an angle and with arms and legs crossed.
#2: Liars are more likely to ask you to repeat a question, or to answer with “to be perfectly honest”.
# 3: Liars aren’t particularly good with the details and are more emphatic about being right.
#4: The pauses between their words will often increase.
#5: Liars are often guarded, defensive and less cooperative
#6: Liars tend to use “you” and “they” rather than “I”.
#7: Hand gestures are more pronounced and will match the rhythm of their speech
#8: Experienced liars don’t break into a sweat, but their eyes might shifty eyes and voice pitch will change.

Okay, go ahead and create a liar. Just make him or her a good one!

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