Humans are believed to have a predisposition to lying. Even if that’s not entirely true, many amazing people in your life have probably told a lie or two in the past. Lying can be good for our careers, boost our resumes, buffer our relationships, protect our reputations, and really provide excuses for someone to feel safe with their own truth. In fact, it is such a common occurrence that in the average 10-minute conversation, 2-3 lies are told. You may have even tried to get away with a white lie here and there. That doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person. But knowing the habits of liars could just help you to recognize one on your path in the future and possibly even help you to handle your own fluctuating emotions in the future.
1. Liars conceal their feelings
Many liars are not only hiding immediate truths, but they are concealing how they actually feel about many things. Many people who concoct big lies or who lie often are sometimes the product of unhealthy family life or relationship in the past, concealing how they feel truly because they never felt comfortable speaking their truths in their own environments. Adapting to a lifestyle that enables a person to hide their feelings is not only unhealthy, but it ensures that the deceptive never have to be vulnerable with another person, which discourages empathy.
If they happen to be more habitual liars, then they are pretty consistently not open communicators and it can often feel like you are pulling teeth trying to get details, answers, or information out of them. Because it is part of their personality, it may be something that you adapt to and let happen but it is also something to be aware of. If they’re never expected to communicate their feelings then it is easier for them to hide something from you, big or small, because they have essentially trained you to be less observant.
2. Liars blame someone else
A good liar has a backup plan that often manifests as an excuse. This excuse more often than not involves blaming all or part of the situation or fib on someone else. It is easier for liars to remove attention from themselves when they can distract people with a scapegoat for their actions or misgivings.
3. Liars charm their way to your trust
Many liars have developed robust personalities to help facilitate their alibis and lies, little white or life-changing. They often charm the people in their lives so well that those they lie to are often compelled to look past it or – and this happens more often than not – not even notice it because of all of the good things this person does, says, or attracts into their life. Whether they charm you through their personality and the way they interact with other people, dazzle you with their talents, blind you with their stunning good looks, or otherwise manipulate you, being on high alert when people are being sticky-sweet can’t be a bad decision.
4. Liars avert their gaze
Though research doesn’t necessarily support this statement across the board when it comes to whether liars do anything consistent to subconsciously express that they are lying, one very common belief is that liars avert their gaze. According to Psychology Today, “people tend to look at people or things that they like and avoid eye contact with people and things they don’t like. Liars must overcome the natural urge to avoid eye contact with their lie target to make themselves believable.” This seems to be the widely held belief among many people we have spoken to as well.
Psychology Today goes on to claim that liars are actually prone to more eye contact. “Liars tend to overcompensate by maintaining longer eye contact. This behavior stems from the generally held belief that liars avoid eye contact, a lesson most people learned from their parents.” And the research actually supports eye contact maintenance and overcompensation as people age. According to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the pattern of looking down when lying was only widely displayed in participants between the ages of seven and nine. Additionally, the study observed that adolescents and young adults displayed a pattern of looking up when lying, and most adults eerily displayed the same behavior whether they were lying or telling the truth.
If you spot a liar in the workplace, be aware of your options as an employee before taking responsible action. There is always the chance that strange behavior is the result of a misunderstanding, so keep an open mind when communicating about possible deception.