7 body language signs someone is lying to you

This article was updated on July 29, 2021.

The art of deception is something that many people possess. They’re able to tell you something that is a lie or false but will make you believe it to be true in their own special and unique way.

This is problematic for those who come into these situations thinking that the other person or person(s) is keeping it real with you about whatever it is you’re discussing.

It can be even more troubling if this individual is a colleague who is lying through their teeth about something that can ultimately benefit them at the job and not you (they’re called toxic, FYI). 

Body language is often key in determining if someone is the definition of a liar. A recent study done proved that mimicking the body language of the person we’re talking to when telling something that is categorically false is one of those ways. 

There are many other signs related to body language when it comes to this topic.

They are good to look out for in case you ever feel like the person you’re talking to, work-related or not, is not telling the complete truth or lying completely. 

Here are seven more to consider.

Eyes and mouth give it away

Lots to look at here by just staring at their face. Eyes darting back and forth and them looking away from you during a crucial moment is one thing.

Also make sure to keep your own eyes on their mouth for any sign of lip quivering or teeth biting in a nervous matter which could indicate a falsehood in what they’re telling you.

Filler chat

Let’s say a colleague is spilling details about a job opening that they heard about from Human Resources. You ask them specifics about it, prior to knowing anything, where their response is filled with a bunch of “umms”, “like” and “uh”.

These mostly useless words can indicate one of two things: they honestly don’t know the answer to what you’re asking or they’ll do a bad job at lying about particulars so it works to their advantage

Long pause

If someone knows the truth about what you’re discussing then they will be able to answer immediately unless an unexpected sneeze or cough happens.

Someone taking an unusually long pause after you ask them something related to your discussion could be a tip off that they’re lying to you.

Sweating or dryness

Our nervous system can make you just that if you or the person you’re talking to is stuck in a lie.

They’ll quickly look like someone who just stepped off the elliptical at the gym by sweating all over their face including their forehead or areas around the mouth which isn’t exactly pleasant to look at when the situation doesn’t’ call for it.

Dryness can also happen in the mouth or eyes where the need for water is apparent during their lie-filled chat.

Fidgeting, itching, etc.

Why are you moving around so much? Deception can be found in the strangest of ways, some of which involve fidgeting and itching.

“The head will be retracted or jerked back, bowed down, or cocked or tilted to the side,” behavioral analyst and The Body Language of Liars author Dr. Lillian Glass previously wrote.

Nervousness can cause people to become itchy suddenly which can cause more fidgeting, Glass also revealed.  

They repeat themselves

Stammering or repeating words or phrases already discussed is a sign that someone is lying to you.

If this is someone who stammers all the time, then fine, but usually this and the repetition means that they’re trying to figure out what to say next after being questioned about the authenticity surrounding their words.

They display a fake smile

And no, we aren’t referring to Tyra Banks’ smizing where you smile with your eyes (America’s Next Top Model fans know what’s up).

A real smile will happen, according to studies done online, when the person’s eyes wrinkle and bunch.

So if someone is giving you a compliment on your outfit, and you don’t see either, chances are they’re pulling a Regina George from Mean Girls and lying about their true feelings regarding your said ensemble.