We all like to think we can spot a lie from ten paces. But can we really? How many times has someone fooled you?
Why am I asking about liars? Because knowing how to spot one, is helpful in writing. If we know how people recognize when someone is lying we can use those signs for a villain. The body language of a liar is great fodder for a story.
Add body language of a liar to round out your antagonist.
So if you bullshit meter needs fine turning then check out this article on this subject…
Here is the show don’t tell, tips I gleaned about liars.
- Fails to make eye contact. Looks at the floor, ceiling or hands. Or, make eye contact with an unblinking stare.
- Avoids using contractions. “I did not…” instead of “I didn’t…”
- Answers question with a question to stall for time.
- They fidget sometimes excessively with ear, nose, or pockets, purses or play with keys etc.
- Turn away from the speaker, blink rapidly, smile falters. Cross their arms which is a sign of being “closed” to the subject.
- Runaway talker. They might embellish their story to make it more believable.
- Gets angry. Becomes defensive. Tries to divert attention on to another person.
- Changes the subject to avoid answering a question.
- Eyes are the big tip-off. Right-handed people will look up and to the left if trying to remember. If trying to make something up, they look to the right.
- They may blink rapidly or rub eyes.
- Sweating, blushing, trembling and difficulty swallowing may indicate a lie.
- Don’t miss the micro-expressions. A fleeting smile, a furrowed brow, etc. Although quick, these can tell you a lot.
Knowing the signs of a liar is great fodder for a writer.
What do you think? See anything to help with your writing?
Do you have any tips about the body language of a liar? Or truth teller?
How do you describe a lying snake of a villain?
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