Listen to their voices, not just their words... / Halfdark/Getty Images
Is your mate holding something back? Could your co-worker be sabotaging your promotion? Deciphering a person’s true intentions through body language and words is easier than you think, says Janine Driver, a former law enforcement agent who spent more than 15 years interrogating drug traffickers. In her new book, You Can’t Lie to Me, she lays out an easy-to-follow method for pinpointing a Pinocchio.
Some of the most powerful giveaways:
He oversells it. When someone uses expressions such as “I would never do that!” or “I swear to God,” something’s up. A truth-teller answers did-you-do-it? questions with a straight yes or no, while liars feel compelled to add some extra words.
Her voice changes. “The vocal pitch will go up or down in about 85% of people who are lying,” Driver says. Before zeroing in on the big question (“Where were you last night?”), ask a bunch of neutral ones (“What did you do at work today?”) to get a sense of the person’s normal vocal range.
He dodges. “If you ask someone a question three times (“Did you cheat?”) without getting a straight response, 95% of the time, odds are he’s lying,” she says.
Other signs: Shoulder shrugs, giggling when something isn’t funny, and shaking or nodding her head in the opposite direction of her verbal answer.
But word to the wise: All these cues depend on a person’s typical behavior. Spot a sudden change? You’ve nabbed a liar.