Friday, June 8, 2012

FF - and How to Detect a Lie

I've mentioned before what I terrible liar I am.  Well, it turns out that sometimes I'm a terrible truth-teller as well.  I seem to have a...skill, if you will: I can make the truth sound like a lie.  Especially in the awkward situation that has someone who knows me pretty well -- my mother, for instance -- asking me a question about something, and me screwing up the truthful reply simply because I'm nervous that they will take it for a lie.  Which makes it sound like a lie.  

A standard example would be someone asking me "Are you okay?" when I'm simply tired and quiet.  If I answer with the normal "I'm fine", I become awkwardly aware that a) I sound tired, which makes me sound depressed and thereby not fine, and b) people who aren't okay would probably say the same thing anyway.

And so, I force extra enthusiasm into my reply, so that I don't have to deal with the inevitable "No, really, are you sure you're okay?"  Because, of course, forced enthusiasm is exactly what someone who isn't in the best of spirits would incorporate into their reply.  And so, the situation usually spirals out of control, with me desperately trying to tell the truth and the second person thinking that whatever I'm saying is a load of donkey bollocks.

I know -- after watching way too many crime serials -- that there are signs people look out for to detect a lie.  Curious, I looked them up, not to become a better liar (or is that a lie?) but to become a more convincing speaker of the truth.

Google churned up when I searched "how to detect a lie".  There's an interesting and detailed guide to body language and eye movement that I enjoyed reading.  It also has puzzles, and a bunch of articles on a wide range of topics.  Definitely worth checking out if you need to kill some time.


  1. Mhm. I particularly like the way eye directions seem to indicate whether a person is thinking about the present, past, or future!

    Thanks for stopping by, Peter.