Learn to spot a liar

Pamela Meyer, the author of Liespotting, learned to catch liars the hard way; she had a one in her own company. Her trusted assistant almost robbed her blind. Luckily, she was caught when Pamela came in to check her books without warning.

 
Pamela decided to study fraud and became an expert at catching liars. She has put her expertise into a book, Liespotting. I found it a quick and fascinating read. It is full of practical tips and useful advice for your personal and professional life. If you are a single woman who Internet-dates, this book is a must. If you own a business or work in one where negotiating is part of your job, this is a must-read.
 
Pam is a Certified Fraud Examiner with extensive training in advanced interviewing and interrogation techniques, facial micro-expression reading, body language interpretation, statement analysis, and behavior elicitation techniques. Read our detailed interview and learn how to spot a liar!
 
 
 
DD: What is the single most dangerous facial expression to watch out for, and why?
PM: While Liespotting is an invaluable tool for taking control of a potentially deceptive interaction and turning it into an authentic one, occasionally a relationship is not salvageable. In particular, a look of contempt, whether from a superior at work or even a romantic partner, indicates a person has dismissed you, and it’s time to move on.

Pamela Meyer --The LiespotterBe wary of eye-rolling or a raised chin, as well as asymmetrical facial expressions. Basic human emotions such as anger, surprise, happiness appear on the face symmetrically; contempt is unique in its one-sidedness. Be wary of the snarled lip.

 
DD: How do you blow a liar’s cover?
PM:
The first rule of Liespotting: get them talking. If someone is out to deceive you, asking open-ended questions will make him sweat; so no simple "yes-or-nos."
 
As you want to keep the conversation flowing, establish a rapport – maintain eye contact, mirror body language, sit in a non-threatening, open-armed position, avoid arguing – and see what observable behaviors emerge. There are numerous, objective facial, body, and verbal "tells" to keep an eye out for – in particular when you ask the tough questions – so give your target every chance to slip up.
 
DD: How can you spot and shut down the lies commonly told in high-stakes business negotiations and interviews?
PM: When it comes to business negotiations, the higher the stakes, the more likely people are to lie. Your best bet to combat this cycle of mistrust lies in preparation and prevention. And keep in mind, in addition to motivating people to lie, high stakes breed high emotions, making it difficult for a lying negotiator to conceal his anxiety.

The most common lie you will face is one of omission: In one study, 100 percent of negotiators actively lied about, or failed to reveal, a problem if no one asked them about it. So be prepared to bring up the touchy subjects. How will you know what to bring up? Try to imagine what you would feel most compelled to lie about were you in this negotiator’s shoes. Be sure to cover that topic. Also make it clear to the negotiator you are acting in good faith and that your relationship with him will be at stake.

 
Finally, a simple, though potent, concluding question: "Is there anything important you haven’t told me?"
 
DD:  What are the postures, gestures, and facial expressions that should put you on alert?
PM: The neurological systems that regulate our facial expressions are based on our often volatile emotions; no one is able to hide their facial “tells” completely.  

In addition, while liars rehearse their words, they rarely practice their gestures – which are a regular source of “emotional leakage.” When someone displays an awkward or incomplete gesture we all recognize, known as an emblem, they are probably feeling the opposite of what the symbol usually means: a half-shoulder shrug, instead of both, may mean to imply ignorance, but your target may know more; and a shaky thumbs up, accompanied by a furrowed brow of distress, is probably an attempt to cover-up anxiety. 

And despite what many people think, lack of eye contact does not indicate deception. If anything, a liar will attempt to hold your gaze to appear sincere. Instead, look for blink rate. People telling a lie often blink more than they do when they’re being truthful.

 
DD: Are there key phrases or words that liars use?
PM: While body language is rife with Liespotting opportunities, some red flags within the words are worth listening for. People who lie tend to heavily qualify their statements; they are either being intentionally vague or instinctively protecting themselves. Watch out for openers such as “as far as I know,” or “to the best of my knowledge.”

In addition, to appear convincing, liars will often precede their deception with an emphatic, qualifying, or bolstering, statement, such as “I swear to God” or even “to be honest.” By the way, liars very often invoke religion, such as, “with God as my witness, I did not steal anything.”

 
For more tips on uncovering duplicity www.Liespotting.com
 
 
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