What if you were always able to tell when someone was lying to you? Wouldn’t that be like having a kind of superpower? But detecting lies in a conversation has never been easy. You can challenge what someone says, you can doubt it, but it can’t possibly be proven right every single time. How can you know someone’s lying to you and can you really make sure without having to rely on unfounded judgment and assumptions? There are no words as such that may act as verbal cues and help one accurately catch a lie.
Probably the most fail-safe way to tell when someone is not honest with you is juxtaposing what has been said to you with evidence and the known truth. However, sometimes if one pays close attention, there are certain words and certain sentences that could signal the presence of a lie.
Here are some statements that should serve as a red flag:
1. “That’s pretty much it.”
When someone says “that’s pretty much it” or “that’s about it” then that is not it. The words “pretty much” and “about” suggest that you have not been told the entire truth and something is obviously being kept from you after all. Why else would the one saying that not say “that’s it” or “that’s all”? It’s because they’re missing out on some bits of the story.
2. “How can you prove that?”
One would only say something like “you can’t prove that” or “try to prove it” or “how can you prove that” if they know what they’re saying in either entirely or partially untrue. They are aware that there’s proof against which makes them suspicious about having the lies spotted. If someone is 100% honest, they do not think of evidence or leaving a trail behind because they wouldn’t have any suspicion of being proven false. A liar knows there’s proof but the person on the receiving end merely has not discovered it as yet to able to prove their accusation or doubt right.
3. “Why would I do that?”
The only time someone would say something like that is when they know they’re lying and there’s a fear of knowing the other person knows it too, and perhaps they ask just to give themselves the surety that the lies they’re telling are being read as the truth. Having done something wrong then hiding it makes them want to be satisfied with the certainty that no one else knows about it, hence the question “you know I wouldn’t do that right?” or “why would I?”. Ending a statement with a question is a stupid move on the liar’s part because honest people don’t ask such questions, they just respond with simple, direct denials.
4. “Are you saying I’m lying?”
Lying is risky business and liars are aware of that. To divert attention from their own lies, the liar will pull shrewd moves in an attempt to turn the tables onto the accuser and make them look like the wrong person for validly accusing them. People who are wrong are incredibly quick to engage in aggressive self-defense.
It puts the accuser in a position to immediately justify their accusation, and this tactic works precisely according to the liar’s plan; it buys him/her time to either come up with a story or add to an already made-up story to make it sound legitimate and credible. The simple way of dealing with this kind of a counterattack is saying “yes, I am accusing you” “yes and I know I’m accusing you of the right reasons” or “yes I am accusing you and you know why.” This way, they will know they can’t play you, and they should quit trying to do so.
5. “I don’t remember.”
Saying something along the lines of “I don’t remember doing such a thing,” “I don’t think I did that” creates confusion in a situation. It can make the accuser doubt their own memory and accuracy. “I don’t remember” is an easier way out because the person who is lying will look at least partially innocent because even if they’re proven wrong later, they didn’t exactly claim to have not done a thing, they only said they didn’t remember doing it.
Blaming it on the lack of memory is a move made only by liars because an honest person will do just the opposite. They will try and make every effort of reviving their own and the other person’s memory of the event to prove their honesty. Honest people have nothing to hide so they will have no problem revisiting the mentioned situation but on the contrary, someone lying has everything to hide which is why they would do anything to make the facts look as hazy and knotted as possible. For liars, it is better to be accused than to be proven a liar, they’d rather just say “I don’t remember” instead of telling an even bigger lie saying “ I didn’t do it.”