The truth about lies and how to spot them

We’re all liars. Why? Pamela Meyer, a Ted Talk speaker, an author and a certified fraud examiner spoke about the truths behind our lies and shared some simple tricks that professionals use to spot liars in a speech she delivered in October 2017.

According to Meyer, these are the truths about lies:

Lying is a cooperative act: “A lie has no power by its mere utterance. Its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe in it,” she says. But not all lies are harmful. Sometimes, you willingly participate in lies for social dignity and to keep secrets that should be kept secret. However, it is not the case always. Deception works because there is a gap between what we are and what we want to be. Lying is an attempt to bridge this gap. A study shows that:
1. You lie more to strangers than coworkers.
2. Extroverts lie more than introverts.
3. Men lie more about themselves whereas women lie more to protect other people.
4. Married couple lie to their partner in 1 out 10 interactions and for unmarried couples, the number drops to 3.

We are against lying but covertly for it: It is a fact that, the more intelligent species is more likely to be deceptive. Lying is a part of the human nature. It starts the moment we are born. Babies fake a cry and stop to check who’s coming. 1 year olds learn concealment. 2 year olds bluff, 5 year olds manipulate by flattery and 9 year olds cover-up. When we reach college the frequency of lying increases. And by the time we enter work, the world is filled with spam, frauds and lies.

So how do you spot lies?

There are some tricks for it. According to Meyer, there are two patterns of lying-

1. Verbal dodging – People more often use formal and distancing language for denial when lying.

2. Body language slips – If you stay silent, you talk with gestures. But there are some myths related to lying and gestures like liars fidget but the truth is they actually freeze their upper body. People think that liars won’t look in the eyes but they actually look in the eyes way too much to compensate for this myth.

Then comes, finding the hotspots to see the difference between people’s actions and words. Liars fill their story with too many details. They smile at the delight of getting away with a lie. This smile is called duping delight. When someone’s lying they tend to leak basic emotions that come in accordance to what they are saying. And when anger turns into contempt, it is most often followed by deception.

Note: The web report is based on a Ted talk delivered by Pamela Meyer in 2017. You can access the full talk at: