THE SECRET signs that someone might be lying to you have been revealed by recent research – including giveaway “tells” from even the most experienced “poker faces”.
As many as four in ten adults surveyed reckoned they are good at spotting liars – but if you’re not in that group, here are the tell-tale signs to look out for.
Avoiding eye contact and talking nervously are signs to be suspicious, yet some hints are more subtle.
A study of 2,000 adults revealed an overwhelming majority consider themselves a cut above the rest when it comes to being able to spot a liar.
A staggering 42 per cent said they were good at recognising lies, while just nine per cent thought they were poor at it.
The group also rated themselves good liars, with nearly one in five thinking they have an excellent poker face.
A further 32 per cent think they’re good at pulling the wool over the eyes of others, while only one in 20 felt they were terrible at covering up what they really think.
The adults surveyed revealed some of their own “tells” – signs that someone is bluffing – especially when playing poker.
The hints included fiddling with chips, sitting up in the chair when they have a good hand and trembling hands are the key signs to look out for.
A spokesperson for Online Betting Guide, which commissioned the research, said: “Many might think they are good when it comes to a poker face, but the smallest thing can very easily give them away.
“Knowing when to bluff and when not to bluff can be a useful life skill and get you out of some sticky situations – both at the poker table and in your normal life.
“And it’s also handy when it comes to knowing when others might be trying to use it to get the upper hand over you.”
Body language expert Judi James, author of Poker Face, said: “Body language is not a precise science and when you’re looking for signs of lying there is no such thing as a perfect body language ‘tell’, only clues and hints.
“Poker players in particular can use micro-gestures when they lie or bluff, but a good liar could use this to their benefit, acting the ‘tell’ to suit themselves and confuse their opponents.
“Imagine you’ve spotted an opponent’s ‘tell’ when you’re playing poker. You’ve noticed that when they are bluffing their eyes dart quickly from side to side.
“This “tell” is only useful to you if they’re not aware of it themselves though. If they know their own trait then they can use it to fool you too. Are they bluffing or is this a double-bluff?”
The research, carried out by OnePoll, also revealed when people think it’s a good time to employ their bluffing skills.
The top two reasons both at 25 per cent for lying were playing poker and when someone asks if you like what they’re wearing.
Closely behind at 23 per cent, the survey revealed adults think lying is ok when someone makes you a horrible meal.
An identical study carried out at the same time in America also revealed some interesting comparisons between the two nations’ liars.
On average, Brits admit to deploying their poker face three times a day – slightly less than Americans who get theirs out four times a day.
And 42 per cent of Americans think of themselves as someone who wears their heart on their sleeve and finds it difficult to hide their emotions.
UK adults said they lied four times a day on average, with Americans admitting to lying slightly more often at 4.3 times a day. Americans also feel they are lied to slightly more than people in the UK.
Despite lying and feeling they are lied to more, 54 per cent of Americans said honesty was very important to them, compared to just 43 per cent of UK adults.
An Online Betting Guide spokesperson added: “Body language doesn’t always tell us the full picture of what is going on, but it can give us a good idea.
“Like most things, the more you know someone, the more you’re able to tell if they are a good or bad liar.
“It’s also fascinating to see just how important we value telling the truth – but admit to telling little white lies every day.”
TELL TALE SIGNS OF A BLUFFER
Judi James listed the following signs in her book Poker Face
EYE CONCEALMENTS – Your eyes are the most likely to give away a lie, especially as you can give away so many different tiny expressions with just a look – liars might try to cover their eyes up or divert them from your view.
EYE DIRECTION OR EYE DART – If someone’s eyes suddenly swing in the opposite direction for one of their answers, they could be lying to you.
THE MICRO-SMIRK – A very subtle smirk, where one side of the mouth rises slightly, could be a sign someone is lying – and enjoying it.
POKER FACE – If someone’se facial expression is bland and unmoving and their body stops moving as they speak, they could be trying too hard to keep a poker face.
EYEBROW SHRUGS – A dismissive eyebrow shrug might be a sign to be suspicious, if someone is trying to play it cool.
ASYMETRIC FACIAL EXPRESSIONS – When we lie the muscles tend to pull the features in lots of different ways, leading to a lop-sided smile or puckered smile with the mouth pulled down at the corners.
One brow might raise while the other is frowning or one side of the mouth might be pulled down while the other is hiked up.
THE TONGUE-POKE – This is a gesture of disgust and rejection linked to rejecting food as a small baby. It can signal someone doesn’t like what is going on even when they’re pretending to be happy and relaxed.
HAND TO FACE GESTURES OR THE NOSE TOUCH – Like the eye shielding rituals, a desire to conceal the face can lead to hands touching the face or nose; rubbing the face constantly as though tired in a bid to hide the expression of guilt.
SELF-COMFORT RITUALS – Fiddling with an earring or ear lobe, touching their own hair, playing with their clothing or tapping or fiddling with their fingers can all be signals someone is trying to calm down under pressure.
METRONOMIC GESTURES – The leg-swing, foot tap, finger-drumming can all signal impatience related to a desire to get away from a difficult conversation or questioning.
Source: The Sun