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Lies Lies Lies
So your heroine has found herself confronted with a problem. Should she believe what the other character is telling her or run for the hills?
She has a feeling that this is all a big fat lie. Why?
Our brains are phenomenal machines that take in millions of pieces of information, sorts through, and then offers us a small little wedge of consciousness.
Here are the cross-cultural "lying tells" (Studies also run on blind people who have never seen a lie in action) that you might write into the plot line to tickle her brain awake.
1.) The liars hands. Body language studies show that people tend to touch their face and scratch
their nose when they lie.
2.) Their eyes. Liars tend to blink a lot and do not maintain eye contact. They will sometimes have a rapid
eye-shift then look down to the left
3.) Liars will often skip contractions saying I did not instead of I didn't. "I did NOT kill that woman!"
4) Liars will often skip pronouns using their names instead of he or she. "I gave it to Betty Sue."
5) Liars smile using only their mouth - the smile doesn't reach their eyes. Since the brain uses only one
part to recall but three parts to plot a lie, the face will often freeze into an expression. The typical
expression is an ingenuous smile.
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6) Liars close their body posture. Arms and/or
legs may cross, shoulders scoop inward, head
7) Often a liar will put an object between
themselves and the person to whom they are
lying - like a folder, coffee mug, or chair.
8) Extended pauses in the conversation make
liars feel uncomfortable. The liar will fill in the
space with words.
9) Liars provide more information than necessary
- overly specific and detailed. "The girls were
wearing team t-shirts." v. "The team was wearing matching red and white baseball t-shirts."
10) A liar will use a qualifier: "I want you to understand that..." "You can trust me..."
11) Liars will perceptibly change their breathing, sweating, and swallowing (too much saliva or dry mouth)
12) Liars tend to list to the side.
Added note - Liars tend to prefer technology (phone calls etc.). Because they do not need to maintain their body and facial features, they can focus on their tone and delivery. But as writers, we can still show the lie being told. And when a lie is being told through technology the body language would not be monitored, so it will be even more on evident display.
VIDEO QUICK STUDY
How to Catch a Lier (3:57)
How to Detect Lies - Steven Van Aperen (4:20)
Scam School Teaches You How to Lie. (15:51)
See how this article influenced my plot lines in my novella MINE and my novel CHAOS IS COME AGAIN.
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