People Daily

Seeing right through the lies

How do you see through the smokescreen some men create to impress women? Wambui Muriithi explores

If only people’s noses elongated when they lied like Pinocchio’s, then it would be easy to navigate conversations and life in general. From con men on the street, to everyday white lies, it is human nature to lie, and although you don’t need to be paranoid about everyone. Here are a few lie detection strategies to help protect you from deception.

Inconsistencies

This is, especially true for someone you spend a lot of time with, such as your spouse. “Telling lies is hard and requires one to keep track of them. Even pathological liars slip once in a while.

The small lies you catch a person with will relate to the bigger ones. So, be keen about the finer details,” says relationship counsellor, Jennifer Karina. When the details of a story fail to add up, this should raise your red flags. Do not ignore them.

Body language

According to psychologist, Margaret Kisu, while covering up with words is easy, a person’s body language is usually a tell-tale sign that they are concealing the truth.

“Be suspicious if the person isn’t making eye-contact when responding to your questions. Or if they cover their mouth when lying, fidgets and assumes a defensive posture like tightly crossing his arms.”

It definitely is not easy to pick up on these signs, but Kisu says that all it takes is an alertness and practice. “It doesn’t take a lot of effort to decipher these signs if you know what to look for. Even then, practicing on different people can make you an expert at reading body language,” she says.

They lie to other people

“I once dated a guy who fabricated stories for even the smallest of things for no reason. He could have eaten chapo for lunch but when asked, will describe how tasty the pilau he had eaten was made,” recalls Anne Mwangi, who knows by experience how bad dealing with a liar can be.

“I never realised how big of an issue it was and dismissed it as something he did only to others. One day the police came to my house looking for him. He owed somebody a lot of money and was nowhere to be found! Everything came out after that. His whole life was built on debt.”

Evasiveness

According to Kisu, how a person responds to your questions can tell you whether they are being truthful or not. Being counter-offensive is a big sign of trouble. “They may suddenly get angry and threaten you. Some even get violent as a means of escaping the real issue.

At this point, it is advisable to back down, but do not let the issue go. Bring it up when you know they cannot avoid it in such a manner, like in public,” she advises. Keep an eye on evasiveness when you ask sensitive questions, everybody has a different way of reacting, violence is not the only way this can happen.

Listen to your gut

Lastly, don’t dismiss what intuition is telling you. “If your gut tells you something is fishy, you should never ignore it. Women, especially have a strong sense of intuition. If something brings up your antennas, it should be investigated” says Kisu. “Overdo it, however, and it becomes paranoia.”

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