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          How to Spot a Liar

          October 20, 2003

          Dr. Phil asked two staff members to tell a story about the work they did on the show. One of them lied, and one told the truth. Can you spot the liar?

          Dr. Phil suggests keeping the following points in mind when you’re talking to someone who you think might be stretching the truth.

          1) Too much or too little eye contact. Liars tend to avoid looking people in the eye, but if they are staring you down, they may be working hard at lying.

          2) Over-emphasizes details. When people are trying to avoid telling the truth, they often pick some obscure point and talk about it a lot instead of focusing on the key issue.

          3) Fidgeting. Is the person you’re talking to very fidgety? You often see kids do this when they’re telling a tale. That’s a sign that someone may be lying.

          4) Touching nose. Research shows that when people lie, they tend to touch the base of their nose a lot. “That’s a dead giveaway,” says Dr. Phil.

          5) Mouth pursed. When people tell a lie, they can't get enough oxygen, so they tend to breathe through their mouth instead of through their nose.

          6) Speech hesitations. Pausing, throat clearing, or other stalling techniques may indicate that a person is embellishing the truth.

          7) Looking up or down. They may be stalling for time.

          8) Answers questions not asked. Without even asking them a question, liars will defend themselves.

          9) Other body language to check for to spot a potential liar include: excessive blinking, dilated pupils, pitch changes, less smiling, and shrugging shoulders.

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