Relationships

How to tell if someone is lying to you

It's not in what they say - but rather how they say it.

Poker players listen up – as this Harvard psychologist has spilled the beans on what to look for when someone is lying to you.

Professor Amy Cuddy explains in her new book Presence that rather than looking for one big reveal in someone’s deception, you should instead look for small signifiers in their expressions, posture and speech.

“Lying is hard work,” explains Cuddy. “We are telling one story while suppressing another, and if that’s not complicated enough, most of us are experiencing psychological guilt about doing this, which we’re also trying to suppress.”

As Cuddy explains, we don’t have enough brainpower to manage everything without something slipping, or as she calls it “leaking.”

It’s these leaks that give us away.

What you should look for are conflicting things – like a happy tone of voice paired with an agitated facial expression. According to Cuddy, people tend to try and spot lies through what people are saying, when really they should be looking for how they are saying it.

A study by fellow Harvard professor, psychologist Nancy Etcof, found that people with a language processing disorder were significantly better at spotting liars because they were not focusing on the words being said – but rather how they were said.

“When we’re consciously looking for signs of deception or truth, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to the nonverbal gestalt of what’s going on,” Cuddy says. “Truth reveals itself more clearly through actions than it does through our words.”

WATCH: Game of Thrones’ star Kit Harrington takes lie detector test

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