If he uses certain words, he just might be. That’s according to Janine Driver – a former federal law enforcement officer with the Department of Justice. Her new book is called, “You Can't Lie to Me” – and in it, she lists the words that give away a liar. Here’s a few to look for:
- Left. As in "I left the bar at nine" instead of saying: "I went home at nine." What’s implied by saying “I left the bar” is that he went home. So, it’s not an out-and-out lie, but it’s intentionally misleading. Sure, maybe he got stuck in traffic but he could also be hiding something he shouldn't have done.
- Never. The big thing to look out for is when he says "never" when a simple "no" would do. It's a sign he's overcompensating. So, if you ask, "Did you flirt with my friend Sarah?" and he says, "Never!"
- That, when it comes in front of a noun. Like "that woman" or "that money." Instead of saying “I didn’t give Sarah a ride home” he says, “I didn’t give that woman a ride home.” It's a subconscious attempt to distance himself from the noun – in this case, your friend Sarah. It’s a common lying ‘tell’ of manipulators.
- By the way… Liars use phrases like this to try to minimize what they say next, but usually it's what's most important to the story. So, pay extra attention to what he says after “by the way…” As in, “Yeah, the guys and I had a good night out playing pool. By the way… I saw your friend, Sarah, there.”