Many people lie several times a day for no reason, while others lie occasionally. Some people may tell a fib or white lie to protect someone’s feelings. However, some have mastered the art of lying and are pathological liars, a condition known as pseudologia fantastica. Look for the following six signs to tell you when someone is lying.

Monitor Body Language

Image via Flickr by Kathleen Tyler Conklin

Body language is a good way to gauge when someone is not telling the truth because body language is a form of communication. In fact, 70 percent of body language is communication. During a conversation, people normally move their bodies around in a relaxed fashion. When you talk, you make unconscious movements, such as elaborate hand gestures. Be aware of those who are in a numb stupor and avoid movement.

Additionally, be aware of sudden changes in head position, another sign that someone may be lying. When you ask people questions, and they jerk their heads back or tilt their heads to one side before answering, then they may not be telling the truth. Other signs include shuffling their feet and placing their hands over their mouths.

Watch for Changes in Breathing Patterns

Heavy breathing can also be a sign that someone is untruthful, a sign psychologists call a reflex action. When people get nervous from lying, their bodies will try to adjust to the changes in heart rate and blood flow due to loss of oxygen. When they start to breathe deeper, you can see their shoulders rise because they are out of breath.

Observe Excessive Talking

Excessive rambling and talking too much may be a sign that someone is lying. When people give more details than asked, they’re hoping that you will admire their openness around you. People who talk too much think that if others see them as being open, then other will believe them. Psychologists also label this type of behavior as dissembling since liars work hard to hide the truth or mislead you.

Present Questions on the Fly

When put on the spot, many people take several minutes to think about their replies. But for those who can respond to questions on the spot without any hesitation, you’re likely encountering a greater chance that they are lying.

Consider Attempts to Sell Integrity

When people are telling the truth, they don’t go to extreme measures to sell their integrity. However, liars will use phrases such as “I swear on my grandmother” or “I put that on the Bible” to sell their integrity.

Assess Changes in Speech Patterns

During times of stress, people who lie may find speaking difficult. In response to stress, the autonomic nervous system reduces production of saliva, a condition which causes the mouth to become dry.

Being a human lie detector can be easy: Watch for verbal clues, such as excessive talking, and nonverbal clues, including body language. By watching for the signs outlined above, you can become better attuned to people’s mannerisms when they are in the midst of a lie.