Different people have different kinds of radar.
Some people know who’s a good and honest person just by looking at them. Others can instantly figure out which Tupperware container will fit their leftovers perfectly.
I can sniff out a chocolate cake from a hundred yards away, no matter where it’s hidden.
But a really useful skill would be spotting deception. Imagine how well you’d do bringing your car to the mechanic’s or as a trial court judge!
Or perhaps you don’t need to imagine this at all. Perhaps you have a hidden superpower that no one else knows about.
Do you think you can spot a liar at a rate that’s better than chance?
You might be right, and these six signs you’re exceptionally good at spotting lies and deception will prove it.
1) You’ve got a great track record.
The best sign that you can spot lies is that you’ve done it successfully many times in the past.
While many people think they know how to catch a dishonest person, the truth is that most people aren’t any better at it than 50/50. In other words, they’re just guessing.
But you might have some sixth sense or spidey tingle that lets you know when someone is being fake or false.
I certainly don’t.
I mean, I know a lot about the body language that’s associated with lying, and yet I still find myself getting fooled. It’s not always too bad, though, and it’s been a while since I’ve been horribly deceived.
If you can honestly say that you’ve caught people trying to deceive you many times by snaring them in their own web of lies, then you have the record to prove that you’re a super-sleuth.
2) You’re honest.
Have you ever heard the old saying, “You can’t con an Honest John”?
I believe this comes from Shakespeare or Milton.
OK, I was trying to put one over on you.
This is actually the name of a song by UK rapper The Streets. In it, he describes step-by-step how to pull off a confidence scheme.
He also suggests that you shouldn’t feel bad about conning the target because it will only work if the person actually thinks they have the upper hand and is actually the one conning you.
Is this an example of blaming the victim?
I’m not sure, but there could be something to it. I had a so-called friend try to con me once, but I managed to sniff it out by being honest with myself.
This was a guy I had known for a year or two, but only in groups and through sports. I didn’t really know him all that well; however, he asked me to go into business with him.
He said that his previous partner had backed out and left him holding the bag.
Well, the business happened to be something that I was really interested in but I’d lacked a partner with the technical know-how to be able to get into. And now here was a guy telling me he had the tech flex to do it!
Even better, he needed someone with my exact skill set to help him do it – it was a match made in heaven!
I was initially really excited about the prospect, but a few things made me think.
First off, he told me he’d already made a big investment and wanted me to match it. Makes sense in a partnership, doesn’t it?
But he’d also registered the company and co-owned it with his wife. Hmm, he wasn’t offering me ownership even though I was investing.
Finally, I took a step back and thought about the bigger picture.
Despite being really excited about the idea, I realized that it was impractical for just the two of us to pull it off despite his claims otherwise.
I passed, and he was peeved. We weren’t really in touch after that.
A year later, I heard that he’d recruited someone else to his scheme and then run off with their money. So I was pretty lucky that I’d been honest with myself and not too greedy to see that it was probably a deception.
3) You’ve never been conned.
If you’ve never been successfully conned or scammed, I think this is a good sign you’re excellent at spotting deception.
Because these days, there are scams running everywhere all around us.
Nigerian princes and their fortunes aside, many of these scams are really getting advanced and you have to be really astute to avoid getting conned.
Here’s an example.
A couple of months ago, I got a phone call out of the blue from a number I didn’t recognize.
The voice on the other end said, “You don’t recognize who this is, do you?” and I had to admit I didn’t.
She said it was my old friend Jen and maybe I didn’t recognize her voice because she had a bit of a cold.
Well, we caught up just a bit. I was surprised that she was around since she’d moved to Norway with her husband and surely would have told everyone if she was back in town for a visit.
I told my partner, who was also her friend, and she was also surprised but said that Jen probably had some good reason not to make a big deal of her return.
Well, the next day, Jen called me again and asked for a favor.
She was at a furniture store, and her banking app wasn’t working, but she had to pay for a table she was picking up and was really stuck.
I was surprised that she would ask me to help her with money and told my partner, who immediately said it must be a scam.
Sure enough, when we called Jen back, she offered someone else’s bank account to transfer money to, and my partner was vindicated.
It was a great con because this person knew all about Jen and even sounded like her, probably thanks to a new AI voice modulator!
I almost got taken for a ride, but thankfully, my partner sniffed it out.
If you have this kind of nose for a con and have never been fooled, you’re great at spotting deception.
4) You’ve kept others out of trouble.
If you have this great power, I hope you’re using it with great responsibility. Most especially, I hope you’re using it to help your friends keep from getting lied to or used.
Like in the example with my partner I just told you about, this takes a special sense but also a good head for detail.
You need to be able to not only protect yourself but also know which of your friends’ buttons can be pushed or manipulated by others to hurt them.
This is true because lies need to be targeted at the person being lied to. A lie is going to have to be told to you in a different way than to me if we’re both going to believe it because we’re different people.
For example, I’m good with details and keeping facts straight, but I might be a better target for emotional manipulation. A trickster might play on my sympathies to fool me while they could confuse someone else with details to fool them.
So, being able to sniff out lies and deception for both yourself and your friends truly requires a whole lot of skill!
5) You’re great at reading body language.
When people lie, there’s a lot of body language that may give them away.
None of it, however, is foolproof, and even the famous lie-detecting polygraph machine can be beaten with some ingenuity and understanding of how to control your physiological responses.
I hear you can just step on a tack in your shoe and throw the whole thing off!
Still, body language clues can tell you when a person is stressed and nervous, and combining that with facts that don’t exactly line up can help some people trap liars effectively.
Things like unusual eye contact, poor voice control, unusual hand gestures, fidgeting, micro-expressions, and more can help you catch lies and deception. But you need to be highly observant and sensitive enough to pick these signs up.
If you are, you’ve got the powers of a detective at your disposal!
6) You ask the right questions.
Just like a detective in an interrogation room, you have an opportunity to dig deeper to figure out if someone is lying.
And like a great detective, if you know how to ask the right questions, you’ll be able to shake loose details that don’t add up or stories that are internally contradictive.
Do you know what to ask a liar to stop them in their tracks?
If so, you’re a step ahead of most of us!
These six signs show that you’re exceptionally good at spotting lies and deception.
If you’re not a detective or an insurance claim investigator yet, maybe you should be!
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