If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
― Mark Twain
Wondering what your child got up to last night? So you asked him and he told you his story. Only that when you recall past instances, it seems there is a need to have a one-on-one communication with your youngster. Truth be told, you can’t accept the fact that you doubt your own child. From his stories, it appears he is lying to you all along.
Signs that someone is lying can be seen on how he narrates the story.
Animated vs Reduced body language
Do you remember how you love it when your best friend tells you about her adventures? She would tell you her story with hand gestures, facial expression, and other excited body languages. She would even smile without her knowing it. She narrates in a sing-song manner trying hard to squeeze every detail in a minute or two. That is because she is excited to tell you everything.
Now, a made-up story is narrated in the most serious tone, concentrating so hard on getting everything right. There may be less vivacious moves, again too focused to tell a story and at the same time trying hard to remember everything. The storyteller also distances himself from the person questioning thus shows a less emotional connection.
Exhaustive vs Vague details
A truth-teller may recall even a minute fact that when he retells the story, there may be irrelevant details. This is because he narrates what happened as the scene is being played in his mind, not editing even those odd details.
A fabricated story, on the other hand, lacks those kinds of irrelevant and offbeat details, only trying to answer the question thrown to him. Notice, too, that his responses are simple and short. This is to avoid making a mistake and for him not to recall too many constructed details.
Play a movie vs Create a scene
A person who is recalling a story has to “play the movie” inside his head. There may be a few delays as he tries to recall everything. He may also appear distracted because of one or two instances he may want to conceal to protect himself or others. Nonetheless, there is spontaneity and consistency in his storytelling.
Someone is fabricating a tale when he needs to make up a story rather than depend on his memory. He is most likely to pause a lot or make delays in his responses as he tries to create a new scene in his head.
Me and names vs He and her
A person who speaks the truth uses the names of people in the story. He isn’t conscious of mentioning their names repeatedly because he is just recalling the story as it is being played in his head.
A liar, on the other hand, distances himself from the very start. It can be clearly realized as he tries to avoid the use of “I, me or mine.” His stories may also contain “he or she” only, without naming many names. He will also inject manipulative phrases like “the truth is…”
Detect a lie in 4 easy ways
Do not be fooled. It is difficult to consciously repeat unconscious actions. A truth-teller shows spontaneity and even excitement over his story, while a liar speaks carefully trying to recall his lie.
So when you ask your kid what happened the other night and it shows he is fabricating a story, he might be trying to protect himself or somebody or even yourself. He doesn’t want you to get hurt about the truth. He tries to protect his relationship with you by being untruthful. Whatever his reason for lying, it is something you need to give attention to. Up next on PSST.ph are ways to confront dishonesty.