Facial expressions do not just indicate how a person is feeling, but they can also be used as cues that a person is lying. In fact, the right facial expression could help you determine if your partner is cheating, or even whether your boss is telling the truth at work. Although this may sound like something out of a mystery novel or movie, science shows that research on facial appearances can designate that a person is lying has been going on for decades.
What is a facial expression?
Facial expressions are involuntary, natural reactions to emotion or thought. They are a form of nonverbal communication that can be controlled, but not erased. Facial appearances are universal across cultures and made with the use of facial muscles, which contain sensory receptors that respond to stimuli like temperature, light, and taste.
Tips on facial expressions could indicate that a person is lying
Lip biting. If you’re at a party and see someone nervously biting his or her lips, it can be a sign that they are uncomfortable or untruthful. As with most things, this is a learned behavior and may not be obvious unless you have been around the person for some time. Observe how often the person bites their lips and what other facial appearances accompany it; if there are none and the biter is focused on something else (such as talking), then it’s probably just nervousness.
Rapid blinking of eyes
Rapid blinking of eyes can be a sign that the person in question is nervous. It also shows that he or she might be lying. Most people blink about 20 times per minute, but when we are anxious or stressed, we can blink up to 40 times per minute.
The increased blinking rate is involuntary, so it cannot be controlled by willpower alone (even if someone physically tries not to blink). If a person knows they are going to be asked questions that they do not want to be answered truthfully, then he or she may subconsciously increase their rate of blinking as an attempt at deception.
Fidgeting can be a nervous habit that usually involves the movement of the hands and feet. It can be an attempt to distract from nervousness or to release nervous energy, but it’s also a sign of deception.
When you’re lying and don’t want others to know, your body may betray you by sending non-verbal cues that give away the truth. When this happens, fidgeting is one-way people try to hide their lies by using physical actions as distractions.
Fidgeting isn’t always a sign that someone is telling a lie – sometimes it can just mean they’re anxious or uncomfortable – but if someone fidgets when answering questions and doesn’t stop moving when asked directly about their behavior, then this can designate deception on their part.
Change the vocal tone
Vocal tone is the pitch, loudness, and tempo of your voice. It can change when you are nervous or lying. Vocal tone can be analyzed by listening for these changes:
- Higher pitch
- Louder volume
- A faster rate of speech
The easiest way to tell if someone is lying by their vocal tone is to listen for a change in it. If someone’s vocal tone sounds different than usual, it could be a sign that they are lying.
The most common indicator of lying is sweating. Sweating can be caused by a number of factors, including anxiety and stress. If you’re lying about something, it likely means that your mind is racing with thoughts about how to cover up the truth or what other lies to tell in order to keep up the facade. This mental stress causes an increase in your body temperature, which causes you to sweat more. If someone’s face or forehead starts sweating while they’re talking to you, it could mean that they’re nervous or anxious about something—or if they’re trying their best not to look nervous because they’ve been caught in a lie.
Tightened jaw and forehead
The person is trying to control their facial appearance. This is typical of someone who is lying because they want to look natural and hide the fact that they’re lying. They might be feeling tense because they’re nervous about being caught in a lie or they may feel guilty about deceiving you.
A person’s forehead is a good signpost for their true feelings. If the person’s forehead is furrowed and tightened, it means that he or she is trying really hard not to show any emotions at all on his or her face—especially negative ones like anger and sadness.
In summary: if someone has a furrowed forehead and tight jaw while talking with you, this could mean one of two things: either they are doing an excellent job at hiding their emotions; or there’s something else going on behind the surface (e.g., guilt).
Looking away is one of the most common and well-known signs of discomfort in humans. This can be a sign that an individual does not want to answer a question, or they may simply be trying to hide their emotions. When someone looks away while answering a question, it’s likely because they don’t want to make eye contact with you, which can indicate that they are hiding something from you.
In addition to looking away when answering questions, liars will also try their best not to make direct eye contact throughout an entire conversation. They might even turn their head completely around so that their back is facing you while speaking. This can also be seen as an attempt at avoiding detection when lying since there are fewer ways for them to read your body language if they are facing away from you as well as making sure your face isn’t visible if there is no chance at reading it correctly without any context whatsoever.
It is important to be aware that not everyone will show the same facial expressions when lying. Therefore, it is important to look at the whole picture and make sure you take into account other factors such as body language and tone of voice. If you think someone may be lying but they are not displaying any of these common signs then you should consider whether they may simply be nervous or uncomfortable with what they are saying rather than intentionally deceiving you.