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The truth is on our faces: Myths about lies

Feb. 17, 2011 - 02:31PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 17, 2011 - 02:31PM  |  
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Sometimes what we think we know about body language and lying just isn't true, experts say.

• Shifty eyes: If someone isn't making eye contact — or looks to the left or right — when telling you something, it doesn't mean he is being deceitful. Often it just means he is thinking carefully about how he chooses his words.

• Maintaining eye contact: Strong eye contact can mean a lot of things — flirtation or an attempt to exert dominance, for example. But it's not usually a sign that someone is lying. Unless, of course, he happens to believe liars look away when they talk.

• Nervous yawn: This could mean someone is hiding something, but could also mean he is just nervous.

• Emphatic denial: A denial that puts stress on every word is often a sign of condescension, but it is not a sign of deception.

• Fidgeting: It's usually a sign of nervousness or discomfort, not lying, and it's often done by innocent people who are under suspicion.

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