That colleague looking into your eyes intently as he answers your questions may be telling you a fib.
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, says to look for these common tip-offs that someone is lying:
• His upper body freezes. When telling a lie, “the cognitive load is huge,” says Meyer. Liars are so focused on telling their rehearsed story they may freeze their upper body, look down, or slow their breathing and blink rate.
• He doesn’t use contractions. He’ll say “did not” rather than a more relaxed “didn’t.”
• He’ll use inappropriate detail, as if he’s trying to prove he’s telling the truth.
• His eye contact may feel excessive. A liar may think that eye contact conveys honesty. People telling the truth only make eye contact a comfortable 60% of the time.
• He can’t tell the story backward. Because he has memorized a sequence of events, but has no emotional memory of the events, it’s difficult for a liar to tell his story in reverse order.
— Adapted from “Pamela Meyer on the science behind ‘Liespotting,’” Mary Ellen Slayter, SmartBlog on Workforce.