How to Tell If Someone Is Lying

Jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius has been dubbed "The Seer" for her work on over 600 trials, including the Rodney King, O.J. Simpson and Enron cases.

In her latest book, "Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior -- Anytime, Anyplace," she shares tips on how to tell if someone isn't being truthful.

Dimitrius says lying is usually accompanied by a physical gesture, such as blinking or not blinking; turning directly towards someone as if to say, "This is the really important part that I'm lying about that you need to listen to;" and the licking of lips.

For signs of a child's not telling the truth, Dimitrius says to look for wringing hands, the position of the body, scratching an ear, touching of the head.

Famous people also betray patterns of speech and posture in telling lies. For example, Dimitrius says that when Bill Clinton denied his involvement with Monica Lewinsky, what he said ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky") and how he said it was a tip off.

Clinton is an unusually eloquent speaker, but in his denial, he paused frequently and didn't follow his usual smooth speech pattern, Dimitrius says. He also bit his lip before declaring he did not have sex with Lewinsky, as if trying to hold back the words, and dropped one shoulder, as if he is shrugging, Dimitrius said.

In another example, track star Marion Jones told "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts she had never used steroids, which she later admitted was untrue.

Dimitrius analyzed that tape and said that Jones visibly raised a shoulder, and then says "Umm" before answering a question. Midway into the conversation, she starts blinking her eyes so much they look like they're closed at one point.

When John Edwards recently denied that he had an affair, Dimitrius said he also began blinking rapidly and smiled inappropriately after calling his wife Elizabeth "sexy."

Read a Chapter

Below is a portion of the first chapter from the book.

Chapter One: Reading Readiness
Preparing for the Challenge of Reading People

"I can't believe I didn't see the signs. They were right there in front of me! How could I have been so blind?" We've all said something very much like this, probably more times than we care to admit. After we've misjudged our boss's intentions, a friend's loyalty, or a babysitter's common sense, we carefully replay the past—and usually see the mistakes we made with 20/20 hindsight. Why, then, after living and reliving our mistakes, don't we learn more from them? If reading people were like driving a car or hitting a tennis ball, we'd be able to recognize our weak points and improve our performance with every try. That rarely happens with relationships. Instead, we interact with our friends, colleagues, and spouses in the same old ways, doggedly hoping for the best.

In theory, thanks to the people-reading skills I acquired over the years, it should have been easy for me to make better decisions in my personal life—whom to let into it and what to expect from them once I did. Yet for many years I failed to apply my courtroom abilities to my off-duty life. Perhaps I had to reach a saturation point of pain and disappointment in some of my personal relationships before I was willing to analyze my mistakes and put my professional experience to work for me.

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