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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

Video Pick: How to Spot a Liar

Lies range from the harmless (“of course I wear that hat you knitted for me, Aunt Jo!”) to the disastrously economy-crushing (Madoff, Enron). But whatever the scale, it’s never fun to be on the receiving end.

Unfortunately, though, deception is out there even more than we realize. Studies show that strangers typically lie three times within 10 minutes of meeting each other and that each of us is probably lied to up to 200 times per day.

So how do you sniff out the difference between fact and falsehood? In this fascinating video, Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows us the proven ways to expose a liar—body language (looking you in the eye too much), distancing language (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”), and unnecessary levels of detail can all be giveaways. These tricks are well worth the 15 minutes they take to watch—in fact, Meyer’s tips are so good, she laughs, that “no one wants to meet her in person anymore.”

Photo and video courtesy of TED.