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Never Be Lied to Again: How to Get the Truth In 5 Minutes Or Less In Any Conversation Or Situation

Never Be Lied to Again: How to Get the Truth In 5 Minutes Or Less In Any Conversation Or Situation

by David J. Lieberman Ph.D.

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How many times have you been manipulated or taken advantage of by someone's lies? Are you tired of being deceived, tricked, and fooled? Finally, renowned behaviorist David J. Lieberman shows you how to stop the lies and uncover the truth— in any conversation or situation. In a simple, user-friendly format, Dr. Lieberman gives you the tools to determine, with uncanny accuracy, if you are being lied to.

Utilizing newly developed techniques in hypnosis and psycholinguistics, this book also shows you how to easily influence anyone to tell the truth— within minutes. Use it in any situation, from casual conversation to in-depth interviews. Never Be Lied to Again is chock-full of colorful examples and engaging scenarios to help you keep from being taken advantage of and give you that extra edge. Use these groundbreaking techniques to take control of every personal and business situation...and never be lied to again.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312204280
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/10/1999
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 260,080
Product dimensions: 5.59(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

David J. Lieberman, Ph.D., whose work has been translated into eleven languages, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of human behavior. He has appeared on more than two hundred programs and is a frequent guest expert on national television and radio shows such as "The Today Show," National Public Radio, "The View," PBS, "The Montel Williams Show," and A&E. Dr. Lieberman holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is the creator of Neural-Dynamic Analysis, a revolutionary short-term therapy. He is a sought-after speaker, lecturer, and consultant and lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt




"He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore."


This part contains a catalog of forty-six clues to deception, divided into seven sections. The clues can be used independently or in conjunction with one another. While some are excellent indicators by themselves, all clues should be viewed within the context of the situation at hand; they are not absolutes.

Some of these are so subtle that they can easily be missed unless you pay close attention. Others may be glaringly obvious. In some instances you'll be looking for lies of omission — what's missing that should be there. Other times you'll be dealing with lies of commission — things said or done that are inconsistent with the rest of the message.

Occasionally you won't have access to all these clues: you might be on the telephone, for instance, and not be able to see the body of the person you are talking to. It's not necessary to memorize these clues, for in time they will become second nature: you will gradually become more familiar with what to look for, what to listen for, and what to ask for, to get to the truth.

Certain variables such as gender, ethnicity, and cultural background can influence how we interpret various clues — the use of gestures and personal space, for example. For the most part, though, these factors are negligable and can be ignored.

Some of the clues draw on traditional psychological disciplines such as body language and psycholinguistics. These are used to detect discrepancies between the verbal and the nonverbal message. You will also be using more sophisticated methods developed as a result of my research in the field of human behavior. One such tool, psycholinguistic emphasis (PLE), involves the words that people choose to reflect their current psychological state.

Once you realize that you're being lied to, should you confront the liar immediately? Usually not. The best approach is to note the fact in your mind and continue with the conversation, trying to extract more information. Once you confront someone who has lied to you, the tone of the conversation changes and gathering additional facts becomes difficult. Therefore, wait until you have all the evidence you want and then decide whether to confront the person at that time or hold off to figure how you can best use this insight to your advantage.



Our fingers, hands, arms, and legs and their movements offer a fascinating insight into our true feelings. Most people aren't aware that their body speaks a language all its own; try as they will to deceive you with their words, the truth can be always silently observed.

You may already have read or heard about some of these clues, but they are only a small portion of the tactics that you will learn.


The Language of the Eyes

No or little direct eye contact is a classic sign of deception. A person who is lying to you will do everything to avoid making eye contact. Unconsciously he feels you will be able to see through him — via his eyes. And feeling guilty, he doesn't want to face you. Instead he will glance down or his eyes may dart from side to side. Conversely, when we tell the truth or we're offended by a false accusation, we tend to give our full focus and have fixed concentration. We lock eyes with our accuser as if to say "You're not getting away until we get to the bottom of this."


The Body Never Lies

Lacking Animation

The hands and arms are excellent indicators of deceit because they are used to gesture with and are more easily visible than our feet and legs. But hands, arms, legs, and feet can all give us information if we're watching carefully. When someone is lying or keeping something in, he tends to be less expressive with his hands or arms. He may keep them on his lap if he's sitting, or at his side if he's standing; he may stuff his hands in his pockets or clench them. Fingers may be folded into the hands; full extension of the fingers is usually a gesture of openness.

Have you ever noticed that when you're passionate about what you're saying, your hands and arms wave all about, emphasizing your point and conveying your enthusiasm? And have you ever realized that when you don't believe in what you're saying, your body language echoes these feelings and becomes inexpressive?

Additionally, if you ask someone a question and her hands clench or go palm down, this is a sign of defensiveness and withdrawal. If she is genuinely confused at the accusations or the line of questioning, her hands turn palm-up as if to say "Give me more information; I do not understand" or "I have nothing to hide."

Keeping Something In

When a person sits with his legs and arms close to his body, perhaps crossed but not outstretched, he is evincing the thought I'm keeping something in. His arms and legs may be crossed because he feels he must defend himself. When we feel comfortable and confident we tend to stretch out — claim our space, as it were. When we feel less secure, we take up less physical space and fold our arms and legs into our body, into what is almost a fetal position.

Displaying Artificial Movements

Arm movements and gestures seem stiff and almost mechanical. This behavior can be readily observed by watching unpolished actors and politicians. They try to use gestures to convince us that they're impassioned about their beliefs, but there's no fluidity to their movements. The movements are contrived, not natural.


The Unconscious Cover-up

If her hand goes straight to her face while she is responding to a question or when she is making a statement, this is often an indication of deceit. Her hand may cover her mouth while she is speaking, indicating that she really doesn't believe what she is saying to be true; it acts as a screen, an unconscious attempt to hide her words.

When she is listening she covers or touches her face as an unconscious manifestation of the thought I really don't want to be listening to this. Touching the nose is also considered to be a sign of deception, as well as scratching behind or on the side of the ear or rubbing the eyes.

This should not be confused with the posture associated with deep thought, which usually conveys concentration and attention.


The Partial Shrug

The shrugging of one's shoulders is a gesture that usually indicates ignorance or indifference: "I don't know" or "I don't care." If a person makes this gesture he or she usually means to communicate that very message. However, if this gesture is fleeting — if you catch only a glimpse of it — it's a sign of something else. This person is trying to demonstrate that she is casual and relaxed about her answer, when in fact she really isn't. Because what she feels isn't a true emotion, she doesn't really shrug.

This situation is similar to that of someone who is embarrassed by a joke but wants to pretend that she thinks it's funny. What you see is a "lips only" smile, not a big grin encompassing her entire face.


• The person will make little or no eye contact.

• Physical expression will be limited, with few arm and hand movements. What arm and hand movements are present will seem stiff, and mechanical. Hands, arms, and legs pull in toward the body; the individual takes up less space.

• His hand(s) may go up to his face or throat. But contact with his body is limited to these areas. He is also unlikely to touch his chest with an open hand gesture.

• If he is trying to appear casual and relaxed about his answer, he may shrug a little.



Individual gestures need to be looked at by themselves and in relation to what is being said. In this section we're going to look at the relationship between words and the corresponding gestures. Besides obvious inconsistencies such as shaking your head from side to side while saying yes, more subtle but equally revealing signs of deception exist. These take place at both the conscious and the unconscious level.

Then there are times when we make a conscious effort to emphasize our point, but because the gesture is forced it lacks spontaneity and the timing is off. When you know what to look for, this is readily apparent.

Inconsistencies between gestures, words, and emotions are also great indicators, in that you're presented with a dual message. One example is a person who grins while she expresses sorrow to a friend whose spouse has left her.

Watch for what is known as the initial reaction expression (IRE). This is an initial expression of true feelings that may last for less than a second, just until the person you are observing has a chance to mask them. Even if you can't read the fleeting expression, the fact that it has changed is reason enough to suspect that the emotion you are currently seeing is false.


Timing Is Everything

If the person's head begins to shake in a confirming direction before or as the words come out, this is a good indication that he is telling the truth. However, if he shakes his head after the point is made, he may be trying to demonstrate conviction, but because it's a contrived movement — one not based on emotion — the timing is off.

Also look for hand and arm movements that punctuate a point after it's been made. The gesture looks like an afterthought because that's what it is. He wants to get his words out fast but realizes that maybe he should look really mad and play the part. Additionally, hand and arm movements will not only start late but will seem mechanical and won't coincide with verbal punctuation.

If you wanted to convince someone that you were angry when you really weren't, you would want to play the part and look angry. But there's more to it than that. The timing of that angry facial expression matters. If the facial expression comes after the verbal statement ("I am so angry with you right now" ... pause ... and then the angry expression), it looks false. Showing the expression before the "I'm so angry" line wouldn't indicate deceptiveness. It would only suggest that you are thinking about what you are saying or are having some difficulty in deciding how to express your anger.

Also, someone who believes in his words will be inclined to move his head on important syllables to drive home a point. Whether up and down or side to side, the head movement is supposed to punctuate particular points and ideas. A mechanical nodding without regard to emphasis indicates a conscious movement. These conscious movements are intended to show emphasis, but when a person is lying such movements are not part of the natural rhythm of the message.


Contradiction and Consistency

Not only is the timing important, but we need to pay attention to the type of gesture. The woman who frowns as she says she loves you is sending a contradictory message. An obvious incongruence between gestures and speech indicates that the speaker is lying. A good example is the man who tries to tell his girlfriend he loves her while shaking his fist in the air. Similarly, hands tightly clenched and a statement of pleasure are not in synch with each other. Make sure that the gesture fits the speech.


The Emotion Commotion

The timing of emotions is something that's difficult to fake. Watch closely and you probably won't be fooled. A response that's not genuine is not spontaneous; therefore, there is a slight delay in the onset of false emotion. The duration of the emotion is also off: The response goes on longer than it would in the case of genuine emotion. The fade-out — how the emotion ends — is abrupt. So the emotion is delayed coming on, stays longer than it should, and fades out abruptly.

The emotion of surprise is a great example. Surprise comes and goes quickly, so if it is prolonged it is most likely false. But when we are feigning surprise, most of us keep a look of awe plastered on our faces; this look won't really fool an aware observer.


The Expression Zone: Beware the Smile That Doesn't Seem Happy

Deception expressions are often confined to the mouth area. A smile that's genuine lights up the whole face. When a smile is forced, the person's mouth is closed and tight and there's no movement in the eyes or forehead. A smile that does not involve the whole face is a sign of deception.

While we're on this subject, be aware that the smile is the most common mask for emotion because it best conceals the appearance in the lower face of anger, disgust, sadness, or fear. In other words, a person who doesn't want her true feelings to be revealed may "put on a happy face." But remember, if the smile does not reflect a true emotion — happiness, for example — it will not encompass her entire face.


• The timing is off between gestures and words.

• The head moves in a mechanical fashion.

• Gestures don't match the verbal message.

• The timing and duration of emotional gestures will seem off.

• Expression will be limited to the mouth area when the person is feigning certain emotions — happiness, surprise, awe, and so on.



You want to be aware of a person's posture in and of itself and in relation to his surroundings. How the person carries himself and behaves in relation to what he says is an excellent indication of his comfort level.

It's widely believed that when we are wrongfully accused we become defensive. In fact, generally speaking, only a guilty person gets defensive. Someone who is innocent will usually go on the offensive. If Mary and John are arguing and Mary accuses John of something, John doesn't automatically assume a defensive posture. If he is innocent and objects to what Mary is saying, he will go on the offensive. The following clues look at the distinctions between these two states of mind.


The Head Shift

If someone is uttering or listening to a message that makes her uncomfortable, her head may shift away from the one she is talking to. This is an attempt to distance herself from the source of the discomfort. If she is comfortable with her position and secure in her actions, she will move her head toward the other person in an attempt to get closer to the source of information. Watch for an immediate and pronounced jerking of the head or a slow deliberate withdrawal. Either may happen.

This action is very different from — and should not be confused with — a slight tilt of the head to the side. This occurs when we hear something of interest. It's considered to be a vulnerable pose and would not be adopted by a person with something to hide.


The Posture of a Liar

When a person feels confident about a situation and conversation, he stands erect or sits up straight. This behavior also indicates how people feel about themselves in general. Those who are secure and confident stand tall, with shoulders back. Those who are insecure or unsure of themselves often stand hunched over, with their hands in their pockets.

Studies have shown that the best way to avoid being mugged is to walk briskly, with your head up and your arms moving. Such a style of moving conveys confidence. A conversation that produces feelings of confidence or those of insecurity will produce the concomitant physical posture.


If She's Headed for the Door ...

Just as we move away from someone who threatens us physically, the person who feels at a psychological disadvantage will shift or move away from her accuser. When we feel passionate about our ideas, in an attempt to persuade the other person, we move toward him. The liar is reluctant to move toward or even face the source of the threat. She turns sideways or completely away and rarely stands squared off. The face-to-face demeanor is reserved for the person who seeks to refute a slanderous statement. This is not the case when there's deceit.

Also look for a movement in the direction of the exit. Feeling uncomfortable, she may angle her body or actually move toward the exit. While standing she may position her back to the wall. Her psychological exposure causes her to seek physical refuge. Feeling verbally ambushed, she wants to make sure that she can see what's coming next. Those who are confident and comfortable don't mind taking center stage.


If He's Not Touchin', He's Probably Bluffin'

The person who is being deceitful will have little or no physical contact with the one he is talking to. This is an excellent and quite reliable indicator. While making a false statement, or during a conversation containing one, the liar will rarely touch the other person. He's unconsciously reducing the level of intimacy to help alleviate his guilt. Touch indicates psychological connection; it's used when we believe strongly in what we're saying.


Excerpted from "Never Be Lied To Again"
by .
Copyright © 1998 David J. Lieberman, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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