Effective liars use certain techniques, and knowing their secrets will help you spot one in your life.

1. They do not overdo it.

“Prisons are overcrowded with bad liars,” says Charles Ford, psychologist and author of Lies ! Lies ! Lies! “Good liars are still at large.”

But what are the differences between a good and a bad liar? Effective liars never go too far. Since they do not want to be caught, they serve lies in small portions, leaving the main dish for the most important moment.

2. They think out their lies beforehand.

In 1990, psychologist Bill Flanagan found that liars who had thought through the details of their stories in advance had more success in convincing their interlocutors than those who hadn’t. According to psychologist Dr. Cynthia Cohen, “it is easier to catch someone in a lie when it is the first time they tell it”.

3. They present the truth in such a way as if it were lies.

This is a technique that allows an effective liar to confuse the person they are talking to. Thus, a liar confirms the allegations against them but with a smile and irony so that a serious charge looks like a joke, trying to make the person who made the question look silly. The purpose of this technique is to avoid more questions.

In 1990, the study of pathological liars in New York showed that those who managed to avoid further questions were much more successful in their deception.

4. They know the victim of their lies.

An effective liar should be a good psychologist. Most people are suspicious by nature and don’t easily believe in anything they hear. In order to lie effectively, a liar uses an individual approach to every person they meet. They study habits, psychological traits, personal experiences, and weaknesses of the people they lie to.

5. They keep track of all the facts concerning their lies.

“One of the problems of an effective lie is that it is hard work,” claims psychologist Michael Lewis. “You need to be very consistent in your actions. Just like puzzle pieces make up an image, a big lie consists of sequential steps. Making notes about all the facts of your lies to others may be very useful. As Marcus Fabius Quintilianus said: “A liar should have a good memory.”

When a liar is playing their deception games with different people, it means that they have to keep in mind the possibility that those people may exchange information between them. Eventually, people can collate the information received from the liar and find conflicting details, which will lead to the exposure of the lies.

6. They are consistent in what they say.

People often become bad liars because they experience fear or guilt when it comes to the details they don’t like. Remember that fear and guilt are evident in your voice, gestures, and facial expressions. Bad liars usually try to stop unpleasant conversations, which inevitably leads to the exposure of their lies. Effective liars enjoy the process of telling lies, which is a game for them. The best liars do not show shame or remorse because they just do not feel it.

7. They know how to distract other people’s attention.

The best liars are natural manipulators. Such an example of manipulation is the movie Basic Instinct where the protagonist played by Sharon Stone skillfully distracted the attention of investigators using their sexual and emotional arousal.


  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com
  2. https://www.umass.edu

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