Verbal and non-verbal communication. How can you tell if someone is lying to you?

Excellent topic, huh? Would it be helpful for you to see the benefits behind the lies?

Before we start, please take a few seconds and think, is lying good or bad?

Bad. Of course, bad.

That’s exactely what I thought for a long time: lying is bad. Unforgivable. With time, after understanding the psychological principles of neuro-linguistic programming, I understood that, depending on the context, lying could turn from something harmful into something helpful.

I understood that I might even have an advantage in negotiation by understanding when someone tries to lie to me.

However, why is it necessary to lie? Why is it essential for people to lie?

Listen here for some reasons:

  1. To create excitement. Would surprises be the same without a little lie, a little mystery? How would you feel if you always knew what you were getting for your birthday?
  2. To comfort or calm others. Is it helpful for your family members to know your daily burdens? Do you want the team you work in, or manage to know about all the company’s problems? Wouldn’t they be more comfortable knowing you are caring for everything?
  3. To get rewards. Some people want things faster and are not willing to pay the price. It’s simple. Sometimes it works, but it’s unsafe in the long run.
  4. To avoid punishment. Who likes shame and guilt? Understandably, when certain punishing behaviors occur, there’s a desire to get away from them.
  5. To get attention. Why work when you can immediately get the attention of others? Don’t believe me? Facebook and Instagram are full of examples. Do you think that smile is the reality? Millionaires and overnight rich? Hmmm… hard to believe.
  6. To get sympathy. Has it ever happened when you’ve been sick that you’ve gone a little overboard to get food in bed? Or even to get a few extra sick days?
  7. To test your confidence. In the early stages of any relationship, specific skills are tested. When you first went to a job, did you think the colleague asking for help didn’t know how to do the task? Or was he checking the skills mentioned in your CV?

After you notice all these things, you understand how lying can bring out the best in you.

In fact, lying comes from a desire to be in control or low self-confidence. Not an attitude of condemnation, but one of compassion will get you the results you want. If someone lies to you, you can choose to end a relationship, or you can decide to make it blossom.

If this happens in a romantic relationship, shouldn’t the fact that the other person is lying to you give you pause for thought?

Have you ever wondered why they feel unsafe expressing themselves freely? Why are they afraid? What do they have to lose? 

Let’s go a bit further: in communication, we use three major channels:

  • verbal communication – the words we say;
  • non-verbal communication – body position, gestures, eye contact;
  • paraverbal communication – tone of voice, rhythm, intonation, accent, volume.

If these three channels are not aligned, we should ask ourselves some questions.

Think of it this way: we have a base emotional state every day. Lying makes most people get out of this base emotional state, and the subconscious will involuntarily make certain gestures to restore the emotional balance.

Gestures such as moving your feet and touching your neck, nose, or hands are calming gestures showing that the other person has left their base emotional state.

Can these indicators – red flags – tell you for sure that the other person is lying to you?


They can only tell you that they are no longer feeling comfortable.

You can learn more about why people lie, improve your relationships and have better results in communication when we start the NLP Practitioner course again in Munich.

Please write me a short message if you want to know more about verbal and non-verbal communication or NLP Training.


Who admits he’s a liar and tells lies all the time.

and … am I lying to you now?