Prepper Psyops – How to spot a liar

How to spot a liar

Maybe not “psyops” per se, but preppers should seriously consider studying behavioral and psychological ques that people give off when they lie.  Unless you are the lone-wolf prepper that is going to run off into the wilderness and bury yourself in a hole, you’ll most likely have to evaluate the people you encounter as friend or foe.  You may even want to evaluate your own self when telling a lie.  There may be a time when lying is necessary to save your life – make sure you’re making it as authentic as you can.

The first key to lie spotting is…

that humans are complex and no one verbal or physical queue will allow you to determine whether someone is lying.  Before starting to analyze a person, you need to take a baseline.  If you’re beginning a conversation with a stranger, start with casual conversation.  You’ll want to keep things relaxed and comfortable, and ask only a couple of questions that are non-confrontational, non-personal, and easy to answer.  If it’s someone you know somewhat, start by talking about topics which they like – sports, hobbies, etc.  If it is a complete stranger, again, keep the topics neutral to positive – the weather, how proud they must be of their children, etc.  You want to see how these individuals act without being under any pressure whatsoever.

The second step is to ask the questions you are seeking answers to: the tough questions.  Look for differences from their verbal and physical baseline.

If the individual is expressing multiple of these behavioral/psychological ques, odds are they may be lying.  In no particular order:

  • Verbal Dodging
    • Responses that are either very quick (had rehearsed the answer to a question before hand) or very delayed (trying to think of how to phrase the lie).
    • Use of formal vs. informal language (e.g. – Saying “did not” instead of “didn’t”).  While saying the formal language, the syllables are usually stressed.
    • If the question is in relation to that person’s interaction with another individual, they may use distancing language if they do not want to be associated.  For example, saying “that woman” instead of calling them by their name.
    • Qualifying their statements with phrases like: “Well, to tell you the truth”, “In all honesty”, etc.
    • Repeating your question in its entirety.  This is helping their mind buy time to figure out an answer.
    • Providing too much detail.  This is a nervous behavior.  If they are nervous to the question you answered, they may have something to hide.
  • Body Language
    • Feet or knees tend to shift towards an exit.  This displays that they are uncomfortable with the conversation and want to leave.
    • They display micro expressions (tells) such as:
      • Lip clenching
      • Jaw clenching
      • Grins
    • Touching the face excessively – a nervous behavior.
    • Looking down or around excessively – a nervous behavior.
    • They fake their smile.  Real smiles “are in the eyes”.  Look for “crows feet” on the corners of peoples eyes to tell if they are truly smiling.
    • They are putting objects in front of themselves.  This is an act of distancing.
    • They cross their arms or shield themselves.  Also an act of distancing.  As a note, open palms, non-crossed legs, etc show openness and truthfulness.
    • They shake their head yes when the say no or vice versa.
    • Duping delight (smile when they get away with it)
    • They show contempt or are dismissive (asymmetrical lip up and in).

Below are some very good videos about how to spot a liar.  The first is a general overview of how to spot a liar.

The second is an analysis of Lance Armstrong lying about his doping scheme when talking to Opera.


  • Rickety Janes

    Of course, in a true libertarian society, a lot of the questions that necessitate prevarication of some kind are considered out of bounds….”ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies” lol….also, feeling some need to to set yourself up as “the inquisitor/interrogator” tends to be viewed as suspicious by most preppers, including myself….

    • Very true, but I think it’s “who” asks the questions.

      If you are a stranger coming up on a retreat location where other individuals are held up, asking questions will raise lots of suspicions. In that scenario, it’s better to tell more about yourself than ask questions of this group.

      However, I think it’s perfectly appropriate if you are an individual at the retreat and a stranger shows up on your property. You hold the reins in this situation. You need to ask a lot of questions to determine if they are a friendly or foe. If you piss them off by asking too many questions, then you can tell them to get the hell out :)