“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

People lie for a variety of reasons: cover up mistakes or wrongdoing, avoid confrontation or avoid hurting a person’s feelings. Researchers estimate the average person is told at least ten lies every single day. Private investigators are pros at detecting lies. A PI is like a human polygraph due to experience gained from years of interviewing people and taking statements. Our list of lie detecting tips won’t help you catch every deception that comes your way, but it might just come in handy when you are looking for the truth.

Note: The more behaviors on this list that a person engages in, the stronger the likelihood there is deception going on. Just one of these behaviors might not be definitive proof, depending on the person you’re dealing with.

1. Fidgeting – Why do some people fidget when they lie? Fidgeting can be a self-soothing way to relieve the inner stress and nervous energy lying causes. Many tend to fidget directly after an untrue statement by touching their face or mouth, playing with their hair, scratching their nose, rubbing their neck or itching an ear.

2. Shifting Eye Contact – The inner stress of lying makes it difficult to maintain eye contact while speaking the untruth. In interviews, subjects will keep good eye contact while answering truthfully and during questions until giving a false answer. They tend to subtly (or not so subtly) shift away from eye contact while answering with a lie.

3. Changing the Story – When a person is lying, their story tends to change when they repeat it. Sometimes it will be subtle details that change and other times, they will remember new or different details they did not recall or couldn’t answer in previous versions of the story.

4. Fight or Flight Response – The inner stress of lying can trigger the “fight or flight response” for some people. This includes unusual sweating, flushed skin – especially flushing of the face, shallow breathing and licking lips.

5. Over-explaining – When given an open-ended series of questions and space to talk as long as they wish, many people tend to over-explain when lying. They’ll include details that either don’t make sense or are not important to the overall answer or story. They often ramble and “talk in circles” in an attempt to appear as if they have nothing to hide.

6. Answering a Question with a Question – Answering a question with a question is a common tactic people use to redirect attention away from themselves and their lies.

7. Blank Face – Many people avoid making facial expressions when lying. They think avoiding reaction with a blank face will prevent an expression from revealing their untruth.

8. Gestures Don’t Match Words – A common way people get caught in a lie is when their gestures don’t match the words they’re saying. A simple example of this is giving an affirmative or “yes” answer while shaking their head “no”.

9. Create Physical Space – In interviews, untruthful subjects might stand, move to a different seat or more commonly, sit back and stretch out their legs to subtly create distance. Many people find it more difficult to lie when too physically close to the interviewer.

10. Proclaim Their Truthfulness – Using statements to reaffirm their honesty is often a sign of deceit. Statements like “to be honest,” “if I’m being truthful,” “believe me” and “to tell the truth” are common ways a liar tries to assert themselves as being honest.

While we all sometimes engage in these behaviors when we really are being honest, when you see several of these signs there is a high chance deception is involved. Armed with these tips, you’ll be able to tell with greater certainty when someone is not being truthful with you.