Determining Lies – Common Traits and Types of Deception

If you proclaim right now that you’re not a liar, you’re probably lying. It’s a rampant human trait that we can’t seem to avoid. Readers Digest conducted a survey in the early 2000’s and learned that 96% of the people polled admitted to lying at some point. Many of the fibs are simple white lies with no intended ill intentions. If you tell your daughter that her prom dress compliments her perfectly (while you’re internally shuddering at the gaudy embellishments on the neckline), no real harm was intended. That white lie was to spare the teen’s feelings.

Other deception packs a powerful, and harmful, punch to the gut. When harmless white lies turn into intentional deceit, Kendall Investigations may soon be involved to dig deeper for the truth.

Types of Lies

As we know, not all types of lies are created equal. It’s unlikely you’ll be pounding down the door at Kendall Investigations to request a polygraph for the toddler who denied munching on forbidden cookies (though crumbs on his face tell otherwise). While some lies don’t destroy relationships, others can. Types of lies range from minor infractions to destructive and false claims.

  • Compulsive lying. This type of person often finds themselves caught in the act. Their stories don’t jive and their fuzzy facts fool no one. They often trip on their own words, sweat while spouting out falsities, ramble, and avoid eye contact.
  • Pathological liars. In this category, a person responds with lies in response to stimuli. Pathological liars master deceit and often sound so convincing that no one would ever second guess their claims. Even if you study the person in question, they’ll look you square in the eye, locked onto their lie. If you think you’re dealing with a pathological liar, give Kendall Investigations a call and Ken Shull will work his magic administering a polygraph to find out what’s happening truly.
  • Sociopathic liars. Someone under this category simply harbors no guilt or empathy when they deceive another person. This type of person masterfully spins fictional tales to get what they want with no regard to how it affects someone else.
  • White liars. Sometimes well-intentioned, not all white lies harmlessly float around without affecting others. Those who spin white lies often mix truth with false statements.
  • Careless liars. Be careful with this type. They simply don’t care who they’re impacting or what pain they’re inflicting. This type of liar tends to delve out lies sloppily without concern for how a person receives it. They likely know exactly what they’re doing but you shouldn’t expect them to admit it.
  • Occasional liars. Raise your hand if you fall into this one… it’s a pretty common category. After you spit out a lie, you feel bad and wind up fessing up and asking for forgiveness. This type of person also only does this from time to time; it’s not a habitual thing.

Kendall Investigations has seen it all and the owner Ken Shull is a master at detecting deceit with lie detector tests. Regardless of what type of liar they are, using Kendall Investigations can help you figure out if you’ve been strung along all this time or if that person is truly stating the facts.

Common Traits of a Liar

Dealing with an occasional fib or even flat-out lie may not top your to-do list but it happens. But, what if you think you’re regularly engaging with someone who is a lifelong liar? Keep an eye out for some of these characteristics and you might realize you have a pro on your hands. And, if you do and want to catch them to end their streak, check with Kendall Investigations for some advice.

  • Frequent lies. Are you catching the person red-handed all the time?
  • Inability to accept the truth. Even with overwhelming facts on your side, are they still in denial of the truth?
  • Constantly changing their stories. Does the person in question change their story more than they do their clothing?
  • Lack of empathy. When a lifelong liar continues to spout out harmful and incorrect statements, do they even care what the impact is to you?
  • Anger or aggression when caught. If you catch the person in the lie, do they suddenly act out in defense or anger?

Though the overwhelming majority of the population admits to lying, that doesn’t make it right. And even white lies can inflict harm on others. This human characteristic isn’t going anywhere, though. You may find yourself in a situation attempting to sift through the truth versus false claims and you find your head reeling at the confusion. If this happens, don’t go at it alone. You always have Kendall Investigations available to discern the truth.

Uncover the truth!


Ken Shull served as a Special Agent with the FBI for almost 25 years and was head of the FBI Polygraph program until his retirement in 2001. At that time he set up the Kendall Investigations practice as a private investigator in Knoxville, TN offering Polygraph services, private investigations, and security guards. Ken is a member of the American Polygraph Association and The American Association of Police Polygraphists.

The Truth is Still the Truth Even if No One Believes it, A Lie is Still a Lie Even if Everyone Believes it.