We may think a little fib here and a white lie there is harmless, but one lie usually leads to another and before you know it, they can play havoc with your health and wellbeing.

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Studies by the University of Notre Dame in Indiana have shown that fibbing can lead to headaches, sore throats and feelings of sadness and, most tellingly, stress.

Psychology Today has also revealed that when you lie you’re consciously afraid you’ll get caught and it creates stress – hence lie detectors that sense the changes in pulse, breathing rate and even the pitch of your voice, which is triggered by chemical reactions in the body when you’re emotionally strained.

Deception can also lead to distrust in a relationship, as well as those closest to you.

To determine whether someone has a hidden agenda and to help give you the advantage you may need if you think someone is saying an untruth, here are some signs that are dead giveaways…

1. Eye contact

If they can’t look you in the eye when you ask a simple question, be suspicious.

2. Delayed responses

If they’re struggling to explain a situation or circumstances, they could be plotting the right reply.

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3. Change of tone

The voice may go up in pitch or even crack.

4. Fidgeting

Look for scratching of the nose, back of the neck, or even pretending to pick fluff from their clothes.

5. Covering their mouth when speaking

If they hold their hand over the mouth, chances are it could be a tall tale.

6. Watch the words

Liars are less likely to use the words “I”, “me” and “mine” in an attempt to distance themselves from their fibs.

7. Are they behaving uncharacteristically?

If you spot a change in their behaviour, posture or hand gestures, then something’s wrong.