Everybody lies.

Research says that we are lied to from 10 to a staggering 200 times a day!

People lie for all kinds of reasons--to cover wrongdoing or embarrassment, to receive some personal gain, to avoid conflict and get along, or to avoid hurting someone else's feelings.

Some lie just to see if they can get away with it, and others have lied so much for so long that they really don't know any other way.

Some lies are readily apparent, while others are more subtle and harder to see.

We may not always be able to tell definitively whether what we've heard is true or not, but to help you separate truth from fiction here are some signs you can look for.

People engaged in lying tend to display the following characteristics:

1. They avoid making eye contact.

2. Their gestures won't match what they are saying. For example, they may be saying, "Yes, I finished the report" but their head is shaking in a slight "no" motion.

3. They avoid facing the person and may turn their head or body away from you.

4. Their expressions become limited. Instead of their whole face being part of what they are saying, they push back part of their face or hold still.

5. They waffle. Instead of "I didn't do it," they may say, "I wouldn't do anything like that."

6. They frequently proclaim that they're telling the truth, with phrases like to be honest, believe me, or to tell the truth.

7. When asked a question they're not prepared for, they may take long pauses as they create the next sequence of events.

8. They may muddle their sentences together when speaking rather than following usual patterns of emphasis.

9. They will often reply in a way that echoes the question. If you ask, "Is the spreadsheet done, because I don't have it on my desk," they may say, "Yes, it's done, and I put it on your desk."

10. They may frequently touch their face, throat or mouth, scratch their nose or ear, or generally appear fidgety.

Of course none of these applies to every person in every situation. But by paying attention to the language and body language of the people you speak with, you can figure some pretty good odds about their honesty--and other traits as well.

And that's the truth!