What are the signs of lying in relationships? I think he’s lying to me.
Question Submitted by Shelby from Toronto, Canada
“I need to know the signs of lying. I think my boyfriend is lying to me about a lot of things. He just gets all weird when I ask him about certain things or make comments about the late-night texts he gets. I’m pretty sure he’s cheating on me, but there’s a whole bunch of other things going on too.
Is it possible that he’s a pathological liar and can’t help lying to me? In many ways, he seems too good to be true, but sometimes it feels like he’s lying to me just because he can. And when I quiz him down about lying to me, get gets these weird facial expressions and gets all defensive.
So how can I tell if he’s lying to me? What is the body language of a liar? Do people really show signs of lying? What are some deception detection techniques I can use to figure this guy out?”
The signs of lying
How can you really tell if someone is lying to you? Is it possible to know for sure? The answer is a definite “YES!” Human beings are pretty bad at lying. Yet somehow they manage to do it all the time without getting caught. Why? For one, we are all pretty poor at reading the body language of a liar. Beyond that, we all would like to think that people have no reason to deceive us and life would be really hard to get through if we never trusted anyone.
Before we give you some of the standard signs of lying, we want you to check out the definitive guide on catching a liar: Bust Liars by Mark Adams will turn you into a human lie detector. How important is this book? Have you ever been cheated on? Has anyone ever told you something that isn’t quite right and you believed them only to find out how foolish you were?
It sucks being lied to. It sucks to put your trust (and love) into someone only to find out that they have been deceiving you all along. Not only does this book teach you the signs of lying, how to spot a liar and how to deal with a liar, you can use this information on everyone you ever meet to know if they are being honest and trustworthy. Not only that, it teaches you how to get the truth from anyone once you have caught them in a lie! This just might be the most invaluable skill you’ll ever learn.
Let’s get back to things to look for if you think someone is lying to you. We have to warn you, once you learn how to tell if someone is lying to you, it’s hard to go back to being blindly innocent and unaware anymore…
The body language of a liar
Many of the signs of lying that a liar will do is unconscious and done by reflexes. This makes them very easy to identify and know for sure that you are being lied to. Most of the signs of lying happen in the face although there are also some great tell-tale signs that he’s lying with his body language also.
- Start with the eyes. Liars have a hard time looking you in the eyes when they are lying. They will often look away right at the moment of lying, or throw you off by widening their eyes to take on an innocent look when they offer up their untruths.
- Where they look. Our eyes tend to go in different directions to stimulate different parts of the brain. When someone is looking up and to the left, they usually are trying to access their memories. If however, they look up and to the right, they are trying to access the creative parts of their brain. This is a telltale sign of someone about to mix up a fresh new lie.
- Too much blinking. Lying often stimulates adrenaline which gets you all twitchy and nervous. Nervous people tend to blink a lot. If he starts suddenly fluttering his eyes at you, it’s not likely he’s trying to seduce you. He’s showing you signs of lying and that it’s making him nervous.
- The liar’s smile. Smiling is a gesture that uses a whole bunch of facial muscles. When we smile, not only do the ends of the lips curl up, but it also scrunches up the the eyes and the cheeks. Liars tend to give off a dead looking smile that doesn’t involve any eye muscles. Be wary if he’s showing you these signs of lying!
- Stiff body posture. Many times, people don’t move around as much as if telling a lie takes up all their energy. When someone gets really stiff when they’re talking, this might be a signal that they are trying to deceive you.
- Exaggerated body movements. Other people go in the opposite direction. They use much more arm movements and take on a more animated posture. As with any of these signs of lying, they need to be compared to how the person normally acts. If he turns into a clown or stops moving altogether, something is different.
- Lying is stressful. Lying is not something that most of us do every day so the simple act of lying creates stress in the body. It makes people blink faster, they swallow more, they get a little twitchy, they might shuffle their feet or scratch themselves. Especially watch for the liar to scratch their nose. Believe it or not, people tend to scratch their nose or sniffle at the time of lying. Watch for it.
- Covering the face. It’s as if the lie can be covered up if they hide a bit when they say it. Watch for your liar to cover his mouth with his hands or rub his eyes. These are more signs of discomfort, but they all give you a perfect picture of what’s going on with them physiologically.
What liars say
Think about a time when you have been falsely accused of something. You would go out of your way to save your good name. You, like most people, would probably go on the offensive and tell your accuser how stupid/crazy/paranoid they are. Liars tend to get defensive. They make excuses. They waffle back and forth when cornered because they know they have very little defense when caught red handed.
Compulsive liars tend to repeat back the accusation when cornered. If you were to ask him, “Did you sleep with my best friend?” and he answers, “No, I did not sleep with your best friend!” then he may have something to hide. A normal response would simply be to say no or to say no and call you a maniac. It’s as if being specific will throw you off, but it’s actually a pretty loud signal. Also, when someone lies to you, they tend to use more formal speech instead of using a contraction such as “did not” instead of “didn’t.”
Another one of the many signs of lying is using vague answers to disguise the truth. If he answers in a general sort of way, he’s got something to hide. How does this work? For instance, if you were to ask him if he stuffed Fluffy (your cat) down the garbage chute and his answer is only about “a cat” and he avoids talking specifically about “Fluffy,” then he has something to hide.
Liars will also use humor to completely avoid the confrontation. This prevents them from actually needing to tell the lie and misdirect you from the issue at hand.
How liars act
We all picture that people who lie as someone hunched over in dark alleys with scowls on their faces and crazy eyes. Whether this is true or not, it makes you easier to lie to when you’re looking for the obvious signs of lying and don’t expect that everyone you know has the capacity to lie. No, we’re not saying that all of your homies are pathological liars, but just knowing that we all have it inside us to lie is a very good protection. Knowing what they do when they lie is ironclad protection!
First of all, when someone is lying to you, they often close off their stance. They pull their arms in closer to their bodies and bring their legs together. They also tend to avoid facing you directly. As they avoid looking you in the eyes, the body usually follows often to the point of turning their entire bodies away and craning their necks to look at you.
Often the facial expressions don’t match up with what’s being said. They might say they like the painting you just created with a strained look on their face. These signs of lying are easy to spot because they seem poorly timed, the expressions last too long and stop abruptly instead of relaxing back into a normal expression. If your friend really loved your painting, he would have smiled brightly with his whole face as he said “I love your painting!” not after.
If you really have your human lie detector working, you’ll also listen to the sound of their voice. Lies are often delivered at a higher pitch than normal. When his voice begins to get squeakier, you might have yourself a rat!
The pathological liar
Some people just have to lie. They can’t help it, it’s just what they do. The problem is when they are really good at it. Normally, pathological liars show all the same tics and telltale deceptive signals that we all show. Some dudes really know how to lie without showing any signs of lying. Now you’re in for it.
So how can you tell when a pro isn’t telling the truth? This is way beyond the scope of this article and you would really be better served reading the book. One thing is for certain, when you are dealing with a pathological liar, who can consistently tell convincing lies, there is very little protection against them. This is where you really need to follow your heart. Something is fishy. Something has always been fishy and although you don’t have any concrete proof, it’s simply best to suck up the guilt you feel for being so untrustworthy or suspicious and get away from this person.
They will do whatever they can to make you feel like the jerk in this situation, but they always will. On top of that, they will always continue to lie, so you’re looking at a lifetime of feeling guilty and wondering if you are actually seeing the signs of lying or you could at least not have to deal with it any more.
Lies in relationships
Some dudes are just sleazebags and their whole mission in life is to take what they want. Fortunately for you, sleazy, compulsive lying guys are easy to spot. They are good at what they do. If you feel as if you have met someone who’s reeeaallly smooth, well then the chances that he will also lie to you go up exponentially.
The best way to protect yourself from lies is to know how to spot them from the very beginning. Once you get good at spotting a lair, then you know better than to get mixed up with someone who lies indiscriminately or compulsively.
What if you’re dating or married to a liar? For most people, lies are the end of it. You might consider reading How to Catch a Cheating Spouse if you think he’s lying to you about infidelity. Also, if you really need some perspective on what to do next, Should You Stay or Should You Go asks all the things you need to consider before leaving someone you love.
When it comes right down to it, if you are online looking how to tell the signs of lying, you’re already suspicious. Your intuition is a lot smarter than you give it credit. Once you get good at spotting a liar, an amazing thing happens: you find that you can actually really start trusting people because now you have the power to see the signs of lying and you immediately know if you can trust someone or not!