Quantcast

This Is How To Tell If Someone's Lying To You

Love & Relationships

There's a guy I know who is the ultimate liar. I'm not kidding. His family knows it. His friends know it. Even people he works with know it. It's weird because he'll lie about everything from what he had for lunch to what he did on his summer vacation. It's like lying is a tick for him or something. I think the reason why no one is ever too hard on him about it—although I've heard him get called out on it before—is because his lies are perceived as being relatively harmless. He's not out here trying to hurt anybody; he just lives in an alternate reality.


I thought about him when I read a study that was published a while back on the topic of lying.

According to a University of Massachusetts psychologist by the name of Robert S. Feldman, most people who say they don't lie are, well, lying. His discoveries revealed that around 60 percent of people lie at least 2-3 times in every 10-minute plus conversation. That's kinda crazy.

Personally, I wonder if he's combining exaggerating with lying. Exaggerating is when you blow up details or stretch the truth, usually to make the truth "sound better" or more interesting. Lying is when you're out here deceiving, giving false impressions and being a totally dishonest person. I don't care for either, but if I had to choose, I'd take Column A over Column B. Lying is fraudulent. You can't really rely on anyone who's a liar.

But if Dr. Feldman is right, this means that all of us are out here we're being hoodwinked dozens of times a day. That sucks. The good news is there are some proven ways to tell if someone is lying to you. Ready?

They Take Long Pauses

media1.giphy.com

Unless someone's memory is really bad, there's no need to pause to remember what the truth is. You know what this means—liars have a tendency to take time to create a story in their head before speaking it out loud. Usually, whenever this happens, they are either looking away (as to avoid eye contact), stuttering their words or using "filler words" in order to buy time until they figure something out.

Something else that someone who's lying might do is answer a question with a question in order to buy time. Like while you're asking your man who so-and-so is in his phone, he may flip it and ask you who so-and-so is who posted a particular comment on your Instagram. It's not so much that he cares, it's so while you're talking, he can be thinking of what to say next.

Truth? It doesn't require time to put together a presentation strategy. Lying? Unless you're dealing with someone pathological or a total sociopath, it needs time to come up with something at least halfway decent or believable.

Their Voice Switches Up

media1.giphy.com

I've got a girlfriend, who, whenever she's up to no good that she doesn't want anyone to know about and she's questioned about it, her voice goes up at least an octave. That's what tends to happen whenever someone is anxious, nervous or scared. Not only that but sometimes people switch up their voice as a way to distract you during the conversation. If their voice is super different or even off-putting, they're hoping that you'll find yourself wondering just as much, if not more, about their voice as the (potential) lie itself.

They Hide a Part of Their Face

media3.giphy.com

According to an article that featured former CIA officers, a telling sign that someone is lying is if they hide a part of their face; especially their eyes or their mouth. The logic is there is some level of shame (whether consciously or subconsciously) when someone isn't telling the truth, so it's a natural reaction to want to hide when they do it. Plus, there's the whole "our eyes are the window to the soul" thing.

Hmm…liars like to cover up their eyes. I wonder if celebs have ever been told that. Maybe a lot less of them would wear sunglasses during interviews if they knew that it sends a pretty shady message.

They Give More Details than Necessary

img.buzzfeed.com

Thou doth protest too much. That's what I think about whenever I ask someone something and either they start rambling a mile a minute or they give all kinds of details that aren't really required. You know, like if you ask your boyfriend, "So, I called you last night. Where were you?" and he starts talking about the Arby's he went to (including the side of town), what he ordered, how long he was in line and all of the stuff he did once he got home. Then he gets into what happened to his phone and the charger, all the while talking so fast that you're wondering if he took a single breath in between it all.

Some people are natural storytellers (and not in the lying or even exaggerating kind of way); they live for TMI and are definitely not the exception to all of this. But if you're talking to someone who is usually straight and to the point, but, all of a sudden, they've got a billion-and-one words to share—or more importantly, if they repeat the details, things seem to switch up—while it's not 100 percent true that they are lying, if they are doing this along with some of these other points, I wouldn't sleep on it. Not at all.

They Get Defensive

media3.giphy.com

I haven't had sex in over 12 years. That doesn't mean I haven't heard rumors about myself, though. A couple of years ago, I even heard that I was pregnant. Yeah, whatever. I know the truth and it's so true that I don't see the need to defend it or chase contrary rumors down.

Oh, but a few weeks ago, I ran into someone who constantly lies about her sex life (I know this because she never keeps her stories straight and almost always backtracks and admits she wasn't telling the truth…eventually). And she went on and on about how she hasn't had sex in years (although the time prior to last that I saw her, she told me that she had some rebound sex with a dude) and I simply and calmly said, "I don't believe you because that's not what you said last time", she literally started yelling in the parking lot. Not really at me, but…it was like she thought that if she spoke loudly enough, it would drown out the other stories she had told me—or somehow I would forget. Yeah, liars have a real habit of getting super defensive.

While I'm on this point, some folks think that cussers are angry or defensive individuals. But actually, word on the street is that folks who use four-letter words tend to be more honest and forthcoming than those who don't. Believe it or not, people who cuss tend to be more effective in their communication and typically have higher levels of integrity too. Damn, that's fascinating.

They Seem Fidget—A LOT

img.buzzfeed.com

Moving around in their seat a lot. Playing around with their hands. Having jumpy legs and shifty eyes. Although you can't see any of this on the phone or online, if you're in the presence of someone who is lying to you, again, unless they are a complete sociopath (and those do exist), it is typically difficult for someone to lie and not feel uncomfortable while they're doing it. In fact, I once read that lying goes so against the grain of how our body flows that it even puts our organs into distress.

So yeah, if you're having a conversation with someone or you ask an individual a question and they seem antsy, there's a pretty good chance that they are lying to you. Because if they were telling the truth, unless they just killed someone or cheated on you (in those cases, fidgeting makes sense), what are the jitters and anxiety all about? My sentiments exactly.

Featured image by Getty Images

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

We all know that advocacy for inclusion and equality should be year-round, since we all have to be our fullest selves all day every day. Identity is a key element of doing that, and for LGBTQ+ professionals, this can include the question of coming out at work. Some may wonder whether their personal business is, well, anybody's business at work, while others might want to feel safe in the office being out, loud, and proud. Either way, coming out in the workplace is indeed an issue that not only must be addressed, but addressed appropriately.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Love is beautiful and social media is a wonderful way to showcase and spread it. However, many times it's the content with a bit of controversy or drama tied to it that gets all the double taps. But as my father once told me, "It's fine to seek drama in your art and interests, but love should make you happy and feel peace." When he said that, it stuck with me. For a long time, I think I sought out excitement in my relationships and that can lead to a lot of unhappiness or unhealthy situations.

Keep reading... Show less

Simone Biles is a decorated U.S. gymnast who captured the hearts of many with her ambitious, yet graceful moves. However, over the past year, fans got to witness another side of Simone after the gymnast began expressing the issues she's faced regarding her mental health. The Olympic gold medalist shocked everyone when she pulled out of some of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, citing "twisties" as the reason. The twisties is a gymnastics term that is described as losing control of your body while spinning in the air.

Keep reading... Show less

The relationship we have and nurture with self lays the foundation for how we relate to and connect with others in our lives. Assessing the issues that discourage self-love from prospering are key in order to repair and reignite the freedom that comes when we finally believe the words "you are enough." I chatted with self-love advocate and lifestyle entrepreneur Shelah Marie – who you may remember from when her 2017 photo of doing yoga with boyfriend, rapper Ace Hood, went viral. Shelah's mission is to create a movement of total self-love and liberation for women of color through her platform Curvy, Curly, Conscious – a place where "self-help" meets "real talk" through virtual and offline events and retreats.

Keep reading... Show less

The first time I really learned about the five love languages was a year after a big heartbreak in my early twenties, and since then I've found myself exploring the love languages of each of my subsequent partners in an effort to be a better lover to them. At the click of a simple quiz, you'll know whether words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, or physical touch is the primary way you prefer to experience love.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Adrienne Bailon Wants Women Of Color To Take Self-Inventory In Order To Redefine Success

"You can't expect anyone else to care about yourself like you do."

Latest Posts