Signs of lying spouse

8 Common Signs Of A Lying Spouse And How To Deal With It

Lying is a serious offense in a relationship that you should confront at the earliest.

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Marriages are made in heaven, but in some cases, they do not turn out as planned, especially if a partner is unfaithful and you notice signs the spouse is lying. Have you ever noticed your spouse suddenly locking their social media apps with extra security or lying to you that they were busy at the office while being out at a party? These are the signs that you must identify to understand the relationship problem. An unfaithful partner can destroy a relationship and cause irreparable damage to the relationship. Sometimes, it might just be a communication problem, and a heartfelt conversation is sometimes all you need to get your relationship back on track. Read on to know your partner is lying, common signs of a liar, and how to deal with the situation.

Common Signs To Tell Your Spouse Is Lying

You may know your spouse very well but still find it difficult to discover their lies. Either they are too good at lying, or you are too naïve. Don’t worry. A little observation of their body language can help you discover their lies.

The most common sign of lying is to avoid eye contact. You ask your spouse a question, and if they are lying, they will usually answer you without looking at you. It shows that they do not want to share any information with you and want to avoid conversations altogether.

  1. Avoids eye contact: The most common sign of lying is when your spouse avoids eye contact. If your spouse usually answers you without looking at you when you ask them a question, it is a clear indicator that they are lying. It shows they do not want to share any information with you and want to avoid the conversation altogether.
  1. Evades direct answer: You ask your spouse, “Did you drink with a friend last night?” Their reply will be, “Why would I do that?” or “Why did you ask me this?” They will ask you back to assess your reaction and take some time to come up with answers that bring them the least trouble. They will also do this to check if you really know something, and if you don’t, they will use it against you and take you on a guilt trip for doubting them.

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  1. Uses too many word fillers: If caught off guard, your spouse may fumble and buy time to come up with a lie. They will use many fillers, such as “umm” or “err.” They might also appear distracted and fidgety because they are nervous. Sometimes, their tone may become formal, which may indicate the pressure to maintain the lie.
  1. Takes too much time to reply: Suppose you ask your spouse a simple question, such as, “Did you go to the bank?” They will not answer with a straight “yes” or “no,” but try to act busy with something only to buy time and come up with a reasonable answer.
  1. Changes their body language: If a person is lying and feels nervous, it will show frequently in some degree in their awkward body language. They will shrug their shoulders, sweat a little more, play with their hair, and try to hide behind physical objects such as chairs or tables. If you observe keenly, you will notice that their body language is unusual, and they are hiding something.
  1. Changes their tone or speech: When lying, your spouse may suddenly start to stutter or make a slip of the tongue. They may also speak faster than usual, hoping to end the conversation. The tone of their speech may also change, and they may act sweet, using endearments they don’t usually use.

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  1. Does not stick to one story: Ask them to describe an incident and ask again in a few days. If their answers vary, they may be lying. This is not foolproof because your spouse may have a poor memory. But if they are lying, every time you ask them about an event or incident, their stories will keep changing.
  1. Keeps their phone locked and away from you: If your spouse hides something, they will make sure that their phone is out of bounds for you. They will lock it with a code and may even keep it on silent mode most of the time. When you are around, they will immediately lock the phone. If they answer calls far away from you, they do not want you to know certain things and may even lie to you.

Probable Reasons Why Your Spouse Lies To You

The reason why someone lies differs for each person and situation. Here are some of the most likely reasons why your spouse lies to you.

  1. To avoid hurting you: You may often seek your partner’s advice on small things such as your clothes, work samples, or any routine incident or event in your life. Sometimes, your spouse may notice that you made a mistake, but to avoid hurting you, they may lie. This lie is usually harmless and often used to give you instant happiness.
  1. To look good in your eyes: Your spouse may have created a certain image of themselves in their mind that they would like to preserve. They may try to live up to the image so that you will continue to love them. They may lie about qualities they do not possess, and by doing so, they may try to get the admiration and respect they want.

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  1. To control the amount of information you have: Some people don’t like to provide others with too much information about themselves. It doesn’t matter if you are married to them; they will still hide certain details of their lives. For example, if you ask your spouse what their family or siblings do, they may not respond directly to you. This may be because they are embarrassed about their background or don’t want you to know everything about them.
  1. To derive thrill out of lying: Your spouse may lie to get some thrill. By withholding information, they feel that they can control what you know and understand.
  1. To avoid explanation: It may be that your partner thinks you may endlessly ask them about what they have done or plan to do. To them, this may seem troublesome, and lying is an easy way out. For example, they spend time with friends but lie to you that they are working. It’s not that they want to hide something, but they are worried that you might think they are spending time with friends drinking too much alcohol, or even flirting. Thus, they may lie to avoid explanation.
  1. To avoid confrontation: You may hate your partner doing a certain thing. But if they can’t stop doing it, they will lie to you about it. For example, whenever you are away, they tend to stay outside late at night drinking wantonly. When you ask them, they will deny it to avoid a dispute with you.

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  1. To break up with you: This may not always be the case, but it is not impossible. Your partner may not want to continue the relationship with you and sees no reason for telling you everything, so they choose to lie. They may hope that you will eventually get a whiff of it.

How To Deal With A Lying Spouse

Perhaps you are right about your partner lying to you. But what can you do about it? Here are some ways to deal with a lying spouse.

  1. Observe their habit of lying: First, you need to understand when and why your partner lies to you. Are they lying to cover up their bad habit? Do they lie when you ask for their opinion on something? Are they lying to hide something from you? You need to understand if there are certain patterns to it or if they are a habitual liar.
  1. Discuss the issue with them: If your partner is a habitual liar, confront them. Tell them how their habit of lying affects you and undermines the trust factor in the relationship. If they lie to protect your feelings, assure them that they can be honest with you. They can speak to you without being dishonest about their feelings. Try to find a way to resolve the problem.

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  1. Change your attitude: In most cases, your partner may be lying because they cannot handle your reaction to it. After discussing with your partner, try to reflect on your reaction to see if you can bring any change that will enable honest communication between you and your partner.
  1. Consult a marriage counselor: Seek help from a marriage counselor if your partner continues to lie despite all your efforts. Your partner may have stopped lying, but you may be judging your partner based on your past experiences. A marriage counselor can help you look at things objectively.

1. How does lying in a marriage affect the relationship?

Lying can lead to losing trust in your partner and other related issues. You may believe that only big lies can have an impact on your relationship. However, even minor and infrequent lies can gradually lead to distrust of your spouse for you, shaking the foundation of a healthy relationship.

2. When to leave a lying spouse?

It is entirely up to you if you want to stick to your spouse or leave them. But, before making any decision, try to resolve the issue and confront your partner about their behavior. Also, make your decision with a clear and calm mind; don’t do it when you’re agitated and angry, to make sure you don’t regret later.

Avoiding eye contact while speaking, not answering you directly, altered behavior, and changes in tone of speech are some common signs your spouse is lying to you. Many of us resort to telling white lies when in difficult situations. However, dishonesty is not an acceptable trait in intimate relationships. Also, lying could create unwanted friction between you and your partner and ruin your trust. Hence, if you find your spouse lying to you often, try to deal with them calmly and find a solution to this habit before the situation worsens.

Key Pointers

  • Lies and deceit in a marriage can destroy a relationship.
  • Avoiding eye contact, taking more than usual time to answer your questions, changes in tone and body language, etc., are some of the common signs that your spouse is lying.
  • Talking to your partner about your suspicions or asking a neutral friend or marriage counselor to intervene can help you find an answer to your queries.

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Ratika has experience writing in various fields including finance, education, lifestyle, and entertainment. After her masters degree in Commerce, she acquired a PG Diploma in Communication and Journalism from Mumbai University. She is inquisitive about human relationships and likes to study people and how they manage their relationships, during her freetime. At MomJunction, Ratika writes insightful and informative articles on...
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Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr....
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Is Your Spouse Lying To You? Watch Out For These 12 Definite Signs

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It can be heartbreaking to be lied to by someone who you value in your life, for example, your spouse. This is because you trust and believe in them. So the idea of them lying to you can be hurtful and might make you feel betrayed. Even so, it’s important to spot the signs of a lying spouse if you suspect there is dishonesty in your relationship.

However, the intentions behind lies matter too. If your spouse lies to you to save you from a certain situation, or lying is a one-off case, then you can choose to let it go. But, if you think your spouse is deliberately keeping things from you and lies all the time, then it can be a matter of grave concern. You find that your partner even lies about small things.

So, how to deal with a lying spouse? Let us explore this further by delving into the possible reasons why they feel the need to lie.

Why Do Spouses Lie?

Table of Contents

Sometimes, spouses lie to save themselves from embarrassment while other times they may lie to protect their partners from grief. But, at the end of the day, lies still remain what they are – lies. Hence, it is important to know about some of the reasons or circumstances which encourage them to lie to their partners. This will help us in dealing with the lying spouse signs.

When you discover that your spouse has been dishonest with you, you may wonder why he lies to me if he loves me. Or why is she not honest with me even though she claims that the relationship means the world to her? If your husband lies and hides things or your wife is being dishonest, these could be the reasons behind it:

  • Your spouse might lie to you because he/she promised to do something but failed to keep that promise
  • He/she might have intended to change some of their habits but failed to do so
  • Your spouse might have let you down earlier and is afraid of how you will react if they do something wrong again
  • They might lie to you to avoid confrontation or conflict
  • Your spouse might lie because he/she is scared of losing you or being rejected by you
  • They lie to control a particular situation and turn it to their advantage
  • Your spouse lies to hide his/her infidelity. Lying can be a sign of infidelity
  • They lie to create a false impression of them as a talented, special, or successful person
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12 Signs Of A Spouse Who Is Lying

Lying is, first and foremost, a destroyer of trust. Once trust issues take hold, a relationship cannot survive the struggles of life. Lying in marriage, or in a relationship, can complicate matters, and create issues that might blow out of proportion. This may have serious implications for your relationship.

As they say, the truth always comes out. Hence, there are ways in which you can identify the signs of a lying spouse. This article will help you get acquainted with these signs and teach you how to deal with a lying spouse. Look out for the following signs as they will help you in identifying and confronting a lying spouse. This might just be the key to saving your relationship:

Related Reading: How To Watch Out For The Relationship Red Flags – Expert Tells You

1. Your spouse speaks in an unusual way

As a person who communicates with their spouse on a daily basis, you know their general manner of talking. Therefore, you will notice if your spouse is speaking in a weird way. If you find them talking quite differently than normal, then this can be a sign of him/her lying to you.

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Why? Because people who lie usually change the tone of their voice, pitch, and speed of their speech to assert their lie as the truth. If you notice that your spouse tends to talk a lot faster than usual in certain situations, it could be because on some level they’re uncomfortable about being untruthful.

Even though it may seem like a small aberration, it be could one of the most telling signs of dishonesty in a relationship.

2. Eye movements can be a good indicator

Pay attention to their facial expressions

Does your spouse avoid making eye contact with you while talking to you about specific topics? If yes, then it is possible that they are hiding something from you. He/she might even start blinking frequently when you try to talk about something that they are trying to hide.

If you’re wondering how to tell if your wife is lying about cheating or how to know if your husband is lying about infidelity, pay attention to their facial expressions and mannerisms. You may be able to catch them in a lie. Perhaps even nip this tendency in the bud well before it blows out of proportion, leaving you wondering when to leave a lying spouse.

3. Your spouse scratches and fidgets excessively

If you find your spouse scratching continuously or uselessly fidgeting during a conversation, then it can indicate that your spouse is lying to you. Scratching and fidgeting are actually signs of heightened anxiety and nervousness that people experience when they lie to someone. How to tell if your partner is lying about cheating, you ask?

Mia was able to identify this as one of the lying husband signs because she noticed how his hand movements changed whenever she asked him about his whereabouts. On this mere hunch, she started to dig deep and discovered he had been lying about cheating all along.

4. Body language can help catch your lying spouse

Your spouse may turn their body away from you if they are lying

Those who lie usually position themselves in such a way that they can avoid scrutiny. When your spouse lies to you, the following might happen. Your spouse may turn their body away from you, get up and feel agitated while talking to you. They may even start perspiring.

These body language signs of a lying spouse are not in any way related to the magnitude of the lie. If you can’t shake off the feeling ‘my husband lies and hides things’, start being more analytical of his body language and you may be able to tell when he is telling the truth and when not.

5. Things just don’t add up

There is a mismatch between their body language, facial expression, and words. This is one of the most common signs of a lying spouse. If what your spouse is saying and what he/she is trying to express with their face and body do not match, then it is one of the obvious signs that your spouse is lying to you.

6. Your spouse makes you feel doubtful about your thoughts

When your spouse is able to distort the conversation and truth in such a way that you begin to question yourself and your thoughts, it means something is amiss. If the blame comes on you at the end of every confrontational conversation, then it is high time you investigate the matter further to understand what is actually going on.

If your spouse resorts to gaslighting, leaving you riddled with self-doubt, it could well be because they have a lot to hide from you. Making you doubt your own thoughts is their best bet at getting away with it.

7. Your spouse tries to distract you

Your lying spouse might try to avoid/shift topics. They might try to distract you by bringing up other topics and changing the course of the conversation. And if your spouse is unable to do so, he/she will bring the focus of attention to you to avoid the limelight.

What to do when your husband lies to you and then tries to avoid a conversation about it? Well, dig your heels in and hold your ground. Tell him in no uncertain terms, that you won’t move on until he clears the air on whatever it is that’s bothering you.

8. They get too defensive — a major lying spouse sign

 If you notice your spouse giving unnecessarily long explanations for even the simplest of things, chances are you are being lied to. They dive deep into the details of matters and over-explain themselves. This is a sign of a lying spouse and their guilty conscience. Overcompensating for a lie(s) makes them very defensive about all their actions.

Do these long-winding, often unnecessary, make you doubt your partner even more? Are you wondering if your wife has been lying to you a lot? Is the thought ‘how to know if husband is lying’ weighing on your mind? Don’t ignore these gut feelings because they may be pointing in the right direction.

Related Reading: 20 Warning Signs of a Cheating Husband Which Defines an Extra Marital Affair

9. You get a gut feeling that things are not as they seem

Speaking of gut feelings, if there is a tiny voice in your head saying that your marriage is riddled with signs of a lying spouse, don’t overlook it. As the closest person to your spouse, you will immediately feel that you are being lied to and that something is wrong.

It’s possible your spouse is not hiding anything very significant. However, if you still get a gut feeling telling you something is wrong, trust your instinct.

10. Your spouse’s stories do not make sense

When your spouse is lying to you, there may be inconsistencies in their stories. Or they may omit or change certain details if asked about the same incident again. To catch your lying spouse, casually ask them to recount their account of a certain event after some time has passed. If things don’t add up, it’s undeniable one of the signs of dishonesty in a relationship.

Liars generally end up making mistakes and changing minor details in their stories. If you’ve noticed such inconsistencies about where they were, who with, and what they were doing, it’s about time you start paying more attention and being objective while listening to his/her stories.

11. Your spouse becomes distant

Being distant could be a sign that your spouse is lying about cheating

In a relationship, two people are expected to be open to each other and share every detail with each other. If you suddenly notice your partner being distant from you, trying to hide more than they’re willing to share, then this could be an ominous sign.

Perhaps, they have been lying for far too long and it has just become too exhausting to keep up with. Hence, not sharing much has started to seem like a better alternative to your spouse. If all your questions about their day are met with monosyllabic responses, you need to dig deeper.

If you’re wondering how to tell if your wife is lying about cheating, being distant and aloof could also be a sign.

12. Anger defines your lying spouse

Your lying spouse will definitely get angry at small things. They might get unreasonably upset with you and snap at you. Anger helps your spouse escape your scrutiny and questions. However, this can be a perilous tendency that points to deeper problems in the relationship.

If you’ve ever wondered when to leave a lying spouse, this definitely qualifies as one of the situations where you may be forced to reassess the future of your relationship.

How To Confront A Lying Spouse?

Once you’ve found the answer to ‘how to tell if your partner is lying about cheating?’, the next step is confronting your lying spouse. We know it’s not easy but dealing with a lying spouse is important in order to protect your relationship. Dealing with a lying spouse can be hurtful because you believed in them with all your heart and they let you down.

However, there are ways in which you can confront a spouse who is lying:

  • Try to understand why your spouse lied to you. Knowing the reason behind the lie will help you deal with it in a better manner
  • Talk to your spouse in a calm and understanding manner. Approach the situation in a pragmatic way that does not make them feel attacked. It is important to be attentive to your partner
  • Do not blame your spouse directly and avoid being judgmental before hearing them out
  • Be careful of manipulation and stand your ground. You don’t want them to turn the tables and point fingers at you
  • Be confident about the facts you have in hand and use them appropriately while confronting a lying spouse
  • Ask specific and direct questions. Direct questions get direct answers. If you leave your questions open to interpretation, you won’t be getting clear answers anytime soon
  • In the end, whatever the verdict, assert the fact that you will not tolerate lies in the relationship

Related Reading: How To Maintain Your Sanity If Your Partner Is A Compulsive Liar

How Does Lying In A Marriage Affect The Relationship?

Lying signifies a lack of trust in the relationship

Lying is considered toxic and poisonous for any relationship whatsoever. Trust, the foundation of any relationship, is destroyed because of lying. A singular lie usually leads to another and then another and another till it creates a snowball effect.

Lying signifies a lack of trust in the relationship. Once you have caught a lie, you tend to be suspicious of your partner in the future. In the case of a small lie, this feeling goes away with time. But, if you catch a bigger lie or a series of smaller ones, it leads to some major trust issues.

Key Pointers

  • Lying can shake up the core of any relationship, so any doubts about a lying spouse need to be addresed
  • There can be many reasons for a spouse to lie, but primary reason at the core is always fear
  • If you have slightest of doubts that your partner is lying, you should immediately have an honest and mature conversation about it with them
  • Confronting your partner about your suspisions can be tricky so it is important that you take appropriate measures and don’t worsen the situation

Your spouse’s lies will reflect their selfish attitude. This is detrimental to any relationship. The worst way in which lies in a marriage can affect it is if the relationship ends because of the lies.

When you’re in a committed relationship, you have to be honest with each other. Being in a serious relationship means you have an obligation of honesty toward your partner. If you think your partner cannot fulfill this obligation, maybe it’s time to ask if they are even ready for a relationship. If you think not, it is best to save yourself from lies and heartbreak and end things for good.


1. When to leave a lying spouse?

No issue in relationships has its remedies in plain black or white. The same is the case with a lying spouse. If you are committed to making it work, it is vital that you find out where your spouse stands. It is possible that their reasons for lying can be addressed and you can come out stronger. Leaving is the last resort to which you should only turn if you are absolutely certain that your partner has no interest in making this marriage work.

2. What are the worst lies in a relationship?

An ideal relationship has no place for lies, period! Lying destroys trust which is one of the fundamental pillars on which relationships stand. However, the ones that sting the most are the ones about cheating. Finding out about physical or emotional cheating can be devastating in unimaginable ways to a person. and the longer the lie drags on, the deeper the potential damage becomes.

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Signs of a lie: how to identify a deceiver by speech and behavior


A person among peoplePractices how to

"Everyone lies," the protagonist of the popular series House M.D. is sure. Sadly, there is some truth in this - deception really accompanies our entire social, and often personal life. Faced with it once, we begin to subconsciously expect a repetition of this in the future. We are afraid that we will be deceived by a business partner, loved one, employee or manager.

During the communication that is especially important for us, we “test” the incoming information. Usually this happens unconsciously and almost always - haphazardly. From this, the result may turn out to be the opposite: either unjustified suspiciousness is turned on, or the principle “I myself am glad to be deceived” works, when deliberately false information is skipped for the sake of calming the psyche.

But there is good news: lies can be recognized. This is due to the fact that it is not inherent in human nature as such. A child is not born with the ability to lie, he adopts this skill from adults.

In the social world, lying is associated with the desire to avoid punishment or gain an advantage. But at the same time, the liar has an internal conflict between the perceived reality and the distortion that he broadcasts outward. This conflict, in turn, manifests itself in certain behavioral signs, which in psychology are called "expressive behavior". Here they serve as indicators of probable lies.

One of the main signs of disharmony that occurs in a liar is incongruence, a mismatch between the information that a person transmits through various channels. There are two of these channels: verbal (speech) and non-verbal (bodily).

The most common form of incongruence is when "body language" contradicts the content of speech. This is due to the fact that our culture, educational and upbringing methods are colored “left-brained”: they give priority to the development of speech, logic and analysis. The left hemisphere of the brain is predominantly responsible for them.

From childhood we learn to control speech. Naturally, when the time is right, first of all, we automatically take control of this particular channel, trying to keep track of the plausibility and consistency of our version of events. At the same time, the body continues to live its own life, involuntarily exposing us.

The absolute majority experienced similar results: someone will remember the sad face of a colleague congratulating him on his promotion, and someone, as an interlocutor, agreeing verbally, barely perceptibly shook his head negatively.

If we try to control the body, then this affects the quality of speech: it slows down, pauses become more frequent, more errors and reservations appear

Incongruence can manifest itself within each of the channels separately. The main components of non-verbalism - facial expressions, gestures and posture - are often out of sync with each other, because the liar simply does not have enough resources (attention, self-control) to coordinate them.

It is known that any intrapersonal conflict (and lies are its special case) creates muscle clamps. The deceiver unconsciously tries to localize this clamp at one point, and this violates the organicity of his plasticity. For example, he gesticulates with one hand in a sweeping manner, while the other is fixed. Or a typical example from the training video: the speaker sits on a swivel chair and at the moment of deception begins to actively move the lower part of the torso while keeping the upper part motionless.

Quite often the clamp manifests itself in the voice: the timbre rises sharply, acquires a shrill tone. In common parlance, this is called "give a rooster". And vice versa: sincere, "kitchen" conversations, where sincerity and confidence of the interlocutors are high, as a rule, take place in lowered tones.

The problem of the "lie detector"

It would seem that since we know the symptoms of the disease, why not create a universal cure? Why not develop an accurate algorithm by which it will be possible to accurately recognize fraud?

Not everything is so simple. It is no coincidence that leading psychologists have been criticizing the method of using a lie detector for many years, and in court, polygraph readings are considered circumstantial evidence. Verbal and non-verbal deviations from the norm can have different causes, and lying is only one of them.

For example, a person may worry about a heightened sense of responsibility or fear of being misunderstood. Thus, a young lecturer, speaking to a large audience for the first time, will lose his voice, and a witness, who is in court for the first time, will become confused in the facts. But none of them will be a malicious deceiver.

After all, it is easier for a "professional" liar to keep his composure when checking than for an honest but impressionable person. In addition, any data from the same lie detector is just material that needs to be interpreted. And the interpretation is always carried out by people who may have their own shortcomings, weaknesses, prejudices.

How we do it in life

So far we have looked at the situation from the height of scientific theories. But how do ordinary people in the “natural environment” behave when trying to recognize deception? It turns out that they behave in exactly the same way as professionally trained specialists. Both are guided by the specificity of the information received: the more details, the more trust. On this basis, the message is tentatively evaluated as true or false. Depending on this, a further verification strategy is selected.

Suspecting a lie, we focus on the content side - the details and the logic of the story. In turn, we look for confirmation of reliability in the behavior of the interlocutor: we evaluate his confidence, sincerity. The problem is that we all tend to rely on personal experience in these assessments. Therefore, if the deception is consistent with this experience and the familiar picture of the world as a whole, we are more likely to accept it as the truth. By the way, there is also the opposite effect, on which the well-known propaganda principle is based - "the more fantastic the lie, the easier it will be believed."

Setting up sensors

But, again, not everything is so bad. There are several scientifically proven effects that suggest how you can reliably verify the dishonesty of the interlocutor.

"Background effect"

It demonstrates that a liar more often gives himself away in cases where we are familiar with his usual manner of communication and behavior. If he suddenly, without obvious external reasons, begins to deviate from this manner, there is every reason to assume that he is insincere. But if you met a person for the first time and do not quite trust him, try to turn the conversation to neutral questions. Or ask about something you already know. Then it will be possible to compare whether his behavior changes when moving from the topic that is suspicious.

This effect was confirmed by studies in which all participants first told neutral facts from their biography, and then some of them were drawn by lot to fictional stories. At this moment, the narrators noticeably drew themselves up, began to speak more measuredly. This behavior is intended to compensate for the unreliability of information. But the difference in the style of presentation betrays a lie.

"Dialogue effect"

One-way communication (think of a politician speaking from a podium or a monologue from a seller of some "miraculous" drugs) makes it easier to hide a deception than a conversation between several participants. This, in particular, is due to the fact that lies are often prepared and develop according to a pattern. If this template is knocked down by unexpected questions or clarifications, then the whole structure can “float”.

The most important thing is to clarify specific details in the dialogue, this is the most vulnerable part in the structure of lies. Even in Soviet times, investigators were advised to ask the same question several times, return to the same situation and follow the description of minor details. It is on them that the criminal will sooner or later “cut off”: he will confuse the color of the fence or the brand of the car.

Lie detection is not an easy technology, and yet it can be mastered. Instead, it is worth monitoring the words and behavior of the interlocutor in a complex, paying special attention to unnaturalness or sudden changes in them.

You can often hear stories about how a wife learns about her husband's deceit “at a glance”, and parents instantly notice the child's slyness. This family "intuition" is actually the result of constant observation, which allows you to capture and evaluate such signals that a superficial glance would miss. It is clear that in most life situations we have much less time to look at the interlocutor. However, the general principle is the same: observe, peer, note specific details. And each time the signs of a lie will be revealed to you faster and more accurately.

PhD in Psychology, founder of the consulting company Detech, has been working in the field of personnel assessment for 15 years.

Text: Svetlana Simonenko Photo source: Getty Images

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Lessons from the FBI: how to understand that you are being deceived

How to recognize and expose a liar? Former FBI Agent's Proven Tips: Calm Down, Understand What's Wrong, and Ask Lots of Questions

Are you often deceived? Many of us face situations every day when it is not clear whether a person is telling the whole truth, inventing some details, or frankly lying. How to understand it? Do not interfere with the skills of a lie detector. In the end, understanding that something is being hidden from you will save time, money, negative emotions, and in some cases, save a life.

Only a professional can help sort this out, so we turned to Joe Navarro, a former FBI officer with 25 years of experience. As a special agent and head of counterintelligence and counterterrorism, he spearheaded the bureau's elite behavioral analysis unit and wrote the international bestseller I See What You're Thinking.

The X-Files

There is not a single example of a specific behavior that indicates deception - the so-called "Pinocchio effect" does not exist (for example, shifty eyes are not always a sign of deception). There are behaviors that indicate psychological discomfort, anxiety, or stress, but these may be due to the setting (testifying), the interlocutor (dislike), or perhaps too intrusive questions. But sometimes it is a sign that a person is lying or has a bad conscience.

In any case, the most we can do is observe the behavior of a person when asked a question.

And if he shows discomfort, you can think about why this happens.

Here are six basic patterns of behavior that indicate the discomfort of the interlocutor and should make you wary.

1. Compress lips

Compressed lips mean that a person experiences negative emotions. We often see this when people testify.

2. Heavily arguing

You ask a question, and the person enters into a heated discussion already at the time of the question or answering it. This is a proven indicator of psychological discomfort.

3. Touching the neck

When we touch the neck, especially the jugular fossa, it means that we are either worried, or nervous, or afraid of something. Men disguise this gesture by touching their tie.

4. Turn away with the whole body

Animal denial is a term I coined. People behave this way when it becomes difficult for them to talk about something or the topic is controversial. This is distance behavior. People will do this discreetly, as if they are just squirming in place, but in fact they are gradually turning away from you, even throwing one leg over the other, creating a kind of barrier, while continuing to look into your eyes. This should be especially noticeable if a person behaves this way immediately after being asked a question.

5. Touching the eyes

Often we touch our eyes when we are asked about something or something bothers us. This action accurately conveys that the issue is complex. You will often see this behavior during board meetings when someone disagrees with the speakers or when what is said is intentionally inaccurate. As I said, the "Pinocchio effect" does not exist, but the aforementioned behavior can often be seen when a person is bothered by something. When I studied the behavior of children born blind, I noticed that they cover their eyes with their hands when they hear something that they do not like.

6. Lowering or hiding the thumbs

Usually no one notices this gesture. But it is he who most accurately conveys the state of discomfort. When a person begins to lower or hide their thumbs, I read insecurity or a lack of seriousness about the topic of conversation. This is another sign that there is some kind of problem, because, on the one hand, we are persistent in words, but on the other hand, our body says otherwise.

If a person persistently and sincerely tells something, we see his thumbs. For example, wide apart fingers. The greater the distance, the more convincing and accurate is this observation.

Monitor speech

In addition to body language, it is also worth analyzing speech features.

Usually we know the personal qualities and behavior of loved ones well, so it is not difficult to replace changes in their behavior and speech. But if you have a stranger or unfamiliar person in front of you, you need to work on his basic behavior, as they do in the FBI.


We first calm people down to understand how they behave in normal, minimally stressful situations. So by finding out what their baseline behavior is, we can track changes in behavior in relation to a particular issue.

Some people start talking faster, their voice may become higher, or they start making more mistakes in conversation, forced interjections appear, they start coughing, etc.

Liars want to convince you more than just convey a thought.

Therefore, sometimes they will repeat the same thing several times, just to be believed. Their words become weak at the beginning or end of a statement.

You need to be alert for strategic delays, such as when someone answers a question by beginning with "That's a good question." Such a beginning is used to "forge" the answer. It just so happens that both honest and dishonest people use this tactic, so it does not, by itself, indicate deception. Some people are very careful with their answers, so a lawyer like Bill Clinton will build his sentences very carefully, choosing his words carefully.

That's the question

What questions should you ask to catch a person in a lie?

First of all, based on emotions, for example: "When you found the body, how did you feel?" The liar knows how to lie about how he found the body, but not about the emotions he experienced, so his story will be "mechanical. " After thinking for a bit, he'll say something like, "Well, that was awful." An innocent person himself will tell about the emotions he experienced, and a liar who has just committed a crime is pleased with what he has done, so an emotional conflict will arise in his behavior.

Here's an example of a question that's easier to imagine in a business environment: "When you found mold in a building, how did you feel?"

Is it possible to open the cards and at some point, realizing that questions make a person uncomfortable, say that you doubt him? In no case is this the mistake of inexperienced beginners.

You must never tell people that you are watching them.

You simply change the topic of conversation, and then return to the question that caused stress, ask it in a different form, and if this time it causes discomfort, you understand that it is not the situation or the person asking the question, but the person himself.

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