8 Signs Your Partner May Be Lyingby Jonathan Alpert on June 18, 2012
Editor’s note: Have a dating/sex/relationships conundrum? Email us at thedatereport at howaboutwe.com or fill out this anonymous form, and one of our experts will help you solve it.
“I’ve been seeing this guy for about 6 months and I have my suspicions about him. I think he may be lying about where he is, what he’s doing, and his intentions. Do you have some tips on how I can tell if he is lying to me or not? What should I look for?”
It reeks of trouble to suspect your boyfriend of lying at this early stage in the relationship. If he is, there’s a problem, and if he isn’t but you suspect he is, then you’ve got some work to do. Without knowing more about your relationship, it’s difficult to analyze things too deeply, but here are some tips for detecting if someone is lying.
Know his baseline behavior.
How does he ordinarily handle stress, what are his usual reactions to things? A deviation may indicate deception, or at least discomfort with the subject.
Is he fidgety?
Touching his face, playing with an object in front of him, repeated blinking… these are indicators of a liar’s stress. Folding his hands might be his subconscious way of trying to protect and sooth himself during this tense time of lying.
Pay attention to his facial expressions and words.
There’s often a mismatch between gestures and emotions. For instance, does he frown when he says he loves you?
Liars tend not to use contractions.
They subconsciously think it makes them sound more credible to say “I did not” rather than “I didn’t”.
He mumbles and talks faster than normal.
That might indicate he’s desperately trying to rush past answering questions.
Does he use your words?
For instance, Sandra Bullock may say to Jesse: “Did you sleep with that girl Michelle with the tattoos?” If he says “No, I did not sleep with that girl Michelle with the tattoos” then he might be trying to conceal the truth.
Do his facial expressions seem artificial?
It’s not uncommon for them to be exaggerated in a really bad effort to emphasize credibility.
See how he reacts to a sudden change in the subject.
Most truth-telling people would be a little confused by such a shift while someone lying might be relieved.
Jonathan Alpert is a Manhattan psychotherapist and author. He appears on national TV commenting on sex and relationship issues as well as lifestyle, mental health, and hot-button issues. Get more of Jonathan’s great advice in his new book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, on sale April 24th wherever books are sold. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanAlpert