When it comes to relationships, trust typically tops the charts for desirable qualities. Without transparency, a relationship is bound to fail. Whether you’re suspicious your partner is cheating on you or little white lies here and there have raised red flags, detecting a fib can be a tricky task. Here are five signs you’re dating a liar.
1. There’s a noticeable change in behavior
Although we’d like to think our loved ones couldn’t fool us, that’s not always the case. On the flip side, though, if you do know someone well, there’s a better chance you’ll be able to detect if he or she is lying. AskMen says, “If she’s usually animated and a fast talker, but today she’s sitting with her arms crossed and speaking slowly, maybe there’s something you don’t know. If she rarely looks people in the eye and now she’s practically drilling your pupils with her stare, you may want to get the truth out of her.” When a person is lying, their behavior can be irregular, as they might be nervous, feeling guilty, or crafting the lie as they go. If your sweetie is acting off, something might be up.
2. Your partner has something to gain by acting against your interest
In a Psychology Today article, Marty Nemko, PhD, discusses how you can tell who you can and cannot trust. “More important, I’d want to see if a person acts justly even when it’s inexpedient,” Nemkowrites. “This is especially key if the person has much to gain by acting against your interest and you’re unlikely to detect it.” In his example, Nemko recalls an experience he had in his own life in which his dentist recommended getting a crown. Suspicious, Nemko sought a second opinion. This dentist advised him that his tooth was fine and he hasn’t had any issues with his teeth. The point is the first dentist was being untruthful in order to benefit his business. Similarly, if your partner tries to convince you of something that doesn’t have your best interest in mind, yet presents a significant gain for him or her, you should be wary.
3. They use verbal dodging
In her TED Talk, How to Spot a Liar, Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, delivers insightful tips on how to recognize deception. She explains verbal dodging is when a person uses formal language, rather than contractions, as well as distancing terms and phrases. Meyer uses Bill Clinton as an example, pointing out his choice of language as he denies his affair with infamous White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. In his claim, Clinton said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman … Miss Lewinsky.” The takeaway here, Meyer says, is Clinton’s use of “did not,” rather than a less formal contraction, and “that woman,” rather than a reference that seems more familiar. If you’re trying to detect whether or not your partner is being truthful, pay special attention to his or her language.
4. They withhold information
When you’re seeking the truth, you want your partner to divulge important information that adds up. In an article for Inner Self, Dr. Riki Robbins, PhD, discusses the four stages of trust, one of which is damaged trust. Robbins says it’s in this stage that the people you love will violate your trust, and a common warning sign is withholding vital information. If you ask your partner where he or she was last night, you should expect an honest, straight-forward answer. If he or she responds with, “Nowhere special,” your partner might be hiding something.
5. There’s a shift in their typical delivery
When you spend enough time with someone, you get to know their behaviors and quirks pretty well, which means it’s easy recognize times they stray from such normalcy. In a Real Simple article, Gregg McCrary, retired FBI criminal profiler and crime analyst, says he first tries to assess how someone normally speaks. “Once I know which type of talker a person is, I start asking him questions that I don’t know the answer to. If his manner shifts abruptly — going from calm to agitated or lively to mellow — chances are he’s not telling the truth,” McCrary said. Because you’re already familiar with how your partner speaks and acts, be cautious when his or her delivery feels off.