If a man uses these 9 phrases in a conversation, he lacks honesty and integrity

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We’re all guilty of telling little white lies from time to time, right? But how can you tell the difference between a few innocent white lies and a complete lack of honesty and integrity? 

You’ll find the answer in the subtle behaviors and phrases that someone uses.

Believe it or not, when a man is dishonest and untrustworthy at his core, he’ll never admit it but the words he uses will be a dead giveaway. 

Today we’re uncovering 9 phrases that a man uses when he lacks honesty and integrity. Recognizing these phrases will help you to spot these undesirable traits when you encounter them. 

Ready? Let’s get started. 

1) “Technically, I did what you asked…”

When someone starts by saying “technically” it’s usually a sign they’re trying to manipulate facts and avoid blame on a technicality. 

It might sound something like this “Technically, I did what you asked”.

When you hear this phrase you know someone is doing their best to deflect blame to take the heat off themselves. 

Listen out for people who rely on technicalities a lot as it’s a sign of dishonesty and a lack of integrity. 

2) “Do you really think I’m capable of that? Of course, it wasn’t me…”

This is one of those phrases that seems very innocent but is actually really sneaky

By asking if you think they’re capable of such a thing, they’re purposely making you feel guilty for even asking and acting as if it’s ridiculous to even suggest they’d do such a thing. 

Dishonest guys don’t like being questioned and they’ll do anything they can to throw you off the scent. 

Making you feel guilty like this means you’ll be less likely to question them again because you won’t want to offend them or insult them like last time. 

3) “Trust me…”

There’s nothing wrong with saying “Trust me” every once in a while, I’m sure I’ve said this a few times in my life.

But it’s a big red flag when someone is constantly encouraging you to trust them without any action to back it up. Genuinely honest guys don’t need to convince you to trust them, trust is earned through their behaviors and actions. 

My old colleague Brian used to say this all the time, reassuring me he’d meet project deadlines. I soon learned that I couldn’t trust him. He’d always miss the deadline and throw me under the bus in meetings with senior executives.  

Once I caught on to his tricks, I stopped falling for this little phrase and avoided working with him as much as I could. 

4) “As far as I remember…”

If you’ve ever watched any courtroom dramas you’ve probably noticed that when witnesses want to avoid the truth they’ll say things like “As far as I remember, this is what happened”. 

Instead of providing facts, they’re creating doubt by sharing things as they remember them. If what they’re saying is found to be false later, they can blame their bad memory. 

The thing is: if you’re being totally honest you don’t need to say “As far as I remember”, you just share exactly what happened factually because there’s no doubt in your mind it’s true. 

Watch out for guys who try to manipulate the truth and hide behind their memory a lot. 

5) “I don’t know…”

I dated a guy once who had zero honesty or integrity

He pretty much lied about everything, but whenever he was stuck and couldn’t think of a lie fast enough, he’d just say “I don’t know”.

Of course, this phrase is a common one that everyone uses and doesn’t necessarily point to dishonesty. 

But if you ask them something straightforward they should know, like ‘Who’s that girl messaging you on Instagram?’ and they say ‘I don’t know,’ that doesn’t add up. It’s a big warning sign that they’re not being honest.

6) “It’s no big deal, everyone does it…”

Have you ever heard a guy say “It’s no big deal, everyone does it”.

You might hear someone say this once they’ve been caught doing something they know they shouldn’t. 

My friend Alannah, found out her boyfriend was flirting with girls on nights out. Her cousin had seen him in action and told Alannah about his behavior. 

When she found out, Alannah confronted him and at first, he denied it. But when she showed him video evidence, he said “It’s no big deal, everyone does it. It’s just a bit of fun”. 

Downplaying his actions like this is a typical manipulation tactic often used to make you question your reactions. It’s also a sneaky way to invalidate your feelings, subtly suggesting you’re overreacting by even asking.

But here’s the thing: flirting when you’re in a relationship is more than a big deal, it’s downright disrespectful and anyone with a little bit of integrity does not do it. 

7) “I never said that…”

Sometimes in the heat of the moment, people paraphrase and maybe even exaggerate what the other person has said. And in that case, it’s perfectly normal for them to correct and clarify what they said and what they meant. 

But when someone plainly denies saying certain things that you’ve heard them say by using a phrase like “I never said that” it’s a whole other story. 

It shows you that they’ll do anything to avoid being held accountable and it’s a telling sign you’re dealing with a dishonest person with little regard for right and wrong.

If you constantly hear this phrase from someone, you’re dealing with a dishonest guy who lacks integrity. 

8) “I didn’t tell you because…”

One of the classic phrases dishonest guys use is “I didn’t tell you because..”. Sometimes they’ll finish that phrase by saying, “..I didn’t want to hurt you.” or “..I didn’t think it was important” or even “..it didn’t mean anything.”

If you watched the most recent series of the TV Show Married At First Sight you’ll know that one of the boys, Jordan, was caught getting cozy with a blonde girl on a boys’ night out. When his ‘wife’ Erica found out he said “I didn’t tell you because it didn’t mean anything”. 

The truth is: he didn’t tell her because he knew it wasn’t the right thing for someone in a relationship to do and instead of being honest about it, he tried to deceive Erica. When that failed he used that classic phrase “I didn’t tell you because..”.

If you hear this phrase from a man, it’s a sure sign he’s dishonest, lacks integrity, and will most likely do whatever he can to avoid getting caught out in his lies

9) “How can you even ask me that?”

Nobody wants to find out that someone they care about is lying to them, right? It can be pretty difficult to pluck up the courage to ask or accuse someone of deceiving you. And although you have to find out the truth by asking, you’re hoping that you’re wrong. 

If your man answers by saying “How can you even ask me that?” it’s a terrible sign that he’s lacking honesty and integrity. 

Think about it: if he’s got nothing to hide, why not just answer the question honestly and put his loved one’s mind at ease? 

When he’s being deceptive, he can’t do that. Instead, he acts shocked and offended that you’d even question him to take the attention off him and his behavior and put it onto you. You automatically feel like you need to defend yourself and get distracted from the real topic. 

Turning the attention back onto someone else like this is a clever trick dishonest guys use to avoid answering questions truthfully. It’s a sure sign of a man who lacks honesty and integrity. 

Final thoughts

How many of these phrases have you heard from guys in your life? 

It’s important to remember that if someone uses one or two of these phrases occasionally, it’s probably no big deal. 

But watch out for any guy who seems to constantly say these things because that’s the real indicator that you’re dealing with a dishonest guy with no morals.

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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