If someone is lying to you, they’ll usually display these 10 behaviors

Do you have a hard time telling if people are lying to you or not? 

Have you ever been told that you’re way too trusting?

Then it’s probably time that you sharpen your radar and learn how to tell when people aren’t being exactly truthful.

In this article, I’ll share 10 behaviors that would give you a clue that someone’s lying to you (and what you should do if you once you notice them).

1) They pull away

People who aren’t used to lying will generally feel quite awful right after they tell a lie.

They’ll be incredibly guilty, especially if they care a lot about you. 

They’ll also be incredibly paranoid—worrying about whether you’ve already found them out, or that they’ll slip up and make you realize that they had lied.

It’s for that reason that they would rather pull away.

They’d use this time to get over their guilt and learn how to stay cool.

This doesn’t apply to experienced liars, however. They’re masters of the craft because people feel less and less guilt the more they lie.

2) They can’t look at you in the eye

Do they find it hard to look you in the eye all of a sudden? 

Do they instead look around and stare at the ceiling, at their phone, or at other people while talking with you?

Then they’re probably trying to hide something. 

There’s a reason why people say that the eyes are the windows to our soul

It’s hard as hell to lie with our eyes.

That person likely struggles to meet your gaze partly because they don’t want to give themselves away. 

Another reason is that they simply feel guilty and are too ashamed to look at you.

3) They fidget and stutter

Liars tend to quickly lose their cool once the conversation gets a bit too close to their lie for comfort.

You might ask them why they haven’t been responding to their texts, and in return they’ll say something like “I-I-I was doing my homework last night th-that’s why I d-d-d-didn’t text back!”

And then there are some people who are so anxious that they will start fidgeting and stuttering unprompted.

They’d pace the room, check their watch five times in one minute, and tap their feet like they’re about to sing in front of a thousand people.

These people don’t usually remain liars for long. And you should probably be a little gentle on them.

4) They act busy

Does it seem like they’re suddenly too busy to talk with you?

And when they decide to spare you some of their time, do they always peace out the moment you approach serious topics?

Sometimes they’d actually be keeping themselves busy. 

But most of the time, they only start being magically busy the moment you enter the room.

They might start clearing tables, sweeping the floor, or arranging their desk…when they used to not care about cleanliness at all!

Either way, their intention is clear—they don’t want to talk to you.

And one reason is that they lied to you and they’re scared you’d find out.

5) They evade certain topics

And those topics are probably the ones they’re lying to you about!

If, say, they said they needed $1000 from you for a medical emergency but ended up using it to fly to Spain, they’ll naturally get uneasy talking about money and travel.

If you tell them “Gosh, I wish I can travel again soon”, they won’t go “Yeah, me too. Let’s plan a trip together!”

Instead, they’d go “It will happen…hey, did you see Sandra’s new car?”

6) They’re suddenly too nice and kind

They’d treat you to dinner. They’d give you flowers and favors.

They might even offer to clean the kitchen when it used to be that they’d rather die than touch a dirty plate!

Some of them do things like these in hopes that you’ll be too distracted by their kindness to notice that something’s “off”.

And of course, others do this out of guilt. 

They feel like they have to do something to make up for doing something “bad” to you.

7) They get paranoid and defensive

Just a little bit of distrust is enough to set them off.

They might say something like “What?! Do you think I’m that kind of person?!” or “You really don’t trust me, do you?”

Lies and dishonesty are not the only reasons why someone would get paranoid and defensive. But it’s rare for liars to NOT be paranoid and defensive.

So definitely be careful when even small comments and innocent questions are enough to put people on the defensive.

It’s possible that they’re hiding something from you.

8) They overstate their own honesty

This is something that only pathological liars would do.

People generally make it a point to overstate the things they’re insecure about. They do this for the simple reason that they’re very conscious about it.

For example, genuinely kind people don’t feel a need to say “I’m a kind person” because they know they don’t have to prove it to anyone.

Likewise, honest people don’t need to say “I’m honest” out of nowhere because they know that they ARE honest.

Pathological liars, however, will lie and try to sell themselves as honest and genuine folk in the hope that people will actually believe them.

9) They act unusually “chill” and “normal”

I listed earlier that some people suddenly start acting extremely nervous and fidgety after lying to someone.

Some people—like pathological liars—have the opposite reaction. 

They instead become incredibly chill and relaxed!

However, they look so stiff that their “calmness” looks a bit creepy. But you’ll only notice it when you examine them very closely.

That’s because they’re only PRETENDING to be normal and chill, and they’re probably not very good at acting.

10) They highlight your flaws

Do they exaggerate your flaws lately? 

Or do they openly complain about things they never bothered to complain about before?

If all of a sudden, they find the NEED to let you be aware of your flaws, watch out!

That’s their way of subconsciously justifying to themselves that you DO deserve being lied to—that they lie to you because they have no choice!

After all, you’re “too bossy” or “too mean” or “too controlling”.

They probably did something you don’t deserve and they’re making you feel like you deserve it (mainly, for THEIR own peace of mind).

What to do

It’s important to remember that even if you notice ALL of these signs, there’s still a possibility that they’re not lying to you.

Who knows, they probably have other problems totally unrelated to you.

So don’t jump to conclusions.

The only way to find out is, well,  to investigate further.

Here’s what you can do if you suspect someone is lying to you:

Catch them fast

If you see all of the signs above and your gut is telling you they’re really lying, then don’t waste time.

Tell them “Hey, are you lying right now?”

This will catch them off guard and their reaction will leave them no choice but to tell the truth.

Make them feel safe

If you suspect they’re lying and they’re just scared, then try not to scare them even more.

Say something like “I won’t be mad at you, just tell me the truth”, so they can still turn things around.

Give them an opportunity to come clean

Maybe they’re planning to confess their lies to you but they care about your wellbeing.

Perhaps you’re too busy and so they planned to talk to confess everything to you once you’re done working.

Well then, set some time to be free and spend time with them. 

Tell them you notice they’re acting strange

If you notice they’re behaving oddly, tell them that you noticed it.

You can try saying something like “Hey, I’ve noticed you’re quiet. What’s up?”, and maybe they might just open up.

Gather more evidence

There are certain situations—like infidelity— where confrontation does more harm than good.

In this case, keep paying attention to their actions. You’ll later realize patterns that can help you connect the dots.

Then, depending on the situation, you can confront them with enough evidence so they’ll have no choice but to confess their lies.

Final thoughts

Nobody likes the idea that they’re being lied to.

But unfortunately, we live in a world filled with lies big and small. In fact, studies show we tell an average of 2 lies per day.

What does this mean?

It means that lying is something we’ll just have to deal with daily. 

Unless someone’s committing a serious lie or unless someone is a pathological liar, don’t crucify them just because you caught them lying.

Yes, be more vigilant, but don’t assume that anyone who lies to you is an awful person. 

You’ve lied many times before too, I’m sure. And you’re not evil.

Most of the time, people who lie are just scared to tell the truth.

So if you want people to be honest to yoau, the best you can do is to make them feel like they can tell you anything.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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