Successful relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. If you don’t have these qualities you don’t have a relationship. But how can you tell whether someone you meet online is lying to you?
Well, if the full extent of your contact is limited to emails, website messages and IMs, that doesn’t give you much to work with, but there are still certain signs that you can look for.
You’re chances of spotting a liar are greatly increased if you communicate through voice chat or even better video chat. But the best chance of catching out a liar is when you meet them in person as this allows your to watch their body language.
Although the person is consciously telling you one thing, their body will be subconsciously telling you something else, unless you’ve met an extremely good liar.
Number One: Movement (works for video chat and face to face meetings)
In general, when someone’s just told you a whopper, they tend to get restless and twitchy. They make more micro movements such as shuffling their feet, or shifting their weight on the chair.
They may also make other subconscious self affirming gestures such as rubbing their ear lobe or touching the bridge or their nose (it’s comforting because the hand partially obscures eye contact).
Number Two: Eye Contact (works for video chat and face to face meetings)
It’s commonly said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and this is certainly true when it comes to lying.
When most people tell a lie, they find it difficult to maintain eye contact. It’s almost as if they’re frightened that you’ll see through their lie if you can look them in the eye.
In contrast, people who have told the truth have nothing to hide and are able to maintain better levels of eye contact.
So if you have an inkling that your online date is fibbing, look them straight in the eye as you talk to them. If they struggle to meet your gaze, they might have something to hide.
Number Three: Details (works for video chat, voice chat, email, IM and face to face meetings)
Another problem that liars tend to have is the amount of detail that they add to their stories. Either they gloss over the story surrounding their lie, giving the barest of details, or they over compensate and provide too many details (almost as if they’re trying to convince themselves that what they’re saying is the truth).
Number Four: Conflicting stories (works for video chat, voice chat, email, IM and face to face meetings)
And finally, if a person keeps telling you lies, they will eventually back themselves into a corner or forget what they’ve already told you and contradict themselves.
So if you suspect that someone online is hiding the truth from you, keep probing and you might find out more than you expect.
Ask them questions about the issue. Try and get them to give you more details. Reluctance to back up their story is a good sign that they’re not being 100% truthful. If they skirt around the issue or try to change the subject, make a mental note and go back to it later, rephrasing your question and approaching the subject from a different angle.
If you start to close in on a lie, the other person may become more animated and provide too many details in an attempt to make their story sound believable. If they do this, look out for pauses in their speech where they might be trying to buy some time to create a cover story off the top of their head.
Alternatively, you may find that the other person becomes defensive, asking you why you want to know so much or even accusing you of not trusting them. These are strong signs that they’ve got something to hide.
People don’t like getting caught out when telling lies, so they’ll go to extraordinary lengths to avoid this happening. But if they won’t tell you any more or their stories just don’t add up, you’ve got a major decision to make.
Do you want to continue developing a relationship with someone who lies to you?
Relationships are nothing without trust. And once you start to question whether someone is lying to you, the outlook for the relationship is bleak as you’ll always be wondering whether they’re telling you the truth.
Is that the type of life and relationship that you want?