In this age of social media, Tinder, Match, OKCupid, and other countless ways to meet people without leaving your house, it's easier than ever for people to cheat on their partners. (And of course, so many more ways to get caught). At least once a week I hear from a new patient who suspects that his or her partner might be cheating and lying to them. These people are highly anxious, on edge, playing detective, and are living in fear. This of course is no way to be in a relationship. Having trained the FBI and law enforcement personnel on lie detection, here are some tips you can use to detect if your supposed sweetheart is lying to you:
Know the baseline behavior. How does your partner ordinarily handle stress and what are the usual reactions to things? A deviation may indicate deception, or at least discomfort with the subject.
Fidgety? Touching the face, playing with an object, repeated blinking... these are indicators of a liar's stress. Folding hands might be a subconscious way of trying to protect and sooth oneself during this tense time of lying.
Pay attention to facial expressions and words. There's often a mismatch between gestures and emotions. For example, is there a flat or distant look when the person expresses positive emotions or love?
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." But the truth is, most people speak with contractions. President Clinton so famously said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Mumbling and talking faster than normal. That might indicate the person is anxious to finish the conversation and avoiding desperately to answer questions.
Do they avoid using names? Back to President Clinton. He said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." The use of the word "woman" makes it less personal and is a way to not bring the woman to life. Had he used the name "Monica" then she would have started to have an actual identity and would lead to more and more questions.
Do facial expressions seem artificial? It's not uncommon for them to be exaggerated in a really bad effort to emphasize credibility.
Is there a reaction to a sudden change in the subject? As an experiment try changing the subject quickly. Most truth-telling people would be a little confused by such a shift while someone lying might be relieved.
For more tips on fearless living check out my book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.