At some point or another, you’ve probably told a lie in your life. Whether it was an unsafe situation where you were forced to lie to a stranger or maybe it was one of those inconsequential white lies, most people do it once in a while.
Even so, that doesn’t mean lies are necessarily right.
It’s one thing if you told a lie because a creepy stranger was being super nosy. Maybe you didn’t want to explain your whole life story to them, which is perfectly fine. Maybe you didn’t want to relieve the trauma of a past experience and gave them a story that would be easier to understand instead.
However, it’s another ballpark entirely if you’re a chronic liar and you tell lies like there’s no tomorrow. If you tell lies to your partner a lot of the time, that trust can easily get broken and that partner may not want to stay with you for too long.
Here are some tips to figuring out if someone is potentially deceiving you:
1. Map Out The Motive
Sometimes when we meet people, they say one thing and end up doing something else entirely. Perhaps when you ask them about the discrepancy, they might brush it off or have some kind of excuse. Other times, there may be a rationale as to why someone didn’t do what they promised to do.
Identifying the motive helps us get a good idea as to where their head is at. If there are ulterior motives at play, we might be able to tell. If the excuse is full of holes, maybe this person is hiding something. When in doubt, always ask yourself what this person is up to.
2. Be Attentive
This may not be easy to do and will require a lot of attention to detail. Some people are chronic liars and eventually, some of the lies are not going to add up. Some people make big blunders and errors in their lies, and others have minor discrepancies in what they share.
If these small lies are substantial and are concerning, trust your gut instinct. Ask the person about why they say one thing and are now saying something else. If you need to, write all their lies down to get a sense of the bigger picture.
If they react defensively and placate blame on you right away, they might be hiding something. Just note that some people are sometimes forgetful. However, forgetful people don’t typically blame others for lapses in judgement.
3. Look for Relationship History Patterns
This step is also not easy, but if you can, try to establish or figure out if there are patterns in this person’s behaviour in their other relationships, such as their current friends and family. See if they treat or talk to them differently from you.
If you can, maybe think about the way your partner was in former relationships:
- Did they have a history of lying a lot?
- Was there mistrust and miscommunication?
- Were there any red flags?
As mentioned earlier, always trust your gut instinct.
4. Consider The Role of Family Culture
This may seem silly, but there may be people who were raised by parents to routinely lie about specific things. For example, instead of confronting problems head-on, maybe the lies were a survival strategy to get out of a bad situation.
Maybe your partner grew up thinking this was normal because they didn’t know any better, and now they’re finding themselves still doing this type of behaviour even while being with you. However, what worked in childhood for them is not going to work in relationships.
5. Assess Responsibility of the Partner
Sometimes, people do not take responsibility for their actions. When asked about why they did or said something, they sometimes deflect and scamper off. However, that inability to accept certain things is a reflection of them, not you.
Partners who cannot take responsibility for their deceit, especially when they are caught in them, are a huge red flag, especially if they keep their promises.
As mentioned earlier, people lie for many reasons, but at the end of the day, if these lies are becoming a huge problem, then it’s time to talk to the partner to figure out what is happening. From there, carefully and slowly decide if this person is truly worth your effort, time, and love.
For more content from the author, please visit:
Five Potential Signs of Emotional Immaturity in Partners
Insights From an Aspiring Therapist