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How To Tell If Someone Is Lying Over Text (13 Sure-Fire Ways To Tell)

Last updated on June 18, 2022 by Sonya Schwartz

In today’s modern world, most communication is done through email or via text message. It’s not uncommon to hardly ever have a phone conversation with a person. However, this can make it harder to tell when someone is lying, and some people take advantage of that to be more deceitful

How To Tell If Someone Is Being Dishonest Over Text

When you’re texting a person, you can’t see their body language, like when they refuse to look you in the eye. This can make it harder to tell if someone is telling lies. 

However, if you know what to look for, you’ll find that it gets pretty easy to tell if someone is being dishonest, even in a text conversation. There are certain things that people do when they’re lying, and they have nothing to do with body language.

1. They Abruptly End The Conversation

It’s the text equivalent of refusing to look you in the eye. If you ask them about something, they will text you back with a BRB or G2G. Of course, they will have a generic reason why. The thing is, when you bring up the conversation later, they still won’t want to talk about it. They might even pull the same move and leave the conversation or simply stop texting you back. 

2. They Change The Topic

they change the topic

A liar won’t want to stay on the topic that they’re lying about. However, some people know that it looks suspicious to suddenly leave a conversation. Instead, they will answer with something that changes the subject. 

For example, if you ask where they were last night, they might respond by saying they were with friends and then instantly begin talking about your night, accusing you of not trusting them, etc. One way or another, they’ll find a way to stop being the topic of conversation. 

3. When People Lie, They Give You Too Much Information

One of the easiest ways to spot a liar when you can’t see their facial expressions is by letting them talk. You’ll hear all kinds of details that you didn’t even ask about. Instead of simply saying they were out with friends, you might hear what they were wearing, who they ran into, the name of the bar they were at, etc. even though you never asked. 

This is because a person that is lying usually comes up with their story, and all of the details to go with it before you ask them a single question. 

4. They Swear That They Are Telling The Truth

When people are honest, they don’t feel the need to swear on anything or make promises that show they are telling the truth. Liars, on the other hand, aren’t as confident in their words. This can lead to them including phrases in their response to try to convince you that they are being honest.

For example, they might say I promise, I swear, or the classic cross my heart hope to die. People might go as far as to put things on someone’s grave. 

5. People That Lie Will Tell You How To Verify Their Story

These people have already come up with the story of where they were last night, talked to their friends, and convinced them to lie to you. After they tell you the story, they will also tell you who to ask to make sure that they’re being honest. Don’t bother asking any of their close friends. 

6. A Simple Question Can Make Them Defensive

a simple question can make them defensive

If a person is lying, expect them to get defensive. Sometimes, this can be over something as simple as a question about how they liked the food at the restaurant they claimed they went to. This is because a person that is lying will already have their guard up, so them being defensive just comes out, even when they don’t mean for it to. 

7. A Person Lying Will Text Back Slower

When people are being deceitful, they text back slower. If a person is usually honest, it may take some time to get the nerve to send a text that is a lie. They might need a bit more time to come up with a believable story too. 

8. Using Descriptive Sentences Is One Of The Major Signs

When people are not being honest, they tend to go above and beyond. This can be seen in the way they tell you too much information, and in the descriptive words that they use. For example, instead of saying they went to the club, they might use more adjectives, such as saying they went to a club that was painted blue. 

When people do this, it seems to stick out in conversations because it is not how they would normally talk. 

9. People Don’t Use A Many First-Person Pronouns When They Lie

When a person is telling a lie, they are more likely to use less first-person pronouns. For example, instead of saying I went to the club last night, they might say something along the lines of people always go to clubs with their friends. 

If they are not being honest about what they are doing, they might say something more along the lines of only young people goes to clubs. They will not specifically state what they were or were not doing, using first-person pronouns like the words I or me. 

10. They Accuse You Of Being Dishonest

This red flag is by far the easiest to spot. If someone is not being truthful, they are more likely to accuse you of lying. For example, if you say you don’t believe them, they might reflect that back on to you by saying that they remember a time when you were not honest. 

This is because the person is trying to justify their actions, which they are accomplishing by pointing out that you were dishonest as well. They are also trying to get attention away from themselves, and if you’re defensive, it has worked like a charm. 

11. Short, One-Word Answers 

When they can’t get out of a conversation and do not want to try one of the longer tactics, such as a long, descriptive story, a person might stick with short answers. Expect them to respond with a quick yes or no, which can make you feel like you’re prying for information if you continue the conversation. 

People that genuinely feel bad about their lie are more likely to send those short text messages. 

12. Their Texting Style Changes

their texting style changes

When they are lying, they don’t want to be the person in the lie. For example, if he says that he wasn’t cheating, he’s trying to pretend that he isn’t the guy that cheated on you. This is why you’ll notice that a person’s body language, facial expressions, and verbal expressions change. 

You can’t see those things in a text message, but their texting style might also change. For example, if they always use emojis, they might stop using them. If their grammar is always flawless, it might suddenly not be. Look for patterns, and then you’ll notice when there is suddenly a break in the pattern. 

13. They Have Amazing Control Over Their Emotions

Usually, when you accuse a person of being dishonest, they get defensive the second you point your finger at them. This time, however, they are in complete control of their behavior. Dishonest individuals are like this because they have already mentally prepared themselves for being accused of lying. 

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How do you trick someone into telling the truth?

Minimize whatever they are being dishonest about. Use words like “it doesn’t matter” or “I don’t really care.” Then, back up your words by not bothering them with it. The person may tell the truth because they think it doesn’t matter. 

Can you really tell if someone is lying?

Most of the time you can. If a person is skilled at being manipulative and dishonest, it can be harder to spot. However, everyone has a few tell-tale things that they do when they are lying. You simply have to get to know them better sometimes. 

How can you tell if someone is lying online?

They tend to be more closed off about themselves because it leaves more room to be deceitful. Responses might be vague, or they copy whatever you’re saying. If you love classic rock, they do too. Likewise with your favorite food, color, etc. 

How do you tell if someone is lying about cheating?

They instantly deny but don’t offer an explanation for the behaviors you mentioned. Little eye contact or too much eye contact. They claim that they “never lie.” Their behavior towards you has changed, and there is no other explanation. 

What words do liars use?

Liars use words that are geared towards convincing you that they are honest. They use more descriptive words. Expect words like never, as in “I never do that” or “I would never do that to you.” Always is also common. Expect them to emphasize their trustworthiness with things like “to be honest.” 

The Bottom Line

It can be hard to tell when someone is lying via texts, but it’s not impossible. Have you ever had to figure this one out? How do you tell if someone is lying through text?

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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