Search icon

How to Tell If Someone Is Lying Over Text - 15 Telltale Signs

February 9, 2024

In today’s society, most of our communication is accomplished as an email or in a text message. It is rare to have a telephone conversation with a person. If you’re wondering how to tell if someone is lying through text, you are likely going to want a response to certain questions. With texts, you’ll eventually want to know if someone is truthful or not.

Since we talk mostly through messaging, many people take advantage of the changes in technology and decide to be more deceitful rather than telling the truth. So, what are the signs someone is lying over text and how much should you put up with if you do catch someone lying to you? 

You might eventually find that this individual is showing you one red flag after another. It could be that the only change you need to make is having a face-to-face conversation rather than a digital one. Let’s dive in and see!

Understanding the Psychology of Lying in a Relationship

Maybe you are in a relationship where there is one lie after another. Perhaps you have seen the signs that someone is lying over text but don’t know what to do. 

If you have now caught someone in a lie, you need to keep in mind that they could be lying over text about more than just the current topic. Look at all the signs to determine if they are lying or pulling a trick on you.

What you need to think about when someone is lying to you is the reason behind not telling the truth. Are you intimidating them? Do they worry you will disapprove if they were to tell you the truth? Do you get mad easily? What kind of boundaries do you have in your relationship? 

Determine what role you are playing in this relationship. Maybe they feel lying is the best option right now. If you only see one sign someone is lying, you might not be dealing with a chronic liar. However, if multiple signs are there, it would be worth it to discuss the matter with your partner. 

Lies have no place in a healthy relationship. Honestly, if someone is lying to you, do they really want to be in this relationship? Are they happy if they feel the need to tell lies? Think about it.

15 Signs Someone Is Lying Over Text - More than a Gut Feeling

When you’re texting a person, you can’t see their body language. Because you are unable to look them in the eye, you might find it very hard 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.

While we will look at the more obvious signs, you should always trust that gut feeling that you have with someone. If they are purposefully vague or overly complicating things, you’ve likely caught someone trying to create the truth from fiction. 

Another key ingredient in telling if someone is lying is how you feel after the conversation. Do you feel bad? Trust that feeling.

1. They abruptly end the conversation

Abruptly ending the conversation is the text equivalent of refusing to look you in the eye. If you ask them about something, they will text you back a BRB or G2G. They might have a generic reason for this. 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 not reply. 

2. They Change the topic in the middle of the text message

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. Therefore, they 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

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 for. 

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, and so on - even though you never asked for those details. 

This happens because the person lying is usually coming up with a story and all the details that accompany it before the conversation has even started. If an elaborate story takes place and you have already determined that this relationship is fishy, you might want to rethink how this person affects you. Are you okay with someone lying to you from time to time?

If they have shared with you more than usual, there’s a good chance they are lying. Also, if they’ve come up with a real story to fool you, how much thought did they put into this lie? This is very premeditated and not just a slip of the tongue!

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 and hope to die. 

5. People that lie will tell you how to verify their story

It’s likely that 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 makes 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 defensive behavior just comes out, even when they don’t mean for it to. 

If you are putting up with many liars in your life in this way, you might have to adjust your strategy in dealing with them. For example, do not ask simple questions when you know they will just tell a lie to avoid a confrontation or messy situation. 

Use this tool to check whether he actually is who he says he is
Whether you're married or have just started seeing someone, infidelity rates are on the rise and have increased over 40% in the last 20 years, so you have all the right to be worried.

Perhaps you want to know if he's texting other women behind your back? Or whether he has active Tinder or dating profile? Or worse yet, whether he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool will do just that and pull up any hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more to hopefully help put your doubts to rest.

Maybe, even if just subconsciously, you are accepting this kind of behavior. If so, stop asking about the details! 

Think about it. Are you happy in these relationships, or would you rather be with someone who respects you more? How close do you really feel to someone who isn’t honest all of the time? Reevaluate things.

7. A person lying will text back slower

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. If someone is lying, they might give you vague answers.

It’s important to watch for this because a quick answer is a dead giveaway, as well.

8. Using descriptive sentences 

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 had a brick building. 

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 that many first-person pronouns when they lie

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

They will not specifically state what they were or were not doing, using first-person pronouns like the words I or me. 

If the specific details sound off, they could be lying over text about how their night truly went.

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 onto you by saying that they remember a time when you were honest. 

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

11. Short, one-worded 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. 

If they give you a curt answer without many details, you might be talking to a liar. Ask questions that are open-ended. That way, their answers have to be more than one word.

12. Their texting style changesor present tense suddenly arrives

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 normally when you’ll notice that a person’s body language, facial expressions, and verbal expressions change. Unless you are sending text messages with video, you might have trouble with this.

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 you’ll notice when there is suddenly a break in that pattern. 

Watch for tense hopping, too. If they go from the present tense to the future tense within one sentence, they might not be telling the truth about the situation. This is just one way to find proof that the individual is not telling the truth. 

13. They have amazing control of 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. 

14. They offer no explanations

Often, a clear sign that someone is lying through text is their lack of a response. Maybe you’ve asked a simple question, but they avoid answering. This happens because people who lie know that they need to get their story straight. They feel safer when they say very few words. It gives them less room to make a mistake and trip up their lying ways!

When your partner doesn’t elaborate on their actions or behavior, they could be lying to you. If you have no reason to suspect this, don’t start now. There’s nothing worse than being negative in the face of a really healthy relationship or marriage. Mistrust, when there is no reason for it, often leads to many problems and much conflict. 

15. Long pauses

If you want to know how to really tell if someone is lying through text, be sure to watch for long pauses. If you were face to face with an individual, you would likely avoid lulls in the conversation. This can hold true for a text message as well. You might ask them to explain what took them so long to reply.

Personally, I have issues with understanding and patience in relationships. This means that I do not like long pauses; it makes me wait, and since I hate waiting, it tests my patience. 

If you have a short attention span like me, this will understandably be uncomfortable for you!

What to Do Next: How to Handle the Situation Right

what to do next how to handle the situation right

If you have someone lying to you, the first question you should ask is why. Why do they feel the need to lie? 

There is some thought that lies are the product of insecurities. Perhaps someone is not telling the truth to make them look better. Other ideas include avoiding awkwardness or embarrassment. If a lie can get someone out of a jam, they might consider it.

Of course, lies can get you out of trouble from time to time, but lies can also make things much worse. If you tell lies that are later discovered, you risk the reaction to be much worse than if you had originally told the truth. This is not always the case, which is why it’s crucial that you find out why someone has decided there is a need to lie to you.

If you have been able to tell if someone is telling lies, you should also examine yourself. Could it be that your reaction scares them? 

Maybe it’s in their DNA not to tell the truth, but there could be a part that you play, as well. Ask this individual if there is something you can do to improve communication between the two of you. Approach it from an open standpoint.

If you can tell if someone is lying or stretching the truth on a regular basis, you might see what harm this is causing your relationship. Decide how much it truly bothers you, if it does at all. You might find that there is some comfort in certain “tall tales.” An occasional stretching of the truth doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship!

FAQs

How do liars act when accused?

If someone is lying, they will typically change the subject to get out of the conversation. When people are accused, they probably do not want to tell a lie, or they feel it is no big deal to lie. You’ll likely get a defensive vibe or feeling after their last text message.

How to catch someone in a lie over text?

When someone is lying, they might give flowery details, no explanation at all for their weirdness, long pauses, and clumsy reassurance that they are not lying. To determine if someone is lying, trust your gut and ask them openly without jumping to assumptions.

How to confront a liar over text?

The trick to confronting a liar over text is dependent on how you feel about the person. If you are madly in love or have been in a relationship with this person for a long time, you might just want to find out the reason they have started lying to you over ending the relationship.

Conclusion

It can be hard to know how to tell if someone is lying through text, but it’s not impossible. Have you ever had to figure this one out? How do you tell if someone is lying through text? What sign is missing from this list? Let us know in the comments. 

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

Subscribe

Join Our Newsletter

Receive weekly tips & tricks to improve your love life.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.