should you do if you suspect that somebody is lying to you?
can simply say: “I know that you are lying, now tell the truth.” This
approach may work well, but it is fairly confrontational and if you are
wrong he or she will probably get very upset.
approach may also lead the person to become resentful, defensive and
difficult to deal with, whether or not he or she is lying.
are other approaches that you should consider. What works best will depend
on the situation and on your personality.
approaches to deal with somebody who you suspect may be lying to you
include the following:
an eyebrow or saying something like “really?”, “Are you sure?”
or “You don’t say?”. These are fairly subtle approaches to
indicate to the person know that you probably do not believe him or
her, without accusing the person of lying.
for more detail. Often when people are lying they will not be able to
supply an expected level of detail and so will catch themselves out.
a mental note about what it is you suspect he or she is lying about
and come back to it later from a different approach. He or she may be
caught off guard because of the different approach and give an
inconsistent or truthful answer.
questions about the events that are out of chronological order. Often
when people lie they work out their lie as a story and fill in the
details as they tell it.
When they are asked about a bit of the story and then another and so
on, out of sequence, they find it difficult to put it together in
their own minds.
They end up contradicting themselves and making the lies more obvious.
the person to explain apparent contradictions in what he or she is
saying, if there are any. The person may admit the lie or resort to
even more fanciful lies that make it clear that the truth is not being
the person appears to be taking a long time before answering your
questions in order to make up lies, you can speed up the pace of the
discussion or say something that highlights the fact that he or she is
taking a long time to reply.
a person is falsely claiming that they cannot remember something,
during the conversation ask them details about other events or
transactions from about the same time and from earlier.
they clearly remember all the other details you can show that they
should be able to remember the details that they claim to have