Experts spend years studying the subtleties of gestures, speech
patterns, and behavioral clues. I’ve spent the last few months
researching how lie detection is done and have come up with a
simple 5-step plan to confrontation based on my research that you
may find useful in a number of situations.
First let’s take a look at the most common and reliable signs
that someone may be lying…
– Pauses – either too long or too frequent. This is a stalling
technique used to buy time to fabricate a story or excuse.
– Eye contact – typically when lying someone will begin the lie
looking away and then make eye contact later on in the lie
(usually halfway) or they may avoid eye contact all together.
– Mask emotion – the accused may try to cover their initial shock
and panic that the accuser has caught them in a lie with another
emotion, usually anger. Be mindful of a “micro-expression” (a
sudden look of shock or panic that lasts a split second and is
quickly replaced by another expression such as a smile or scowl.)
– Excessive fidgeting – sign of nervousness
– Lack of movement and/or expression – signs of concealment. When
someone is lying they may become unusually conscious of their
body language and work to cover it up to the point of eliminating
The chances that you can catch a person in a lie are highest when :
+ the lie is being told for the first time
+ they have never told this type of lie before
+ the stakes are high
+ you are open-minded and don’t jump to conclusions
+ you can get them to talk about it a lot
+ there is a lot of emotion involved in the subject being
With the above information in mind I want to outline the simple 5
step process to confrontation that will help you get to the
bottom of things. DO NOT just accuse the person, in these
situations PREPARATION IS KEY.
I will be referring to the hypothetical example between you,
Sara, and Raul.
Step 1 : Do your homework
Have a viable, rational reason for your suspicion other than
jealous paranoia. This will be your safety net if it turns out
that you were totally wrong (“Well can you blame me how would it
have looked to you?”) Then prepare 3-5 questions to ask Sara that
dance around the subject in subtle ways and provide you with
information (ammo) that you can use in the later steps. Space
these questions out over the course of 1-2 days working them into
DON’T LET HER KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING AT! By letting her know
you are suspicious you are giving her time to fabricate and
rehearse the lie in her head dramatically reducing the likelihood
that she will screw up when telling the lie making it even more
difficult to uncover the truth.
– What time did you get home last night?
– Do you know how to get to Kay St.? [Assuming you know Raul
lives on Kay St.]
– You seem pretty distant today??
These questions aren’t meant to uncover the lie so don’t try to.
This is just a little probe. If you don’t like one of the
responses or they seem suspicious proceed…
Step 2 : The confrontation
At first, you don’t want to be mean about it. You want to be
almost non-chalant about it. Go about it with the attitude that
you want to help her be honest. But, you want to be VERY direct.
This should be done face to face in a well-lit area where you
won’t be interrupted.
“Sara, have you been sleeping with Raul?”
Look for the tell tale signs listed above. Be sure to watch for
her first, most immediate reaction which may include a lightning
quick expression of “How did he find out?” which will quickly be
masked, most likely with anger. Common responses:
“How could you accuse me of this?”
“You don’t trust me?”
“I would never do that to you.”
Step 3. Don’t answer her questions
Say, “I’m not accusing you. I’m asking you a simple yes or no
question. Please answer me.”
Never look away from her. Don’t give her time to regroup or think
out a response keep her on her toes. Unless she is a professional
liar there will be some clue to her deceit.
At this point she should (in a perfect world) break down and tell
you the truth. However, she is probably not likely to fess up and
will probably answer.
“NO, I have NOT been sleeping with Raul.”
Step 4 : Comfort her
Say, “Sara, I know alright, why can’t you tell me? Why do you
have to lie to me? I’m not going to be mad, I just want you to be
honest with me.”
By saying that all you want is honesty and that you won’t be mad
you are giving her a way out and a chance to be honest.
At this point you are going to want to back down and give her the
benefit of the doubt but don’t. If she continues to deny it and
you have no reason to pursue the issue further (i.e. no more
suspicious behavior) then drop it.
She might say something to the effect of “Why do you think I’ve
been sleeping with Raul?” Don’t spill your beans.
Over the next couple of days watch her closely. If she is
innocent she will be deeply hurt by your accusation and will keep
bringing the subject up. If she is guilty she will act deeply
hurt but she will avoid bringing the subject up.
If you still think/know she is lying to you move on to step 5…
Step 5 : Dump her
Don’t stay with a liar. You gave her the opportunity to be honest
and she didn’t. Staying with someone who lied to you is degrading
to yourself and bad things are destined to happen in the future.
I talk to too many guys who get totally screwed over by a girl
who had a history of lying to them. Why didn’t they leave her
after they found out about the first lie?
It’s all about respect. You have to be with someone you respect
and you have to respect yourself enough to leave someone that
isn’t worthy of your respect.