In today’s world, we rely on text messaging more than ever before. We use it to communicate with friends, family, and even our bosses. But what happens when someone starts lying to you over text? How can you tell if they’re being truthful?
Today, we’ll educate you on how to know if someone is lying over text. We’ll also talk about why it’s easy for people to lie over text in the first place.
So whether you’re a parent trying to figure out if your child is telling the truth, or a romantic partner who wants to suss out your significant other, this guide is for you!
Why Conversations Over Text Make Lying Easier
A recent study claims that people are more likely to lie while texting than in a face-to-face conversation! But why is that the case?
As it goes, the nature of text messages as a means of communication makes it much more effortless for people to hide the truth. Here’s how texting can be beneficial to people with lying tendencies:
- A lean medium: Texting doesn’t convey as much information as one-on-one communication. Dishonest people can use this to their advantage by controlling the amount of information they share.
- Allows for a delay in response: This gives liars time to think about their answers and make sure they’re not contradicting themselves. They can also take their time crafting their messages, ensuring their lies sound believable.
- Lack of body language: You don’t see someone’s facial expressions, eye movements, or other nonverbal cues that might indicate they’re lying.
- Asynchronous: Liars can use this to their advantage by lying when they’re not feeling pressured or when they think they can get away with it.
- Anonymous: Texting gives liars the chance to hide their identity, which can make them feel more comfortable lying. For example, they might use a fake name to spread incorrect information, unconcerned that someone may recognize them.
10 Dead Giveaways That Someone Is Lying Over Text
Worried that someone might be lying to you over text or email? Pay attention to the content of their messages and look for any inconsistencies or red flags.
Here are some telltale signs you should focus on if you’re suspicious about your friend’s, employee’s, or partner’s level of honesty.
Sign 1: Changing the Original Topic Suddenly
When someone lies, they worry that you’ll catch them in the act, so they try to change the subject to something else. They might also try to cover up their lie, or they could even be feeling guilty about it.
This form of distraction is a classic sign of deception, and it’s one that you should be on the lookout for.
For example, let’s say you ask your friend where they were last night, and they abruptly remind you of a new Chinese place that you should try together. This is a red flag because it’s clear that they’re trying to avoid answering your question.
Sign 2: Using Vague Language
Another common sign of lying is if someone uses vague language or quick answers. Liars don’t want to give away too much information to avoid inconsistencies. That’s why they prefer to use general terms and avoid specifics.
When your coworker types, “We had a lot of meetings today,” after you ask them what happened at work while you were off, it’s a sign that they’re hiding something.
A truthful person would give you more details about their day, such as what the meetings were about and who they met with.
Sign 3: Avoiding Writing in the First Person
Liars find themselves reluctant to use the first person because this approach subconsciously distances them from their lies.
Instead of typing, “I read that chapter yesterday,” they might say, “Read that chapter yesterday.”
Of course, some texters already skip the “I” when typing their instant messages to save time. So, only you’ll be able to judge whether this is their usual texting style or something is off.
Sign 4: Using Overly-Detailed Descriptions to Mask the Truth
Liars sometimes try to make their lies sound more believable by going into too much detail that you may not have asked for.
This is also another type of distraction; they’ll fill your mind with too much data so that you won’t notice the piece of information they’re keeping from you. An overly-specific description goes like this:
“I was at the movies last night with my friends, Jenny, Sarah, and Michael. We saw the new Marvel movie, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” and it was incredible. The special effects were mind-blowing. I could almost feel the heat from the fire when Thor blasted his enemies, and I could see the individual hairs on the Hulk’s arms when he transformed.”
This level of detail is unnecessary, and it can be a sign that the person is trying hard to cover something up.
Sign 5: Taking Too Long to Respond
Another indication that someone might be lying is if they take too long to respond to your messages. This is because they may be trying to come up with a believable lie.
If you ask your partner a question and they take several long minutes to reply, they’re probably trying to figure out what to say.
Of course, there are other reasons why someone might not respond to your messages right away. But if you’re concerned that a person might be lying, this is a sign that you should pay attention to.
Sign 6: Being Uncharacteristically Friendly or Sweet
Sometimes, liars will be overly friendly or sweet in an attempt to throw you off. By making you trust them, you’ll be less likely to suspect that they’re lying.
If someone’s behavior is suddenly out of character, especially for the better, ask them why they’re acting that way and put them in a tight corner!
Sign 7: Using Different Wording Than Usual
People often follow irregular writing patterns and unusual word choices when they’re telling a lie.
This is because they’re trying to be more careful with their words, so they don’t make any mistakes. Or, it could simply be that they’re nervous, ending up doing irrational things.
Typically, a lying person will go for complex words instead of easier ones, unless your friend already uses big words! Some examples include “enormous” instead of “huge” or “big” and “utilize” instead of good old “use!”
Sign 8: Leaving the Chat Mid-Conversation
Liars may suddenly go silent if they feel like they’re being caught in a lie. This usually happens when you get closer to the truth or hit the bull’s-eye. It leaves them shocked and unable to formulate a proper response.
They may stop responding to your messages for the time being, choosing to reply several hours later when they have better composure and control.
Sign 9: Turning the Tables When Feeling Threatened
When cornered, liars may play the victim. They claim to be attacked, accuse you of being mean, or remind you of that one time when you said or did the wrong thing.
This is a manipulation tactic meant to make you feel guilty and back off. If someone turns the tables when you’re trying to get to the bottom of a lie, it’s best to stay calm and refuse to engage with their drama.
Sign 10: Swearing to Make You Believe Them
If someone is telling the truth, there will be no reason for them to swear or emphasize that they’re honest, right?
That’s why excessive swearing could be a red flag that the person you’re texting is dishonest or only revealing part of the truth.
Going for words and phrases like “Cross my heart and hope to die,” “I promise,” or “I swear” should set off the alarms in your mind!
How to Deal with Someone Lying Over Text?
While there isn’t a specific approach for all people, here are some tips to follow if you suspect someone is lying:
- Ask follow-up questions to get more information and to see if the person’s story holds up.
- Listen carefully to the answers and ask them for clarification when necessary.
- Trust your gut about whether or not they’re being honest.
- If you’re convinced that the person is lying, don’t be afraid to call them out on it. Simply say something like, “I don’t think you’re being honest with me.”
- Talk to them in person to get a better read of their body language.
Lying is a common human behavior, and it may be difficult to tell when someone is being dishonest. However, some signs can help you spot a liar, especially over text.
Such surefire signs include giving vague answers, swearing they’re telling the truth, taking too long to reply, and not using first-person pronouns.
If you’re concerned that someone is lying to you, stay calm and collected, ask clear and direct questions, listen carefully to the answers, and trust your gut. By following these tips, you can protect yourself from being manipulated or taken advantage of.