S/he avoid the facts
When you’re seeking the truth, you want your partner to divulge important information that adds up. In an article for InnerSelf, Dr. Riki Robbins, Ph.D., discusses the four stages of trust, one of which is damaged trust. Robbins says it’s in this stage that the people you love will violate your trust, and a common warning sign is withholding vital information.
If you ask your partner where he or she was last night, you should expect an honest, straightforward answer. If he or she responds with “nowhere special,” your partner might be hiding something.
His/her demeanor shifts abruptly when discussing
When you spend enough time with someone, you get to know their behaviors and quirks pretty well, which means it’s easy to recognize times they stray from such normalcy. In a Real Simple article, Gregg McCrary, retired FBI criminal profiler and crime analyst, says he first tries to assess how someone normally speaks. “Once I know which type of talker a person is, I start asking him questions that I don’t know the answer to. If his manner shifts abruptly — going from calm to agitated or lively to mellow — chances are he’s not telling the truth,” McCrary said. Because you’re already familiar with how your partner speaks and acts, be cautious when his or her delivery feels off.
S/he constantly plays the blame game
Someone who’s constantly shifting blame clearly has something they’re not being forthright about. Taking responsibility for wrongdoings is a sign of maturity, love, and loyalty, so someone who isn’t able to do that isn’t a trustworthy partner. Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar, told Glamour, “If every concern you have gets twisted around and thrown back at you, he’s pulling a classic guilty-man move. Keeping you on the defensive keeps him out of trouble.” When faced with this situation, speak up and question their real intentions.
S/he has a history of stretching the truth
While detecting a lie in action is your first step, recognizing a pattern of lies is also important. If you notice your partner has been all too willing to tell small lies here and there, it’s likely they’ll be just as comfortable fibbing about the big stuff. Perhaps they’ve been stretching the truth lately or lying by omission. If that’s the case, they’re clearly not overly concerned with truth-telling. And lying can lead to a cycle of more lies.
His/her mannerisms change all of a sudden
When you know someone well, you know how they act. From their mannerisms to their style of talking, it’s fairly easy to notice a shift in their demeanor, which is all good news if you suspect they’re lying. AskMen says, “If she’s usually animated and a fast talker, but today she’s sitting with her arms crossed and speaking slowly, maybe there’s something you don’t know. If she rarely looks people in the eye and now she’s practically drilling your pupils with her stare, you may want to get the truth out of her.”
So, keep this in mind: A person whose behavior seems off can be an obvious red flag. Sure, they may be acting strangely for reasons totally unrelated to lying. Or, maybe they’re nervous, feeling guilty, or crafting the lie as they go. Be on the lookout.