How to Spy the Lie and Catch a Liar
These six ways to catch a lie are inspired by Shiva and Shakti’s parable about a bag of gold, and based on psychology research about catching liars. You don’t need a lie detector test to know if your boyfriend or husband is lying to you.
If you want to become adept at knowing when someone is telling you lies, read Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception. It’s written by three former CIA agents – Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero – who share anecdotes from their careers in intelligence. They teach readers how to recognize the deceptive behaviors, both verbal and nonverbal, that we all tend to display when we respond to questions untruthfully. For the first time, they share with the general public their methodology and their secrets to the art of asking questions that elicit the truth. Catching a liar is easier when you know how to detect deception.
If you want to learn how to catch a liar because you suspect your husband or boyfriend is cheating, read 5 Signs Your Husband is Cheating and Lying About His Affair.
These tips on how to catch a liar may help you determine if he is lying to you about anything from how he spends his money to who he was with last night. I want you to keep this parable about Shiva and Shakti in mind, though. Your partner’s lie may be a bag of gold, if you’re ready to accept it.
The Parable of Shiva and Shakti – and the Bag of Gold
Shiva and Shakti, the Divine Couple in Hinduism, are watching over the earth. The wife Shakti spies a poor old man walking down the road. His clothes are shabby and his sandals are tied together with rope. Her heart is wrung with compassion, and she turns to her divine husband and begs him to give this man some gold.
“My Dearest Wife,” says her husband Shiva, “I cannot do that.”
Shakti is astounded. “What do you mean? You are Lord of the Universe. Why can’t you do this simple thing?”
“I cannot give him gold because he is not yet ready to receive it,” Shiva replies.
Shakti becomes angry. “Do you mean to say that you cannot drop a bag of gold in his path?”
“Surely I can,” Shiva replies, “but that is quite another thing.”
“Please, Husband” says Shakti. “Give him some gold.”
And so Shiva drops a bag of gold in the man’s path. The man is walking along, thinking to himself, “I wonder if I will find dinner tonight – or shall I go hungry again?” Turning at a bend in the road, he sees something on the path in his way. “Look there, a large rock,” he says. “How fortunate that I have seen it. I might have torn these poor sandals of mine even further.”
And carefully stepping over the bag of gold, the poor man goes on his way.
6 Ways to Catch a Liar
The poor man in the parable couldn’t see the bag of gold because he wasn’t ready. He didn’t recognize freedom and wealth, even when it was dropped right in his path! Your husband or boyfriend’s lies may be the bag of gold you need to be free from an unhealthy relationship. Lying is a warning sign of a bad relationship, and I don’t think catching him in a lie is the problem. The problem is the fact that you suspect him of lying, that you’re searching for tips on how to catch a liar, and that you can’t trust your boyfriend or husband.
Here are six ways to catch a lie, from research by psychologist Jacqueline Evans of the University of Texas. She and her colleagues developed a set of lie-detecting guidelines that anyone can use when trying to catch a liar. When these six signs are combined, they may help you catch a liar red-handed.
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He doesn’t share the details
An honest person will share seemingly unimportant details when talking about an experience, such as the kind of music playing in the background or the color of the flowers on the table. A liar, on the other hand, won’t share those little details because they are difficult to reconstruct or remember in later renditions. A skilled liar knows he has to be consistent and remember all the different parts of his story, so he won’t include details.
He claims his memory is poor
We all forget things sometimes. However, liars will excuse the missing or incongruent details by saying they have a bad memory. This tip on how to catch a liar requires you to know if your husband or boyfriend really has a bad memory, or if he is trying to distract you from the truth.
He makes corrections or contradictions while telling you his story
An honest person is consistent. He doesn’t change his story when he’s talking to you, and he won’t backtrack and delete or edit the details. If you notice that your boyfriend or husband’s story is changing as he retells or as you ask questions, then he may be lying to you.
He is thinking hard about what to tell you
If your husband or boyfriend seems uncertain about his story – or if he’s thinking hard about what to tell you – then you may be one step ahead of him. If you want to know how to catch a liar, you need to put all these little hints and tips together. These signs work as one big indication that your husband or boyfriend is lying to you.
He is nervous or tense – a surefire tip on how to catch a liar
An honest person doesn’t get anxious or nervous when he’s telling you what he did last night, how he spent his money, or who he was with. Even people who lie a lot can get a bit nervous when lying because we know it’s morally and ethically wrong. We know we’re being deceptive. According to this psychology research about catching someone lying, it takes a great liar or a psychopath to pull off a string of lies without looking at least somewhat anxious.
He talks unusually slowly when he tells you his lies
Liars know how to lie; they may even read tips on how to catch a liar so they can keep lying! Liars know they need to provide consistent details when telling lies. So, they often take quite a bit longer to tell their stories because they want to try to be consistent. If your boyfriend or husband talks slowly sometimes but not all the time, he may be lying about some things.
How do we put the parable about Shiva and Shakti into practice?
Catching your husband or boyfriend in a lie may be the best thing for you, because it gives you the chance to re-assess your relationship. If he’s lying to you, you don’t want to be with him.
His lies are little bags of gold in your path! My prayer for you is that you’re strong enough, brave enough, and courageous enough to see his lies as gifts. Pick up his lies, use them to bring light and truth into your relationship, and let him go. I pray you see his lies as gold, and that they allow you to be free from the darkness of deception and untrustworthy men.
Do you suspect your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you? Read Is He Cheating? How to Be Your Own Private Investigator.
I welcome your comments on how to catch a liar, but I can’t offer feedback or advice. Writing about your experience might help you see your relationship differently, though, so feel free to share your thoughts below.