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Mood and Mind

6 ways to spot a liar

how to spot a liar

Psychologist Hélene Fermont is on hand to reveal how to spot a liar. She shares why people lie so often and the key signs that someone may be lying to you 

People always lie for a reason. This is something I see time and time again as a psychologist. Often, the reason is simply that the liar wants to feel good about themselves. By fabricating the truth, they make their life more exciting to the outside world. And there’s nothing wrong with this… as long as it’s not making other people feel worse about themselves.

Sometimes people may lie as a coping mechanism: they don’t want to face the harsh reality of the real world so they sugar-coat stories and facts about themselves. They make everything seem just a little bit more glamorous. Does this count as lying? Or just bending the truth a little?

I have developed six top tips to help decipher whether someone is lying or telling the truth. These tips should help you to successfully spot a liar.

1. The things they say just don’t add up

how to spot a liar
A friend who shift back and forth between constant compliments and negative comments may be lying to you.

Do you have a friend who constantly compliments you, but always seems to be saying negative things about everyone else? The way they feel about other people doesn’t seem to match up with how they say they feel about you?

The likelihood is, the things they are saying aren’t true. Watch out – this person may be saying negative things about you behind your back.

2. They’re constantly trying to prove themselves

Does anyone you know constantly boast about their successes? Always tell you what they did on the weekend, and their big plans for the future? Well, usually genuine people don’t feel the need to prove themselves at all times.

This is a case where they are trying to make themselves feel better, but are making you feel worse in the process. If you find that someone is always boasting to you… maybe you should begin to doubt what they say.

3. They always seem to want to be alone

If you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s fine to want to spend time apart occasionally. But if you find that you seem to be spending every weekend apart because they want “alone time.” It might be time to question what they’re up to.

Every relationship is different, and if spending time alone works well for your relationship then it’s no problem. However, if you spot a shift in your relationship dynamic, it could mean that their feelings have changed, and they may be spending their time with someone else…

4. They’re always telling you what you want to hear

how to spot a liar people pleaser
A person who often tells you everything you want to hear, may be trying to cover up lies.

People pleasers are more common than you think. We all love to hear compliments and most of the time they are truthful. However, a people pleaser will shower you with whatever they know you want to hear – even when they don’t believe it themselves. Honour relationships with people who are not afraid to tell you the truth in a constructive manner.

The people you truly connect with will always have your best interests at heart. These are the relationships that will be most valuable to you.

Do you have a friend who only seems to say nice things to you? And you get the feeling they are saying things which they don’t truly believe? There is a difference between genuinely being a nice person and being a people pleaser. Don’t mix up the two!

5. They’re always expecting you to conform to their wishes

This is a classic sign of a sociopathic liar. Compromise is key in any relationship and you should expect to have to be flexible. But – compromise is a two-way street.

Ask yourself how often you are being asked to conform to your partner’s or friend’s wishes. If it seems to be more and more frequent, this should be a red flag that things are getting controlling. Never permit a partner or a close friend to have complete rule over your life!

It can be difficult to spot these signs when you already have a very close relationship with the person. Sociopathic liars can be extremely charming and persuasive so it’s sometimes difficult to tell fact from fiction. This is why it’s important to look out for the warning signs: know when you are doing someone a favour and when they are controlling you. Set your boundaries and steer clear of sociopathic liars.

6) You are constantly being showered with gifts

how to spot a liar
Gifts are not the same as the proper apology that you deserve when a friend or partner lies.

Obviously, this is usually a great sign that someone wants to show you they care. Being treated now and again is a good sign that the person you are in a relationship with cares about you – but it’s not such a great sign if your relationship seems to be held together with a string of expensive presents.

Notice when you are being offered gifts. Is it straight after they say that they are going away for the weekend? As soon as you have an argument? Right after you ask them about something uncomfortable? They could be trying to distract you from what they’re hiding.

Just be aware, if you are consistently showered with gifts, expensive treats or exotic holidays they could be hiding something from you and emotionally blackmailing you to stay in the relationship.

Presents should not take the place of a healthy discussion. It’s best to talk out your issues free from any bribery. And if you work it out, there’s always time for gifts later…

Spot the Signs

So, there are a few different ways to look out for liars. I have listed just a few of the key tell-tale signs that something might be wrong in your relationship.

It is all too easy to get used to the way things are. Some of these signs might have been going on for months, or even years before you realise what has been happening. But remember that it is never too late to notice you have a problem and sort it out.

Helene Fermont how to spot a liar

Hélene Fermont’s new novel explores the theme of lying in relationships. His Guilty Secret is out now and will be available from Amazon, priced £9.99 in paperback and £3.99 as an e-book. For more information see






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