One of the first things we’re taught as children is not to lie. Being truthful is taught as an important value and one that the majority of us carry through from childhood to the rest of our lives. At its core, lying diminishes trust between human beings. If people generally didn't tell the truth, life would become very difficult, as nobody could be trusted and nothing you heard or read could be trusted -you would have to prove everything for yourself. But we’ve all told a lie before, right?This is where the line becomes kind of blurry. No one is perfectly truthful 100% of the time and would be telling themselves a lie (see what I did there?) if they told you they were. Whether it’s a big whopper, or just the more common little white lies, let’s face it: it’s common. So what happens when you’re being lied to by someone you’re supposed to trust, say, in a romantic relationship? And how can you tell?We spoke to Belynder Walia, Psychotherapist, RTT Practitioner and Mindfulness Coach to give us some tips on how to know when someone is lying to you and what we can do about it. Belynder works to help people feel less anxiety or stress by transforming their mind to build confidence and self-esteem so they feel amazing.
The Impact of Lying on Your Psyche
While Belynder agrees that everyone may have lied at some point, it’s the lie's variance that makes the difference. For instance, some lies can be harmless, while others are detrimental and of extreme seriousness and deception. The most difficult lies and feelings of deception to overcome stem from those we love,” she said. “As we know, most relationships bloom with trust and transparency.”If a person is lying to you, Belynder says this can “cause anyone to feel broken and experience a sense of discomfort where a person feels betrayed”. The Subtle Signs of LyingThere are subtle signs when someone is dishonest. These can be in their behaviour or body language. “Some say they know when someone is lying to them when a person's behaviour towards them changes,” says Belynder. “It's not about hearing or listening for lies but about spotting non-verbal signs.” Yet, she says: “this may not be the case for all. If you know the person well enough, you can judge for yourself if they are lying. If, for instance, you know the person, their tone, voice and language may change.”
Here are some subtle signs that someone is lying to you:
“Disengaged speech is a common trait of a liar, and tonal shifts may also occur.”
#2 Inconsistency and repetition
“Other subtle signs are inconsistency in sentences, repetition of words or phrases, and the 'buying
of time' are all indicators.”
“Often a give away is of eye contact as they stare without blinking.”
#4 Covering their vulnerable body parts
“This may include their head, chest, mouth, stomach or throat”
#5 Posture changes
“They either stand completely still or shuffle their feet.”
#6 Listen to their breathing
“Their breathing may also alter, their shoulders will rise, and the voice sounds shallow.
”Belynder notes that “even though these behaviours can be displayed for other reasons, the indicative signs of conduct are only from your perspective. You will identify changes because you will know it is not typical or shown by the individual usually.”
Her advice is always to follow your gut feeling: “If what they say doesn't sound like them, or they behave in a way that does not feel right to you as it's not typical, you will know they are not telling you the whole truth.”
What To Do When Someone Is Lying To You
The best way, Belynder advises, to deal with such problems is to discuss them in a calm rational manner. This is so that the other person can get what you are trying to say “without feeling like they are being attacked”. “It is so important not to jump to any conclusions. Approach the situation sensitively. Fact-based evidence is essential if you know a person has lied to you or has been deceptive. Begin the sentence with something like... 'I am upset about... or something that has been bothering me.' Or, 'I am concerned, frustrated, hurt... and I wish to discuss it with you’.”
She says that the key here is to phrase the situation in the least judgmental way possible by focusing on your feelings. “If you focus on your state of emotions,” she says, “you have the bestchance of being listened to and not just heard. And when someone listens, they comprehend your concerns. And if they care enough, they will try their best to understand your feelings.” Belynder says that it is “essential” to understand that withholding the truth can affect a relationship precisely the same way that lying does. That is why it is necessary to be authentic. If, however, you have been in a toxic relationship with a compulsive liar, Belynder says it is “crucial” to deal with it through counselling or therapy. She is offering a 30-minute free consultation for anyone who needs support with addictive behaviour and personality disorders such as this.
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