Text messaging has undoubtedly become the most frequent mean of communication with friends and families. But with this technology, we lose something else, i.e. the ability to tell if people are being dishonest easily. Body language is missing, eye contact is null and you can’t tell the tone of their voice when they text you a message. With that said, you can still tell lies apart, though it will be more difficult to catch them. Take notice of all the subtle hints someone might leave as they lie to you behind their phone. How to tell if someone is lying over text? Keep a look out for the following.

Top 10 Effective Tips on How to Tell If Someone Is Lying over Text


Delayed Reply

A study showed that people who lied through their text took 10 percent more time to answer a question. Logically they need that time to conjure up a plausible response that they hope will fool you. When you are in a quick back and forth conversation with someone, if it suddenly takes him extra time to get an answer down, it could be pretty obvious.


Complicated Reply

Let’s say that you asked something simple, such as "What did you eat for lunch?" If the person replies with 4 paragraphs' long wall of text, then you can be almost sure that he is trying to hide the fact behind it. An overly detailed answer might seem convincing to some, but it might well be the opposite. You can definitely smell conspiracy if someone that usually sends a short text when he suddenly responds with an essay.


Sweet Talking After Reply

The person could try to distract you from a lie by sweet talking you after he texts you something that might be a lie. While he hoped that doing so will not lead you to read deeper into his earlier reply, this should prompt you to do exactly that. Try to catch some fishy behavior he doesn’t normally do. So if he tells you how beautiful you are or how much he misses you when he never usually does that, he is probably just trying to dodge a question.


Empathetic Tricks

Understand that being nice can be manipulative. Consider the situation and context, if the person using empathetic language, you might subconsciously agree with them. Emotions play an important influence over our decision making, in this case, over what we want to believe.


Special Statements

Lying is uncomfortable so liars tend to set up with some special statements. This is the kind of statements that says "no offense", then goes on with something offensive. It works the same way. Some of these are "I’m just saying", "to be honest", "I hear what you are saying", and "I hate to tell you".


Distancing Language

This is crucial for how to tell if someone is lying over text: Be skeptical over distancing language. A common way is avoiding involving themselves as part of a story, i.e. no personal pronouns (we, I), in a way to subtly imply that you can’t confirm the truth with him. On the same note, hiding the identity of a person in a story could be done in a similar fashion, referring to the person as “some friends” or “some people”.


Noncommittal Language

Lying is totally uncomfortable for everyone, especially when someone else might reveal the truth eventually. So liars would rather not fully commit to their lies, making use of noncommittal language ("might have", "possibly", "probably", "I guess"). That way, if the truth is revealed, they could just say that they aren’t sure about it in the first place.


Changing Subject Quickly

We are essentially learning classic politicians' tactics. Trying to change the subjects is a common red flag of a liar. It’s natural that a person wouldn't like to linger on a topic when he is trying his best to not reveal the truth. Keeping a lie sounding credible with another lie can only work so much. Diversion could be in this form as well: giving a quick short answer, followed by a complicated question.


Tense Hopping

Tense hopping is jumping between the present and past tense. It could be that a person is trying to craft a story up in his head and ends up ignoring the proper use of grammar when he try to explain a situation. In other words, he ends up mistaking his present thoughts with what happened in the past. If the person has an all-around good grammar in general and doesn’t hop their tenses, you might want to watch out when he suddenly broke that rule.


Crafted Sentences

On the other hand, if someone you are texting usually uses slang, emojis and broken grammar all over, then suddenly response in paragraphs you can expect to win the Pulitzer Prize, that should be an obvious sign of him trying a little too hard to hide a truth. Unless of course, he does this all the time, then watch out for other hints he might leave.


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