How to Detect a Liar


This is just my personal opinion based upon my experience, but the one universal trait of a psychopath is lying.  Psychopaths lie constantly.  They tell little lies, they tell big lies.  They tell lies even when the truth would seem to better serve their best interests.  Or as I now like to say, “If her lips are moving, she’s lying…”

I had a head-scratching moment with my wife once.  It made me think she had some sort of cognitive difficulty, but in retrospect, it was just another example of her lies.  We had me online in July of 2009, had married in July of 2010, and after the Big Lie, I had moved to England in July of 2011.  One day shortly after I’d moved over, we were out walking and encountered one of her friends.  My wife introduced us, me and her friend.  Her friend said, “Oh, I didn’t know you’d gotten married.  How long have you known each other?”  My wife said, “Three years.”  I stood flummoxed for the rest of the conversation.  We’d only known each other 2 years, and I wondered why she lied.  July 2009 to July 2011 is 2 calendar years. 

After the friend went on her way, I asked my wife why she’d told the woman we’d know each other 3 years.  My wife paused, and said, “2009, 2010, 2011 … that’s 3 years.”  I let it go, as I did most her lies.  In retrospect, she was clearly trying to paint a picture for her friend that we’d know each other longer than we truly had.  But by her definition, if we’d met at 11:59pm on December 31, 1999, and someone had asked her how long we’d known each other after midnight, I laughingly suspect she would have replied, “For a thousand years!” 

Some of this is a repeat of stuff I’ve said many times, but I’m repeating it because one of the best defenses against a psychopath early on is spotting lies.  If you can spot the lies, you won’t get sucked into the love-bombing.  So I stumbled across a website that seems to have some good hints on How to Detect Lies

I think my favorite tidbit from the article is this:

A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.

As for me, I’m on the offense.  🙂  So just offering up a few words to the wise…


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Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
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8 Responses to How to Detect a Liar

  1. chemire says:

    How do you define getting defensive versus offensive though?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DogDharma says:

    Excellent question, chemire! Okay, so I’m no expert, except as one having *been* deceived, so all I can work from is my experience, my self-education, and my opinions.

    So, if you’ve somehow followed my whole story — and God help you if you have! 🙂 — one of the ways that my wife tried to “prove” to me that she owned her house when she was lying was to flash an envelope she claimed contained the deed to her house in front of the Skype camera. This was after she’d already “supposedly” gotten it sorted out after her sister had “stolen” it. But she didn’t hold the envelope close enough to the camera so that I could actually read it. Other times, when she *was* telling the truth about something she knew I doubted, she’d photograph an item and send me the picture, or hold it close enough to the camera that it could actually be seen. Flashing the envelope was defensive, meant to convince me of something that was a lie. If she’d owned her house and all her prior ridiculous excuses were the truth, she would have bugled it from the roof tops, “See, I told you! You were wrong about me!” She would have presented hard evidence. She would have been *outraged* that I hadn’t believed her incredible string of “bad luck” in getting the deed to me.

    If you spend any time watching the ID channel, which might be more rightly called Psychopath Central, there often comes the question of lie detector tests. This one, I think, can be a bit complicated to analyze. The results of lie detector tests are not admissible in court generally because they are not deemed to be 100% accurate, and people can do all sorts of things to (try to) obfuscate them. In the famous case of Scott Peterson, who murdered his wife Lacey and their unborn child, Scott refused to take a lie detector test. If *my* wife had gone missing and *I* was innocent, the first thing I’d do would be to beg to take a lie detector test so that the police could eliminate me as a suspect and find the real perpetrator. That’s what most innocent people would do. Lie detector tests are accurate enough that the police can use them to eliminate suspects, and if someone refuses to take the test, they remain on the suspect list. Willingness to take a lie detector test is offensive. Refusing to take a lie detector test is defensive.

    Going back to my saga with my wife, various people would try to warn me about her, and tell me various things she’d done. On the rare occasions that I confronted her, instead of saying, “What!? I didn’t do that!!”, she’d say, “You believe X over your *own* wife?” Defensive vs offensive.

    Because psychopaths lie constantly, when someone begins to smell a rat, psychopaths can’t stand on their own word alone. So they do the next-best thing, and have people vouch for them. This happened to me when my wife put up a dating profile 2 months before we were married. I could plainly see that it was recent. So she got her friend, Nikki, to lie for her — and I’ve debunked that whole lie-on-lie. I’ve mentioned the book “The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities” by McGregor and McGregor. Their studies showed that psychopaths have gathered around them what I call “minions” (the authors call these people “apaths”), people who will lie for them, enable them, cover for them, and do their dirty work. My wife had a whole host of these people. Instead of getting angry at me and outraged that I suspected she was cheating on me, and becoming offensive, she set Nikki on me — defensive.

    Just a few random thoughts on your great question…


    • DogDharma says:

      Sorry, chemire, your question made me think of one of *the* most famous examples of lying, when Bill Clinton said, “I did not have sex with that woman” — referring to Monica Lewinsky. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with your question about offensive versus defensive, but lying itself has not become an interest of mine, after what I’ve been through. The website I referenced included the tip: “A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: ‘I didn’t do it’ instead of ‘I did not do it.’” Clinton’s denial was watched by millions.

      Now sadly, psychopaths will troll survivor blogs, and I’m certain a few are following mine. The crafty ones will try to learn how to refine their mask, and make it harder to detect deception. Some are very good at what they do, which is why public education is so important.


  3. Tela says:

    ‘if her lips are moving she lying’…not only do Psychopaths lie, Narcissist and Sociopaths as well. And since they all suffer with personality disorder’s I suppose the lying is just ONE of the many,many traits they all posses. Sad thing is, when confronted with their lies with positive proof, they then turn that around and attack YOU. Their lies are so multi-layered that sometimes i think even the best FBI or police agent would never figure out what truth(s) are beneath their lies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      Tela, AMEN!! “Multi-layered” is the key word. I got so many lies, I didn’t know which end was up. On different tellings, I would get different versions of the same story. And of course, what they tell one person doesn’t match what they tell a different person — all versions tailored for whatever purpose they have in mind for the person being lied to. My own description for how I felt in the midst of all this was the infamous scene in the movie “The Exorcist” where Linda Blair’s head starts spinning.

      My wife defended and dismissed one lie by saying it was irrelevant because she had forgotten she’d told it!!!

      I don’t make too much distinction between the labels any more — narcissist, psychopath, sociopath. At the root, they are all cut from the same cloth — damaging other people through deceit with no conscience. There may be subtle (or not-so-subtle) differences, but they are all “b-b-b-bad to the bone.”


  4. njncguy says:

    Yikes! Your comments are too close to home. I was married to somehow with a hefty dose of psychopathic traits. And lying WAS a key trait. It’s just amazing how a person who has “talent” in this arena can fool you into believing their lies. Often the most outrageous lie works best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      njncguy, I think their secret glee is telling the most outrageous lies, and laughing when they pull it off. Later on, we feel shame for falling for their shenanigans. Thing is, while just about everybody tells lies at one time or another, most of us don’t do it *on purpose*, to *deceive*, for *gain*, or to *hurt* someone. The social fabric, from interpersonal relationships to international affairs is based on trust, and so normal people had an expectation of trust. The shame is theirs, and they are the aberration. So by “pulling it off,” they haven’t won any brownie points at all.

      Thank you for commenting!


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