Knowing you’ve been lied to is a really shitty feeling. *Feeling* like you’ve been lied to, however, can be even worse. A combination — suspecting that someone is lying to you, and then finding out that you’re right– is usually the beginning of the end, because it casts doubt on both past and future exchanges.
Women are savvy social detectives, and most of us hate nothing more than when a male partner lies. In particular, we hate it when they lie, leave us suspicious, and make us drag out the issue for days or weeks until we finally uncovering the truth. Which, fellas, we will. We will get to the truth.
I’m all about trust and honesty in relationships, but realistically, all men hide things from a sigO at one point or another–for their sake, for our sake, for the sake of peace across humanity. So, today’s message is this:
Men, it’s your job to be as honest as possible in relationships, but in the event of any dishonesty, it’s also your job to be as convincing as hell.
Have the courtesy to save your spouse the angst of wondering what’s up and the itch to go all Sherlock Holmes on your cell. Instead, get it right the first time, and make like that Dexter fellow and cover your tracks. (Again, the point of this isn’t to advocate lying, only to minimize the damage already being done if you do decide to fib.) Men seem to consistently fail at pulling off smooth untruths, though, so here are a few tips and tricks from the other, extremely observant side:
7 WAYS TO (BETTER) HIDE THOSE LIES
- If confronted on an issue, act confused, at least briefly.
When your SO starts poking around a topic, an emphatic reaction right off the bat is a clue that you already know something’s up. Guilty parties almost always mentally prep for the “what if” of getting caught, and then tend to come out of the gates in full-blown argument mode. To women, immediate and forceful denial indicates you’ve been preparing for an accusation to come your way. By simply saying, “Wait, what?” or “Um, no… why?” you’re establishing that you’ve never even considered the issue. Because you’ve got a clear conscious, right?
- Avoid behaviors that gave you away in the past.
When we spend time with a romantic partner, we start to notice patterns in their behavior. The way they act around certain groups of people, the way they handle stress, what they do when they’re excited, and often enough, the mannerisms that show up when they’re telling a lie. With the last one, it will take a while before we see the consistencies (unless you’re a pathological liar), but most people in LTRs eventually get a sense for the “signs.” She’ll likely mention them when calling you out, e.g. “You always do ____ when you’re lying!”, so make a mental note and *avoid* repeating these mannerisms.
It took three years, but I finally noticed one key thing my ex did when he wasn’t being totally honest: Say that I was “being ridiculous” over and over again. Interestingly, later I read that this wasn’t specific to him, and the phrase “You’re ridiculous” is a common tactic men use when lying to a woman. So, watch out for that one!
- Do something while you talk.
Empty the dishwasher, check your emails, anything that keeps your hands busy and requires your line of vision be directed elsewhere. This also helps cover up the sketchy “tells” that come with lying, like making too much eye contact (or too little), or fidgeting nervously with your hands.
- Give yourself time, and get as much information as you can before you give any in return.
Women love a surprise attack, and will try to corner you by concealing what they know. When confronted, ask why they’re asking. She might say, “Oh no reason…” but if she’s fishing, she’ll be distracted by her own train of thought. If you press on, she’ll eventually tell you what roused her suspicion, and you should use that info to avoid poking any more holes in your story. Also, even if you already know why she’s asking, making her talk gives you time to think — and time to get started doing some dishes.
- Remember Occam’s Razor
In scientific and medical spheres, clinicians are taught to remember something called Occam’s razor, a principle that (loosely translated) states that the simplest explanation is often the right one.
When guys know they’re going to get the third degree, like after a 3am night at The Gentleman’s Cabaret, they think up really intricate explanations about where/what/when/why. But, if your story starts with, “Babe, you’re probably not going to believe this…” then it’s already on the wrong track.
Before you start explaining about circus troops and alien abductions, think simple: If you *were* telling the truth (e.g. weren’t trying to cover up a night of getting grinded on by some chick in pasties), what would the explanation be? Work? Traffic? Beers with the guys? Don’t set up an unusual scenario unless you want your SO to keep asking questions.
- Find some way to qualify your claims.
Sometimes the best way to get someone to stop hounding you is just saying, “Well, check if you don’t believe me” or “Call Dave and ask him yourself if you think I’m lying.” Most of the time, no one will follow-up on this (unless they’re really convinced you’re full of it, in which case it might be time to come clean).
Before offering up drastic measures like getting a friend to vouch for you, though, another option is to make sure some proof is available just by “coincidence.” A pack of matches from the Mexican restaurant you were supposedly at, notes from a major assignment you were working on past midnight. The more subtle the presentation the better. She’ll notice the stuff you just left lying around, and if you play it right, not even bother questioning your story.
- Stay calm throughout the discussion, with a hint of concerned confusion or if necessary, mild annoyance.
When it gets to the point where she straight-up asks if you’re lying about something–and you are– whatever you do, Don’t. Get. Angry. If you return the attack, or get super flustered, we know we’re onto something. (There are a few caveats to this, like if it’s an issue that’s been rehashed a million times. Then it’s okay to be a little pissy.) In general, getting overly emotional and defensive shows that you’re freaking out internally, and we want to figure out just what you’re scared of revealing.
All this is enough to get you out of a small hiccup, but remember, the bigger the lie, the harder you’ll fall.
Honesty is the best policy, but if you’re hell-bent on hiding the truth, at least do it well.