13 Sure-Shot Signs Someone Is Lying To You Over Text

Online Dating | | , Copywriter & Writer
Updated On: April 11, 2024
how to tell if someone is lying over text

There is nothing more fascinating than the look on a liar’s face when they’re caught red-handed. The blood drains from their cheeks, they begin flustering and backtracking and start with half-baked attempts to cover up their folly. Alas, none of these tell-tale markers are evident in a virtual setting, which is why it takes a maestro to catch a lie in our digital world. So, how to tell if someone is lying over text?

Lying over text is easier. In fact, research points out that people lied more often during online conversations, as compared to face-to-face interactions. In the absence of body language signs and speech patterns, how can you determine the authenticity of the other’s claims? We’re putting this conundrum to rest with 13 surefire signs someone is lying to you over text. Be it a friend, partner, or family member, nobody will get away with lying to you over texts. Get ready for a masterclass in digital lie detection – the text message lies end NOW!

13 Sure-Shot Signs Someone Is Lying To You Over Text

You’ve got a hunch, don’t you? Your fellow texter has their pants on fire and you just can’t shake this feeling. If only there was a way to confirm your intuition… Well, there is. To be precise, there are 13 ways to tell if someone is lying to you over text. We understand that you need more than a gut feeling to call out dishonesty in relationships. And hence, we’ve identified certain tell-tales of text message lies. Using our list as a blueprint, you can even trick someone into telling the truth over text.

However, we insist that you don’t go around accusing people of lying because of a faint resonance in their behavior and these signs. Please take the time and effort to be certain of your assertions. A careful perusal of this list will tell you all that you need to know. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it – how to tell if someone is lying over text instantly? 

1. It’s complicated

Hail the wise words of Benedict Cumberbatch in and as Sherlock – “Only lies have detail.” If someone is lying to you over text, their responses will be unnecessarily elaborate. For instance, you ask them where they are. A usual response would be short and straightforward. But a liar’s text would read something like this: 

“I was at home around 12:15 but decided to get some fresh air and stepped out of the house. Ran into a really cute dog btw and walked all the way to Michelle’s place. Her parents are out of town for a wedding and she insisted I stay for a snack. So, we had popcorn and now I’m about to leave again.” Not only is this response out of sync with your not-so-complicated question, but it is also painfully detailed.

How to tell if someone is lying about cheating over text? Well, liars can be great storytellers. They will paint an elaborate picture and envelop you in the little details, to weave together a believable story. They will describe everything so minutely that it becomes unfathomable to you that they could lie in such great detail. 

On the other hand, some cheaters get really vague about details in an attempt to hide their lies. They may evade questions or change the subject. How to tell if a girl is lying over text? Her getting defensive on questions like “Where have you been?”, could be one of the signs.

Related Reading: Sending The First Message On A Dating App – 23 Texts For That Perfect Start

2. Oh-so-sweet

How to tell if someone is lying about cheating over text? All of a sudden, you notice they’re saying “I love you” more often or sending you cheesy texts. This is one of the ways most affairs are discovered. Sometimes, owing to guilt, a person behaves more affectionately to make up for his/her lies. Their texting style changes completely.

The expression we’re looking for is buttering up. Most liars fear getting caught and will take some preventive measures to stop you from digging further. One such measure is paying compliments. “Your display picture is just fabulous” or “You’re literally the funniest person I know” are not genuine compliments; they’re a strategy to win your confidence and distract you at the same time.

Spotting random compliments is how to tell if someone is lying over text. Nine times out of ten, these sweet nothings will be delivered when you’re getting closer to asking questions or right at the beginning of the conversation. Don’t make the mistake of getting flattered – eyes on the truth at all times, please.

3. Répondez s’il vous plaît  

According to studies, there are four components of deception. The first one is activation. To lie, a person has to leave out details or make something up to sound believable. And due to this “cognitive load”, they can’t respond automatically. They take a minute or two to figure out what to say.

If someone is lying over the phone, you’ll be put on hold at some pretext while they get their story straight. The same goes for text message lies. You cannot expect quick answers. The response time will be longer while the person formulates their answer carefully. Say your text was delivered at 5:20 pm. They will answer by 5:24 – a significantly long time in the world of speedy double texting.

Chances are, you’ll have to ping a “???” or “You there?” to hurry them along the way. Longer response times are a dead giveaway. Observe the reply pattern for 3-4 texts and you’ll grasp if something’s fishy. (This is how to know if someone is lying to you online in 10 minutes flat!)

4. How to tell if someone is lying over text? Losing the plot

No matter how hard the liar tries, there will be a few holes in their plot. Inconsistencies are a great way to tell if a guy is lying over text. Changes in details or messing up the order of events are common mistakes. If this individual suffers from poor memory, they’re bound to get caught in no time. Lying isn’t sustainable because the house of cards collapses at some point.

You can also ascertain if someone is lying to you over text through ‘tense hopping’. Since their story is a fabrication, they’ll get confused with the tense of the incident. You will find it difficult to keep a track of the personal pronouns used. Here’s a sample text from a cheating boyfriend: “She was the one who made a move on me. I am just sitting there, doing nothing and she climbs into my lap. It made me really uncomfortable and I will tell her to stop.”

text message lies
How to tell if someone is lying over text?

5. Gtg, brb

If you want to know if you have been lied to over text, see how they terminate the conversation suddenly. If your texts are venturing toward an uncomfortable topic that will reveal their lies, the texter will try to extricate themselves ASAP. It could be on the pretext of an emergency or the phone battery running out. You’ll get a speedy goodbye, and poof, they’re gone!

Most lying texters adopt this tactic when they sense you on their trail. In fact, they might avoid you for a while until the dust settles on your suspicions. Escapist tendencies are usually an indicator of serious lies like infidelity or addiction. Be sure to pick up the conversation from where they ghosted you – don’t let it slide!

6. Nothing in particular

It is a unique paradox but abstraction is as much a sign of lying as details are. If you want to trick someone into telling the truth over text, ask them oddly specific things like “What did you order at the restaurant?” or “How did you get back home?” Their answer will probably be as vague and unclear as possible. 

Be on the lookout for phrases like “not much”, “can’t really remember” or “you know, the usual” because they will appear commonly. Your success rate will increase significantly if you can take them by surprise with your questions. Text message lies are easy to identify when you know what you’re looking for.

Related Reading: The Dangers Of Online Dating In 2022 And How To Avoid Them

7. Switching it up 

This is one of the most obvious signs that can help you figure out if someone is lying over the phone; they will change topics swiftly. Remember a thumb rule – liars hate dwelling on their lies. They panic when you hover around the subject and make every possible effort to divert your attention. And there are smart ways of doing it.

Take a look at these new conversation starters: “OMG I completely forgot to mention…” “Before I forget, let me tell you…” “Hey, wait just a sec. Did you hear what happened yesterday?” The surprise element will always distract you from the matter at hand and the liar will heave a sigh of relief. Don’t take the bait and stick to the original topic – that’s how to tell if someone is lying over text.

8. How the turntables  

Remember this iconic dialogue by Michael Scott in The Office, right? When you get too close to the truth, the liar will pull a UNO reverse card. They will engage in blame-shifting and accuse you of lying instead. A completely futile exercise, yes. We know. Your response will also be one of bafflement and anger. But in this chaos, the liar will succeed in shifting your attention yet again.

A lying partner will make you feel that there is something wrong with you. Or will accuse you of being paranoid. What words do liars use? They say things like, “It’s unbelievable! Why are you being so insecure? Why can’t you just trust me?” They will make it all about ‘you’ and will start questioning your sanity. They will manipulate you to such an extent that you will start doubting yourself.

They might also play the victim and accuse you of making them feel bad. In a nutshell, gaslighting tactics are the liar’s tools. Pointing the finger at you is just proof that they’re in the wrong. Be wary of this and don’t get outraged. Think critically and calmly – this is how to know if someone is lying to you in 10 minutes.

9. Trust me, okay? 

Are you being lied to by your girlfriend? Look at the qualifying sentences she uses. In an attempt to reinforce the lie, the texter will rely on phrases like “believe me”, “trust me”, “I swear” and so on. This will work to a certain extent in lending credibility to the lies but there will come a point where you’ll notice the redundancy of these expressions.

Qualifying phrases are a strong indicator of shady business because they come from a place of desperation/fear. The liar probably has texting anxiety and is trying to rein it through reassuring statements. Someone is lying to you over text if every alternate message starts with “trust me”. 

10. On the defensive

This is quite predictable. If you’re asking questions back-to-back (in an attempt to trick someone into telling the truth over text), they will get defensive. The liar isn’t stupid or naïve; they know you’re onto them. Their simplest response is taking offense – “What are you trying to imply?” or “Why are you accusing me?”

Similarly, a liar may justify themselves through excessive explanations. Defensive behavior also involves refusing to listen and changing the subject (like we discussed earlier.) Your key takeaway should be approaching the lies subtly and smartly. Hostility and aggression will get you nowhere when someone is lying to you in the relationship.

Stories about online dating

11. New phone, who dis? 

When people lie over apps, their texting style changes and becomes almost unrecognizable. Sudden abbreviations, extra emojis, descriptive sentences, or panic-fueled voice notes make appearances in the chat. You become confused and begin to wonder if the person texting you is really who you think they are.

Well, how to tell if someone is lying over text? Think of how we notice changes in speech or volume in person. They help us detect a lie because we recognize the change in the person. The same goes for texts and dishonesty. If your fellow texter isn’t being themselves, it’s a red flag for sure. Whoever says, “Hahaha lmao”, like a weirdo?

12. Playing on loop – How to know if someone is lying to you in 10 minutes

You will eventually find it all in the patterns. Repetitive statements/details/phrases are how to tell if someone is lying over text. Certain things recur when people make an ultra-conscious attempt at getting their story straight. For instance, your girlfriend lied about meeting an ex. She said she was with a friend at the bar. 

What words do liars use? A few details will keep reappearing in her story. “Stacy got so drunk last night.” “Did I tell you how drunk Stacy was?” “Stacy really can’t handle her alcohol.” This game of active voice-passive voice will be the tell-tale you’re looking for. A recurrence screams “BELIEVE ME!” when someone is lying to you over text.

13. Verification Error 404

There are two ways verifications can go. One, you verify the lie yourself and realize its inauthenticity. And two, where the liar insists upon verification because they have staged something beforehand. If they said they were out with friends, their pals will back them up when you crosscheck.

Related Reading: How To Confront A Cheater – 11 Expert Tips

How to tell if someone is lying over text? Look for statements like “You can ask Jason, he’ll tell you” or “Mark would say the same” during your conversation. Because whose friends wouldn’t follow through with the story? Like, duh. You’ll be able to tell if a guy is lying over text pretty quickly through such pseudo-verifications.

Key Pointers

  • The stories of liars are painfully detailed
  • The compliments they throw are not genuine at all
  • Their replies are slow and plots inconsistent
  • They disappear suddenly or distract you from the original topic
  • They may gaslight you or even beg you to trust them
  • They get defensive easily and use repetitive phrases

The guilt of betraying and the trauma of being betrayed cause a lot of emotional damage. To heal from it and regain trust can be an uphill task that may require professional help. Our counselors from Bonobology’s panel can aid you with this. Feel free to reach out to them. And thus, we come to the end of these marvelous detectors of text message lies. You are equipped with the requisite tools to identify if someone is lying to you over text. Be sure to savor the moment thoroughly and thank us for our mini-guidebook. May the truth always prevail on your chatting apps!

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