If you recognize these 11 signs, you’re dealing with a seasoned liar

We’ve all been deceived before—and it’s one of the most frustrating feelings ever, isn’t it?

Having your sense of trust for a loved one absolutely decimated can quite literally change how you view the world. Worse, it can even make you question yourself and your own judgment.

Most people blame themselves when they get deceived. They ask themselves: how was I stupid enough to trust this person in the first place?

But the thing is, you can never really know how someone will act in the future, no matter how well you think you know them.

Or can you?

Of course, no one can be fully sure about another person’s character, but there are definitely signs of a chronic liar.

Watch out. If you recognize these 11 signs, you’re dealing with a seasoned liar.

1) They have different stories

If someone is constantly changing their stories, then doesn’t it automatically mean that some (if not all) of those stories are fake?

I remember how I first got the hunch that my ex was cheating on me. In the morning, he said he’d go to his friend’s house for the day. When he returned, he was ranting to me about how horrible his boss was during the day.

I’m like: Huh?

It instantly makes you suspicious. After all, they literally lied straight to your face. They either made something up or wanted to hide the truth. 

Even redder flags? If they’re stumbling on their words. That just shows they’re scrambling to make an excuse.

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, is their story incredibly convenient? Is it too good to be true?

Either way, they’re lying to you.

2) Their stories have plot holes

If you really listen to their stories in detail, however, you’ll notice that some details don’t add up. Or they’re overly convenient. 

You’ll get a gut feeling that the story, or at least part of it, is fiction. It’s embellished—if not outright fabricated.

Chronic liars will get good at this, however. They’ll learn how to make up stories that seem perfectly believable and normal. 

But they’re still human. Over the long run, you’ll begin to get that funny feeling that their stories just seem fake.

In fact, the very fact that they always have a story to tell to excuse some unusual event or behavior from their end is suspicious on its own.

3) They immediately get defensive

And, of course, when you confront them about it, they’ll get defensive. 

They’ll vehemently deny it, or they’ll try to gaslight you into thinking that their latest story is the real one. 

They’ll say…

  • …that they were thinking of something else…
  • …or that you misheard them…
  • …or that you misinterpreted what they said…

After all, the only way they can cover up their lies is with other lies.

Pay attention to their body language, too. They might roll their eyes, cross their arms, or even just walk away. Sometimes, the best they can do is to avoid the subject altogether.

4) They over-explain themselves

Part of their defensiveness tends to manifest in how they over-explain themselves. They keep repeating the same talking points and delve into unnecessary detail.


Because, as said, they get defensive and want to have the final say on things. They want to make sure that they believe them. 

Or, even if you don’t believe them, they make you question if you’re being illogical for not believing them.

Either that or they’re trying to come up with an extremely convenient fabrication to tell you. They need a story that makes complete sense and explains their weird actions. They over-explain so that you don’t find any holes in what they’re saying. 

Ironically, the more elaborate and convoluted they make the stories, the less believable they actually become.

5) They avoid silence

Another reason they talk on and on about it is to avoid silence.

After all, if you’re silent, then it shows that you’re beginning to doubt them—that you’re no longer buying their lies and stories.

This rattles the liar and sends them into panic mode. They’ll begin to talk really quickly or add or change their stories abruptly.

After all, we all have a conscience, don’t we? Even the most seasoned liars still feel a bit nervous when lying. And when their cover is blown, they begin to feel frustrated. 

Telling the truth, on the other hand, is easy. No one would be so on edge when telling the truth.

So if you think someone is lying to you, try to stay silent. 

Are they unaffected? They’re probably telling the truth and have nothing to hide.

But if they get flustered…

6) They use preemptive language

pic1735 If you recognize these 11 signs, you’re dealing with a seasoned liar

Does the person in question use phrases like these?

  • “To my knowledge…”
  • “As far as I know…”
  • “From how I understood it…”
  • “Maybe I’m wrong, but…”

These preemptive phrases and qualifiers create room for this person to backpedal, deny, or gaslight you if you catch on to their scheming. 

For example, if you challenge the validity of their story, they can avoid responsibility for it by implying that they don’t know the whole truth (even if they probably do).

They use these phrases to avoid direct confrontation or to hide some parts of the truth. It can be easy to not notice such phrases, so always pay attention to how people word things.

7) They have a back-up excuse

Really crafty liars have elaborate plans to put up a lie. This means that they have an excuse ready in case you catch them in the act.

No matter the situation, they will always have an explanation for why things aren’t their fault or why they follow through on their words.

Now, unexpected stuff does happen to everyone. But for some reason—for some super suspicious reason—it always happens to this person.

And it always makes this person unable to do what they said they would do.

Kind of convenient, huh?

  • They forgot to submit their requirements? Their laptop broke.
  • They showed up late? The traffic was heavy this morning. (As if it typically isn’t?)
  • They forgot to buy the thing you asked them to buy? They saw Michael Jackson!

Of course, these are just extremes meant to display the absurdity they are willing to go to. And boy, can they get crafty.

8) They always agree with you

Now, this one’s a bit iffy. One might assume that someone who typically agrees with you is on your side. And often enough, that’s just the case: you’re simply like-minded.

However, some liars do this as some form of reverse psychology. By agreeing with you all the time, they lull you into a false sense of security. They earn your trust and use it to cover up their lies.

Sometimes, they even interrupt your sentence to express their approval.

“Yeah, absolutely!” they’ll chirp in before you even make your point.

When this happens, it’s usually them trying to end the discussion before it gets deeper.

After all, the quicker they agree, the less need you’ll feel to explain yourself. The less time you have to think about what they just said.

It’s essentially an avoidance tactic.

8) They distance themselves physically

No matter how much someone lies, their body language can still betray them at times. 

Human beings will naturally feel uncomfortable when lying. Their bodies will tend to shrink, effectively distancing themselves from other people. 

Sometimes, these liars also harbor immense amounts of insecurity, anxiety, or resentment, making them hate all sorts of interaction or contact. 

It’s also a way for them to consistently keep their guard up. Getting too chummy might make them unconsciously reveal their secrets.

If they avoid hugs or handshakes, it might be a sign. 

Watch out if they’re avoiding eye contact, too—or if they’re constantly changing what they’re looking at. They’re probably trying to make up something on the spot.

9) They fidget a lot

Another non-verbal sign of lying is fidgeting. It’s another way the body expresses discomfort or anxiety.

Think back to your childhood. Whenever you would lie to your parents, you were probably:

  • rubbing your elbow;
  • tapping your feet;
  • playing with a small object in your hands;
  • Or tugging at your shirt.

It’s really no different as adults. We do learn to hide it more often, but it will still inevitably show.

So, pay attention to their body as much as their words.

10) They’re way too calm

But look out for expert liars. They know that people who are lying would tend to be nervous and jittery and all.

So what do they do? They try to do the exact opposite. They want to appear as calm as possible.

However, this can come off as unnatural, especially when you’re talking about relatively serious or heated topics. 

After all, even someone telling the truth would be a bit rattled if the subject in discussion is sensitive or shocking. 

So by acting too natural, they’re overcompensating—and blowing their cover.

To sum up

Now, it’s important to note that different people will lie in different ways. The points listed in this article are just the signs you might be dealing with a seasonal liar. They’re not laws of nature.

So before rushing to conclude that someone is lying, seriously consider what constitutes normal behavior for the person in question.

For example, someone just might naturally be more anxious. Or they just may naturally be more verbose than most people. These behaviors don’t always or necessarily indicate untruthfulness. 

It’s important to consider the larger picture and their regular behavioral patterns before labeling someone as a liar. Another thing to note is what they may potentially gain from lying. No one really lies unless they can get something out of it.

Still, it’s good to know these things in order to protect yourself from being deceived or manipulated

So if you think someone is suspicious, it’s better to play it safe and take their words with a huge—and we mean huge—grain of salt.

Picture of Anna Dovbysh

Anna Dovbysh

With 8 years of writing experience and a deep interest in psychology, relationship advice, and spirituality, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting self-development topics and share some life advice. She's got a Master's Degree in International Information and is a life-long learner of writing and storytelling. In the past, she worked on a radio station and a TV channel as a journalist and even tought English in Cambodia to local kids. Currently, she's freelancing and traveling around the globe, exploring new places, and getting inspired by the people she meets and the stories they tell. Subscribe to her posts and get in touch with her on her social media: Facebook & LinkedIn

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