Honesty is one of the most important qualities a person should hold. An honest person is one who can be upfront about who they are, what they have done, and what they plan to do in the future. When a person is honest with you, it's sincere and fairly easy to recognize. Here are ways to determine if a person is being honest with you so that you can decipher the truth from lies and never feel that your being patronized.
Check a person's body language to know if they are being honest with you. When a person is telling the truth, their body language says it all. They are not afraid to look you in the eyes, stand close to you, keep their body leaned toward you, and/or remain calm. A person who is lying tends to act nervous, look everywhere but at your face, keep his body distanced from yours, and/or makes little anxious movements with his body. Speaking the truth should be easy for most people, if they are being honest with you. When someone is not being truthful, you can see it in the way they move their body. Pay attention the next time you want the truth from someone. See how they react to having to be honest with you. If they appear relaxed, focused on you, and sincere, they are probably telling you the truth.
A person who is being honest does not give excuses or make lengthy conversation when asked the truth. An honest person will get right to the point and tell it like it is. Someone who is lying to you will give you a long version of what should be a short answer. For example, if you ask your partner what he was last night and he quickly and easily responds that he went to a movie with his guy friends, he is probably telling you the truth. However, if your partner responds with a long answer such as 'well, my mom wanted me to help paint the bathroom, then I decided to get some dinner at this restaurant, and then my friends called to hang out and play basketball, but instead I decided to rent a movie and stay home, and then I fell asleep so I didn't get your call'. Chances are, he is not being honest. A truthful answer will come out with ease and no added explanations. A lie is something that people fabricate so they give a long drawn out story to make it seem real. A person who is being honest just gets straight to the point when asked a question.
Avoidance is a main characteristic of someone who is not being honest with you. When someone is telling a lie, they will try to avoid the topic when asked again. This is because they know that they will never be able to come up with the same response they originally gave you the first time without getting caught in a lie. No one wants to answer or elaborate on a question that was asked once if they were lying. A person who is being honest, however, will give you the same exact story they gave the first time you asked the question. There will be no hesitation, no avoidance, and no problem in explaining the same thing again. If a person is avoiding your question a second time or unwilling to talk about it, they are probably not being honest with you. Try and ask someone again about something you are concerned they are lying about. For example, if you don't believe your son really stayed at a friend's house last night and you asked him this question earlier...ask it again. See he comes up with the same response that he did the first time, or if he avoids your question and changes the subject. You may find that he is indeed being honest with you, but you may also find out that he has been lying.
Are small details of the same story being altered a bit? When a person is not being honest with you, the story they tell changes slightly overtime. This could be little bits of information that don't really matter or larger things. Listen to a person as they attempt to tell you the same story again at a later time. If you find that he or she is altering the story a bit, leaving out details, or adding new things to the original story that they didn't say before, he or she may be lying to you. Try to remember details from the first story they gave you. If you find that most everything checks out the next time, you're probably being told the truth. However, if something in the story is changing or the person says they can't remember, then chances are they are not being honest with you. Sometimes people really are not sure about tiny little details and this is okay...it doesn't necessarily mean they are lying. But, when certain important things in the story change or a lot of small details are altered, you're most likely not getting the whole truth. Pay close attention to the answers you get and you'll usually be able to tell if a person is being honest with you.
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