Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dudefile# 38 - How Can I Tell If He's Lying

Dear Dude Whisperer,

How do you know if he's lying? I've been known to be a human lie detector, and I can almost always just tell. So I suspect he is not telling me something but of course I'm not going to accost him with "I JUST HAVE A FEELING!" (Or accost him at all. I don’t know what he's lying about, but red flags go up when he's MIA for hours and then says he was taking a nap. Maybe he WAS napping. That's reasonable. But for some reason I'm skeptical.) What are the tell tale signs something's going on that he's keeping from you?


Hi there,

First of all, HLD, the DW hopes your holiday was good and that nobody lied to you about naps or anything else. May there be pie and joy in your holidays to come, and may you not accost any dudes and bum them out.

So. Lying. To answer the general question - there is no foolproof way to tell if a dude is spinning a yarn. Of course, the odds he’s lying increase approximately 972,006 times if he’s trying to get in your pants (6 billion times if he’s trying to get in your pants for The First Time), but you already knew that. Please, tell me all of you already knew that.

Maybe he lies to get out of the house, to watch football, to cheat on you. Maybe he doesn’t lie at all. But here’s the thing. You’re not gonna figure out if he’s lying just from the words that come out of his mouth. A dude lying to get into your thongity thong thong thong might actually momentarily Believe his own line of sh%t just because he wants that sugary muffin goodness of yours so badly. A dude with a boner can say “Yeah, baby. I think it would be great to move in together and buy some floral print sheets,” with a straight face and Sean Penn sincerity. And that can be dangerous for everybody involved.

So here’s your strategy. Pay attention to how the dude behaves, not what he says. Talk, talk, talk, whatever. Blah, blah, words. Dudes value actions about 423 trillion times more than words and have a much harder time lying with their outward behaviors. When the actions and the words don't match up, something's amiss. "I love you," from a dude's mouth is, in many respects, just a sound his mouth made. Like “Sham-poo” or “Fahrvergn├╝gen”. If he doesn't Act like “I love you,” get worried.

Two final brief thoughts. You're right to never accost a dude with, "I just have a feeling." That will give him an instant headache and he will revolt against the next ten ideas you have, no matter what they are. Don't do it. He will “just have a feeling” you’re being a pain in the ass and nothing good will come of it.

The other is- pick your battles. Getting back to your dude specifically, let's suppose he is stretching the truth about napping. But for what purpose? If you think he's using “naptime” to lustily bone half the block, that's one thing. But if you think maybe he just wants to be left alone for awhile, seriously consider letting it slide. The DW came home from a rather un-awesome day at work the other day and as much as he loves the wifey, all he wanted to do was sit still for half an hour and stare at the wall and silently do absolutely nothing. Had nothing to do with her. The DW just needed a minute to have a brain nap and a few deep breaths. If the wifey hadn’t read him perfectly and given him some space, he might well have made up some kind of “I need to check my email” kind of excuse/lie to be in the other room for a minute.

Look, the DW is not saying it's okay for the dude to lie all the time, or for you to lie all the time- just make sure you're not going looking for things to be suspicious about. Maybe when you think you can “just tell”, as you put it, take a minute to examine the facts and behaviors and significance of the situation as closely as your instincts.


the DW

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