How to confront someone when you believe they are deceiving you

Written by remy lo
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How to confront someone when you believe they are deceiving you
Speaking Lies (lie or not lie? image by Slyadnyev Oleksandr from

Deception paints a picture that is intended to draw you in and keep you mystified. All too often this is a normal part of relationships and friendships in life, but when a little white lie turns into a constant game then that is when it is time for you to draw the line. When it seems someone is deceiving you, diving right in and calling them a liar will only make the situation worse. To properly confront someone you believe is telling tales, you have to prepare and approach the situation systematically.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Gather the facts on the situation. Checking into the situation doesn't make you nosy, it makes you intelligent. If you are sick of hearing lies and having to deal with constant deception, finding out the truth will give you a solid basis on which to build an approach. You will also have the security of being right in your desire to confront the person about their deceptive ways.

  2. 2

    Practice your approach. Approaching a liar can be a volatile act if you aren't prepared. Often, liars become extremely defensive and agitated. To lower the chance of this reaction, practice talking about the situation in a controlled manner without injecting much negative or positive emotion. Remain calm and speak clearly so that the person you confront doesn't have much chance to misunderstand you, which is a common tactic to change the subject matter.

  3. 3

    Prepare your comments. Try and keep the person calm and at ease by focusing on your feelings. Try using phrases such as "I feel" or "I'm concerned about" instead of "I know you" or "Why are you". This will help place emphasis on your emotions rather than put the liar on the spot. Avoid attacking or blaming at all costs as this will not generate the desired response or an apology, in most situations.

  4. 4

    Meet in private. Having the conversation out in the open will embarrass a liar more than is necessary. If you do this you can turn the heat up in the confrontation unnecessarily and cause them to become defensive, feel cornered and, in some instances, become violent. Confront them in a private area where you can be alone or, if necessary, around very close friends or relatives.

  5. 5

    Avoid being judgemental. To garner the best results, be as neutral and open as possible. This will help take the pressure off the liar so they can offer up truth willingly. Pressure may be the reason they lied in the first place so adding more may only lead to further and compulsive lies.

Tips and warnings

  • Think about how you would wish to be approached if you had to be in this situation and use it as a guide when thinking about confronting someone else.

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