There is perhaps nothing more irritating, while in conversation with another person, than when you discover that they are not telling the truth. Interestingly enough, people lie in a huge variety of situations, from the cheating partner, to the boss who wants to appear like they are taking care of business, to the child who did something wrong.
However, there are some strategies that you can use to get people to tell the truth to you.
1. Above all, stay calm when you first discover someone not telling you the truth
Most people do feel betrayed and become upset when they discover someone not telling them the truth. It’s normal to feel this way. But the worst thing you can do in a situation like this is to lose control of yourself and your reactions, no matter how badly you want to correct it right then and there.
However, the best thing to do is to continue listening and make mental notes of what the other is saying for future use.
2. Confront them about the truth at the right time
To get someone to tell the truth requires some strategy, especially involving timing. Moreover, when people are not telling the truth there is often a litter of small mis-truths supporting the one they are telling you. It’s these small mis-truths that can help you zero in on the truth you are wanting from the person you are talking to.
When the opportunity presents itself, confront the individual about the truths you know. Point out the little mis-truths you have heard, guiding the conversation to the truth you are seeking.
However, many people who don’t speak the truth will defend their ground with rationalization, so it at leasts makes sense to them and they can feel comfortable with themselves. Be prepared for this.
3. Gather supporting evidence
This is important in order to show the person who is not speaking the truth that you know they are lying. It’s easier for a person to be untruthful if there isn’t any evidence to the contrary.
The more facts and evidence you can present to them the more difficult it becomes for them to deny the truth. Most people, when faced with the evidence, will come clean with the truth.
3. Get the other person to look you in the eye when they are answering you
People’s eyes often speak the truth, even when they don’t want them to. If someone can’t look you in the eyes when you ask them specific questions about their truthfulness it’s a good indication that they are not being truthful with you.
One good way to break through their lies is to encourage them to look you in the eyes when they speak. This technique can prove very effective with trying to get the truth from a child, in particular.
4. Involve a third party to confront the person who is not telling the truth
This is not about ganging up on the person who is not telling the truth. But it is about bringing in a third party who is aware of the situation. Talk to that third party and recruit their assistance. Concerned third parties can be an invaluable help in getting the truth from someone.
5. Appreciate why people might lie
People usually lie out of fear of telling the truth to you. Therefore, you need to put their fears to rest, to some extent.
Tell them how you can work things through if the situation is actually B (what you suspect), rather than A (what they are telling you). Let them know that the worst case scenario is to lie, and that if you know the truth, you can work with them to resolve the situation.
How to get someone to tell the truth is a challenge. It requires you to listen, make note of discrepancies, and confront that person who is not telling the truth to you. Follow those tips to get people to tell the truth.