12 Types of Lies and Deception

12 Types of Lies and Deception

“Everyone has a right to their own opinion,

but not to their own facts.”

—Ricky Gervais

Abusive people often lie or use any of a dozen methods of distorting the truth to meet their self-centered objectives. Some times the liar is a friend, family member, co-worker, boss, person in power, or romantic partner. 


Why do people lie?

Lies and deceptions may be used by an abusive person to:
  • cover their tracks,
  • create an illusion,
  • distract from reality,
  • make themself look good or someone else look bad,
  • garner sympathy or advantage, 
  • alter another person's perception of the situation, or
  • to give false impressions to other people about themself or someone else.

Distortions of the truth may also be used as a source of fun. Some people enjoy the game of pulling the wool over other people’s eyes. Not telling the truth makes them feel powerful. It’s exhilarating.


Example of a Master Liar

This man's wife was a master liar:

After a man separated from his wife, he “kept unveiling deeper levels of deception.”

His wife lied at the beginning of their relationship as she was wooing him.

He was taken in by her stories at the time, but would discover much later that they were exaggerations and distortions.

During their marriage, she would often go on and on about how bad people are who cheat on their spouses, while, in reality, she was cheating on him.

She moved money into a bank account that he didn’t know about until forensic accounting discovered it during the divorce.

These deceits were just the tip of the iceberg.

Abuse OF Men By Women book, abusive women, abused men, Manipulative Controlling Women, Emotionally Abusive Wife or Girlfriend

12 Types of Lies and Deceptions 

How can you tell when someone is lying? Even worse, how can you tell if someone you love is lying to you? First: increase your lie-spotting capabilities by learning that there is more than one way to lie. 

People have different ways of not telling the truth:

  1. pretending they are someone they are not
  2. creating a cover story
  3. “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”
  4. burying the lead
  5. telling half-truths
  6. diverting
  7. minimizing
  8. exaggerating
  9. denying the truth
  10. withholding information
  11. selective memory
  12. straight-up lying

    12 Types of Lies and Deception, Lies and Deceit, Not Telling the Truth


      What it Looks Like When a Liar Lies

      1. Pretending they are someone they are not

      They weave stories that present themselves as someone very different than reality in order to hook the listener or hide their true self.

      2. Creating a cover story

      They present a story about their whereabouts/actions or someone else’s actions with the goal of preempting doubts or concerns someone may have about them.


      3. “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”

      They go out of their way to talk about how abhorrent a particular behavior is while they are secretly doing that same thing.


      4. Burying the lead

      They disclose that they have done something not-good but it’s said quietly, when the hearer is distracted, or buried in amongst other information; then they can safely assume the person won’t hear it, but they can say they said it.


      5. Telling half-truths

      They say things that are partially true with a flair and twist, leading the hearer to draw conclusions that aren’t true.


      6. Diverting

      They change the subject when someone is honing in on something they don’t want them to know.


      7. Minimizing

      They minimize their wrongdoing to make it seem less important or “bad” than it really is, and/or they minimize someone else's accomplishments and attributes to make the other person seem less “good.”


      8. Exaggerating

      They exaggerate their accomplishments, contributions, abilities . . ., and/or they exaggerate another person's shortcomings.


      9. Denying the truth

      They claim that that which is true—is false.


      10. Withholding information

      They lie by omission rather than commission.


      11. Selective memory

      They claim that conversations or events that happened didn’t happen.


      12. Straight-up lying

      As one woman described her husband: “If his lips are moving, he’s lying.”


      For More About Partner Abuse, Check Out My Books

      A quick look at Spousal Abuse: A Concise Overview of Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, and the 5 Other Forms of Partner Abuse in Straight and LGBTQ Relationships

      A quick look at Abuse OF Men BY Women: A Concise Overview of Domestic Violence, Emotional Abuse, and the 5 Other Forms of Female on Male Spousal Abuse

      Abuse OF Men By Women book, abusive women, abused men, Manipulative Controlling Women, Emotionally Abusive Wife or Girlfriend

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      • Ann Silvers
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