How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

How to Deal with a Spouse Who is ALWAYS Right

Few things are more frustrating than having a conversation with someone who thinks they’re always right—especially because that means that they also think you’re always wrong. But it’s even worse when it’s your spouse who thinks they’re always right. No matter how much you try to get them to see your point of view, nothing changes. But you have more choices than to continue putting up with it or heading for divorce court. Here are some strategies to try first.

Seek Marriage Counseling

Seeing a marriage counselor gives you a second opinion from an impartial third party. This will be helpful because many people with spouses who are perpetually right begin to distrust their own perceptions. It’s crucial to understand it’s simply not possible for you to always be wrong. In a safe, therapeutic environment, you may be reassured by the opinion of a trained, outside observer that you’re not always wrong.

Your spouse may also get the message that they aren’t always right, though it may take time for them to listen to and acknowledge that fact. While you can’t change your spouse’s beliefs, you can learn how to deal with their behavior. An experienced, local marriage counselor in Houston can help you learn effective coping techniques.

Decide Not to Engage Your Partner’s Ego

You don’t want to argue with someone who is always right!

Understand, when you have a spouse who insists that they are always correct, legitimate, or reasonable, they’re setting you up for debate. After all, the goal is to demonstrate that you are wrong in contrast to their opinions or actions, not that your position is another valid perspective. In fact, they may lack the skill to consider perspectives other than their own or simply have a high need to be in control. The good news? You don’t have to play along.

Be inquisitive, open to discussion, and politely receptive to your partner’s point of view. But remain self-aware. Do you feel inadequate or voiceless? Check in with yourself often when you interact with your spouse. The truth is, even if you’re 100 percent certain that your answer is correct, your spouse isn’t likely to admit that you’re actually right or even have a good point. Why?

Because his or her desire to be “always right” is about their own ego, not about proving objective facts. It’s a way of protecting their own insecurity and self-doubt. It’s a losing battle to engage in a debate.

Maintain Your Calm

Recognize that you can choose to breathe and maintain your own sense of calm when your partner insists they have all the answers. Most of all, keep in mind that you are always in control of your own reaction. You can decide to respond without reacting emotionally, or shutting down, or getting into another argument.

Weigh your options for disengagement. Verbally exit the conversation or physically remove yourself if things escalate. You may even want to let your partner know that communication has reached a point that you feel an objective party will need to help you disrupt this unproductive pattern going forward.

What is your relationship attachment style? Take this quiz and find out.

Set Boundaries to Signal the Required Respect & Honor Your Connection

Is your partner trying to control you? Maybe. Or maybe their behavior has nothing to do with you at all (most likely it has to do with deeply ingrained patterns they have developed to protect their ego). Work with a couples counselor can help you dig deeper into the dynamics between you.

Revisit the conversation after some time has passed and you have both cooled off. Draw your partner’s attention to the interaction and firmly refuse to accept such treatment. This isn’t a power grab or an opportunity to argue your point. Be careful of engaging in a blame game of your own. Your goal is to simply preserve your own integrity, share your feelings – how their behavior impacts you – ask for what you need instead, and prioritize your relationship. Be respectful in how you communicate and model the behavior you are seeking. Learn more about relationship boundaries.

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrongLet your partner know you love them and are willing to engage in a caring and compassionate way. If your partner then changes course and communicates respectfully, feel free to continue the conversation with the intention of mutual sharing and understanding.

If not, it’s perfectly okay to let your spouse know that the conversation can only resume when you can both be heard. Likely, they will continue to impose their opinion upon you, since most people with this issue don’t like it when they lose the upper hand. You are well within your rights to stand your ground and agree to disagree. You don’t have to defend yourself, continue to prove your partner wrong, dishonestly agree, or yield to their control.

In fact, simply taking a break once conversations become one-sided or argumentative can prevent further relationship damage. By setting boundaries, your spouse will eventually figure out that their behavior isn’t getting the desired results. When that point is clear, you may be able to begin constructing new communication ground rules.

Determine If You’re Dealing with a Narcissist

Again, marriage counseling is useful in helping you to deal with your spouse. You may also be able to determine if your spouse is a narcissist. Narcissists are incapable of seeing situations from another person’s perspective and need the admiration of others. For this reason, they may doggedly pursue acknowledgment that they are “right” in every situation. It is more difficult to convince true narcissists of the need to change their behavior. The support of a therapist or counselor is very helpful in this situation.

Next Steps…

To start, you may want to consider individual therapy on your own, possibly without your spouse. You can then work on any self-esteem issues that may be keeping you stuck in unhealthy interactions. Then, you can determine how to proceed. Therapy can help you learn how to change behaviors that keep you trapped in a vicious cycle—or determine whether the relationship is too toxic to be saved. If you have been feeling defeated, lacking confidence, or not trusting your own voice or opinions it’s likely that you could benefit from individual therapy before seeking couples counseling. You need to build yourself up again, trust your instincts and feel worthy so you can have the difficult conversations that need to be had with your spouse.

Marriage should make both people feel respected and valued. For more information about how to address marital concerns and the benefits of marriage counseling, click here.

If you decide marriage counseling is for one or both of you please click here to book an appointment online, or give us a call at 832-559-2622 . We can help you find the relationship counselor that best fits your needs.

What to do when you’re struggling to have an equal voice in your relationship.

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

One of the most common dynamics I see in couple’s therapy is when one partner fails to consider that they may not always be right.

The contexts may vary: sex, money, or children, to name a few. And the specific decisions to be made may range from minor (the right time to walk the dog) to major ones (where to live).

Some controlling partners may choose which context to control while others exert pervasive control. Many find it difficult to lose an argument on any topic.

The controlling partner plays the parent/teacher to their counterpart’s child/student, ordering them to follow their rules and punishing them if they resist. The punishments may come in a variety of forms: withholding affection or sex, verbal insults, or even divorce. Oftentimes the childlike counterpart feeds or inflames the dynamic by openly rebelling, resisting, or behaving passive-aggressively.

Instead of that approach, here are eight ways to handle a partner who refuses to negotiate the power in a relationship:

  1. Express Empathy: Most controlling people experience anxiety when losing control. They may or may not be conscious of this, but rather than simply resist their control, consider acknowledging their anxiety and offer to negotiate. Your resistance will only increase their need for control not lessen it.
  2. Provide Evidence: If you feel you are in the right, provide your partner with data to support your position. If the context is financial for example, offer the appropriate numbers to prove your point. Providing evidence may lessen the anxiety that accompanies seeing things your way.
  3. Use Your Credibility: If you have proved in the past to be right about a similar or related issue that is currently being debated, present it to your partner.
  4. Control Your Emotions: The more upset or emotional you get with a controller the more irrational they may see you. Offer your point of view calmly and rationally.
  5. Pick Your Battles: Do not get hung up in a parent/child process. Pick your battles rather than resist for the sake of resisting.
  6. Be Objective: Admit that there are some areas your partner has proved to be more competent than you. In these areas, they should be allowed more control.
  7. Focus on the Positive: Not all control is bad, especially if it protects you from chaos. Offer positive reinforcement when your partner’s control has spared the relationship chaos.
  8. Increase Insight: In acknowledging your partner’s anxiety, you may want to provide them with an explanation for their behavior. For example, controllers may have suffered severe losses in childhood or were forced to cope with incompetent parents. Gently discussing these historical experiences and linking them to a current need for control may lessen this need.

A word of warning: Trying to negotiate with a very controlling individual will not be easy. If you feel that nothing has worked, you still have options, albeit unpleasant: First, you may elect to preserve your relationship and succumb to the control. Some people are simply unwilling to put their relationship at risk—the trauma of a separation is not worth it to them. And second, you may choose to opt out of your relationship. It is your decision to make.

Of course, seeking professional help is an option, but extremely controlling individuals do not like to give up control to anyone — including a therapist.

  1. How to Reestablish Trust in a Relationship
  2. How to Deal With a Person Who Thinks He’s Never Wrong
  3. How to Cope When a Spouse Lies
  4. How to Deal With Your Spouse’s Negative Energy
  5. Repairing a Relationship After a Betrayal

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Many people are familiar with the frustrating experience of dealing with someone who thinks he’s never wrong. When that someone is your husband, however, the experience is worsened by the fact that if it’s never his fault, he’ll typically see it as yours. While such combative behaviors may seem to be focused on you, the real issues likely lie within him. With some helpful tools and understanding, you may be able to turn the situation around to bring greater equality to your relationship.

Understanding Why

It’s important to understand why your husband believes the issues in your marriage are one-sided. He may recognize his flaws but may be insecure about the relationship and hopes to avoid the reality that he is a less than desirable partner. Or, he simply may not be in the habit of considering your point of view as fully as he considers his own. In other words, he may be internally considering his own excuses and reasons for bad behavior while only considering your behavior externally. Check yourself to make sure that you are not reproducing these negative patterns yourself; if you are, improvement in this area will likely improve trust in your relationship, which will help him feel safe in addressing his own poor behaviors.

Address His Approach

Address your husband’s approach. Use a collection of statements he has made in the past that strongly demonstrate his tendency to find you at fault for all issues. Point to these and ask him if he truly believes that you are the problem in all of your issues. If he admits that this is not the case, tell him that you need him to begin admitting his faults and addressing why it’s difficult for him to do so. However, if he says yes, ask him why he believes he should stay married to you if you are at fault for every single negative occurrence in your relationship. Tell him that you simply won’t accept an ongoing belief that he is superior.

One Issue at a Time

In future arguments, do not introduce or allow any discussion of matters unrelated to the specific situation at hand. Understand that when this happens, the argument can only go downhill. Once you cease to discuss the single issue at play, it is easy to move into an argument about who is always right and who is always wrong. If you husband attempts to introduce unrelated complaints or arguments, calmly say, “That’s another argument and we should talk about it another time. We need to stick to what’s happening right now.” Repeat yourself if necessary and refuse to engage in a destructive discussion.

Abandon the Defensive

Refuse to take the bait when your husband insults, blames or belittles you. When faced with an unsolved problem which he tries to blame you for, remind him that focusing on where the blame is won’t actually solve the problem. Avoid responding to hurtful statements with similar statements of your own. Ignore his attempts to shame you so that you are not rewarding the negative behavior. Keep discussions focused on how to solve your problems, not on who is right or wrong.

You can’t argue with a delusion. But you can look out for yourself.

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Living with a person who eavesdrops, feels rejected for no reason, seeks endless reassurance (but is never reassured), thinks others are looking askance, sneaks into private communications, and makes false accusations takes a toll. While many of us may feel suspicious, rejected, excluded or hypersensitive from time to time, chronic paranoia in a functioning person (one who works, socializes, and has a family) can be a monumental problem. It is painful for the paranoid person and heartbreaking for the accused.

Persecutory interpretations of normal events might include: “How come I got the cheaper present?” “Why are you talking about me behind my back?” “You are having dinner with someone else and leaving me out!” “She gave me a dirty look because I did not open the present right away.” “They are ganging up on me!”

Paranoia can be a symptom of several illnesses including schizophrenia, brief psychosis, paranoid personality, psychotic depression, mania with psychotic features, or substance abuse, chronic or momentary. It can range in intensity from a character style to a severe impairment.

One form of paranoia that is particularly difficult to diagnose and treat is Delusional Disorder of the Persecutory Type. In DDPT, the sufferer is gripped by a delusion (a fixed false belief) that involves a singular situation or person—a “circumscribed” delusion. A wife “knows” that her husband is cheating on her with the neighbor, a person is convinced a co-worker is snooping in his desk, a manager is clear that employees are plotting to get her fired, an adult child is immovable in his belief that his father’s new wife cut him out of the will. The fixed false belief plays out around this one notion or person, while in other ways the afflicted may function just fine.

DDPT involves plausible situations—the delusions are non-bizarre and could really happen. (Spaceships landing in the bedroom, an alien light beaming into the kitchen brain, or a World War II platoon in the backyard would not be characteristic.) In DDPT, the sufferer may appear to be in touch with reality because terrible things do happen, people do betray each other, etc. In most cases, however, the individual’s imagined horror is just that—imagined.

People with DDPT do not think they are paranoid, but rather perceptive. They believe that they alone are onto a conspiracy, crime, or act of malevolence. Their conviction that a crime is being committed is rock solid. If you try to talk them out of it, you may alienate them and they could become even more staunch and defensive. Their inner reaction might be, “You do not get it and now I am even more alone with this problem.” Their misguided fight for truth, justice and revenge ramps up and the delusion becomes more deeply entrenched.

“Never argue with a delusion,” one of my mentors often said. Paranoid people are fragile and ill, in the sense that they are out of touch with reality. However, they can become terrifying if fantasy turns to action. The need to retaliate against imagined assaults combined with intact “executive function” (the ability to think and plan) leads to aggressive behaviors and schemes. Calling the police or summoning lawyers is not uncommon. Innocent people, accused and besmirched, are traumatized. (Manipulators may also lie to law enforcement in familial or domestic disputes, but this is different: I have heard stories of raging spouses calling the police with false claims of abuse more than once and an innocent person put in jail for a night.)

Well-meaning colluders fuel the flames. Head shakes, back pats, disdain towards the accused, and meddling on behalf of a false underdog can destroy relationships or lives. Gentle consideration and curiosity about all that is presented and some ability to see beneath the surface is key, as opposed to automatic acceptance. Some people (trained or untrained) are talented at perceiving underlying phenomena, while others are more likely to take things at face value.

Think about an accusation: Does something seem off? A good tactic is to empathize with the feeling, but to neither agree or disagree with the facts. Be empathic with the emotion and let the thought be there. Observation, reflection, curiosity and openness without judgment lead to a deeper understanding. One cannot truly grasp this confusing illness without an understanding that characteristics can conflict, people can say one thing while another may be true, and people can be far more troubled than they appear.

At any rate, if you can get the person to treatment, then chaos, heartbreak and destruction can be avoided and the afflicted relieved of oppressive fears. Paranoid assaults and magnanimous moments are not mutually exclusive—severe illness can present dramatically or subtly.

A quip like, “It cannot be possibly be true. So and so is such a nice guy,“ is common. It is not cruel or judgmental to recognize an illness. It is not necessary to dismiss positive qualities in a person with a sickness.

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

The truth is a form of loving support.

Since any person may decline professional help unless they are a danger to self or others in the moment, the illness DDPT is underreported. (Kaplan and Sadock Synopsis of Psychiatry, 2014)

Here are 7 thoughts/suggestions:

  1. If you are with a paranoid person and experiencing worry and despair, you are not alone.
  2. Consolation and refutation will not likely alter paranoid convictions or delusions.
  3. Professional help or meds can make a big difference and bring relief, not shame.
  4. Do not argue with the delusion or collude, but be empathic with the fear. Go with the emotion, not the facts.
  5. A paranoid or otherwise mentally ill person can contribute to family, work, and life in many positive ways.
  6. Because of the circumscribed nature of the paranoid delusion in DDPT only those involved or accused may be aware of the severe psychopathology.
  7. Gather, reflect, observe, and look below the surface before getting swept up into supporting a false claim.
  1. How to Reestablish Trust in a Relationship
  2. How to Deal With a Person Who Thinks He’s Never Wrong
  3. How to Cope When a Spouse Lies
  4. How to Deal With Your Spouse’s Negative Energy
  5. Repairing a Relationship After a Betrayal

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Many people are familiar with the frustrating experience of dealing with someone who thinks he’s never wrong. When that someone is your husband, however, the experience is worsened by the fact that if it’s never his fault, he’ll typically see it as yours. While such combative behaviors may seem to be focused on you, the real issues likely lie within him. With some helpful tools and understanding, you may be able to turn the situation around to bring greater equality to your relationship.

Understanding Why

It’s important to understand why your husband believes the issues in your marriage are one-sided. He may recognize his flaws but may be insecure about the relationship and hopes to avoid the reality that he is a less than desirable partner. Or, he simply may not be in the habit of considering your point of view as fully as he considers his own. In other words, he may be internally considering his own excuses and reasons for bad behavior while only considering your behavior externally. Check yourself to make sure that you are not reproducing these negative patterns yourself; if you are, improvement in this area will likely improve trust in your relationship, which will help him feel safe in addressing his own poor behaviors.

Address His Approach

Address your husband’s approach. Use a collection of statements he has made in the past that strongly demonstrate his tendency to find you at fault for all issues. Point to these and ask him if he truly believes that you are the problem in all of your issues. If he admits that this is not the case, tell him that you need him to begin admitting his faults and addressing why it’s difficult for him to do so. However, if he says yes, ask him why he believes he should stay married to you if you are at fault for every single negative occurrence in your relationship. Tell him that you simply won’t accept an ongoing belief that he is superior.

One Issue at a Time

In future arguments, do not introduce or allow any discussion of matters unrelated to the specific situation at hand. Understand that when this happens, the argument can only go downhill. Once you cease to discuss the single issue at play, it is easy to move into an argument about who is always right and who is always wrong. If you husband attempts to introduce unrelated complaints or arguments, calmly say, “That’s another argument and we should talk about it another time. We need to stick to what’s happening right now.” Repeat yourself if necessary and refuse to engage in a destructive discussion.

Abandon the Defensive

Refuse to take the bait when your husband insults, blames or belittles you. When faced with an unsolved problem which he tries to blame you for, remind him that focusing on where the blame is won’t actually solve the problem. Avoid responding to hurtful statements with similar statements of your own. Ignore his attempts to shame you so that you are not rewarding the negative behavior. Keep discussions focused on how to solve your problems, not on who is right or wrong.

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Everyone knows that sometimes marriages just go wrong. It’s nobody’s fault sometimes; two people just don’t mesh the way they once did, or things happen that make life difficult over time. Some ex-couples even stay friends.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

About half the time, divorce comes about because someone is really, really pissed. And the general reason for that? Manipulation of some kind.

If you’re reading this, there’s at least a small chance that you clicked because you’re worried you’re being manipulated in some way. After years in the business of divorce, I have some experience in knowing what spousal manipulation looks like–and also how to deal with it. Basically, it boils down to some pretty obvious signs.

You consistently are made to feel guilty, whether you did anything wrong or not.
Everybody’s wrong sometimes, and everybody cries sometimes (so says R.E.M.). But if you’re in the wrong 100% of the time for years, and your spouse won’t or can’t take responsibility for any wrongdoing, chances are they’re full of it. It takes two, people.

Passive aggressiveness.
You know that thing people do where they say something nice, or helpful, but it makes you feel horrendous? It’s the classic move: pretend to be being helpful while actually being critical, in order to avoid direct confrontation–then deny you meant anything by it, and the other person is clearly overreacting. It’s a cheap way to get an unfair advantage, and it’s highly manipulative.

Gaslighting.
A close cousin of passive aggressiveness, gaslighting is when someone makes you feel crazy. You have an issue with their behavior? You must be crazy. You think they’re making bad choices? You’re clearly crazy. This is most damaging when it goes beyond just saying you’re crazy, to actually acting concerned about it. The secret weapon here: playing on your insecurities. Don’t buy it.

You often feel small.
Feel like your needs don’t matter? If your spouse routinely dismisses what you want or need, minimizes your concerns, and/or calls you “ridiculous,” you’re probably being manipulated.

They isolate you.
One of the more dangerous kinds of manipulation is when, usually in multiple ways, a partner or spouse methodically isolates you from other people. This can come in direct or indirect ways–for example, by demanding you stay away from your friends, or by pretending to be sick every time you want to go out–and is usually a control issue.

They twist your words.
Feel like your spouse is a master at twisting your words into something ugly when they weren’t intended that way? Standard tactic.

They have a pattern of forming relationships with vulnerable people.
Manipulative people like being in relationships where the power dynamic is skewed in their favor. Have you noticed that your spouse’s other relationships are skewed this way? An example is someone who can only have who are significantly less attractive than they are, or someone whose friends are all significantly younger/less experienced/less worldly. The key is that they have to have the advantage in every relationship.

They lie.
If you’ve consistently caught your partner in lies, particularly damaging lies, you can bet there are plenty of lies that you haven’t found out about. Big red flag.

They are distant or emotionally unavailable a lot of the time.
Everyone needs space sometimes, but if you feel like you are being pushed away for weeks or even months at a time, and your partner is unwilling to explain why, it can become a very destructive relationship for you. While there are sometimes extenuating circumstances, like depression, this is still something that needs addressing.

They “punish” you.
If you feel like you get punished when you confront your spouse or disagree with them, that’s not good. Even in the case of real wrongdoing in a marriage, there’s very little point in “punishing” your spouse. Either you deal with the issue, forgive and move on, or you choose not to forgive and move out–but what you shouldn’t do is remain in the relationship while lording the wrongdoing over the partner as a form of power. It’s understandable in some cases, I admit, but ultimately it’s not constructive, and only further damages the relationship.

I do want to say that sometimes these things pop up in even quite happy relationships, and it doesn’t necessarily spell the end. It’s important to be able to have an open conversation about what’s going on: for at least one of you to have the courage to bring it up, and for both of you to talk about what’s going on and why that might be.

Of course, if you’re reading this post you’ve probably been there, done that, and it hasn’t worked–or else you can’t even communicate with your partner about it, because they won’t have it.

At that stage, therapy is an option, and it can help. However, both people have to be committed to improving the relationship, so you’re going to have to prepare for conversation in that case, too.

The final option when you’ve exhausted all others is to muster up the nerve to leave. While difficult, I see people do it every day, and have happier lives afterward; so while it’s perhaps the most difficult option in the short run, in the long run it may be the best decision for you.

Have something to ask, add, or a pithy story to tell? I’m all ears. Leave it in comments below, comment on Facebook, or tweet to me!

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How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Being accused of lying can have as much impact as a physical blow to the body, especially when the accusation is false. Although your first inclination after the accusation may be to be aggressive in defending your good name, being assertive instead is a better approach. Similarly, avoiding confrontation with the individual who accuses you of lying can leave you feeling frustrated, particularly because the underlying inaccuracy remains active. Not saying anything and hoping the accusation will simply go away usually has the opposite effect and can lead to additional accusations.

Step 1

Evaluate the accusation with an objective eye. Don’t assume the reasons why the other person is accusing you of being a liar, but consider the possibilities. Consider if the other person is feeling slighted by you, by something you’ve said or your role at work or in the family. Ask other people who know you and the person making the accusations about their perspectives on the accusation. You may not recognize something you’ve said or done that may have led to the accusation. This allows you to see a perspective that is less wrought with defensiveness.

Step 2

Confront your accuser with an assertive stance. Assertiveness, in contrast to aggressiveness, is a means of defending your point of view without trespassing on the perspective of another person. It’s a way of agreeing to disagree and levels the playing field to facilitate better communication. One of the primary ways to be more assertive is to preface your statements to your accuser with the pronoun “I.” Instead of saying, “You’re accusing me of lying,” an assertive statement would sound more like, “I don’t agree with your accusation that I am a liar.” Assertiveness places you in a position for negotiation and better understanding and is less likely to place your accuser in a defensive position.

Step 3

Ask questions of your accuser to identify the reasons why he believes you are a liar. Open-ended questions such as, “How did you come to the conclusion that I lied?” can give you a better idea of how your accuser came up with his belief. Accurate or not, it’s unlikely that a simple statement of disagreement will convince your accuser that you aren’t a liar. Asking questions to get the underlying story, however, will give you information that you can clarify to your accuser to make your case against the accusation. As difficult as it may seem when defending a false accusation, it’s important to remain diplomatic in discussing the issue.

Step 4

Identify to your accuser what resolution or consequence you would like administered as a result of the accusation. You may never be able to convince the other person that you are not a liar, however, you do have the right to assert your point of view and request a negotiation of perspectives. For example, state, “I would appreciate it if you would ask me first, before accusing me of lying about making that phone call you requested.” This provides the recipient with a consequence for his accusations.

  1. How to Forgive a Lying Boyfriend
  2. How to Tell Someone You Think They Are Mean
  3. How to Write a Character Letter for a Presidential Pardon
  4. What Are Barriers to Perception?
  5. How to Make a Narcissist Tell the Truth

How to deal with a partner who thinks you are always wrong

Being accused of lying can have as much impact as a physical blow to the body, especially when the accusation is false. Although your first inclination after the accusation may be to be aggressive in defending your good name, being assertive instead is a better approach. Similarly, avoiding confrontation with the individual who accuses you of lying can leave you feeling frustrated, particularly because the underlying inaccuracy remains active. Not saying anything and hoping the accusation will simply go away usually has the opposite effect and can lead to additional accusations.

Step 1

Evaluate the accusation with an objective eye. Don’t assume the reasons why the other person is accusing you of being a liar, but consider the possibilities. Consider if the other person is feeling slighted by you, by something you’ve said or your role at work or in the family. Ask other people who know you and the person making the accusations about their perspectives on the accusation. You may not recognize something you’ve said or done that may have led to the accusation. This allows you to see a perspective that is less wrought with defensiveness.

Step 2

Confront your accuser with an assertive stance. Assertiveness, in contrast to aggressiveness, is a means of defending your point of view without trespassing on the perspective of another person. It’s a way of agreeing to disagree and levels the playing field to facilitate better communication. One of the primary ways to be more assertive is to preface your statements to your accuser with the pronoun “I.” Instead of saying, “You’re accusing me of lying,” an assertive statement would sound more like, “I don’t agree with your accusation that I am a liar.” Assertiveness places you in a position for negotiation and better understanding and is less likely to place your accuser in a defensive position.

Step 3

Ask questions of your accuser to identify the reasons why he believes you are a liar. Open-ended questions such as, “How did you come to the conclusion that I lied?” can give you a better idea of how your accuser came up with his belief. Accurate or not, it’s unlikely that a simple statement of disagreement will convince your accuser that you aren’t a liar. Asking questions to get the underlying story, however, will give you information that you can clarify to your accuser to make your case against the accusation. As difficult as it may seem when defending a false accusation, it’s important to remain diplomatic in discussing the issue.

Step 4

Identify to your accuser what resolution or consequence you would like administered as a result of the accusation. You may never be able to convince the other person that you are not a liar, however, you do have the right to assert your point of view and request a negotiation of perspectives. For example, state, “I would appreciate it if you would ask me first, before accusing me of lying about making that phone call you requested.” This provides the recipient with a consequence for his accusations.