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Relationship Lie Detection with Expert with Irvine Nugent | Ep 35

How do lies show up in interactions between people? Have there been times when you may have been lying to yourself about your partner’s behavior? Why should you maintain trust in yourself when you are in relationships? In this podcast episode, I speak about Relationship Lie Detection with Dr. Irvine Nugent.


Irvine is an internationally recognized trainer and top-rated keynote speaker and is one of the few worldwide certified FACS coders, who are experts in reading facial emotions. Born in Northern Ireland, Irvine brings to his audiences and clients a rich and varied experience.

Growing up in a society torn apart by division and violence he has seen first-hand the damage done when communication breaks down and people fail to listen and understand. This has inspired him to help leaders build workplaces in which people thrive and realize their full potential. He is also the author of Leadership Lessons From The Pub.

Visit his website to learn more. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube


Enroll in Irvine’s free e-course. Click here to learn from Irvine’s useful, free resources!



  • Data on people and lies
  • Look at the hard evidence
  • Building trust in yourself
  • For new relationships


Facial expressions:

Some facial expressions of different emotions are universal. If a person is trying to suppress a universal emotion and it “leaks”, there are certain tell-tale signs to watch out for.

Body language:

This is not universal, so one must be careful not to make definitive statements on what a person’s body might do if they lie – these behaviors are not the same across the board.

Observe the consistency of the voice: 

  • Pitch
  • Tone
  • Volume
  • Vocal flow

The language:

One of the main features of noticing lies in a person’s speech is how they use distance. They might begin the story by referencing “you”, “me” and “I” and they may, later on, switch to using “they” and “them”.

What we’re really trying to look at is are there changes in the baseline of the person’s normal behavior? Because that’s really when we begin to see if there are some inconsistencies from the way they normally act to the way they are acting now … in some of those five areas of data. (Irvine Nugent)


How someone makes you feel is important and can be a sign in itself that something is amiss, but if you think someone is lying to you, look for harder evidence.

Some people may be more trusting, and others may be more cynical, and your past experiences can impact these approaches to life and relationships. If you have been betrayed, or have betrayed your partner, you may be more hardwired to be distrusting and look for lies and vice versa, because lived experience is powerful.

Sometimes we’ve got to face the fact that some people are absolutely fantastic liars and we beat ourselves up, but sometimes people are good. Lying is difficult, but some people are good at it and we can’t beat ourselves up. We have to move on and learn the lessons. (Irvine Nugent)


Sometimes in relationships, people may gloss over potential red flags because they are too excited about falling in love to want to notice potential shortcomings or harmful patterns in their partners.

The self-awareness and this ability to really trust ourselves and to trust the signals that come to us, and I think part of that when we’ve been hurt in a relationship is building that trust in ourselves becomes incredibly important. (Irvine Nugent)

It is in your interest to be self-aware, notice what your partner does, and how it makes you feel. Not to the extent that you become hyper-vigilant, but that you are honest with yourself about the evidence that is being presented to you about your partner’s behavior.


When you find yourself in a new relationship with someone, ask yourself:

  • How does this person deal with emotions?
  • Is this person emotionally open?
  • Are they emotionally vulnerable?
  • Can they have difficult conversations?

These are important questions to ask because avoiding them could come back to bite you. Be honest and real with yourself about this new potential partner.

Embrace the messiness and have a tolerance for messiness because it will take you to a place of understanding through witnessing how they deal with emotionally straining situations.

If we want loving, fulfilling relationships, it requires a certain level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be expanded at any point in our life, but it needs an openness to want to do that. (Irvine Nugent)


Dr. Irvine Nugent – Leadership Lessons from the Pub


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, or follow along on Twitter,  you’re in the right place!

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