I’m Suspicious. Should I Trust My Feelings?

For the most part, people tend to be very trusting. All of the evidence indicates that most people believe what they are told, especially when a loved one is doing the talking (see Levine & McCornack).

But, it is important to point out that some people are generally more suspicious of their partners (see dismissing attachment). And suspicious people often see things more accurately (see Levine & McCornack). Suspicious people are NOT better at reading their partners’ body language; rather suspicious individuals are just more negative/cynical, so they are more likely to notice problems WHEN they really exist.

Alternatively, if you are a trusting individual (see secure attachment), that does not necessarily mean that you are being told the truth. Rather it works like this: trusting people tend to see the truth better than suspicious people, and suspicious people tend to see a partner’s lies better than trusting individuals. Neither group is particularly good at reading their partners’ behavior. Both groups are biased—just in different directions.

Accurately detecting deception isn’t based on skill; it is based on making the right guess (see detecting deception). So, trusting people are better at spotting the truth, and suspicious people are better at spotting lies.

Does this mean you should trust your feelings?

If you are a trusting person and you find yourself being suspicious—that may be worth pursuing further. But, if your always suspicious, then that is much less informative.

Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut rules to follow when it comes to determining if a loved one is telling the truth.

Related Information:

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