5 Ways You're Coming Off as Untrustworthy, According to Experts
Even if you're telling the truth, you could be making friends and loved ones think otherwise.
Trust is vital for any kind of relationship we may have—whether it's platonic, romantic, or even professional. A lack of trust can sever the connection between you and a friend or loved one, or cause you to miss out on opportunities in the workforce. But you might not realize when you're giving people reasons to doubt you. To help understand what to look out for, we consulted experts to get insight into the things that put those around you on high alert. Read on to discover five traits and behaviors that are making you come off as untrustworthy.
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You avoid eye contact.
Some say the eyes are the window to the soul—which is why it's unsettling if you are always diverting yours. Sarah Watson, PsyD, a certified coach and the chief operating officer at BPTLAB, tells Best Life that a constant lack of eye contact is a common trait that can make you seem untrustworthy.
"Eye contact is a sign of respect and trustworthiness," Watson explains. "So those who avoid making direct eye contact often give off an air of suspicion that makes it hard for others to trust them."
Your stories are inconsistent.
We all like to embellish the truth sometimes. But if your stories are inconsistent, this can draw suspicion from others. Carolyn Rubenstein, PhD, a licensed psychologist based in Boca Raton, Florida, says people who change a story's details depending on the circumstances often appear untrustworthy to those around them.
According to Rubenstein, you don't want it to seem like you're telling a story differently every time you tell it. This happens when you add new information or withhold things depending on different factors, like who you're talking to at the time.
"When this occurs, the timelines and facts of a story typically don't add up," she warns.
You overshare in certain ways.
Oversharing can hurt your credibility with people in some cases. Jack Hazan, LMHC, a licensed therapist and founder of the Modern Therapy Group, says divulging a lot about yourself to a person you barely known can often be seen as a red flag.
"If you're sharing too much personal information when just meeting someone, it may indicate that you're either untrustworthy or unstable," he explains.
But it's not just oversharing about yourself that may put people off. According to Hazan, those who share other people's secrets tend to make the listener question just how much they can trust the oversharer with.
"If they feel they can share a secret about someone else, what's stopping them from sharing a secret about you?" he says.
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You never take accountability.
Accountability plays a huge part in how trustworthy you appear to other people. "If someone tries to push the blame for something they did onto someone else, that's a bad sign," Hazan warns.
That's not without merit either. "Untrustworthy people rarely hold themselves accountable for mistakes," Rubenstein confirms. "People like this will try to turn it on another person, deny involvement, and twist the situation to come off as someone else's fault or frame someone else."
You avoid communicating.
Of course, it can be hard in the moment to acknowledge that your actions have contributed to a problem. But if you refuse to even entertain conversations that might require you to take accountability for something, that's worse for your trustworthiness.
People who avoid communication about important issues and responsibilities often appear untrustworthy to others, according to Aliyah Moore, PhD, a relationship expert working with SexualAlpha.
"Consistently evading direct questions or important issues can cause others to question a person's honesty and transparency," Moore explains. "Avoidance can also imply a lack of accountability and responsibility, which can further weaken trust."