Reading body language: How to spot a liar part 2

Reading body language: When reading the body language of deception or lies there is a long list of items to look at to determine if a man or woman is lying.

 

There is one universal body part to look at while determining if nonverbal communication is accurate.

 

While reading the body language of a man or woman it is important to get a feel for their normal activities or body language signs that are normal for them. When you have taken the time to learn people body language signals that they use when they are being inaccurate it will almost seem that you can read minds or that you are clairvoyant.   

 

Take for instance a person who is nervous when they are under pressure they will have certain things that they do constantly. It could be that they:

  • ·         Rub their hands
  • ·         Sweat when nervous
  • ·         Dressed different than what they are comfortable in
  • ·         Shift more than normal
  • ·         Licking their lips
  • ·         Playing with their hair
  • ·         Touching their face
  • ·         Abnormal movement in their chair or seat
  • ·         Lack of eye contact or over excessive eye contact
  • ·         Breath differently taking deep breathes or even staggered breaths
  • ·         Tap their feet on the ground or their hands on a table
  • ·         Directing the feet towards an exit

 

Now everyone has a go to body language or non verbal “tell” when they are nervous and it is important to identify it when possible. This idea has been mentioned quite a few times in order to remind you that under any given circumstance people will react in a specific way. This nonverbal “tell” may even include a facial expression or a signature movement with the hands or even a nod. The problem is that many times “tells” of nervousness can be the same tells that a person uses when they are lying.

 

How to tell if someone is lying with body language
Is my girlfriend cheating on me signs of body langugae

 

How to tell if a man or woman is lying!

 

So what happens if you meet a person for the first time and you don’t have a lot of time to determine if they are telling you the truth? There are a few things that will help determine if what they are saying is as accurate as their body language.

 

One way is that their story may be too good to be true or over told to make up what they think would be a deficiency in their own story. In this example the story may seem like it is pushed through and either overly detailed in areas that you would not normally ask about or seem like the story is too fast and there are too many holes that do not make sense. You would be able to look for abnormal actions like touching the face or even using the lobster claw of deception.

 

One way that commonly gets confused when it comes to reading body language especially when it comes to lying is that of the direction and orientation of the eyes.

 

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming teaches that by looking at the location of the iris of the eye can determine the modality of learning for a person meaning are they:

  • ·         Visual or a person who learns from sight and sees what is going on.
  • ·         Kinesthetic or a person that learns and is comfortable with touch or feels their way through things.
  • ·         Auditory or a person who learns from hearing what needs to be done and listens intently.

 

Now there is an age old fairy tale that explains that when people look up and to the left there is fabricating going on or there may be a lie going on. In NLP this would signify visual construction (Vc) and if the person looked up and to the right this would signify visual remembered (Vr). The reason that this is thought of as a big deal is because in this theory visual construction means making up a story, fabrication or changing the story or even flat out lying.

 

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is not always right when it comes to any of their teachings but it does construct good guidelines for the way that things can be. When it comes to body language or non verbal communication there is not any rule that is 100% usable every time.

 

This theory of visual reconstruction would be great except that it is wrong and has been proven through a few studies done including one performed by Dr. Kevin Hogan. Police use this in interrogations, the military uses this style of lie detecting while interpreting stories about actions people have taken.

 

In some instances when men or women are lying they will not look at you while they are talking, now this may not mean that there is a lie directly going on but there is definitely something wrong with whatever they are talking about. This would also go with direct eye contact or looking someone in the eye. Now if a person has too much eye contact with you it is uncomfortable but if they do not make enough or if they break away too long at the wrong time it may be that there is a lie involved.

A good skilled liar knows this and may make the correct amount of eye contact and not really give off any signs of a lie. Most of the time when this situation happens you are dealing with a great manipulator and this type of person is great at guilting you into thinking that all of the problems and or issues are your fault. This is usually their giveaway more than
their body language and it is a verbal sign.

How to tell if your boyfriend is cheating on you
is my boyfriend cheating on me

Places to use body language signs or signals

 

Now where else could you use this information? There are plenty of places:

  1. 1.      A Job interview
  2. 2.      Dating or seduction
  3. 3.      Determining if a boyfriend or girlfriend is lying about where they were last night

 

Now what happens if you jump to conclusions too soon while reading the body language of males or females? You lose contracts, relationships, friends and you can even make some enemies. Understanding or interpreting body language and non verbal communication means you must be able to separate fact from fiction when it comes to knowing what is real and can help you or what is sometimes correct.

 

People have a tough enough time believing information and adding in the layer of detecting lies through nonverbal communication and half-truths makes this task even more difficult.    

 

What is body language? That answer will be up to you and what you think the other person communication is and how they fill in the voids of what you thinks as the viewer.

 

It is entirely possible for you to read a situation the wrong way and your reaction as it has been explained previously is what will cause a reaction in the other person. You must take the time to baseline people and understand their actions and why they perform them unless you are in a situation where you have to make a split second decision then go the direction where it keeps you the safest.

 

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is believing that one “tell” of a body language sign or signal is a definite. One of these items is the blinking rate of a person or touching the face means that there is a definite lie. In either instance when a person uses these “tells” this is an area where something just inst quite right but does not mean that there is a definite lie. Making the mistake of saying there is an absolute tell of lying would be inaccurate. These examples could be used for politicians all the way to salespeople.

 

The key is to take you time to understand what peoples actions mean nonverbally.

 

As always I would like to thank you for your comments and or questions.

Now go implement!

 

Scott Sylvan Bell

 

Photo credits: Man by Salvatore Vuono, Woman On The Phone by Stuart Miles

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13 thoughts on “Reading body language: How to spot a liar part 2”

  1. Interesting info on reading body language and how to spot a liar, especially with a few telling clues. I don’t agree with the NLP teaching about looking up to the left or right meaning certain things. I look up either direction OR down either direction when trying to recall data. Depends on the lighting in the room A LOT because my eyes are particularly sensitive to light after decades of working in dark recording studios and theaters. 🙂

    Michael
    Gene Simmons Life Lessons #5: Do It Your Own Way

  2. Thanks Scott for a really interesting blog on a fascinating topic! I agree with Michael, that there are other reasons for people looking away before answering (I do), and I appreciate that you stress that this is not true in all cases. Your blog tells us to be more aware, but not make snap judgements (well, perhaps not until we’re better at it anyway!). I’m looking forward to putting some of your suggestions to good use!

    EcoExpert
    Why do YOU need to know about the numbers on plastic bottles?

  3. I never would have guessed that constant eye contact can indicate deceit. I know that when I look away many times it is because I am trying to remember something or I am intimidated by the person I am talking to.

  4. Hi Scott,

    OK, I’m giggling.

    That little tip about Liar Detection with how they wear their clothes. Yup. Congruency. When you are wearing clothes which you are not comfortable in, you show it with your facial expressions and so many of your shifting body language signals. This is one of the reasons I recommend that men and women practice getting comfortable wear date appropriate, especially First Date outfits. Or they will make a false impression with their date who will see them just fundamentally as an awkward and unpoised person = Not Attractive!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Halloween Singles Parties Los Angeles

  5. After reading your NLP guidelines I started thinking about my eye movement.

    My own observation is that I often look up and both to the right and the left as I try to recall information.

    As you have stated, these are extremely useful guidelines but not cast in stone.

    Dennis
    Debt Elimination Expert

  6. Good article, Scott. I like how you pointed out that looking up and to the left – which was considered a “sure sign” of lying has been dispelled. And, like you say, when reading body language, we need to first determine a base line.

    Stay Amazing and Do Great Things, Neil
    Yeast In Dogs Ear

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